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ShortcutToMoncton Aug 4, 2013 04:21 PM
How to store photos on Mac, edit on iPad?
I have a headless Mac mini that acts as my media server - I VPN in from the iPad to control it or get new movies etc. now and again, but otherwise it's just used to power Plex server. I have 4Tb of internal/external storage. That includes an old version of Aperture which used to be my picture editor of choice. However Aperture is impossible to use via VPN, and it is very annoying to do so on the TV from the couch. I now have about a thousand pictures that have been loaded into Aperture over the past half-year but have not been edited due to inconvenience.

I recently started playing around with iPhoto and think that it will serve almost all my recreational photo editing needs at the moment, or if not, other iOS photo editors will. However, obviously my edited photos (RAW) will need to be stored on the Mac, as the iPad doesn't have the space. So I was wondering if anyone has a good method of editing photos on an iPad, and then storing the edited photos on their computer, deleting them from the iPad. And/or as well, can you edit pics currently in an Aperture library on an iPad, while either having them remain on the computer or stored back to the computer afterwards?

Finally, should I upgrade to a new version of Aperture as part of this process, even though I am only really using it for storage now?

Many thanks.
P Aug 4, 2013 06:56 PM
You could use Dropbox as the transfer medium. Drop the images you want in your Dropbox, open them on the iPad, edit, send them back to the Dropbox and store them on the Mac. You'll have to test it out to see how fast the workflow is in your location, but it's all free.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 5, 2013 08:22 AM
Hmmm yeah, I was wondering if that would be my best bet. My only initial red flag was whether it would be a tad inconvenient space-wise; for example after recently getting back from a long vacation I've got about ~20 gigs of photos and movies. Since my editing process often involves selecting one picture out of 2 or 6 or 12 of the same scene or moment, I would still need to load all of them up to Dropbox for review. That's far more space than my current Dropbox has - I suppose I could do it piecemeal, but it wouldn't be ideal.

Hmmmm, after checking out Dropbox I've noticed that they do have a 100GB+ Pro option starting from $10 a month. 50 gigs would probably be more ideal, but I suppose I wouldn't need to be so anal about what's left on there with the larger space.

Any other suggestions? I've read that Bittorrent is trying to come up with what seems to be a sort of private Dropbox server, which sounds ideal - but I understand it's not ready for prime time.
P Aug 5, 2013 08:50 AM
File transporter is being promoted on all tech podcasts at the moment. Seems to be able to do what you want as well, but I've never tried it myself. If you do, please report back because it looks interesting.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 5, 2013 09:23 AM
Wow, very interesting. Looks like the device is $200 and then you add a 2.5" SATA of your choice - seems somewhat like a cheap NAS-ish option upon first blush, at a cheaper price.

I'll dig more into it and see what I find out. Good find.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 5, 2013 01:33 PM
I'm still thinking about the practical part of storing and organizing all these pictures. Let's say I would normally import on the Mini - would I have to use a program like Aperture to import all the photos (otherwise it would be a drag-and-drop into the Finder, which is a pain), then export them all to Dropbox, and then after editing...would I re-import them to the Mini? Or could Aperture's library be set on the remote disk? I'm a little hazy on how this works.
P Aug 5, 2013 05:57 PM
I think you can move the library to the shared drive, which would let you only import once. If all else fails, there's always symlinks.
subego Aug 8, 2013 12:02 AM
Well, I have a potential solution. This is actually what I intend to do, but it's had issues.

Unfortunately this solution forces you to switch to Adobe Lightroom, so that means $100 for that, and some basic setup, which may or may not be a pain via VPN. Once that's done, importing shouldn't be too difficult via VPN.

Once you have that, you can buy Photosmith, which is $20, and is precisely what you want. It's an app which lets you sort and rate your Lightroom library from an iPad.

The only issue (beyond paying $120, and any potential setup woes) is I've never actually tried it. By the time I heard about it, it was at a point in it's development cycle where it was broken. I bought it to support the company in the hopes it would get fixed. It supposedly has been, I just haven't gotten around to implementing it.

