Airport Express with HD?

Can I simply plug a HD into the USB port of an Airport Express, and selected folders will show up under Media?

Or is this just an Airport Extreme feature?

What kind of performance can I expect?  If I’m browsing a top level folder called TV Shows and underneath that there are, say, 50 different shows, and within each of these 50 folders, all the individual episodes are stored… is navigating this kind of structure going to be painfully slow? What about the actual playback?


Just did this yesterday. 


1)  USB drive has to be formatted as Apple HFS to work well

2)  You have to enable the drive as shared, with a name.

3)  MEDIA PLAYER will find it in its SETTINGS menu



You did it on an Airport Extreme or Express?

Am using AIRPORT EXTREME.  You can not do this with the Airport Express. 

It is fast.  Literally click, click, click.  and if you have a long list of episodes, you can scroll them fast, which will accelerate as you scroll.

Problem will be to designate names of files.  have to add a date to the name i suppose.  but MEDIA PLAYER now works well.


Just a note.  Am using PARAGON PARTITION MANAGER to format a USB drive as an HFS format.  That part works fine.  The tool is free from PARAGON and works well. On a WIN7 64 bit OS.

Am also using the paid PARAGON HFS+ software ($20) which allows the WINDOWS OS (XP or WIN7) to look at and work with an HFS drive.  Unfortunately am having issues with this software.  First it forgot the drive was HFS, and now will not even recognize a drive formated by its own sister software PARTITION MANAGER.  Supposedly the 9.x version had fixed this, but maybe only if your are running an older version of operating system.  It does not work under WIN7, even though it was working at one time a day and several reboots later.    


Hey ktjensen

I have a FAT32 formatted drive hooked up (via USB) to my Airport Extreme and it works flawlessly. The thing to note is that in this case you have to select it as a SMB share when setting up your share in aTV Flash (AFP on Airport only works for HFS+/Apple formatted disks). 

You also have to enable guest access to the shared disk in Airport Utility, though you can have it read-only. If you don’t enable guest access, for some reason even when you provide the correct password and workgroup, aTV Flash connects to the share but doesn’t see the partitions within.


Okay folks. Please please please BEWARE of using various HFS file management software under WIN7. Just went through some hard lessons with PARAGON HFS+. It can crash your hard drive on your WIN7 system. Had that happen and then had to use REVO UNINSTALLER to get it out of my system. The native WIN7 UNINSTALLER did not work.

Also read that MACDRIVE has had some similar issues but may be slightly more functional. All to format and move files on an HFS disk drive via a USB connection.

Think I am going back to FAT32 as suggested above.

If you only have Windows computers on your network, perhaps you should be better off having your Airport external drive set to FAT32. What you lose by going FAT32 over HFS+ is:

a) the ability of storing a file bigger than 4gb, i.e. some big 720p/1080p Matroska .mkv files or most dvd .iso’s;
b) sharing via AFP, your Airport will only share the FAT32 disk via SMB (arguably not a disadvantage at all);
c) some Mac functionality like saving Time Machine backups (again moot if you don’t have any Macs).

You gain however way more compatibility, so you can just unplug the harddrive from the Airport router and plug it basically anywhere with an USB port (Mac, Windows, Linux, HDTV, you name it) for playing or managing the data on it. The option off the table is NTFS since the Airport Extreme doesn’t support it.

Here I have 3 Macs, no Windows machine at all (despite a VMware install on one of the Macs) and still I have a couple of my externals formatted as FAT32 for that reason.

The PARAGON company sent me a newer version of their PARAGON HFS+ for WIN7 software.  This is newer than the one that is posted on thier web site, that is automatically downloaded upon purchase.  You need to ask tech support for the newest version, else you will be using the crashy version.