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Music Server External Hard Drives


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I am posting to let everyone know about a great hard drive option for their music servers. Instead of purchasing the external hard drive all in one piece, you can get more disk space and a better enclosure for less money if you just spend 5 minutes and put the two pieces together separately. Look on newegg.com for a hard drive. They have awesome deals on 750 GB drives right now. $160 for Western Digital 750 GB drive. Then get the external enclosure that has the connection options you want. I prefer this enclosure from Oyen Digital for $80 ( https://oyendigital.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=E&Product_Code=EB3-S ). It has USB, Firewire 800 and 400, and eSATA. It uses the Oxford 924 chipset and powers down automatically with the computer and will go to sleep when there is no disk activity.

 

So, for $240 you can get great external storage for your music server or computer based audio system.

 

 

Chris

The Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Warrior - I have really been considering NAS as well because it is so convenient, but I am hesitant because of possible network performance issues. I haven't heard any issues with NAS in the music server world but I have a feeling the performance won't be as good as direct attached storage. Let me know what you have heard about NAS and music servers or if you decide to do it, a review would be awesome.

 

Thanks for all your contributions and for being a pioneering member of the Computer Audiophile site!

 

- Chris

Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Chris, you are absolutely correct (IMO) about the value of the Oxford chipsets for Hard Drive *Systems* using inexpensive (S)ATA HD's that covert to a firewire or USB based enclosure designed for removablitly - and you will eventually HAVE to have removableS* for proper function of a 'real' server: *you have to 'scale' as your library increases size *you must have HUGE / FAST backup capability *Someday you will want RAID capability (inexpensive HD's are inexpensive for a reason) *the better and more flexible the hardware you buy, the more reliable your 'end product' will be.

 

The Oxford chipsets help ensure that the hot-swap part of using a HD array is handled more safely: in the native domain of the connection to the cases (USB, Firewire, etc.) and not the native domain of the HD (ATA). This is extremely important.

( http://www.glyphtech.com/site/technology/integrity.html )

 

Glyph Technologies offer a somewhat less do-it-yourself and more $calable set of $olutions for external storage. Check not only their specs, but their warranties - Given the issues I have always had with HD's that arrive at my front door instead of ones I buy locally (I can take those local bad boys RIGHT back) - the ones that arrive at the door almost always are 'extra-defective' in some way (maybe it is just my luck) - I buy locally. ..... Until doing business with Glyph.... For my purposes, I really like the 1 yr. overnight advance replacement + data recovery attempt clause

Look here: ( http://www.glyphtech.com/site/products/gt103.html )

 

As for the NAS solution, I really haven't researched them seriously. My purposes require that I am capable of highly reliable / high track count / high resolution data streams. I know that networks do not (yet) completely fulfill those reqs. so I wouldn't use NAS. That does not mean that it wouldn't be right for someone who just wants to stream 24/96 7.1 audio and one 1080p video stream at the same time. ....I THINK......

 

Enough of my blathering for now......

 

markr

"There are only two kinds of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't"

hear here

 

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Hey Markr - Thanks for the details. I hadn't heard of glyph Technologies. Their products look very nice and well thouht out. Can you give us a little info as to your system and how you are using these drives?

 

- Chris

Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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A 'real' server is for me, off a little into the future. The intent for the purchase of my first Glyph HD system was to have a rack-mountable and hot-swappable HD for portable use. One that I could depend on. Via word of mouth - musicians and technicians here in Austin (TX) - I learned of Glyph and their use in professional 'multimedia' studios. I heard nothing bad about them and can only say good things about them myself so far.

 

Remember, you asked. So:

 

I am using a rack mounted Glyph GT 051 HD system (firewire 400 version.) This unit is not bus powered, but Glyph has solutions for that too. I haven't needed to be completely self powered. Yet.

 

The system it is used with includes a MacBookPro running primarily Apple Logic Studio 8 and Propellerhead Software's Reason and Recyle Audio/MIDI software packages. These programs are for the creation, capturing and production of of audio for just audio's sake. Lately I am aiming at audio-for-video as well. Logic has me covered there: Apple's Soundtrack Pro is in the package as well.