I thought about cheaper options, but I think you'll end up wasting enough time dealing with the kludge it's worth it to drop the $120 (assuming it works).
subego Aug 8, 2013 01:11 AM
FWIW, I'll probably get it going within the next 2 to 4 weeks, so if you're not in a rush I'll ultimately be able to give you an actual review. What's mainly been slowing me down is I don't actually need it for everyday functioning. It's more a "luxury" project.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 8, 2013 07:50 AM
The money's not much of an issue as long as it's reasonable - if I go Aperture I'll need to spend $80 for the latest version anyway, as mine's an old version. I've got no problems with Lightroom and dabbled around with it years ago - I think it was probably better and faster than Aperture at that point for editing, but Aperture seemed to be a better program for cataloging and keeping things organized.

Question for you though - how would you then approach the editing part? That program looks like it is just for sorting pictures and whatnot, right? Or can it edit too? If not, would you use another iOS program for editing?
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 8, 2013 07:54 AM
P.S. every time I've ever havd to post in one of these other forums it burns me. If this thread was in the Lounge I'd probably get double the posters with useful suggestions. But least someone's penchant for subcategories and order has been satisfied. Sigh.
subego Aug 8, 2013 03:26 PM
I was worried this might happen.

What precisely do you mean by editing? For me it's going through them and rating them (the aforementioned "six shots of the same thing" issue).

I mean, I've got now you mean changing it, but that leads to the question how much? Like, a crop and some color correction, or more?
subego Aug 8, 2013 03:49 PM
Re: lack of traffic.

This has been an issue with this subforum from long before we had low traffic. I can find my own applications 99 times out of 100, and troubleshoot with the same hit rate. The only reason to come here is to fix other people's problems.

I do do that, but in the iPhone and consumer subforums. Applications aren't really my deal, especially post iPhone.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 8, 2013 03:55 PM
I generally do basic edits on all my pictures to some extent - what something like iPhoto offers would be the basic touch-up package. There are a number of other iOS programs with more powerful features that I use semi-regularly.
subego Aug 10, 2013 10:19 PM
Quick question.

How often do you use the features of shooting RAW, i.e. tweaking which subset of the RAW data to use?
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 11, 2013 11:19 AM
Well all my pictures have some level of image processing. I would say that for at least 80% of them, shooting RAW or JPG would make zero difference. But in some instances - in particular when I've got a lot of blown-out highlights or low-light conditions - I find it far easier to get a better final image in RAW. (Whether that's my shoddy skills or the format, I don't know.)

As well, I just like the idea of RAW in general; I recently went back to a digital camera I had in 2004 to grab some concert images, and I'd been shooting some in JPG and some in RAW; it was far easier to get good results with the RAW images, even at that relatively early stage of RAW-ness. From the limited bit that I've read, that sort of future-proofing will likely apply to the images I'm taking now as well. I guess I've assumed you're asking me if I can just shoot JPG instead. And I could, but I'd rather not. So, was that where you were going? :D
subego Aug 11, 2013 04:27 PM
I definitely wasn't thinking you should shoot in JPEG. The only people I know who do that are really good. Far better than me. I was asking because, well, most people don't understand RAW and don't take advantage of it.

The first thing people don't understand is RAW isn't viewable. If you're looking at a RAW file and see a picture, you're actually looking at a JPEG of the raw file.

Lots of people will do something like drop all their RAW files into iPhoto. iPhoto then decides how to process the RAW image into a JPEG, and that's what you work with. If a shot ends up way too bright, they consider it a dud shot.

The "proper" method is what it sounds like you're doing. For example, if you have a shot which is too bright, you can fiddle with how the RAW gets "processed" into a JPEG. Just like working with a physical negative and photo paper. Often you have detail in that blown out area in the RAW file, it's just a question of making sure it gets used.

