So for the longest time now I've sort of found these hackjob ways of doing things digitally across my house using two internal SATA 2.5" drives and a WD Passport as storage mediums. For a while I was using Windows Media Player as a networking interface here, but it is woefully inadequate. Then I just started storing stuff on an upgraded 650 something GB drive on my PS3, but that was filled quickly.
I recently discovered the WD MyCloud and picked up the 4TB model and let me tell you, this thing is awesome. Awesome. I can now consolidate all of my AV files, and also use this device as a media server, a cloud unit and a giant hard drive. I've only played with it a bit, but it was enough to run some tests on my devices as well as remotely. I thought I'd write about it here for the tech crowd while it's busy doing a 100GB data dump of my music files.
Here are some highlights:
-TONS of storage. If you aren't a computer guy (and I'm really not), let me clarify by saying just how much you could store on a 4TB drive. Your entire music collection in 320kb MP3 as well as high FLAC format, more seasons of MP4 T.V. than you can shake a stick at, and an entire library of High Def (1gb+ each) movies, thousands of pictures of varying quality and still not come close to filling this thing up.
-Your PS3 detects it as a media server, and let me tell you - directly wired to your router (I have a Netgear Genie) and this thing streams high def wirelessly to your PS3 and then to your home theater effortlessly. As a test, I installed the app on my phone and streamed 2 separate video files to my home theater and my phone without any buffering at all.
-Your phone, which was previously a limited source of media now opens up your entire library of basically anything because of the remote access capabilities of the MyCloud device. Basically I could be visiting friends a state away, be talking about -any given song- and access it on my phone from my home server and play it mid conversation if I've stored it on the MyCloud drive.
-Lastly, I'm not a fan of the traditional cloud concept - keeping my files on someone else's server is not my thing. The "Cloud" is not the "ether" as many would have you believe. Those files you upload are physically residing somewhere other than your own home. But this device changes that because everything is stored on a pretty awesome looking, very discreet lil box somewhere in your home (just like any hard drive), but is now accessible remotely via apps or log-in.
This thing does what I've been hackjobbing other components into doing for some time now, but it does it all the way. I really recommend this thing if you are going for the digital, minimalist lifestyle that many people want nowadays. It used to be that a device like this required a server rack and probably an entire closet in the home of someone who was super rich. But this device is basically the size of an external drive and priced for basically anyone who wants to embrace this as part of their lifestyle. I definitely recommend it so far, but if I run into any weirdness in the coming weeks I'll touch back here.