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MultiBat
Jan 15, 2011, 04:52 PM
I have a few questions regarding the MBA and external drives. I am planning on buying the MBA 13, but I guess these questions are as valid for the 11.

If you store your photos and/or the iTunes library on an external storage (network drive or a drive connected via USB), does that affect the snappy performance of the MBA when working with the external data?
(Compared to if you have everything on your SSD drive).

How does OS X cope with an external drive that is not always plugged in? Will that cause problems for iTunes and/or iPhoto/iMovie?

I have stubled upon information about older Time capsule versions that would break down after a year or two. Maybe because they were spinning all the time. Is that something you should think/worry about?



alust2013
Jan 15, 2011, 05:04 PM
I don't think it will affect the snappiness of the computer, as it's just accessing smaller files, which the HDD can do easily.

I'm not sure about when it's not plugged in, but there's no need to worry about the hard drives burning up soon, as that was mostly a flaw of the design of the time capsule. It used drives that were too hot in an enclosure that was too small. Many people replaced the drives with cooler-running "green" drives and the problem went away.

benjaminbr
Jan 15, 2011, 05:09 PM
I have my music collection (~140 GB) on an external WD 2TB drive. Because it has pretty intense power management it tends to park the reading heads within a minute of inactivity or so. iTunes boots almost instantly but the first song beachballs as the drive spins up, but after that there is no lag. When I'm on the go, my iPod handles the music.

As for time machine, it also backs up to that drive but I have the autobackup disabled, i manually run the backups every other day or so.

LAnMarc
Jan 15, 2011, 06:00 PM
I keep all of my music and videos on a 1TB Time Capsule.
When I use iTunes to sync my iPhone, after it completes, I get a message that the first 100 or so music tracks could not be found.
In iTines I can see a little ! mark next to these tracks, that signifies that the track cannot be found.
I am sure that this is caused by iTunes not waiting for the Time Capsule drive to spin up when it stars syncing.
Although this isn't an issue, as those tracks are still on the iPhone, I now use Finder to browse to the Time Capsule before I start iTunes for syncing.
I don't find the whole syncing process a lot slower than if the media was on an internal drive.

Ronnoco
Jan 15, 2011, 08:26 PM
I just bought a 7200rpm Seagate Momentous XT 500 GB with the 4GB SSD and 32GB cache and put it in a very slim and light NexStar SX silver aluminum casing. I'm going to put my iTunes library and all of my movies/media on it...I'll let you know how fast it is...:D

MultiBat
Jan 16, 2011, 07:04 AM
Thanks for the response!
I have another question for you.
When you use an external drive of some sort, where do you have your backup?

Do you use two external drives?

I' trying to figure out a good setup for having a proper backup at all times. I mean the network drive could crash. It's probably a long shot, but when you have personal, non-recreatable, data (like photos) at least I want to have an extra backup.
That second backup does not need to backup up that often. If I would do it every time I clean out the memory card in the camera I would basically be covered.

I also wonder if the Time Capsule can be used as both a time machine and a network drive at the same time?
I figure time machine would be great for keeping automatic backups of documents (I write alot) and then keep your iTunes library and photos backup up manually.
Oh, is it possible to select which part you want to "time machine" as I would like to do with documents?

patrixl
Jan 16, 2011, 07:15 AM
I also wonder if the Time Capsule can be used as both a time machine and a network drive at the same time?

Yes.

You can also plug a USB hard drive to it and access it over the network.

You can backup your Time Machine backups to that hard drive too, with the Time Capsule "archive" feature from Airport Utility.


Oh, is it possible to select which part you want to "time machine" as I would like to do with documents?

Time machine backs up everything (except UNIX stuff, ie if you install Macports, they won't be backed up), and doesn't backup what you specify in the Time Machine prefs.

Ronnoco
Jan 16, 2011, 01:15 PM
I use an external LaCie 7200rpm D2 1TB connected via Firewire 800 for my Time Machine backups with my MBP 15" i5...I also use a Iomega 7200rpm 1TB connected to my Airport Extreme as a network drive and 2nd backup for my MBP and and primary backup for my 11" MBA...then I use my new Seagate Momentous XT 500GB connected thru USB to my Air as a external for iTunes and other media and as a 2nd Time Machine backup for the Air...

MultiBat
Jan 16, 2011, 02:57 PM
I use an external LaCie 7200rpm D2 1TB connected via Firewire 800 for my Time Machine backups with my MBP 15" i5...I also use a Iomega 7200rpm 1TB connected to my Airport Extreme as a network drive and 2nd backup for both my MBP and my 11" MBA...then I use my new Seagate Momentous XT 500GB connected thru USB to my Air as a external for iTunes and other media and as a 2nd Time Machine backup for the Air...

I have but one thing to say.

I am impressed! :)

Ronnoco
Jan 16, 2011, 03:12 PM
I have but one thing to say.

I am impressed! :)

I am MOST happy/impressed with the external 500GB Seagate Momentous XT for my iTunes and larger media files...it acts very similar to my SSD in my Air...I have over 80g of music and 720p movies in my iTunes from my MBP and after transferring to the Momentous XT for use on the 11" Ultimate, iTunes opens instantly (it takes nearly 8 seconds to open on my 2010MBP) and the 720p movies play flawlessly...best $128 I've spent in a while...

MultiBat
Jan 16, 2011, 03:25 PM
I am MOST happy/impressed with the external 500GB Seagate Momentous XT for my iTunes and larger media files...it acts very similar to my SSD in my Air...I have over 80g of music and 720p movies in my iTunes from my MBP and after transferring to the Momentous XT for use on the 11" Ultimate, iTunes opens instantly (it takes nearly 8 seconds to open on my 2010MBP) and the 720p movies play flawlessly...best $128 I've spent in a while...

Thank you for sharing!
That sounds like it is be a really good option if I pick the 128 GB SSD (13") and run out of space on the MBA.