It sounds like you use the latter method. If you didn't, that's an easier workflow to recreate in iOS terms.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 12, 2013 08:13 AM
I will be the first to say that I'm not sure I understand RAW, then - especially after your description. If I upload RAW images to Aperture and start working on the exposure, am I not properly doing so?

On that note: are you saying that iPhoto is not a good program with which to edit RAW files? Is there an iOS program you would recommend to use instead?
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 12, 2013 08:16 AM
You know, if this Transporter device actually works as they claim (there is 2.0 software apparently coming out soon), then it might be a pretty ideal solution to have all my movies/pictures simply saved to that hard drive, accessible by any iDevice whenever I'd like to edit, upload, etc.

I'm having trouble finding what would be a better workflow solution.
P Aug 12, 2013 09:36 AM
As mentioned: if you select the Transporter, please post a mini-review. I'm very interested in that device.
subego Aug 12, 2013 10:49 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton (Post 4242313)
I will be the first to say that I'm not sure I understand RAW, then - especially after your description. If I upload RAW images to Aperture and start working on the exposure, am I not properly doing so?

On that note: are you saying that iPhoto is not a good program with which to edit RAW files? Is there an iOS program you would recommend to use instead?
Uploading to Aperture (or Lightroom) is the "right" way to do it. Both programs have two fundamental toolsets. The first set is for sorting, rating, and adding metadata to photos. You have a backlog of 1,000 photos. I can shoot that many in an hour. With that many photos, any overhead in sorting/rating/metadata adds up quick, necessitating the focused toolset. The second toolset is for dealing with the RAW to JPEG conversion which has to happen for images to be viewable. It really is similar to developing a negative. Your negative has, say 7 stops of range, but a piece of paper only has 5 (I'm pulling those numbers out of my ass. It's been a looooong time since I used real film). You have to pick which 5 stops you're going to put on the page. Stops higher than that will get blown out. Stops lower will be solid black. This is the brightness angle, but there's obviously a color and white balance angle.

Little known fact: RAW files have no white balance. White balance settings on your camera are merely a metadata tag which tells the RAW to JPEG converter how to process the color.

Now, a program like iPhoto doesn't give you options to tweak the RAW to JPEG conversion. It picks the 5 stops in the center, and interprets the white balance tag as correct. It's sort of like sending your pictures to the drug store. They have a default "general" setting, and that gets applied to anything.

Photoshop is sort of a halfway house. When you first open a RAW file, it gives you a bunch of sliders to **** with, and then once you hit return, it gets "processed" and is locked with your choices (in a new file).

As I said earlier though, I know plenty of people who are fine with the general settings, and are fine tweaking things to look right after it's been "processed".

There's nothing "wrong" with that though. It's only somewhat less powerful, while being a far easier workflow.
subego Aug 13, 2013 01:33 AM
Some added RAW geekery if anyone is interested.

The reason RAW goes into JPEG rather than some lossless format is because of a little bit psychovisual trickery. All compression of color images begins with a process called 4:2:2. If you've already heard of it, it was most likely in refence to video, where it's used as well (video is just a crapload of still images).

An RGB image is really three black and white images. A red one, a green one, and a blue one.

Through a bit of math, this can be calculated into three new black and white images with no loss in information. One of these black and white images is luminance*. The other two are the blue image minus the luminance and the red image minus the luminance.

Where the psychovisual trick comes in is we are far more responsive to luminance than we are to color. Maintaining the integrity of the luminance is vital to the integrity of the image.

The "4" in 4:2:2 is the luminance. Four is the most you can have in this scheme. Four means the luminance is uncompressed. A completely uncompressed image is 4:4:4. All that's been done to it is the math from above, which as I noted isn't throwing away any information.

So, in 4:2:2 the luminance is uncompressed, but the second part of the trick is we're visially more sensitive vertically than we are horizontally. You can actually throw away every other horizontal pixel of color information with zero visual effect except in edge cases**. That's what the "2" are in 4:2:2. For every four horizontal pixels of the blue minus luminance and red minus luminance, you're only keeping two.

