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  • chiadog - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I remember costly multi-drive NAS costing more than this without including any HDDs and performing much worse. As for not hitting 100MB/s, i wouldn't worry about it. You need to throw some real horsepower on the CPU and ram to hit those speeds (mine runs E8400/4g). sure I can hit sustained 110MB/s on reads and 100MB/s on writes, I sure as hell are not pulling 12w at load. I'd be interested if it comes in multi-drive format to backup my main NAS. Reply
  • Venya - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Thanks for review!
    But you should note - this device can work as a decent DLNA server and provide all your media content library to all your DLNA-certified devices (TVs, notebooks, set-top boxes, smartphones, etc.). Software-wise this is based on Twonky Media server.
    Only this feature alone make this device worth to purchase!
  • litbea - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Well, in fact that's the reason I RETURN it to the shop. The DLNA server it runs is TwonkyServer, which I couldn't make work in HD with my Samsung 650 LCD TV. When I enter its console to upgrade the server... I found it wasn't a free update! So, you get stuck with version 5.3 (as far as I remember) instead of more powerful version 6.
    What a pity, the resto worked fine.
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I had mentioned in a recent tweet that DLNA is not making things any easier for consumers [ Technical description here: ]. It exists just to make up for the deficiencies of the products involved.

    The My Book Live is pretty neat and does its job of exposing the available files via a SMB share. Now, if only the TVs were good enough to just recognize and read from Samba shares, DLNA could have been rendered unnecessary.

    uPnP is pretty good by itself (It enables the Play To functionality in Windows), and all this DLNA standardization on top has only served to confuse consumers further.
  • yelped - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Very interesting. Has anything changed since that blog post? Reply
  • Venya - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    This is problem of Samsung products with MKV video files only - not WD! They want this files served under different content type. Other TVs not affected, as well as other content.
    And you can solve this in multiple ways:
    1. There are some configuration XML files for Twonky where you can setup separate profile for your TV and change content type. This required additional research and manual configuration.
    2. Install other free DLNA server software - Mediatomb. It is very cool that WD Live allows to to install any linux software from command line.
    3. Finally, you can just purchase Twonky 6 upgrade for as low as $20. If youre was lucky enough to buy Samsung TV before reading forums about their problems ;)

    Actually, with my initial comment I just said that Ganesh skipped very important aspect in this review - DLNA. All features and problems should be in review itself but not in user comments, dont you think?
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Venya, Thanks for your informative posts (which, I am sure, lot of readers will appreciate).

    I did mention Twonky in the second page of the review. I assumed people would realize that Twonky would enable DLNA support.

    Since the unit is geared towards home use, we have the Twonky Media Server and iTunes server to round up the multimedia capabilities.

    I again standby my opinion that DLNA only serves to heighten consumers' frustration. Any user with a DLNA server at home is savvy enough to understand Samba sharing. The media renderers should just present the supported media on the display. This way, there would be no confusion about supported DLNA profiles and other such stuff (I believe on-the-fly transcoding by any media server program is just hiding the inefficiency of the renderer.. such renderers should be given the thumbs down by the consumers).
  • Bolas - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I'm trying to figure out... what are the advantages of NAS instead of just a large hard drive in my desktop computer on my home network? Couldn't that already do anything that I would need for my home network by using Windows Media Center, or is there something I'm missing?

    Also... how are people getting all these "media files"? I could see maybe 100 GB of music files (I have 32GB of music, personally) but where everyone uses up storage is movie files.

    All my movies are on DVD or Blu-Ray and I'd rather have them on my hard drive to watch anywhere without having to cart around physical media. Is there a good program out there to rip DVD's and Blu-Rays to hard drive? Is this one of those annoying movie company "don't copy our content into the format you want" deals?

