NAS for multimedia and how to keep your purchased movies and music

1. I saw an advisory table on the QNAP site, which insinuated the TS 251d had a bay capacity of 10tb. I’ve seen your glowing review videos of this unit and I think you advised it would be possible to take advantage of the Ironwolfs that go beyond 10tb – 12 and 14tb for example. Although I know nothing, from the limited research I’ve done, I see no reason why a higher capacity HDD beyond 10Tb could be used?

Linked to the above, the total size of my stuff will probably be 8TB at this stage, so the above question might not seem too important. I am probably worrying about ‘will I have enough’ without even knowing where my future stuff will come from! I have opted for this NAS because you said it is possible to link and add to it, so that is comforting.

2. Can you use the NAS with just one HDD in operation. The Ironwolf are costly and if i went for a bigger capacity, I would only afford one for now. I could probably buy 2 x 8TB and have a complete unit that wouldn’t fill up for a couple of years Or I could buy a 10tb or above HDD and then buy a second down the line. Just want to understand how the set up works and if one drive only would be an issue. I don’t think I’d want to just use the second bay for back up (it feels like a ‘waste’ – I know its important having had a unit go down on me before, but want to know if there are other backup options, such as cloud based, or buying a cheap non-NAS HDD).

3.I am considering running Plex as a media server. For music, I was considering Roon, but don’t think I have the quality of audio equipment. So Plex seems OK. And I believe it can play flac/hi-res files. More importantly, for movie purposes, I see it can play mkv files – as that’s what I’ve been doing with my collection of 200 or so dvd and blurays – digitising them to mkv files.

I wanted to know if I’m going OTT, doing this when my physical collection might not grow that much? Linked questions:

Is there a way of getting more movies and hires audio legally – that I can physically own and store ? I buy occasional movies from Amazon Prime Video but as far as I know – it just sits on their server even though I physically own it. Do you know if Amazon’s files are downloadable so they could live in my media server library? Hi-res audio seems to be only purchasable from Qobuz, Tidal, and a couple of niche sellers.
Is there an avenue to purchase 4k/hi-def movies through Plex?

My collection is small at 200 films and they aren’t even films I necessarily have much urge to watch repeatedly. So I have a lingering question of do I give up the ghost and live with streaming services and keep the NAS set up basic, for music and what I currently have . That means I would just buy 2 x 6TB hdds and that would probably do me for the foreseeable future.

I guess that’s it. Some of these latter questions you probably can’t answer! But thank you for your help so far in at least helping me to identify the NAS and HDDs that I will buy.


Yes, new TS-251D is a new generation NAS loaded with latest technology upgrades. Qnap also announced TS-451D – a 4-aby version of the same NAS.
There is no limit on drive size you can use. Max to day available is 16TB drives.
You can start with a single drive at the start and then enable RAID1 or RAID0 option later.
You can play mkv and other files. There is no real limit on a NAS but Plex it self.
Having a RAID1- mirror setting does fee like a waste. This is why many people buy 4 bay model and put in 3 drives in RAID5. This gives them more storage space at the same cost.
All music and video sellers do indeed block you from downloading the purchases. They do thet so that they could sell you more stuff later. And make you limited to their services.
But itunes seems to be easiest way to actually store your music and videos on external drives and NAS.

This is totally doable. It should just work like this:

  1. Open the iTunes Movies folder in iTunes and drag the movies to the external drive.

  2. Delete all the movies you have in iTunes (both from the program and the movie files themselves on the Macbook so they no longer take up space)

  3. Go to iTunes preferences, click advanced, and uncheck the “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” button.

  4. Drag the movies on the external drive back into iTunes.

  5. Play them


I hope this helps.



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