Blammo. You've cut the image to ¾ the size with no perceptible loss in quality. It's so effective it's not worth filling up space with an uncompressed image unless you're in a situation which demands it. If I'm altering an image, I want to work with the uncompressed image, but if I need to display a thousand images in rapid succession so I can pick which ones I like, 4:4:4 is wasting space.

So RAW gets JPEGed by default pretty much everywhere, and you have to kinda force it if that's not what you want.

*Be an asshole at parties and correct people with the term luma.

Gee, what a dick.

**The prototypical edge case is greenscreen, where you really do need that information, because it's a computer looking at it and not a person. Computers don't fall for psychovisual tricks. The other edge cases are related. A sharp edge of color can start artifacting.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 13, 2013 10:20 AM
Waaaaaaaait a minute. Did you just basically shoot my entire plan to edit photos on the iPad, using iPhoto, to shreds? :p

I mean...I think you're saying I've been more or less "properly" working with the RAW files (using Aperture) all this time - but my new plan for iOS-based workflow won't actually do the same thing.

Is that the long and short of it? Are there iOS-based programs you would recommend instead of iPhoto that do work with RAW files?
subego Aug 13, 2013 03:33 PM
Well, now that you put it that way, there can be issues. My "helper" mode kicked in and I didn't necessarily think the whole thing through.

The real question I should have asked up front is "what do you intend to do with these pictures?"

I've been thinking of simplicity as the goal. The real goal is some form of final product. It was a mistake for me to start designing a workflow without actually knowing what you want that final product to be.

Here's the real issue with doing alterations on an iPad: everything looks good on an iPad.

Apple boosts the contrast and saturation on their mobile displays. They make everything look "punchy". IOW, something can look great on your iPad, but will look all flat and washed out (comparatively) when you print it.

So, after a half-dozen posts, I'll now ask you what I should have asked right off the bat: what do you do with your pictures when you're done.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 14, 2013 09:09 AM

Print them in book form.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 16, 2013 12:14 PM
Also, I wonder if this WD My Book drive has more or less impletemented the "Cloud" NAS approach of Fire Transporter, albeit with dual drive and RAID-1 capability? It seems that way.
subego Aug 16, 2013 10:07 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton (Post 4242650)

Print them in book form.
Okay. Good. Don't worry about the punchy Apple mobile display. I'm crazy-anal from doing print work back in the day. Just use the first one or two pictures you play with as a testbed. Get them printed out somewhere local and get a feel for how the screen translates into paper. You'd hate to play with 100 pictures and find out they don't print the way you thought they would.

I've been pretty stymied with designing a good workflow (hence my silence), but I just happened to stumble across a slick (and cheap) iPad app which lets you edit with RAW, but you can only cloud upload to it with iCloud.

This may be the key to a somewhat kludgy, but workable system. The big question is if the RAW editing abilities are good enough. I picked it up and will try it on a few shots.

Even if it works, I'm still thinking you may be happier with a two stage system. Lightroom and Photosmith for sorting your pictures into a more manageable group of shots, and then cloud (sadly, with iCloud) the smaller data set. It actually may get small enough to skip the cloud and put them directly on the iPad. You then do actual editing with the Mobile Pond app.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 17, 2013 10:49 PM
Haven't had a chance to look at it, but wouldn't a "local cloud" still work? It would just be a file you access from an external cloud hard drive.
subego Aug 18, 2013 12:27 AM
Maybe. I'm not 100% sure I understand.

AFAICT, there are only three ways to get RAW files into Photogene (the Mobile Pond app).

1) Directly, through the SD or USB adapter.
2) From your iCloud Photo Stream.
3) Using iTunes.

I'm finally playing with Photosmith. It's got a lot of nice aspects, but a few really weird bits. I'll have a better idea of whether it's a good buy for you in a day or two.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 18, 2013 07:40 AM
Well if you acces files stored on your "local" cloud, you're effectively downloading them to your iPad storage, no? It's all so confusing.

