I have tons of digital files I have amassed over the years. I have 155 gigs of music I have acquired from ripping CD's, buying it online or getting stuff people release for free. I also collect PDF books, games, movies, digital pictures and a ton of other stuff I never want to lose. I take pride in that the majority of my digital collection is legit stuff I actually own. For many years I have been happy with how I access my stuff because I typically used to operate on only one computer. Everything lived in one place and life was great. That said, after University I started acquiring more devices and then managing all my files got a bit harder.

After I added a few more computers to the mix, I started treating one computer as the "canonical point" for all files and then I used various scripts to keep everything in sync over my network. A few years ago I picked up an iPhone and things started to get a bit hard to manage. It wasn't impossible, it just was tedious. I'd buy a new album, rip it, copy it to my Linux machine then sync it to my laptop and other computers. Then use iTunes to copy it to my phone. It was manageable but not fun.

A few months ago I decided to bite the bullet and look into buying something I have wanted for a few years now. I got a NAS. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage and it's basically a hard disk you plug into your network that can serve up your files. After doing quite a bit of research I bought the 3TB Western Digital WDMyCloud.

First off, the WDMyCloud is awesome. At 3TB, I have more than enough disk to store my files. Once your music, movies and photos are on the device the MyCloud scans your files and serves them up over Windows & Apple filesharing + DLNA & UPnP. DLNA/UPnP are protocols many devices like the XBox 360 & PS3 can stream media over. Right now, I can browse through all my music and movies from the MyCloud on my PS3. Western Digital also has an app for the iPhone but you can use any generic DLNA/UPnP app as well.

One of the neat things about the MyCloud is that it lets you enable ssh by simply checking a box in the admin UI. Most devices don't allow this and to get ssh access you need to flash the device or hack it. The MyCloud lets you unlock it by default and it's pretty awesome as under the covers it runs Debian Wheezy(Linux). I have used this ssh access to turn the MyCloud into a local Linux server.

If you are looking for a way to consolidate your media for easy access, I recommend you check out the WDMyCloud. So far, I love using it and it has made sharing my files on my home network really simple.

Travis   Admin wrote on 12/13/2013 at 04:20am

After Jon told me he got this I snagged one up as well. It's pretty impressive. Previously I used PS3 Media Server for DLNA streaming to my PS3, but this has all but replaced that. The downside is that it doesn't do transcoding on the fly, so any formats the PS3 can't handle, you just can't stream them. This is rarely a problem though. Most MKV's can be converted to MP4 in just a few seconds and without any quality loss since they're both just containers for other formats. VLC can even do it without any extra software, though I ran into some issues with it on a few files that handbrake was able to handle with no problems.

Just to see if I could, I managed to get a full rails dev environment set up on it, though I seriously don't recommend actually using that. It *should* be possible to set up printer sharing on it, but CUPS is a fickle beast that I didn't feel like dealing with.

What I have done successfully, though, is add a secondary drive to it and set up a cron job to rsync everything once a day, so I have two copies of everything and will lose at most a day. This is something I highly recommend and if anyone is interested I'm totally willing to give a few pointers. You can also make a cow moo at you every time you ssh into it.

So in short, yeah what Jon said. It's a great device. It isn't the best or fastest NAS on the market, but it's the best I can find in the price range.

MoonWyrd   Supporter wrote on 12/15/2013 at 05:45pm

This is an intriguing looking device. Especially for the price.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 12/15/2013 at 06:30pm

I agree, it really is. Travis his the only negative with it though, it's not terribly fast. I don't mean transfer speeds, that's mostly fine, occasionally it's not very responsive.

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