So after swapping hard-drives between xboxes for the billionth time, remembering that season 2 of “Orange Is The New Black” is on the other hard drive then remembering that it was MKV and being forced to plug my computer in, I was like “fuck this, I’m getting some sort of home storage setup”.
I needed Media streaming, central data storage accessible by all devices via WiFi. That was it.
Then I discovered the WD MyCloud.
– 4tb – ooh mumma
– linux based OS – sounds good
– dual core, 512 mb of ram (my phone’s more powerful but ok they must know what they’re doing).
– Remote access (think dropbox but with local storage).
– Super cheerful american youtubers saying how good it was.
– all devices can access it over wifi for storage
– DLAN and UPNP compatible so it can stream to xboxes and the like.
All this sounded rad, especially considering it was a feature set you’d normally have to get a server PC to have up and running.
So I ambled out and bought it because I’m impulsive and hadn’t been drinking for a month (dry July), so I had money to burn (I also bought a puppy, who will not be receiving a scathing review).
I was soooo frickin excited to get it home.
Littany of suck
– No direct plug in from computer to modem. Ethernet from computer to router, then to router to MyCloud. “so… ok… I can handle that”, I think to myself naively.
– You can plug USB 3.0 in (big plus as you can add up to 4tb capacity, it can even handle usb banks).
– However when you access via finder it passes the data from the hard drive attached to the MyCloud THROUGH THE COMPUTER AND OVER THE WIFI. It literally goes through the MyCloud, through the router, through your computer, back through the router OVER WIFI into the MyCloud.
– Direct transfer was possible through their non retina optimised windows 95 piece of shit interface.
But hey, I got it working. I painstakingly transferred all my media across, and eventually, despite only being able to do file management through their garbage bag interface, I had all my media in one place.
Ok lets get this mumma running.
… “Fuck yeah.”
… “This works.”
Nekminit – Ninja turtles, every room of the house.
After two days of twiddling I say to my girlfriend “see, look how easy it is, no more swapping hard drives”.
Until it stops working. Almost immediately. I can’t even get in via SSH (greentext little hackery little thing for the unititated). It’s just unresponsive. Ok. Reboot (IT pro).
Chunks like a bitch. Every so often it works, but mostly it’s just unresponsive.
After spending some time on forums, what I find out was that there are two processes that run on the NAS that just destroy it.
Y U NO GOOD?
Basically, WD, being the software geniuses they are, hand over hugeee chunks of the processing power to:
– a process that indexes and creates thumbnails of every file (so you can scroll through their “MyCloud App” (ie garbage stinkwreck) and see pretty pictures.
– and another process that basically encodes the files or some shit for remote streaming.
All well and good, except for the fact that it completely destroys the functionality of the device for people that have large amounts of data. While these processes are running it becomes completely unresponsive, laggy, and basically useless.
I have since come up with a little walkthrough on how to make this less terrible, so that people like me who bought it can step by step desuckify it – if that’s you then check it out here.
This device could have it all, the hardware is solid, Twonky is a reasonable server, and the feature set is great. The problem is, WD, in an attempt to jump onto too many bandwagons at once, have written software that is horrendously inneficient, and left the NAS basically broken without a huge amount of warranty voiding customisation.
Sure the dickheads in their stock photos probably only have ten video files and 100 pictures so all the processes, scanning, thumb-nailing and encoding only takes ten minutes, but I’ve got Shit tonnes of pirated media that I want in one spot, that I can get to anywhere in the house.
I’ve basically had to strip it of all its shitty software and use it as a mapped drive.