In other news it looks like local cloud storage is all the buzzword in NAS circles - Synology software also has a folder that syncs to all attached wireless devices.
subego Aug 18, 2013 09:48 PM
What exactly do you mean by access?

You can manually (on your Mac) copy photos from anywhere (cloud or not) into iTunes. That's "accessing from the cloud" but I don't think that's what you want.

If what you want to do is fire up your iPad and have access to things stored in the cloud, it has to be in your iCloud Photo Stream.

Note, that's only for Photogene, which is only so you can work directly with RAW. If you were using iPhoto, you could yank photos from lots of cloud locations, but then can't work directly with RAW.

At least I think. Since I have Photogene, I can do some tests as soon as a finish my Photosmith experiment. Photosmith is pretty awesome BTW. It has some iPad native issues (frex, it can't keep the iPad awake, so if your iPad goes to sleep in the middle of a sync, everything stops), but otherwise has completely ruined any other method of sorting. I don't know if it's worth dropping the $170 (Lightroom is actually $150) for the bundle for just one big sort, but I have no regrets myself.
subego Aug 19, 2013 12:27 AM
In case I explained that last thing about cloud access poorly (no small possibility), the problem here is with Photogene, and to a smaller extent, the lack a "normal" file system in iOS.

You can use DropBox (e.g.) to get a RAW file on to your iPad. Once you download it with the Dropbox app, all the bits exist on your iPad, taking up your space.

The problem is iOS is "sandboxed". DropBox can't push the file out of it's sandbox. You need an app which is programmed to go into DropBox's sandbox.

Photogene (for whatever reason) is not programmed to do that. It can't access files in DropBox's sandbox. As far as Photogene is concerned, that full and complete RAW file you have on your iPad simply does not exist.

Photogene can access the iTunes sandbox, the iCloud Photo Stream sandbox, and the sandbox the plug-in SD/USB adapters use. If your RAW file ends up somewhere else, you're out of luck.
P Aug 19, 2013 03:23 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4243149)
The problem is iOS is "sandboxed". DropBox can't push the file out of it's sandbox. You need an app which is programmed to go into DropBox's sandbox.
Yes it can. Once you've downloaded the file, press the little button in the top right corner to open that file in any other application that supports the file format. Works with all apps, including Apple's which are certainly not written for it.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 19, 2013 09:08 AM
Thanks to both! Interested to see if P just blew sub's mind! :D That looks like it would be a good solution if it's not tied to Dropbox.

The more I look at this, the more it starts to turn into a "how awesome are NAS boxes, and how much better will they be very shortly?" question.

Honestly, Synology seems to have this private cloud server thing going on with their latest software, along with built-in file downloading etc. - as do other makers like QNAP. Hell, QNAP has integrated XBMC and their TS-469L box even seems to stream 1080p movies via HDMI out - a remote-access HTPC with 4-bay RAID storage for $550 plus hard drives! Yikes.
subego Aug 19, 2013 05:00 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by P (Post 4243158)
Yes it can. Once you've downloaded the file, press the little button in the top right corner to open that file in any other application that supports the file format. Works with all apps, including Apple's which are certainly not written for it.
I'll check to be sure, but Photogene has an entry in their FAQ about how it can't do this, specifically with DropBox.
subego Aug 19, 2013 06:05 PM
Hey, wow. It worked.

I plead Mobile Pond being overly semantic. The state you cannot edit photos directly from DropBox.

Downloading it from DropBox to your iPad and then using it does not qualify as "directly" to them.
subego Aug 19, 2013 06:08 PM
So, that can likely be your editor. The only question is do you want a separate system for sorting, so you only need to put, say, 100 raw files on your DropBox (or other cloud system) rather than 1,000.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 20, 2013 08:30 AM
Yeah - you have good things to say about Photosmith, though, and that sounds a lot better than just dumping files and having to sort through them. I haven't looked into transferring my pictures from Aperture to Lightroom. Is that a relatively painless process? Will Lightroom "see" and update accordingly with all my existing edits in Aperture, do you know?