    Personally, I'd like to buy the Blu-Ray and then rip it to digital format to use, keeping the Blu-Ray as the backup. That method would make sense to me.
  • akedia - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I have over 1 TB (yes, terabyte) of music, 600 GB of movies, and 900 GB of TV shows, and two desktops and two laptops that want access.
    I use RipIt and Handbrake for movies and XLD for music.
  • Smegheid - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Speaking from experience, I've found having a small, cheap, configurable NAS on my home network to have a bunch of advantages. At home, I run a Guruplug with a 1.5TB USB drive hanging off it.

    The main advantage is power consumption. Instead of having to keep my desktop machine running when I'm not using it, I have a 5W server and a connected USB drive that powers up and down as needed. The end result is we pay less for electricity (important here in Hawai'i, given the rates we're charged) and it generates less heat (important on the days we run the AC). It costs next to nothing to run, so it's left on 24/7.

    Having it set up as a first point of contact for backups is great. I run an rsync server on the little server, and my desktop and the wife's laptop both sync to/from it as needed. My desktop is where all of our photos first land, and I have a script that runs periodically to copy all the photos to the server. It's all automated, so I never have to worry about making sure it's all backed up, other than checking the logs every now and again to make sure the copy's working OK.

    Similarly, my wife likes having a copy of all our photos on her laptop so she can have them to show people when she's away from home. In the past, I ran an rsync server on my desktop machine so she'd get copies that way, but making sure she was up to date required coordination - I'd have to make sure my desktop was on at the same time as her laptop. Because the photos are synced to the NAS first, they're always available whenever she uses her laptop.

    The reverse also applies - her machine backs up her files (documents, etc.) to the server. Because it's always on, I'm fairly certain that I have a good backup of all her stuff.

    Personally, I also like running backups to a volume that's not always mounted on the machine being backed up. I've always thought that USB drives as a backup solution invite disaster, as they're likely always mounted, and therefore fully accessible in the event that you catch some nasty virus that decides to delete all of your files. Because the server in this case isn't mounted (other than read-only in some cases for convenience) the likelihood of a virus on my desktop or her laptop actually being able to delete the backup is minimised.

    Having your own storage available 24/7 changes your mindset about some things. For example, when we were out on holiday last month, as we filled the flash cards for our cameras, I'd pull the photos off to my little travel netbook and let it copy the photos back home overnight. If anything had happened to my laptop's drive while we were away, we wouldn't have lost our photos of our kids enjoying their holiday.

    Finally, the ultimate reason I run backups through my little low-power server is that it's basically just a cache. It's set up to copy everything over to a machine at work during the wee hours of the morning, giving me physical separation of our data and the backup. The copy from our PCs happens at LAN/Wifi speeds, so it doesn't take particularly long to complete. The little server then trickles data out at our miserable 1Mbit upload speed, taking as long as it needs to to get the job done. That way, I don't have to leave my power-hungry desktop machine on for long periods of time while waiting for backups to complete, which is really useful.

    As to where our media files come from, we have a couple of hundred GB of photos, perhaps a little more in music (all ripped from our CDs, which lurk in the bottom of a cupboard these days) and maybe 700GB of movies and the likes (ripped from our DVDs which are the CDs' neighbours). We don't do HD or bluray or anything like that just yet (our kids are young, and flat panel TVs are just too fragile) so our usage is somewhat modest.

    I've always done CD rips with EAC and DVD rips with DVDFab, followed up with Handbrake for transcoding to H.264.
  • haukionkannel - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Yes it is illegal to copy youd dvd and blu-ray to hard disk... You are bypassing the copy protection and that is illegal..
    In any way it is possible to do it. And that is the reason why there is big disk like this... Am I delusionar or am I?

    But yeah, It would be nice to play your "own" vidoes etc from external hard disk instead of optical disk that are doomed to be worn out some day...
  • CoreyAR - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    I believe that copying a DVD, BluRay, anything that you personally own and using it under the rights granted to you by owning the original disc is not is called fair use.

