I’ve been planning a NAS purchase for a while now, and am going to pull the trigger on the EX2100. Its primary function will be a Media Server for my house, which will be used with: - 2 Macs with iTunes - Additional devices in the house with DLNA support(PlayStation 4, Blu-Ray Player, TV, etc.)
I’ve been reading the manual for the EX2100 online, and it says that there is a pre-configured “Public” share, with “Shared Music/Photos/Videos” folders. When you enable DLNA, then you can drop content there and have it work with DLNA devices.
However, since I also have a plan to use my media with iTunes, I will not be putting any content in those “Shared” folders. In all honesty, I’ll probably make my own Public share called “Media” and then have the necessary iTunes folder structure, in addition to seperate Photos and Videos folders I will make myself.
Can I still use DLNA with my own folder structure? Or do I absolutely need to adhere to the default structure put in the Public share?
I have a DL2100 w/two, 4TB WD Red drives, and use it in RAID1 as a Media server/NAS as you plan to do. I use the Windows platform, although I also use iOS phones and Pads (and Kindle tablets, too), I also have my complete iTunes Media folder on my NAS. In fact, I have had it on shared drives connected to my WDTV for years, because the WDTV can play from properly created Playlists I make using iTunes.
I currently use the Public and pre-fab “Shared” DL2100 folders, and I also have created folders within them all. You really don’t need to create and use a new Media folder; the pre-fabs work fine.
So this is my basic structure, and this is what I have in my three main shared folders for music pictures and videos media.
Music: Since earliest situations, I have always put a COPY of my current iTunes Media folder which I have copied from my original folder on my PC to the drive, and now to My Cloud NAS. Yes, If I add media files to it, I need to update my copies of iTunes Media. Since this often occurs infrequently, I usually update the copied iTunes Media on the drive or NAS monthly. I have used some programs in the past to do it, but I feel I have better control if I just do it manually; i.e. copy the newest music folders over one at a time and place then in their appropriate folders. Maybe once or twice a year, I will just delete the copied iTunes Media folder COPY on NAS and recopy the current original over again onto NAS in case I may have not updated something, or they are not in sync in some way or another. I just start with a new slate again. I even continue making Playlist files and copy them onto the NAS, as I have certain mobile apps that can play playlists. BTW, the My Cloud app cannot play playlists. Anyway, I have figured out little “tweaks” along the way to get certain things to happen and play correctly, like playlists.
Videos: I create (from my DVDs) my own iPad-playable m4v videos for my Pads, Kindle tablets, and iPhones. Today, I store them all on my NAS and put copies onto my wireless drives. When I make new videos, I just copy them into the Shared Videos section into to specific folders I created to keep things organized there.
Photos: I recently did a large data-dump of all our iPhones and iPad Camera Rolls on to NAS using My Cloud app. All are in the Shared Pictures folder of NAS, and placed into sub-folders for organizing them all. I have a main folder and wife has a main folder. Within the folders we each have folders for photos and videos, broken down further by folders for iPhone and iPad. I think I have it pretty well organized, and now we can use auto-upload of new stuff on Camera Roll.
Important: If you are going to do a large data-dump of the iDevice’s Camera Roll, see this link about issues doing so. I posted it after I had uploaded my files to NAS.
BTW, none of my music or videos was downloaded from iTunes Store. Music comes from my CDs and another legit music D/L service. Videos are from my own DVDs. Therefore, I have no copy-protection issues, and every thing streams and plays to all sorts of devices. You may find that you can only stream your media from your NAS to Apple Macs; not even to iOS devices. Apple took care of that convenience when they came out with iOS 8.
Anyway, I hope my above tips help you get on your way to populating and using your new NAS. Good luck with it all.
Thanks for the response. I suppose I could just dump that structure inside the premade “Shared Music” folder, but something inside me wants to re-name it simply MUSIC / VIDEOS / PHOTOS and put it in a share called MEDIA. I have to imagine the Control Panel lets you make ANY public share DLNA-enabled and not just the one default Public share. Well one can only hope.
My plan is similar, I’m moving my iTunes folder structure off of my computer, and into my MUSIC folder on the NAS, and will populate it with 2 seperate iTunes Libraries (which after some research can be done if you take the time to be careful with how you set it up) and will use the NAS to USB feature for occasional backups of everything in my Media Share.
As for file formats, I have done some testing:
iTunes purchases made after they removed DRM (Purchased AAC) work fine on my PlayStation 4, and Sony TV (so I imagine most devices that play AAC can play it too)
DRM-Protected iTunes purchases (Protected AAC) or Apple Lossless (ALAC M4A) did not work on those devices. Luckily, I don’t have too many of songs in that format and they can easily be converted within iTunes.
So I think I’m all good on that front.
Good advice on photos, thanks! I think I’m going to bypass camera roll direct to NAS altogether, and just place what I consider to be “finished albums” on the NAS. In the interim I’ll keep an iPhoto libary locally on my computer and as I find photos I like to keep and “publish” to the NAS I’ll do so on a case by case basis.
Andrew, I will reply following each of your comments below:
AH>>>> Thanks for the response. I suppose I could just dump that structure inside the premade “Shared Music” folder, but something inside me wants to re-name it simply MUSIC / VIDEOS / PHOTOS and put it in a share called MEDIA. I have to imagine the Control Panel lets you make ANY public share DLNA-enabled and not just the one default Public share. Well one can only hope.
Mike>>> Yes, you can, and I have done mostly the same thing on my WD Wireless Drive, but the wireless drive opens with Public as the main and first Folder with other folders under it (actually, I think it is a partition). Anyway, I have a My Media folder under it, with folders for music, photos and videos. There were no pre-fab folders for them as there are on the DL2100. On my DL2100 the initial setup is as we discussed previously and as mentioned here. I found the pre-fabs useful as the all started with “Shared . . .” It all really is a moot point. Just be sure you make your folders under Public, and they will be shared.
AH>>> My plan is similar, I’m moving my iTunes folder structure off of my computer, and into my MUSIC folder on the NAS, and will populate it with 2 seperate iTunes Libraries (which after some research can be done if you take the time to be careful with how you set it up) and will use the NAS to USB feature for occasional backups of everything in my Media Share.
Mike> There is no way I would move my iTunes Media folder off my PC to be written to a NAS or even a drive attached to PC. I have seen problems when it is on a drive connected to a PC, and is the main reason I added a second internal HD to my PC. I do not want to risk any danger to the MAIN and primary iTunes data getting bunged up by writing it elsewhere. So, why I use COPIES of the primary iTunes Media folder for reproducing on my servers like the NAS.
As for the rest of your comments, I haven’t anything to add or comment on. Good luck.