Jump to content
C4 Forums | Control4

Like the HC-500, but need more hard drive space...


dmh2399

Recommended Posts

Hello -

I'm just getting familiar with the C4 world and putting some initial thoughts together for a whole-house audio system. I like the functionality of the HC-500 as the server/controller, but I need a whole lot more drive space to store my digital music collection (just under 1 TB). Does that mean I would just link in a very large USB drive into one of the the HC-500 USB ports, or do I need to add HC-1000's to the configuration to get that additional audio media space?

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I posted recently on a related topic:

http://www.c4forums.com/viewtopic.php?pid=13333#p13333

You can plug an external hard drive into your controller and access it through the system. I've had great experience with this solution. My prior approach was to use a network shared drive which was never as stable for me.

For 1 TB of music you're still within the limits of the FAT32 system. Per my post above and the size limitations noted below in wikipedia, having an external drive in FAT32 format means you can write to it across your network. It's not terribly fast (i.e. to copy the whole collection across you'd be better off doing it with the 1TB drive attached to your computer) but then when you're adding additional albums or tracks over time you can write to them over the network. The version of Linux which runs the C4 box does not support NTFS formatting for writing, only for reading. That's why I formatted my external drive as FAT32.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table

As to the size of the collection, at the risk of getting flamed for my lack of audiophilic cred :D I'm guessing that to accumulate 1TB of music you either have a very high bitrate encoding or an unbelievably large collection. For comparison, I have my music encoded in either 128 kbps CBR or VBR and 20,315 tracks occupies only 70.5 GB or an average of about 3.5 MB per track. 1 TB of music then, even at 320 kbps which is very very high quality, would last you for roughly 100,000 tracks at 4 minutes per track. So what is it, super high compression or, like me, a misspent youth working in a record store? :D:D

--Jason

As written here: http://www.c4forums.com/viewtopic.php?pid=13748#p13748

At 128 kbps a 1-minute track takes (128 x 60 / 8 / 1024) = .94 MB or just under a megabyte. Basically you take the sample rate such as 128 kbps or 320 kbps which is in kiloBITS per second. You divide by 8 to get kiloBYTES per second because there are 8 BITS in a BYTE. You then multiply by 60 to get kiloBYTES per minute and then you divide by 1024 to get MEGABYTES per MINUTE because there are 1024 kilobytes in a megabyte.

So the "multiplier" to get from ANY bitrate in kbps to the Megabytes that a minute of music would use is ~0.0073 (60/8/1024). Thus for 320 kbps encoding, you'd use 2.34 Megabytes per minute. 1 TB, which is 1,000,000 MB (it's actually 1,048,576 MB but the drive manufacturers all cheat and call it 1 Million megabytes just like they treat 1 GB as 1000 MB, anyhow) those 1,000,000 MB divided by 2.34 MB / Minute means you could store more than 427,000 minutes of music. With an average track length of 4 minutes, that's still more than 100,000 songs or maybe 10,000 albums.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for the advice. Your response is much appreciated. Connecting with a FAT32 formatted USB 2.0 device will probably be the best way to go.

Any chance you also have experience with ripping DVD to a hard drive and connecting it to the HC-500? The HC-500 has a second USB port, but I'm not sure that even the USB connection will be good enough to comunicate video.

As to the music collection, I've been working in the music business since the early 80's. When digitizing music became "cool", I ripped my sizable collection to MP3, so I could have it for my iPod, etc. I will admidt it is a bit weildy, and most of it will probably never be listened to again, but it's a nice thing to have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The HC-500 has no ability to output video (other than the Control4 on-screen display), and using it as a NAS for a different device to read for video is not recommended. It's recommended to use a separate NAS if you're streaming video to a video player or players.

RyanE

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No video option yet using a C4 controller. You can use another video server (I use a D-Link Media Lounge, for example) and C4 can control it as a video source just like it would any DVD player or Tivo, but the C4 controller itself is not yet a video server.

One of the most valuable components of our system by far is the video matrix which allows me to connect any of 8 video sources (2 TiVos, 2 DVD players, security cameras, etc) to any of 5 different TVs. I had not initially expected to have it, and in the end it was one of the best bits of functionality.

Have you had all your music collection easily online and accessible before? Because one of the things I love most aboutour C4 digital media capability is that the 2000 or so albums we have online are now soooo much more accessible than they were in jewel boxes that I do actually find I listen to a lot of stuff that I never thought I'd listen to again. Between random shuffle and my habit of first picking a letter, spinning the dial to get to that letter in the artist listing, then scrolling through to pick something in that letter . . . my listening habits are much closer to matching the breadth of my collection again.

In fact, I think I'm going to go listen to some Frankie Goes to Hollywood right now. :D:D

--Jason

P.S. By the way, as I think I said before, I rip to a media server, then mirrored them all at once to my external drive. Now that I'm only moving stuff over an album at a time when I buy something new I still put it on that media server, and that night I run a program called "SyncBack" http://www.2brightsparks.com/syncback/sbse-features.html with a profile set up to copy new or changed files over to the C4's connected USB drive. It actually seems to write much faster than just using Windows copy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...