First Hour: Synology 4.1 Beta

I was both excited and frustrated when I saw this tweet from @homeservershow this morning which linked to his post about DSM 4.1 beta. It was frustarting because I’ve been exploring Synology a lot recently and now it would likely change. I was excited because this more than a minor upgrade and has a lot of cool sounding enhancements. Here’s my impressions after about an hour of use.

Image of Synolog DeskStation 212jI was both excited and frustrated when I saw this tweet from @homeservershow this morning which linked to his post about DSM 4.1 beta. It was frustrating because I’ve been exploring Synology a lot recently and now it would likely change. I was excited because this more than a minor upgrade and has a lot of cool sounding enhancements.

Right away I noticed two changes to Cloud Station. They added SSL which addressed my primary concern. They also added the ability to sync 2 shares on a PC. Why is this cool? My use case – One share to sync files to all PCs. Another  share for device specific shares. There are files I want synced on some PCs but not others. Windows Live Mesh was my tool of choice for this, before Microsoft killed it.

I spent last night copying all my photos to Photo Station so I could begin using it since it seems meet my needs. (That’s a topic for another article), Photo Station got a bunch of enhancements although none seem to jump out as meeting a gap in what I wanted.

Their entire update list is here along with the download.

I upgraded my DS212j to DSM 4.1 Beta during lunch. The update was smooth. I noticed a new security setting when I was automatically logged off after 15 minutes of inactivity. There was also a lot of new packages available in Package Manager but beyond that nothing jumped out as new.

Video Station seems pretty cool. I copied a couple movies and a small TV series to its folders (one for Movies and one for TV). It went out and got the correct metadata. It did miss cover art for one of the movies but got it for the TV series. My naming format for movies is name.year.enc.ext where title and year are for the movie. “enc” is my own code for the settings I used and “ext” is the file extension for the movie type. In this case they were m4v files. My TV series is in a directory with the series name and the files are name.SxEx.enc.ext where Sx is the season number and Ex is the episode number. While my sample was small, Video Station had no problem understanding it to find the metadata. I’ve never attached any metadata to these files or imported them into another app.

I couldn’t play the videos but that seems to be a security or PC issue. I’ll need to read the documentation. The video should play through VLC and while I have it installed it wasn’t found according to the error message. I’m winging it at this point and haven’t read through the help so it’s too soon to call this a bug.

The existing iOS apps I use (DS File, DS Finder, DS Audio, DS Photo+) connect to the updated DS212j just fine and everything works as before. The release notes do indicate updates are pending for all apps (for the new features) and there are a couple new ones (or new mobile OS support) in there.

My own history with Synology beta software is good and it was stable. The forums indicated this had been true historically for their betas. So, I’m probably going to go for it and upgrade my production DS1511+ NAS later this week to give the beta a good workout. Until recently everything on the DS1511+ was backup data, but I’ve now begun using it for live data. Not much, but the most important stuff so I’ll need to make sure my backups are solid.

Anyone else running (or planning to run) the DSM 4.1 beta?

4 thoughts on “First Hour: Synology 4.1 Beta”

    1. @tropic – I’ve settled on Seagate 3TB ST3000DM001-9YN1 when buying new drives for them. Faster than other 3TB drives I’ve tried.
      I also use Samsung 2TB HD204UI. I’ve used Hitachi 2TB Deskstar 7K2000 HDS722020ALA330 in the past without without a problem but they are the hottest drives I’ve used for basic storage. I currently have 2 WD 2TB green drives (WD20EADS) in my 2 DS212j and they’ve been fine (set as SHR) although I wouldn’t buy WD green drives for a NAS even if certified, they don’t seem to like constant use. The DS212j isn’t running all the time these days and I already had these drives so I used them.

      I did try a older WD 3TB Green Drive (forget the model #) that wasn’t Synology certified and had problems with it (unstable NAS). I had only 1 so it was set up with SHR with a 2TB drive. Since then I’ve stuck to Synology certified drives.

      Thanks
      Ray

  1. Given that my DS212J is my only NAS I’m hesitant to try to the Beta. I’m interested in if they updated the iTunes Server (Firefly/mt-daapd) version. It was 0.2.4.1, would you mind checking what it is now?

    Thanks,
    JJ

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