Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

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Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:58 pm

This just seems too good to be true. A home server running some sort of sanctioned media/backup applications (and hopefully print apps as well) would be totally kewl. Right now I'm using (and I suspect alot of Mac folks are too) a G4 tower for such a device. I'd like something quieter, smaller, and lighter on energy usage that has some extra "stuff" built in, and media/backup "press button to go" services would be the way to do it. I think this would be a great application for a Atom/Geforce 9400 getup, and it could ship sans-optical drive (since this is very obviously a machine for multi-Mac households) to keep the prices low. As long as they let me connect extra drives via USB, I don't see how this thing could miss.

With any luck, this could be the big surprise at MacWorld. So we might as well get to it - what do you think is coming next month in San Francisco?

edit: while we're talking about home servers, I found this when searching for what the HP MediaSmart server does. If it's really sanctioned for Time Machine backups (when, as far as I can tell, other SMB shares are not), maybe Apple is serious.

edit2: more on MediaSmart and OS X
Last edited by derFunkenstein on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:06 pm

I'm not sure I understand. What is the purpose of a home server, and how is that different than a Time Capsule?
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:09 pm

I'm hoping for media streaming functions, dumping stuff I don't need (such as a wireless-N router, I already have one thank you), and expandability - I want to put my printer on it along with a couple additional drives. Also a centralized iTunes library that is shared to every computer, so my wife and I don't have redundant music libraries with its own redundant backup. Maybe for the first time ever, iPhoto database sharing - import to a Mac and have it added to a centralized iPhoto library on the server. Connect it to the TV. Lots of stuff that isn't backup. I see it as a natural evolution of the TV, not the Time Capsule.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:28 pm

I don't know guys.. i've been thinkig about this rumor today and it seems to do everything that my FreeNAS box currently does + the mobileme streaming stuff.

If the price is right, i might go for the barebones version as i really do like an AFP share that is guaranteed to restore my TM backup when disaster strikes.. But the price and expandability has to be pretty good to convince me on this one especially if it pans out to be ARM embedded OSbased and not x86 OS X server based.

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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:31 pm

I wish they would add DVR functions to Apple TV. :/
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 6:32 pm

That's why I want a Nano/GeForce 9400. It can be a stripped down OS because I'm not going to use it as a desktop, but I have a similar attitude towards backups that I do to Hackintoshes - I prefer Apple-sanctioned because if it doesn't work I can go back on Apple.

So what else do we expect? GeForce 9400 iMacs and Minis seem a given, which is part of what drove me to buy my iMac when I did - I wanted better graphics than the 9400GS and it seems reasonable to believe that the entry level iMac will not have discreet graphics anymore.

sorry tanker, they're too invested in the iTunes store. If you want TV you'll have to buy it.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:02 pm

If the iMac doesn't get a second discrete video card, the new iMacs will be a sad step backwards. Kinda like when the intel minis got the integrated graphics treatment as opposed to the discrete Radeon 9200 in the previous version. I really hope they won't go down this path :(

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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:16 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:So what else do we expect? GeForce 9400 iMacs and Minis seem a given, which is part of what drove me to buy my iMac when I did - I wanted better graphics than the 9400GS and it seems reasonable to believe that the entry level iMac will not have discreet graphics anymore.


Yeah that would be my guess as well, and the MCP79 is for the Atom processor. So I would expect 2 CPU options in the new Mini Atom 230 or 330. However with the large upgrade in graphics processing it will be interesting to see if it is still a worth while platform. With what they are targeting with the mini I think it will work fine. This will allow them to move the cost down a little bit on the Mini if needed.

My hope is if this is the case the MCP79 will force Intel to put out a better chipset for the Atom the then power hungry chipset they use now for the desktops. Hopefully MCP79 is low powered as well, or at least lower then what is out, so there could be another option then the crappy chipsets intel has bundled with the Atom.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:25 pm

I just don't see a home server in the future. MS has gotten nowhere with Home Server. The home NAS market isn't that robust either. Media servers seem to have a very limited appeal as well. If anyone could do it right, it would be Apple, but I just don't see this as being a good market for them. What I could see is perhaps more robust sharing tools in the basic OS so that any Mac has the capability of streaming all sorts of stuff, not just music.

As for the Mac Mini, I suspect it will be upgraded to basically the internals of the Macbook 13". It may actually get a format change as well.

I would really like to see the "xMac", the long sought after headless Mac with some semblance of upgradability.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:04 pm

So I would expect 2 CPU options in the new Mini Atom 230 or 330.

On the Mac Mini? No, I don't think so. Not unless they get alot smaller, lose the optical drive, and drop down to about $249. I'm thinking more along the lines of a T8100 (they're about the same price as the current Core 2's that are in Minis were when the minis were updated)
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:10 pm

I thought the new Nvidia chipset was targeting anything other then the Atom but I guess it shouldn't matter to much really just a pinout difference not a functionality difference.

I don't see why they would have to shrink really, the GPU adds what the system was lacking CPU power was never really an issue with these or the directed purpose. It could make it a completely quite setup with a flash drive in there, because power usage would be slow low they might be able to go passive everything. You know as well as I do the cost isn't that much cheaper for Atom vs very low end setups to begin with after looking around today, they will not be able to drop the price much if at all with the GPU/MB upgrade.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:16 pm

we might be talking about two different things. The Atom would be a huge step back on the mini, but the Geforce 9400 would be a huge upgrade.