 

The external, rack-mounted AD/DA box is firewire 400 based and is from RME: the Fireface 400 ( http://www.rme-audio.com/english/firewire/ff400.htm ). It has great sound. - That is, I cannot tell the difference between live sound and the sound properly captured with this unit. Recorded reference material that I have have owned for some time bears me out on this: that it is one great sounding unit for playback or recording - one doesn't even have to take into account the fact that it is bus powerable and is also portable in order to reach that conclusion. If only Alan Lomax and other recordists back in the day had had one of these.....

 

There is a good power conditioner/distribution unit in the rack as well: a Furman PL8. The rack unit itself is a 4U SKB 'roto-molded' model. Sturdy, compact and light. There is room for one more thing in the rack: a strip of mic preamplifiers that will connect to the AD/DA via ADAT lightpipe.

 

Add to that a fair selection of AKG, Shure and CAD microphones with various types of stands. Some Switchcraft, Monster and Mogami shielded cabling and ..... well, I could create a professional multitrack soundtrack for your next garden/keg/toga party's video. .... or whatever else. You can imagine the possibilities... Add also some MIDI keyboard controllers and digital percussion equipment that can drive the software instruments built into Logic & Reason. Yes, I play a little bit. That is how I got hooked on this stuff in the first place. It all fits very nicely in the trunk of my Honda too.

 

I don't know what that has to do with a Music Server though. 8^)

 

blathering now set to "off".

 

markr

"There are only two kinds of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't"

hear here

 

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Wow, thanks for the detail markr! I know that is what I was looking for and I'm sure others will benefit as well. It is much easier to understand everything when you paint a picture of how you're using it. I know some members here are just beginning to get into this hobby and a complete system description really helps. I checked out that Fireface 400 unit and it looks really really nice. You can't beat 24 Bit 192 kHz !

 

It is interesting how separate the worlds of "home" hifi and "professional" hifi can be at times. When you think about it, you can't have the home without something created with the professional system. If the pro system is a weak link in the chain then it doesn't matter what the home system consists of. I guess what I am saying is more attention should be given to the professional audio products in the audiophile world.

 

 

- Chris

Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use a La Cie "Porsche-design" 500GB USB drive for my music. It has been in use for about a year with no trouble. It has a small fan that comes on if the room is warm; most of the time it's off. There have been reports of reliability problems with the power-supply brick on these drives, but so far mine has been good.

 

When the time came to buy a backup drive, though, I bought one from G-Technology. This one has both USB and Firewire, and I ended up using it to back up my Windows library and reorganizing it. It still has the Windows library on it, so I need another for backing up the Apple library. This drive is fanless but the aluminum case does radiate some noise. It's louder than the La Cie drive. If I were using it as my main music server, I'd want to put it behind the desk or something else to block the noise. It's not loud, per se, just annoying. I like quiet.

 

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I had the Porsche design 250 GB drive from La Cie and had some weird issues with it. The drive was a Western Digital from quite a few years back and I am not a fan of their older drives. WD I think is better now, but I still tend to buy Seagate or Hitachi if I can.

 

 

- Chris

Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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My Glyph (160GB Seagate Barracuda removable), running right now, is nearly silent - sorry, no dB meter handy with which to measure this situation, but the birds outside (closed house), and the refrigerator motor in the kitchen are considerably louder than anything elecro-mechanical in here so I suspect that measurement would be moot anyway. it is barely registering compared with the fan of the MBP that is sitting on my lap. I am maybe five feet from the HD and the fan is running too. I would have no problem with bringing a vocalist into this setting to record a track while they used headphones to monitor the material to be synced with. For the absolute purist, I'd move the HD 10 more feet away, go shoo-away the birds and turn off the refrigerator. -- One of the things about HD's is that they are hot. Heat is an enemy of HD longevity. You should keep them cool.

 

I am a middle aged man who's high-'freak' hearing is somewhat crippled though 8^)

 

markr

"There are only two kinds of people: Those who understand binary and those who don't"

hear here

 

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