I am new to the apple forum. To be honest I am new to the whole Apple thing, being a Windows bod I managed to resist the Apple gravy train for several years before giving in and falling inline.
Now I find myself with an iphone, ipod touch, ipad 2, mac mini and apple TV 4 although not all in use yet... This brings me to my question.
What is the best home setup for sharing?
let me set the scene.
3 years ago I modernised my house and put in cat5e structured cabling throughout, all back to a comm rack in the loft. at the time I set up a powerful quad core server. I used to run my own AD domain, Exchange server (don't ask). Now the server runs Windows 7 professional with 8 HDDs running raid 5 mainly running windows media centre and I was using my xbox 360s as extenders. The view was to use Xbox's around the house to access my media. Never quite got there and things have moved on again.
After running the big Windows beast 24x7 for about 18 months I wanted to scale down again, improve data resillience and provide a simple user interface for my other half.
So after doing some initial web trawling armed and dangerous with a very small amount of knowledge and realising that I already had an amount of Apple kit to contribute towards an iTunes based mulitroom solution. The red mist came down and with credit card in hand I did some retail therapy. Not the female handbag and shoes type but the proper male tech kind.
I already had
1 x ipod touch 64GB
1 x iphone 4 32GB
1 x ipad 2 64GB wifi
And to complement the set I now have;
1 x i5 2.7GHZ, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD Mac mini (this is the latest version which I upgraded to 2 x 1TB internal drives)
1 x 4th gen apple TV
and non Apple kit
1 x Synology DS212+ with 8TB storage raid 0
1 x Onkyo TX-NR515 AV receiver
So now comes to the ask. How best to use all of this over my home wired network?
I'm thinking I will use iTunes, I want to have some form of data backup between the Synology and the Mac mini (I want to shut down my windows server)
I also want to be able to control it all from the ipad/ipod and push media (audio and video) around the house.
The mac mini is currently plugged into one of my TVs via the AV receiever and the thought was to use the apple TV in another room, and depending of how it goes buy another 1 or 2 for other rooms.
So I have all this kit and not sure where to start and I'm not a mac expert. I know I can't use the synology box on it's own as you need itunes for the apple TVs, I don't know whether to use the Synology or the local Mac storage for the primary itunes library and then to backup to the device is so how (time capsule thing).
I don't want itunes to organise my media as I don't like the way it shuffles files around, so thinking of keeping the media files in a folder structure I am familar with and pointing iTunes at that. I also have a large amount of video files that I will probably have to convert to be capatible with iTunes, but not sure of the best way to do this, if I need to at all.
Sorry for the long waffle. Would be interested in any views, suggestions, ideas or examples of your own set ups. In return, for what it is worth I will let you know how I get on.
many thanks for your input