Everynowandagain I return to my geek roots. Today was one of those days where instead of doing real work, the stuff I knew was important, I felt I deserved a Saturday to just play. And play I did.
I now have a fully networked, shared file and mixed media distribution system in my home comprised of just 4 components: LinkSys wireless router, Western Digital “MyBook World Edition” NAS box, and 2 Sonos ZonePlayers.
While NAS boxes and Sonos are not new, it’s the WD My Book Linux backend that makes this combination exceptionally powerful. I was able to use the well designed WD web (IP) interface to create a limited access user account with which I am able to use rsync from Linux workstation or laptop for routine backups. It’s slow, but completely command-line compliant and functional.
And with support for FTP, NFS, CIFS, and SSH, the WD product line is very well designed. Marketed as an easy-to-configure home user product (which it is), the behind-the-scenes functions make this an exceptional, powerful, and fully configurable storage solution, complete with a secure, remote access service through WD’s MioNet.
While the WD box automatically obtains an IP address from a DSL or Cable router (use the included WD configuration software or monitor the DHCP provision logs to determine your drive’s obtained IP address), it is important to note that the Sonos boxes do NOT use IP routing as a means of talking to NAS boxes. Rather, Sonos uses the Windows based SMB file sharing protocol which requires a path name, as described in this document.
Before you start the setup, you’ll need some information from your NAS. Sonos finds and accesses a NAS drive using a standard network path \\Name\Sharename
Name is the network name of the NAS and Sharename is the top level shared folder on the NAS. You can usually find this information in the NAS drive’s configuration page or in any configuration software that may have been included withyour NAS.
However, the WD web interface did not make this path clear. It was through some experimentation that I determined the path to be the name I had given the drive:
Basic Mode –> Device Name
… followed by the directory in which the music would be stored, “Public” for:
According to Sonos’ documentation (above), To add this path to Sonos:
- Open the Sonos Desktop Controller, click on the Music menu, and select Set Up Music Library.
- Click Add a Share (Add if you’re using a Mac) and select Add music stored in folders that are currently shared on my network.
- Type the network path for the music folder or click Browse to search for it. If it is not shared anonymously, enter the user name and password of a user with permission to access the folder and click Next.
- Click OK to confirm.
In OSX I was then able to use a the WD backup software or any software package that allows for the entry of a path name or IP address to access the drive, and from Linux either Nautilus graphical file manager or command line.
Once fully configured and all my music copied to the Western Digital NAS box, my home theater experience is phenomenal, more than 600 high quality rips available at my finger tips, using the Sonos app for my Apple iPod or Android phone.