Airport Extreme update – some successes

After last week’s post about the difficulties working with the new Airport Extreme 802.11n base station, I decided to pick up the pieces and put some things together. I ended up going down a path that led to some success:

  1. Borrow a 500 GB drive from work
  2. Set my library location for iTunes to the borrowed drive
  3. Back up the contents of my RAID disk to the borrowed drive using the Advanced | Consolidate Library command
  4. Break the RAID set and reformat as two separate drives; connect the 500 GB to the Airport Extreme
  5. Set the library location for iTunes to the networked drive
  6. Back up the contents of the borrowed drive to the networked drive using the Consolidate Library command

And darned if it didn’t work. There was one directory that didn’t get transferred successfully, possibly because the borrowed drive was FAT32 and the artist name had an accent in it; fortunately it corresponded to a CD I still have.

So now I’m using the set up. Benefits? One iTunes library, one laptop. Disadvantages? Working with changing data on the networked drive is slow; for instance, updating cover art for 30 tracks can take up to five minutes. Based on what I’ve read on line, only part of this is explained by the fact that my first gen MacBook Pro only has 802.11g; a larger part of it appears to be due to very slow write speeds to the networked drive. (This might also explain why the last step in my project took a week.)

Other issues? The drive apparently falls off the network every now and then; in fact, it’s not accessible via the AirDisk utility at all. I have to browse to it directly using the afp:// protocol. This may be a broader problem with Bonjour on this network; AirTunes isn’t working right now either. Curious how all this stopped working when I dropped the new AirPort into the network…