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In Use

You can administrate the HMNHD completely from its clean and nicely-designed browser interface (Figure 3). The slideshow has shots of most of the screens, which are pretty self-explanatory.

HMNHD Home Status screen
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: HMNHD Home Status screen

Iomega apparently thinks that normal consumers (as opposed to networking-savvy geeks) can deal with the concept of a NAS being something other than just a big folder sitting on the network. So the HMNHD includes a TwonkyVision Twonky Media server that provides iTunes and UPnP AV / DLNA media serving.

The HMNHD web interface provides only a Reset iTunes and DLNA button on the System > System Tasks page, which Iomega told me is the only way to get the NAS to refresh its database of media files. But when I clicked on the UPnP notification icon that appeared in my XP System Tray (or in My Network Places), I was taken to the Twonky Media server home page running on port 9000 (Figure 4).

Twonky Media admin home

Figure 4: Twonky Media admin home

Given the target audience for the product, Iomega doesn't even document the existence of this page. But it looks like it is enabled by default. So if you know your way around a Twonky server, enjoy! Figure 5 shows that you have a lot of knobs to twiddle.

Twonky Media server config page
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Figure 5: Twonky Media server config page

I uploaded a few music, photo and .mov movie trailers to check media serving. A copy of iTunes running on my XP machine found and played the file on the HMNHD just fine. The only hardware media player I have handy is my DirecTV HD DVR. After setting off a network rescan on the DVR, it found the HMNHD just fine and provided a slideshow of the photo folder that I had uploaded. It also found the two .mov files in the Video folder, but wasn't able to play either of them. This was a limitation of the DirecTV DVR and not the HMNHD, however.

I really liked the Folder Management interface (Figure 6), which I think even novice users will be able to figure out without even reading the manual. You can add your own folders and Users (but not Groups), control individual folder access and also choose whether you want folders served by iTunes and DLNA / UPnP AV.

Folder management
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Figure 6: Folder management

Iomega includes 5 licenses of its Retrospect Express HD backup software that can be used to back up Windows or Mac OS clients. It also can back up network shares, so can be used to back up the HMNHD's shares, too. When you run the CD to install Retrospect Express, you also get a little app that will find the HMNHD and a copy of EMC's Mozy Home "cloud" backup utility. 2 GB of free online storage are yours just for registering. More than that will cost you $4.95/month/per computer for "unlimited" storage.

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