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Hands on/Other Features

Like other competitive single drive NAS products, the Central Axis includes a DLNA-compliant media server as well as an iTunes server.  You specify where to search for both the media files as well as iTunes music.  There isn't, however, a button to force the NAS to refresh its media index. 

So, if you add music to your Central Axis share that you've defined for iTunes, you really don't know how long it will be before those new tunes are available in the iTunes server.  That being said, we copied a lot of music and tested the iTunes server both on the PC and the Mac platform.  On both platforms, the iTunes server appeared under shared music – along with the iTunes servers running on other NAS products (Figure 8).

iTunes connected to Central Axis

Figure 8: iTunes connected to Central Axis

The Central Axis is compatible with both PCs and Macs.  Public shares were accessible without using a “guest” login. Limited access shares required the appropriate Central Axis user name/password to access.  Figure 9 is a screenshot from our test MacBook.

Mac OS share browsing

Figure 9: Mac OS share browsing

One feature we like on the Central Axis is remote access via a web browser.  To access your Central Axis via the Internet, you first enable web sharing through the Maxtor Manager.  You then log into the Central Axis with your credentials and create an account (free) with globalaccess.seagate.com.  You merely type in your email address, and a link is emailed to the address you supplied.  You click on the link and supply a password to finish the registration. 

Once you've registered, you have access to all of the files that your Central Axis credentials permit.   There's nothing else to configure.  You don't have to open ports on your router, nor do you have to set up Dynamic DNS. (DDNS)  Figure 10 shows the landing page for our test account.

Web access

Figure 10: Web access

The web interface gives you the option of either a list view or a thumbnail preview.  For photos, you can click on preview and a separate window will open with your preview (Figure 11).  The preview pane also has the option of playing images in a slide show.  The list view lets you upload or download files.

Web access list view w/ preview

Figure 11: Web access list view w/ preview

The thumbnail view (Figure 12) shows your images and you can also optionally display their corresponding file names.  The folder command bar at the left is visible in both the list and thumbnail views.

Web access thumbnail view

Figure 12: Web access thumbnail view

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