NAS Update: Synology DiskStation 4.2 has AirPlay

One of our primary projects at AAAD is to add a home server to our system - for backup of existing digital files, and for storing and playing media, like my iTunes library.

I'd previously looked into a number of NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions, but I'm really looking for something as Apple-centric as possible.

The reports I've seen about people going full-Apple and using Mountain Lion Server aren't exactly glowing - at least not for what I'd want to use it for. 

I want to get my iTunes library off of my iMac! 

And I want to get my DVD collection out of my media cabinet - and onto a server.

Based on a review last night at 9to5 Mac, a Synology Diskstation really seems to be what I'm looking for. I'm sold. Count me in.

Specifically, for the 4-drive box pictured above.

The NAS pictured above can hold up to 4 drives - obviously, they don't come WITH the box - and retails for around $500. 

I can just picture it, hidden away somewhere in the basement, streaming music and video via ethernet. This is going to be great. 

Synology has a number of applications that can run on their system - seriously, it's a lot. 

There are two in the screenshot to the left that really have my attention: "iTunes Server", and "Plex Media Server".

If this NAS has a simple front-end for installing those two items, that's all I'll really need. 

And with AirPlay (just added yesterday), I'll be able to use a Synology Diskstation app on the iPad to beam movies to my AppleTV. 

Eventually, I may still want an HTPC Mac Mini, running Plex, connected to the home theater and accessing the NAS for content. 

But all that can wait. The first step is getting this box here, and filling it with 2 TB drives!


  1. have you done it? Can you walk us through the process? I am in the process of a total PC to Apple infrastructure change in my home. My iTunes library and my photos currently reside on a PC. I have a couple of relatively new iMacs in the home, one in the family room and one in my office and a relatively new Airport Extreme running the router show. My kids have put some pictures on the FR iMac and have also downloaded some music to their phones. I have an 8 drive Synology set up and on the network. What's next? Would I move the iTunes library from the PC to the music folder on the Synology and then point the iMac iTunes to that folder? How about the photos. Just starting to use iPhoto and can see myself moving to Aperture, which I can do now if that would be recommended.

  2. You do not need Plex and you don't need the ITunes Server for AirPlay to work.

    If you have an iPad, iPhone, iTouch you can run DS Video and then play it to your Apple TV through AirPlay with that app.

    If you have plex installed and you have a Roku then you can watch all your movies through Plex on the Roku without the need for an iDevice.