Oh yeah - what iPad are you running? You think the iPad 3 will be enough for Photosmith/Photogene?

Part of it depends on how I want to do this, I guess. The personal-Cloud option seems smartest, but then there are lots of different implementations, and these NAS devices are a true pain in the arse to evaluate at the moment - it seems like I'd be buying into tech that's only just starting to come into its own, and I'll have spent $800 for something that will be effectively obsolete in a year or so.

The File Transporter cloud option is about $350 including a 1Tb 2.5" hard drive, but you get no data redundancy and that's not nearly enough to back up all my data - I'll still need backup storage.

My backup drive died a couple weeks ago, so I now need a new backup drive anyway. I'm trying to figure out if I want to spend ~$250 bucks for an simple external 4Tb HD to back everything up. Ideally it would be Apple's Time Machine for wireless backups and increased coverage range for back parts of the house that my current router has trouble with, but I've got more than 3Tb of data now, and that would be even more expensive at $400+ for the largest option. At that price point you're getting into some great NAS options that would let me have data redundancy and do other cool things, including Cloud storage. So overall that might be the best option, but then I'm looking at least $700-800 for the NAS + at least two 3Tb drives, and then another $200 for Lightroom + Photosmith/Photogene - likely at least a grand before it's done.

The wife will not be pleased - she wanted to keep our 27" iMac but I convinced her the headless mini was The Future. Turns out it's horrendously expensive to simplify one's life. :D
subego Aug 21, 2013 10:19 PM
I tested on a v3.5 iPad, but I have a 3 I can try things out on. Photogene is the bigger question. Photosmith dumps most of the heavy lifting onto Lightroom, so once Photosmith gets things its only job is to pull JPEGs out of flash memory.

I have zero experience with migration from Aperture to Lightroom, but I can investigate.

Here's something I just realized. I paid full boat for Lightroom 4, but now have Lightroom 5 as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud dealie-poo. I'm getting upgrade pricing on CC, but that's because I had CS5, not Lightroom. I'm pretty sure I'm in the clear to give you my copy of Lightroom 4. Certainly ethically if not legally. Assuming it doesn't phone home to Adobe and somehow get the pirate squad on my ass, would you be interested?
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 26, 2013 09:52 AM
Sorry - took a long weekend as vacation. :)

That would actually be great, assuming there's no barrier to you "selling" me LR4. Is it a hard package or electronic?

I'm now starting to look around at differences between LR4/LR5 - but it just came to me, since I won't actually be accessing it from a computer and merely using it as back-end storage/sorter for Photosmith/Photogene edits, would it even matter to have LR5?

Also, I checked out some reviews of PS/PG - seem to be pretty recommended apps.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 26, 2013 02:50 PM
P.S. I ended up buying a QNAP TS-469L on sale, along with some 3Tb hard drives. Will be great for general backup of all data. I understand the Lightroom catalog has to be on direct storage but the pictures themselves can be stored on NAS; so that should work pretty good, as I will then be able to have cloud access to pics via iPad for direct editing with Photogene/etc., but will still be able to use Photosmith for sorting/etc.

And I understand I can have Plex Server on the Mini point to the NAS for its storage if all works out, all media can be stored out of the way in the basement, but still accessible by all work/home theatre devices.

I'm...cautiously optimistic so far. :D

Still have to google how to transition from Aperture to Lightroom, and get your final report on using Photogene for RAW files. :D
subego Aug 27, 2013 09:27 PM
Will do that soon! You are correct the actual photos can be anywhere.

It's a digital version of Lightroom, so I can handoff the license code. I'm 99.9% sure I have the install file. I'm pretty anal about stuff like that.

I can also recommend CrashPlan if you want some cloud backup for it. Unlimited storage (including attached network drives), good customer service, and friggin' dirt cheap.
subego Aug 27, 2013 09:34 PM
I have also determined Adobe doesn't check registrations on Lightroom, so even if it's against the license, they're not going to do anything about it.

