Register FAQ / Rules Forum Spy Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jan 26, 2013, 08:56 AM   #1
Dutchmannn
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Best storage solution for central itunes library?

I'd like to create a 2-4 Gb central library, running itunes permantenly on a headless Mac Mini. The library will contain all music and videos and should be available to an Apple TV, PC and Iphones (remote).

I am not sure about what kind of storage solution to buy. I want a second disk for backups, ideally also for storage of system backups of my PC and iphones.

Should I buy and install a NAS and connect via Ethernet or are two firewire or usb 3.0 external hdds connected to the Mac Mini a better solution? I want to avoid issues with corrupt itunes libraries, missing files, connection issues with home sharing, etc. And are external hdds built to run 24//24 in terms of life span, energy consumption and heating?
If an external Firewire HDD is a better solution than a NAS, how about this one: Western Digital My Book Studio WDBC3G0030HAL, 3 TB, FireWire, FireWire 800, USB. Or if I should buy a NAS, any suggestions?
Dutchmannn is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:00 AM   #2
SandboxGeneral
Moderator
 
SandboxGeneral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Great Lakes State
What I did was get a 3TB external RAID 1 array using FW800 (I don't have Thunderbolt or USB 3 on my iMac) and moved my whole iTunes library off my main internal HDD to it.

It works just fine for watching/listening to anything on my iPhone, iPad, Apple TV 2 and Apple TV 3, as well as the iMac it's connected to.

There are various solutions to achieve what you want, mine is one way and using a NAS is another way. You just have to choose what works best for you.

To make sure your library is moved properly, be sure to follow this Apple Support document.

iTunes for Mac: Moving your iTunes Media folder
SandboxGeneral is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 26, 2013, 04:27 PM   #3
rbrian
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
I wondered about this too, but I couldn't decide, so I bought a 3TB USB drive as a stopgap. It works fine, even with USB 2. When I finish ripping my DVDs and start on my BluRays I'll run out of space, and find out if USB 2 is sufficient for HD. Then I'll investigate some more.
__________________
2011 11" Air i5 1.6/4/128; 2011 Mac mini; iPad mini retina 128GB; iPhone 5s 64GB; Apple TV3
rbrian is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2013, 01:42 AM   #4
Dutchmannn
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Thank you both.

I think I'll go for the storage solution directly connected to the Mac Mini (so not a NAS that is connected via ethernet). In order to be future proof I'll pay a few extra bucks and go for thunderbolt. One further quesion:
- If I'd buy a thunderbolt dual-drive and set up as raid 1, can I also use this device to store backups of my PC and other devices? Or will it be difficult or impossible to set up the Mac Mini as an itunes server and use the external thunderbolt drives for storage of the itunes library and also have backups (time machine for the apple devices but also backups of my PC) copied to the thunderbolt?

Thanks again!
Dutchmannn is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2013, 05:27 AM   #5
SandboxGeneral
Moderator
 
SandboxGeneral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Great Lakes State
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchmannn View Post
Thank you both.

I think I'll go for the storage solution directly connected to the Mac Mini (so not a NAS that is connected via ethernet). In order to be future proof I'll pay a few extra bucks and go for thunderbolt. One further quesion:
- If I'd buy a thunderbolt dual-drive and set up as raid 1, can I also use this device to store backups of my PC and other devices? Or will it be difficult or impossible to set up the Mac Mini as an itunes server and use the external thunderbolt drives for storage of the itunes library and also have backups (time machine for the apple devices but also backups of my PC) copied to the thunderbolt?

Thanks again!
You can partition the drive with Disk Utility and designate one partition to be used for backups and the other for iTunes. There should be no problem with that except potentially a slow down if you're playing iTunes media like video while a backup is running. I haven't experienced that because I have a separate HDD for Time Machine.
SandboxGeneral is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2013, 03:29 PM   #6
dacreativeguy
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandboxGeneral View Post
You can partition the drive with Disk Utility and designate one partition to be used for backups and the other for iTunes. There should be no problem with that except potentially a slow down if you're playing iTunes media like video while a backup is running. I haven't experienced that because I have a separate HDD for Time Machine.
I wouldn't do that. A backup drive should ideally only be used for backups. I've had a few occasions where Time Machine has corrupted itself and made the whole drive unusable to the point of repartitioning. If that happened in your setup, you could lose your music AND you music backups in one event.
dacreativeguy is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2013, 03:51 PM   #7
SandboxGeneral
Moderator
 
