Cool and creative ideas for media storage
July 1, 2006 1:59 PM   Subscribe

I've got photos, images, and brief video clips - some copyrighted, some not - on three seperate computers, and I'm looking for an ideal central location to store, view and access them. What are my options?
posted by rinkjustice to Media & Arts (12 answers total)
All of the files on ONE of the three computers?
posted by lain at 2:07 PM on July 1, 2006

Response by poster: I have three daughters that all have their own accounts and msn icons and winks and God knows what else. But I guess I could have all the images on an image server...

posted by rinkjustice at 2:21 PM on July 1, 2006

Burn them all to CD/DVD, then put the CDs/DVDs in a binder or on a shelf or something?
Put them on a thumb drive/iPod/server?

I feel like I don't quite understand your question.

How much disk space are we talking about here?
posted by box at 2:21 PM on July 1, 2006

Are the three computers networked in a way that lets you share files between them? Do any of the three computers have a system to back up data?

Another idea: buy each daughter a thumb drive. Say to them, tearfully, 'My little girls are all grown up. From now on, ladies, your data is your problem.'
posted by box at 2:23 PM on July 1, 2006

Keep all the files on one machine running OS X Server. Set up a 100 Mbit or Gigabit wired network in your house between server and clients.

With OS X Server you could serve up a home folder to three OS X clients (say, Mac Minis), each with their own copy of Front Row and an Apple Remote, which provides a nice front end to centrally stored photos/images, DVD, movie clips and music files.
posted by Mr. Six at 2:32 PM on July 1, 2006

Response by poster: I apologise if my question wasn't clear.

I've got lot's of nice photographs and images (I collect them from places like flickr for my own personal viewing pleasure), but because I have accounts on three seperate computers, the pictures are seperated and disorganised.

I may be perusing my image collection on one of the computers and be wondering: "where the heck is that awesome photo of Hong Kong at night?" or be looking for a particular image I've been saving for my website, and then it get's me wondering if there is a better way to gather, store and view images from three seperate computers.

I guess I'd have to upload all the images from the different accounts into a central hosting space, or is there something better? I vaugely remember an online storage service that acted like a removable drive on the computer (had a drive letter and everything).

Maybe I've confused you more now...
posted by rinkjustice at 2:35 PM on July 1, 2006

Couldn't you just network all the computers and set the folders with this stuff in as shared? Then you could access all the files from any of the three computers without needing a central location.
posted by reklaw at 2:38 PM on July 1, 2006

I vaugely remember an online storage service that acted like a removable drive on the computer (had a drive letter and everything).

There are a few, but there are several problems:

• They are all incredibly expensive for any purpose other than file archiving, since you pay not only for storage but for moving data in either direction

• File security is still questionable

• Download speed makes it a poor choice for video hosting

Your best bet is to buy a server, store all your files centrally, and set up user accounts for your family.
posted by Mr. Six at 2:39 PM on July 1, 2006

I vaugely remember an online storage service that acted like a removable drive on the computer (had a drive letter and everything)

I use Storegate with NetDrive to achieve this effect. But as Mr. Six says, it's not really practical for frequently-accessed large files.
posted by teleskiving at 2:47 PM on July 1, 2006

It sounds like what you want is a standalone server, which allows you to access any and all files without having all 3 PCs on at once (the downside of just setting up sharing). You can set up another PC as a server, or you can buy a NAS box, which is like a home fileserver. There are a bunch of different ones available, and they tend to have around 1Tb of storage in a RAID configuration of some kind (so your data is relatively safe from disk crashes). However, that may be too hardcore/expensive for your needs.
posted by Joh at 5:38 PM on July 1, 2006

Response by poster: A standalone server would be the best approach Joh, but as you said, it's cost prohibitive. I opted for a simple lan with Picasa installed on each (there's even a Linux version!) and I'll swap and view pics that way.

I dug all the suggestions btw. You're all awesome!!
posted by rinkjustice at 5:57 PM on July 1, 2006

it's cost prohibitive

You can get 250Gb of network file storage for around 200 dollars. If you already have a 3.5 in hard drive you can use, you can get a network-enabled enclosure for around 60 bucks. Maybe this is more than you want to spend but I thought it would be worth having some rough numbers in this thread.
posted by teleskiving at 2:35 AM on July 2, 2006

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