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Features

Aside from RAID, the White Bar has more in common with the WD ShareSpace than the original MBW. This means that you now get both iTunes and UPnP AV / DLNA media serving and support for NFS and AFP (the ShareSpace did not support AFP when we reviewed it). In fact, you can use the ShareSpace slideshow (except for the RAID configuration screens) to explore the White Bar's admin interface. Figure 5 shows the White Bar's Network > Services page, displaying NFS and AFP support.

Services page

Figure 5: Services page

Here is a quick feature summary:

  • NFS, AFP, SMB/CIFS network filesystems
  • User-authenticated and anonymous FTP
  • User and group level permissions
  • HTTP and HTTPS web administration
  • Backup from and to USB-attached drive
  • iTunes and UPnP AV / DLNA (TwonkyMedia) server
  • HTTP and FTP Download manager (no Torrents)
  • Email alerts
  • Remote access to shares via MioNet Web service

Although the new features are a welcome improvement, the White Bar still doesn't support BitTorrent downloading, nor USB print serving. There is also no photo serving, nor LAMP support for running a web server, as you'll find on higher-priced QNAP and Synology products. And you won't find browser-based media players, like those on the Linksys MediaHub or new HP MediaSmart. But if you're looking for something at the MyBook World's price-point, you're probably prepared to forego those kinds of features anyway.

But many people do buy NASes for backup, and the MBW White Bar has a mixed story there. On a positive note, it supports read and write to an attached USB drive formatted with FAT, NTFS or its native HFS filesystem. But the backups are not schedulable, so can't provide regular unattended backup.

There is also no built-in ability to back up to a networked share, or even another WD NAS. Nor is there any online or "cloud" backup like the HP MediaSmart's backup to Amazon S3 or the NETGEAR ReadyNAS Pro's recently-added ReadyNAS Vault service using ElephantDrive.

The other backup change is that WD is now bundling 5 licences of Memeo Backup (rebranded as WD Anywhere Backup) instead of EMC's Retrospect, perhaps as a result of EMC now also owning competitor Iomega. You can't use this program to back up the MBW itself, however, even if you map its shares as drives.

In Use

As noted earlier, using the MBW White Bar is more like driving the WD ShareSpace than the now-defunct original MBW. Browsing the admin pages is rather sluggish, however, even without using HTTPS.

I fired up iTunes, which showed a MyBookWorld entry along with the iTunes server running on my ReadyNAS NV+ in the itunes Shared section. But when I dragged a few folders of music over to the MBW Public/Shared Music folder, it didn't appear in iTunes. I had to browse to the MBW's Media > iTunes page, set the Check for new music every selector to 5 minutes and wait for the MBW to build the iTunes library file. Once the music showed up in iTunes, I had no problems playing it.

Figure 6 shows another change from the ShareSpace—the addition of a UPnP AV / DLNA media server.

Media services

Figure 6: Media services

Clicking the Media Server icon reveals the Media Server as the highly-regarded and widely-used TwonkyMedia server (Figure 7).

Media Server landing page

Figure 7: Media Server landing page

I also checked out the MioNet Remote Access and found that it's the same (at least as far as I could tell) as the last time I looked at it on the ShareSpace. I was surprised to find the ShareSpace's shares still showing, but greyed-out. I couldn't find any way to delete them, however, so I guess they'll live on in cyberspace forever (or as long as MioNet lasts).

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