    However if you freely distribute the content then you are probably breaking the license that you obtained when you purchased the material and are then breaking the law.
  • akedia - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Copying it is fair use, but circumventing DRM to do so is illegal, so though you have the right to copy your own media for your own usage, you cannot legally do what would be required to do so in most cases. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    What countries legal system are we talking about here? The legality of back up copies, circumvention of DRM etc. can differ widely from one country to another. :-) Reply
  • EJ257 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Yes but if you are doing it purely for personal reason then there is no way the MPAA or RIAA would find out anyway. Sure it is technically illegal to circumvent the DRM on the disc but if your doing it behind closed doors (and windows) and you don't upload the rip to the web then who would know? Is your wife/gf going to report you? Are your friends who come over to watch that movie MPAA secret police? Reply
  • slick121 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    hehe good post!! Reply
  • iamezza - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    Holy crap batman! 71C with an ambient temp of 25C this is utterly ridiculous for a hard drive to run this hot, there is no way it will last long term running so hot. Reply
  • dertechie - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - link

    That's after 4 hours of 300GB of simultaneous reads and writes, basically the HDD equivalent of Prime95. He never actually told us what it was running at under normal conditions (and since he didn't seem too concerned, I'm betting it's <50C). Come to think of it, the external 3TB drive they reviewed a while ago did that too under torture.

    You'll hit that temp for initial back up, and then never again.

    I'd buy one of these, but the concept of 2TB+ drives without redundancy scares the crap out of me.
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    With sporadic accesses, the hdd temperature hovers around 55 C. Not alarming, but worth a note. Reply
  • projektsun - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    Any chance of a peak inside? Any way to upgrade ram in this? ALSO... why not put a 7200RPM hd in this? Heat? Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    The 5400 rpm drive runs hot by itself. 7200 rpm, with passive cooling, would be a difficult proposition.

    No, the RAM is not user upgradeable.

    For a peek inside, please follow this link:

    Didn't want to repeat the excellent teardown done by SNB :)
  • jcbenten - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    What I need is a SBS setup to keep from booting up a PC and save on the cost of a full blown NAS. Did I miss that in the review? Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    OK, this is the first time I have seen this request.

    You are in luck :) I see Squeezebox server is available for Debian (as is the perl source code). The My Book Live runs Debian Lenny and definitely has perl installed also. I would guess that it is possible to run the Squeezebox server on this. Unfortunately, I don't have any devices to test that the server actually works.

    PS: Did a little Googling, and found that it indeed works :)
  • AncientWisdom - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    If it is, this will be perfect as I will not have to leave my desktop running while downloading (I have an abysmal 2Mbit connection) or waiting for new RSS to come in. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - link

    First post on this page : Reply
  • Nutandbolt - Tuesday, December 27, 2011 - link

    I have been trying to fix the network drive to my computer running win xp
    The installer is not able to "discover " the drive on the network. Has anyone
    Faced similar issues ?
  • JMSW - Thursday, May 24, 2012 - link

    "Videos were quite picky, though. I had to install RockPlayer Lite / Doubletwist in order to stream the videos. Since there is no transcoding going on at the My Book Live end, we are severely limited with respect to the nature of the video files which can be played back"

    I am just about to set my WD box up, second attempt as first box deemed faulty. I had problems with video playback as well as storing and retrieving some more obscure file types such as GP3, GP4. (which I put down to faulty box!)

    Is there just some file types / extensions that shouldn't be stored on the WD My Book Live?

    With regard to video playback are you putting RockPlayer on the WD box? Should I put something like iTunes on the WD box and stream my music through it?

    I ask, because it was my intention to stream video, music and pictures within my house to laptops, desktops and ipads as well as a yet to be bought HD TV. Outside the house I want to access all the WD box content either on my laptop or phone. Sorting file types and software out in advance will hopefully make set up a bit smoother.
  • MumblingFumbler - Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - link

    Can't find this utility using ssh, logged in as root, on my drive. Did tester import it somehow?
    Maybe WD took it off once heat problems were reported. Anybody know how I can get it? Got my drive last week.

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