SandboxGeneral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Great Lakes State
Quote:
Originally Posted by dacreativeguy View Post
I wouldn't do that. A backup drive should ideally only be used for backups. I've had a few occasions where Time Machine has corrupted itself and made the whole drive unusable to the point of repartitioning. If that happened in your setup, you could lose your music AND you music backups in one event.
I wouldn't do that either, mine are on separate drives.
SandboxGeneral is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 28, 2013, 06:10 PM   #8
designs216
macrumors 65816
 
designs216's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Down the rabbit hole
IMO, an attached USB3 drive would be the cheapest and simpliest solution. NAS arrays hold a ton of info but they are typically expensive and mine is quite loud.
designs216 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:02 PM   #9
Dutchmannn
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Thanks everyone. I think I'll go for the safest option in terms of the itunes library and use a double external HDD in raid1 attached to the mac mini for this. Not yet sure though whether to buy USB, FW or TB.
For sys backups of all machines I could buy a simple 2TB network hdd.
Dutchmannn is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 29, 2013, 08:53 PM   #10
lali
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Hi Dutchmann
There are many different options out there
OWC sells a dual 4tb enclosure with raid mirrorring. $697
It should be plenty fast enough to serve your library

If you want to go tbolt you may want to at a lacie little big disk enclosure (bare) refurb, quite inexpensive. Then you fill it with 2x 4tb. At the moment, sorry I cannot find you that ebay link that philipma1957 posted a while back.....
lali is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:26 AM   #11
rbrian
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Quote:
Originally Posted by lali View Post
...4tb enclosure with raid mirrorring. $697...
See that right there is why I decided not to decide until I was certain. I got 3TB for 110, about $160.
rbrian is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 02:08 AM   #12
Giuly
macrumors 68040
 
Giuly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: That depends whether you ask for timezone, state of mind or GPS coordinates.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchmannn View Post
Thanks everyone. I think I'll go for the safest option in terms of the itunes library and use a double external HDD in raid1 attached to the mac mini for this. Not yet sure though whether to buy USB, FW or TB.
For sys backups of all machines I could buy a simple 2TB network hdd.
Instead of both, you could just go with a Synology DS413j NAS and RAID1 that instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lali View Post
If you want to go tbolt you may want to at a lacie little big disk enclosure (bare) refurb, quite inexpensive. Then you fill it with 2x 4tb. At the moment, sorry I cannot find you that ebay link that philipma1957 posted a while back.....
If you happen to find 2.5" 4TB disks, that would be an option. Otherwise you'd need a LaCie 2big Thundebolt for that.
Giuly is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 04:35 AM   #13
lali
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giuly View Post

If you happen to find 2.5" 4TB disks, that would be an option. Otherwise you'd need a LaCie 2big Thundebolt for that.
ahhh thanks I did not know that
lali is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 08:51 AM   #14
Panch0
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Virginia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchmannn View Post
Thanks everyone. I think I'll go for the safest option in terms of the itunes library and use a double external HDD in raid1 attached to the mac mini for this. Not yet sure though whether to buy USB, FW or TB.
For sys backups of all machines I could buy a simple 2TB network hdd.
For what you're talking about, I have been using FW800 drives. I prefer them over USB because they don't add load to the CPU and because FW devices can be daisy chained without requiring a hub. TB is the future, but you don't need the high performance for a media library or for a backup solution - not worth the price premium right now.

NAS devices can work very well for backup, especially if they have built-in support for TimeMachine. Synology devices have this, not sure about others. NAS can work for iTunes Media, but it's a pain - you're making the right choice with Direct attached there.

I would definitely use separate devices for my media library and my back-ups. Don't think of RAID1 as a back-up, it's not. It's for high availability of critical data, not for recovery of lost data. Better to have backups on multiple devices and in multiple locations.
Panch0 is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 10:51 AM   #15
rbrian
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
My USB drive that had no problems is now having problems... it was fine until I started backing it up using Time Machine to another USB 2.0 3TB drive. I'd done about 1.3TB out of 1.8TB when the iTunes drive disconnected (the backup drive and the other portable USB drive and the FW800 drive stayed connected). Now when I plug it back in it lasts about 5 minutes before disconnecting. What is likely to be the problem? Would this happen with a NAS or FW array?
__________________
2011 11" Air i5 1.6/4/128; 2011 Mac mini; iPad mini retina 128GB; iPhone 5s 64GB; Apple TV3
rbrian is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:03 PM   #16
Panch0
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Virginia
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrian View Post
My USB drive that had no problems is now having problems... it was fine until I started backing it up using Time Machine to another USB 2.0 3TB drive. I'd done about 1.3TB out of 1.8TB when the iTunes drive disconnected (the backup drive and the other portable USB drive and the FW800 drive stayed connected). Now when I plug it back in it lasts about 5 minutes before disconnecting. What is likely to be the problem? Would this happen with a NAS or FW array?
Does it disconnect after 5 minutes idle, or only if you are writing to it? Do you lose both drives after five minutes, or only one of them? There may be a problem with the USB port you're plugged into, the enclosure, or the drive itself. If they both drop out, it is probably the USB Port, or a usb hub if you are using one.
Panch0 is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:18 PM   #17
rbrian
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Only one, and it's always being read for the backup (still half a gig to go). It is usually writing too, downloading purchases I've made on other devices. I hadn't started copying the latest batch of DVD rips, they stay on the internal drive until the metadata is sorted. If it is on it's way out, I hope it finishes the backup before it dies!