They do check torrent sites, so I'd be at your mercy in that regard.
subego Aug 28, 2013 01:59 AM
One more bit. Lightroom 5 just came out, so it's not like 4 is ancient software or anything. If I thought it was gimpy I wouldn't hesitate to say drop the $150.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 28, 2013 10:05 AM
Yep, I hear you - got a couple friends who are photographers so figured this was a good excuse to touch base with them and see if they use LR and have any recommendations on moving over from Aperture. Your plan sounds like a good one.

Re: Crashplan - wouldn't that be what I have the NAS for - continuous backup and online access to files? Assuming it doesn't get jacked, I'm not sure why I'd need it.
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 28, 2013 02:57 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by P (Post 4242321)
As mentioned: if you select the Transporter, please post a mini-review. I'm very interested in that device.
Sorry P - after much review I simply could not see much benefit to the Transporter over the latest NAS softwares, which generally include a similar approach to "cloud access".

The Transporter has no data redundancy (other than buying another Transporter to mirror the first), does not have the powerful server capabilities of NAS devices, and is limited to 2.5" HDs - quieter, yes, but pretty limiting when it comes to price and capacity.

Perhaps there was a significant software feature I'm missing (and my conclusion was: the Transporter seemed like much less fuss/headache for people who want to access data from different locations), but seems as though a dual-drive Synology/QNAP NAS would be a much better solution for a similar price.
subego Aug 28, 2013 04:59 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton (Post 4244344)
Assuming it doesn't get jacked...
This is an assumption which will serve you very poorly. If you have a fire or you get robbed it's curtains.

Also, RAIDs can blow out spectacularly, especially if you don't use enterprise grade drives. I'd recommend using WD Reds. They're not quite enterprise grade, but far better than a desktop drive, and cheaper/quieter than a full boat enterprise drive*.

*RAID geekery: RAID controllers are very time sensitive. If a drive takes too long to respond, the RAID controller declares the whole drive as dead. This is difference número uno between a desktop drive and an enterprise drive. Enterprise drives give up trying to recover a sector very quickly. They mark it as bad and move on. The desktop drive tries harder. Long enough the RAID controller can time out and declare the drive as dead. This isn't super-common, but it definitely happens.

No big deal you say... it's a RAID, pop in a new drive. That is correct. You put in the new drive, and your RAID gets to rebuilding itself. Guess what happens if one of the other drives take too long on a sector during this process. If you guessed "I've lost everything", you've guessed correctly.

WD Reds or better won't suffer from this problem.
subego Aug 28, 2013 05:56 PM
Were you planning on having everything on the RAID also on another drive, or was being on the RAID meant as also being backed up?

Apologies if you mentioned this already and I lost track in all the excitement. :)
ShortcutToMoncton Aug 29, 2013 07:57 AM
Yep I got a couple 3Tb Reds and will add a couple more 4Tb Reds/enterprises in a year or so, hopefully when they become reasonably priced.

Great question on the backups and I'm looking into the backup-the-backup issue now. Basically I'm going to use disk redundancy so I'll effectively have slightly less than 3Tb of storage - so my plan is to Time Machine to the NAS for a backup on both drives, and then use the external 3Tb hard drive as another failsafe for now.

I won't be able to have total backup of all my movies and music until I get the 4Tb drives, but a lot of that multimedia stuff can just be re-ripped or downloaded etc., so I'm not nearly as worried about it.

Re: theft/damage to the NAS: yeah I'm going to have to run that risk for now. Probably not ideal but I'm not yet prepared to pay to protect against every eventuality - unlike your situation, this stuff represents nothing but memories, and houses burn down all the time (knock on wood); we'll get along just fine if worst comes to worst (more knocking). :)
subego Aug 29, 2013 02:45 PM
Yeah, but it's $5 a month.

My snarky side wants to take advantage of you and make fun of how worthless your data must be if you're not willing to drop $5 a month on it.

I'm not going to do that though. I want you to have good self-data image. :)
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