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How to Future Proof Your Digital Music


How to build a NAS to store your music, and at least some of all you need to know about RAID and backups   

You know Parkinson's Law? The one that says 'Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion'? Well, the same's kinda true when it comes to storing music – however much storage you have, the size of your music collection will expand to fill it before you know what's happened.

And if, like me, you find yourself getting antsy when you're up to much more than 60% of the available space being filled, that means it's going to be time to get yourself some more storage.

So it was that, little more than a year on from my last great NAS-building adventure, my 2TB NAS drive was beginning look a bit on the full side, and it became clear that a deep breath and another project was in the offing.

What spurred me on was the announcement of the new NAS-optimised Red drives from Western Digital.

They're designed to run to run 24/7 in the high temperatures often found inside NAS housings, handle the noise and vibration found in multi-drive arrays, and to give the user an easy time should a problem occur, as well as speeding up any recovery required.

Reading that news, I found myself thinking 'NAS' again, and determined to build something with sufficient capacity to keep me futureproofed for a while.

That meant four drives to offer a variety of RAID options – more on that in a moment –, and that meant a new enclosure to supplant my existing D-Link cheapie, still doing solid work but grinding away slightly wheezily in its location hidden away in a cupboard.

And before we go any further, I have to point out that what I'm running is a dedicated music system, rather than one set-up to stream music/movies/pictures and also provide back-up for the computers on the network.

Why? Simply because I don't watch enough TV to merit a multimedia set-up, am quite happy to load up a Blu-ray on the rare occasions I want to watch a movie, and really think it's worth keeping the computer back-ups on a separate disc. Or preferably discs.


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