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Old 02-19-2009, 05:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Digital Music collection - NAS or cloud? Advice wanted

Hello all.

For years I've had a music collection with lots of CDs that I've been meaning to rip into digital form. I've finally embarked on the task. I'm ripping at the highest bitrate I can to get the highest quality files I can, with the idea that storage has gotten incredibly cheap and will keep getting cheaper, so the extra quality is worth the space.

It looks like the whole project will take between 100-200 GB of space. I'm using Itunes on a Dell laptop to do this. I also have an iphone and a Simplify Media account, which means that as long as the laptop is left on at home, I can listen to any of my music on my Iphone anywhere I go (i.e. via a radio-linked adapter in my car).

So far, so good. Here are the problems: first, my laptop only has 150 GB of memory, total. Second, I don't really want to leave it on 24/7. I want to store all the music files elsewhere, so that they're accessible to both the laptop and the iphone (and my wife's laptop, too).

Here's where I'd like your advice. Do you think I should:
1) Buy a networked external hard drive (NAS) - maybe 250 GB or 500 GB if the price is right - and keep the files there?
2) Just get a cheap desktop and donate the keyboard and mouse to charity?
3) Look into storing all those files in the cloud somewhere?

I'd love specific recommendations as to which hard drive, which cheap desktop, or which cloud service, and why. If I should be posting this in another forum, let me know. Thanks.

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Old 02-19-2009, 05:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Digital Music collection - NAS or cloud? Advice wanted

Depends on what you want to do. You could always buy a larger hard drive put files on and you can watch, view, listen whatever on your computer that you currently have. Or you could spend more money I guess and just buy a new computer and put them on there, I don't know why you would want to do that. I would just get another hard drive.

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Old 02-19-2009, 07:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Digital Music collection - NAS or cloud? Advice wanted

What I want to do is have access to my entire music collection on both my laptop and on my iphone without having to plug anything in to anything else.

Picture this: I'm sitting with my laptop on my couch. I have speakers on the other side of the room. Normally, to listen to my music over the speakers, I'd have to run a cord across the room and have it plugged in to the laptop. However, with Simplify Media, I can plug my Iphone into the speakers, and wirelessly stream my music to the Iphone - a beautiful solution, and I'm delighted that it exists.

Now let's say I buy a normal 250 GB hard drive and move all my music files onto it. I'd have to sit right next to the hard drive and plug it in to my laptop to access my music - which defeats the point of a laptop.

If it's a networked hard drive (NAS), though, I could access it wirelessly. I'm sitting on the couch, the hard drive is on the shelf, the iphone is plugged in to the speakers, nothing is plugged into my laptop, and life is good.

Also, the networked hard drive could stay on 24/7 even when I turn my laptop off. My hope is that I would then still be able to access the files on my iphone using Simplify Media, but I'm not sure about that.

Why would I buy a separate desktop? I would only consider it if it were cheaper per GB than getting a networked hard drive, because that's how I'd be using it.

As for putting all the files in the cloud - I've heard about sites like Audiolizer, and I'm wondering if anyone else has tried them, and how that compares to the other options here.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Digital Music collection - NAS or cloud? Advice wanted

I'd suggest NAS. It'll have less power consumption over a desktop server. - LACIE 301269U 500GB Ethernet Disk mini - Home Edition - Network Storage (NAS)

I had this, but decided I needed more room. It's definitely not the best, but for the price it does everything needed, and is very reliable.
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Old 02-22-2009, 02:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Digital Music collection - NAS or cloud? Advice wanted

I like the NAS option also; but i'm interested in hearing about which you choose and how it works out for you so keep us posted. Good luck.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Digital Music collection - NAS or cloud? Advice wanted

It's taken me a while, but I finally decided to go with the cheap ($300) desktop. I can use my iphone as a remote control for the itunes on the desktop, so my music listening problem is solved. It's got a 500GB hard drive, so all the music fits easily, with enough room to backup my laptop hard drive for good measure, plus I can use it to watch movies on Netflix and Hulu.

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