Drobo cant play back itunes library without stuttering

Ok so have had my Drobo 2nd Gen for a couple of weeks and now that I have copied my itunes library to the drobo, it can barely play back the music…this seems super lame to say the least…

I’m using an intel mac 2.0ghz with 2gb ram

Drobo Details:

Drobo 2nd Generation.
firmware version 1.3.6 and dashboard version 1.6.8
The drobo has two 1.5TB WD drives one 500gb Western Digital
Mac OSX 10.6.3
Connecting via FireWire 800

I know the drobo is not suitable for heavy lifting as primary storage…but i would have thought it could at least handle playing back MP3’s!!!


It should be able to, is anything else accessing rob (like finder/a search indexer)

Mine could play back blu-rays so yors should certainly be able to handle mp3s

as far as i can tell there is nothing else accessing the drobo…the music plays back but a few times a minute the song will pause before picking back up…I’m guessing this is due to buffering…

I’ve tried closing all applications and just running itunes from the drobo…

any other trouble shooting suggestions?

does the speed of the drives in the drobo make any difference? or would this be purely a buffering/FW800 issue?

Try connecting via USB and see if your results are different.

the speed of the drives in drobo wont make a difference

I play back 720p through a similar less powerful setup over the network to my AppleTV.

I have a Core Duo 1.6GHz Mac Mini, an original Drobo with 3 1TB Hitachis and 1x1TB WD Green connected via USB, and a 100Mb Ethernet network.

The AppleTV is the original 40GB one, and I stream everything, I don’t use the local storage.

the drobo is a FW800 device so should be plenty fast for what I’m using it for…just basic media playback…iTunes, iPhoto, Lightroom, quicktime…

I’ve opened a support case with Drobo, so I hope they can diagnose the problem…at the moment it’s an expensive paperweight.

Have you tried a different FW cable/port?
Different Computer?

When was the last time you ran repair disk on your volumes?

Definitely try it on USB and see. Even though the interface may be plenty fast, lots of other factors like cable or driver issues can slow things down.

hi all thanks for the replies

so far I’ve done all the usual troubleshooting ie changed cable, port and tried USB…but i found connecting via USB even slower.

I’ll try repairing the disk but the drobo is so new and hardly has any data on it so far that I’m not sure repairing the disk will have much impact…I’ll try when i get home though.

I will also try connecting it to my laptop to see if there is any difference.

Will report back

I have found that drobo’s power supply must be emitting a lot of electromagnetic noise.

If power supply is positioned close to USB cable then data transfer from/to drobo has a lot of hickups… I placed power supply further away and now everything seems to be ok.

wow, thats a new one - it might be worth talking to support and changing your power supply?

of course all power supplies work by interacting two coils of wire and having quite a strong dynamic magnetic field, so you would expect them to give off quite a lot of noise - i would be more inclined to point the finger at cheap/poorly shielded USB cables.

Well, that’s why I use shielded USB cables, but still I had this problem…
(And drobo has a pulse switching power supply.)

i’ll refer you back to “poorly shielded”

I can think of two possible scenarios:

  1. The already-presented data retraining due to EMF/interference
  2. One or more drives are going bad and performance is poor because it or Drobo is busy reallocating blocks in the background.

Support should definitely be able to tell you if it’s #2 by analyzing the logs.

I’ve heard back from Drobo support and they have diagnosed a bad drive…the drives are brand new …just goes to show you can’t trust mechanical HDD’s

Unfortunately can’t trust non-mechanical storage either. Just had a 16GB MicroSD card go splat. Teaches me not to back up regularly. rolls eyes

my USB flash drive (8gb) failed on me yesterday - it worries me how many people i know keep their only copy of documents on these things, their reliability is terrible - i only use them for transporting documents (i.e. i leave a copy on the machine it came from) and i dont work off them - and even then i only use them for files too large for dropbox!

As I said in another thread, why can’t Dashboard or an unencrypted log file let US diagnose a bad drive without having to send logs to DRI?

Glad you got your issue solved.

well i hope it has been solved…have to send the suspect drive back to the reseller for a replacement. DRI is keeping the case open till i receive the new drive and i can check the performance.