On a theoretical home server (I think they'll catch on, Thresher, you just need a company to do everything from the hardware to the OS to the media itself, and Apple is about the only company in that position) and Atom + GF9400 would be about what I'd expect.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:34 pm

Yeah I know what you mean, might be the upgrade for Apple TV? I don't konw why one would need better graphics for a server.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:42 pm

well better graphics because it's part of the chipset, and partly because my dream is that it's also hooked up to your TV and would need HD playback acceleration
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:53 am

If anyone COULD make a viable home server, it would be Apple, but I still don't see it. It's a low margin appliance. The problem with home servers is that HP and others are pricing them like they were some sort of miracle revelation. The people what know about media servers know that the things are over priced. Those that don't know about home media servers....don't buy them or build them.

It would make more sense to take an existing product, like a Mac (using OS and app tweaks). The other possibility would be an AppleTV, beefed up with more storage and some server management tweaks. But, with the second approach, you either need another Apple TV at each TV you want connected, or at the very minimum a transceiver for streaming to the TV, which gets very expensive, very quickly. I just don't see Apple getting serious about this when other companies have not been able to make a viable market out of this idea. Especially when cable companies are beginning to use their boxes for more VOD and streaming content.

We'll see, but I just don't think it fits in with Apple. Apple is very good at taking promising product types and turning them into winners, but I don't see this as a viable market. Yet.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:28 am

derFunkenstein wrote:This just seems too good to be true. A home server running some sort of sanctioned media/backup applications (and hopefully print apps as well) would be totally kewl. Right now I'm using (and I suspect alot of Mac folks are too) a G4 tower for such a device. I'd like something quieter, smaller, and lighter on energy usage that has some extra "stuff" built in, and media/backup "press button to go" services would be the way to do it. I think this would be a great application for a Atom/Geforce 9400 getup, and it could ship sans-optical drive (since this is very obviously a machine for multi-Mac households) to keep the prices low. As long as they let me connect extra drives via USB, I don't see how this thing could miss.

With any luck, this could be the big surprise at MacWorld. So we might as well get to it - what do you think is coming next month in San Francisco?

edit: while we're talking about home servers, I found this when searching for what the HP MediaSmart server does. If it's really sanctioned for Time Machine backups (when, as far as I can tell, other SMB shares are not), maybe Apple is serious.

edit2: more on MediaSmart and OS X


No. From your edit2 link:

In Mac OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”), Apple introduced a sophisticated backup system known as Time Machine . During the introduction of Microsoft Windows Home Server in early 2007, Microsoft publicly announced that the not-yet released Time Machine would be supported, however eventually Apple chose not to include that capability—at least in the initial release. Should that feature (allowing the use of an SMB filesystem as a Time Machine backup volume) be introduced, it will be an important capability in the coexistence of Mac OS X systems and the HP MediaSmart Server.


Time Machine does not work on Windows Home Server either, not even when it's from HP. This is APPL's decision, you can force-bypass the checking and Time Machine does work correctly to a network SMB share, it just *chooses* not to.

FWIW, I've found FreeNAS + AFS sharing to be a far less intrusive solution for getting your remote Time Machine on.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:37 am

Hi Forge,

Actually using time machine with an SMB share is asking for trouble. Heck, even using AFP, Apple had to add a couple of new extensions to it in order to properly support TM backups. I highly suggest to anyone using TM to make sure that they use AFP and that the AFP server they use for storing the TM backup is either a OS X 10.5.x based server or something that includes the newly added AFP commands to it. (FreeNAS v.69b4+ is one of them although i have a feeling its implementation is not 100% complete)

Also, please keep in mind that starting with 10.5.6, Apple has added even MORE changes to AFP that are also related to TM backups.. see my post here on the subject :

https://apps.sourceforge.net/phpbb/free ... b43a5d2c25

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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:13 am

well that is for sucks. All the more reason to introduce the server I dream of. :p

For now my G4 tower is sufficient, but I can dream, right?
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:19 am

Yay, new iWork. I hope Numbers is actually a usable Excel replacement:

http://www.apple.com/downloads/ <--see #5

iWork '09
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:43 am

Apple really made a home run with this piece of hardware. ... I think that switching over to a mini as a media server has been one of the best moves

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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:46 am

If the amount is right, i ability go for the barebones adaptation as i absolutely do like an AFP allotment that is affirmed to restore my TM advancement if adversity strikes.. But the amount and expandability has to be appealing acceptable to argue me on this one abnormally if it pans out to be ARM anchored OSbased and not x86 OS X server based. HP alien a new home media server, accordant with both Macs and PCs. The server can act as a ... Apple updates Xserve with Nehalem Xeon processors...

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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:08 am

fuji0000 wrote:If the amount is right, i ability go for the barebones adaptation as i absolutely do like an AFP allotment that is affirmed to restore my TM advancement if adversity strikes.. But the amount and expandability has to be appealing acceptable to argue me on this one abnormally if it pans out to be ARM anchored OSbased and not x86 OS X server based. HP alien a new home media server, accordant with both Macs and PCs. The server can act as a ... Apple updates Xserve with Nehalem Xeon processors...

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Ummm....is this spam or does this make any sense.
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:21 am

Looks to me that the two posts before yours are both spam. Both posts have the same sig and they're from different users. Spambots ahoy!
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Re: Apple home media server? and other MacWorld predictions

Postposted on Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:48 pm

The sig is the spam. Recommend for deletion.
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