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New HTPC and Audio Data Store Solution

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Let me start with a little background on my current setup. For my hi-fi listening I have an Auraliti PK90 with a portable hard drive directly attacked supplying my music. For the rest of the house I have an older MacBook running iTunes streaming to three Apple TVs. Right now I am in the process of ripping all of my DVDs to iTunes and would eventually like to get my Blu-Ray movies as well.

My current backup solution is twofold. I have a 1TB USB hard drive attached to the MacBook that has two partitions, one for Time Machine, and the other has a duplicate of my ripped FLAC files for the Auraliti. I also us Crash Plan to back up many files on the MacBook as well as the FLAC files to the cloud.

My problem started when I began ripping all of my movies. I have now maxed out the MacBook hard drive, and the 1TB can no longer support Time Machine and the FLAC files. I would like to move to my movie files into another iTunes library on a separate drive. I could easily buy a bigger USB drive and create three partitions, but it is a pain to constantly remember to plug the laptop back in for backups. In addition, I would really like to move the FLAC files for the Auraliti to a networked drive to facility easier updates and backups.

I originally looked at getting a NAS. I could easily pick up something for $200 to $400 depending on how much space and redundancy. It looks like I could get the Auraliti to recognize the NAS, but it seems like this may be a bit of a chore depending on the NAS. Since Crash Plan also has a Linux version, I could in theory run this from the NAS as well, but again there are limitations (e.g. x86 process) and may take some real tweaks.

As I was looking around for a solution I came across the Vortex Box site. It appears that Vortex Box may offer me everything I was looking for and then some:
• Time Machine is supported for MacBook backups
• Can support Crash Plan fairly easily
• Can support Auraliti (or at least looks like it does on paper)
• Bonus – Auto rip audio files
• Bonus – Auto rip DVD and Blu-Ray movies

I believe the Data Store and strategy would like the following:


Given this, I was sold and plunked down the money on parts to build my own Vortex Box server. All parts have been purchased and should be here in the next week or so. Once I have built the box I will provide an update.