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So right now my main home setup is:

  • A Windows PC that is my main workstation.
  • A Mac Mini hooked up to my TV
  • A Drobo unit used to share media between the two, normal process is: download using Windows PC, watch on big TV using Mac Mini while files are stored on the Drobo to make it easy

I read yesterday about the new Chromebox from Google which is essentially the form factor of a Mac Mini but running Chrome OS rather than Mac OS X.

I kind of want to try it out and the price is right but my one concern is being able to browse my Drobo drive and play videos and music off of it using the Chromebox.

Does anyone have any experience with Chrome OS + a network drive, specifically Chrome OS + Drobo

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What protocol is your network drive? – Paul May 31 '12 at 13:51
@Paul - No idea, I just download the Drobo app for either Mac or PC and it just magically works. How can I check this? – Andrew G. Johnson May 31 '12 at 17:15
Which kind of drobo? Wikipedia indicates the FS may do NFS, FTP, or SMB.It may also be possible to install another OS on the chromebox - the chromebooks have a switch for 'rooting'. I'm also wondering if a hexxeh chrome build would be a good analogue for testing as well. – Journeyman Geek Jun 1 '12 at 12:52
@JourneymanGeek - Honestly I don't want to do anything other than plug it in, that's why I opted for a Mac Mini, was expensive but it was up and running in 5 minutes – Andrew G. Johnson Jun 3 '12 at 1:01

As long as your network drive got an option to stream media over http it will work nicely on chromeOS. In the new chromebook (as in the old one) you get a 'native' media player that can play a variety of audio and video file types: MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AIF, WAV, and MP4 videos. Btw, you can checkout 'hacks' like this one: but before you do that, I would check if the network drive can be connected over the network :)

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