I don't have a hub, I have all my USB ports in use. Could it be there's too much plugged in and not enough power? Shouldn't be, two of the drives (including the one that keeps disconnecting) have their own power supply. Maybe the processor can't handle keeping track of all those drives, running a time machine backup, Handbraking, BOINCing, and serving iTunes to my Apple TV and MacBook Air.
__________________
2011 11" Air i5 1.6/4/128; 2011 Mac mini; iPad mini retina 128GB; iPhone 5s 64GB; Apple TV3
rbrian is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jan 30, 2013, 01:17 PM   #18
Panch0
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Virginia
I would first stop all of that other activity and try to complete the backup. Are you using time machine for the backup? Maybe try something else like Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper to get files transferred to a different drive.
Panch0 is online now   0 Reply With Quote
Old Feb 6, 2013, 07:45 AM   #19
Santabean2000
macrumors 65816
 
Santabean2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
I'm looking at getting a Pegasus J4 for this purpose (and shifting photos across too).

2 x M500 960GBs in RAID0 + 2 x 1TB HDD in RAID 0
Santabean2000 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2013, 02:05 PM   #20
rbrian
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Sorry to resurrect this ancient thread, but I couldn't find what I was looking for elsewhere. I'm now running out of space on my 3TB drive, which is backed up to another 3TB drive with Time Machine, both plugged in to the back of my mac mini. The disconnection problem fixed itself, so it's all running OK.

Now I've bought a pair of 4TB drives - but rather than just adding another GB, I'd like to have a 7TB library - how easy would it be to combine two drives into one, so iTunes doesn't get confused? Would combining them preserve the existing data? It doesn't matter too much if it doesn't; I have a backup - but I'd rather not spend all that time transferring.
__________________
2011 11" Air i5 1.6/4/128; 2011 Mac mini; iPad mini retina 128GB; iPhone 5s 64GB; Apple TV3
rbrian is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2013, 02:42 PM   #21
JBmac
macrumors member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Eastern, PA
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrian View Post
Sorry to resurrect this ancient thread, but I couldn't find what I was looking for elsewhere. I'm now running out of space on my 3TB drive, which is backed up to another 3TB drive with Time Machine, both plugged in to the back of my mac mini. The disconnection problem fixed itself, so it's all running OK.

Now I've bought a pair of 4TB drives - but rather than just adding another GB, I'd like to have a 7TB library - how easy would it be to combine two drives into one, so iTunes doesn't get confused? Would combining them preserve the existing data? It doesn't matter too much if it doesn't; I have a backup - but I'd rather not spend all that time transferring.
This may or may not be something to help you currently, but looking forward, you might want to consider something like this, and it doesn't have to be with Drobo, which is what I use. I used time machine when it first came out and for a year, but it did get corrupted, and I had to log in as guest to do my backups. So I stopped using Time Machine, and I don't need my data backed up every hour. I retired my 2005 G5 Powermac this past summer, and in planning for that I wanted something OS agnostic, just for data, pictures, iTunes library, over 1 TB already. I first went with Drobo 2nd Gen FW about 2 years ago, but it wasn't the network streaming i wanted especially for iTunes, and to work on iPhoto all from a MacBook Air i had planned to get. Then last January Drobo came out with the Drobo5N which just plugs into my 5th Gen Airport Extreme and streams everything for me, and lets me connect to and use my data the way I want to. I am the only one using it, so I don't know how it would work for multiple accounts but it works great for me. I have 2, 3TB drives, and 1 2TB drive in it, and room for 2 more, but I don't want to waste the electric spinning 2 more hard drives until I need them. I use the other drobo as my backup, and I keep a minimum 3 drive disk set off site. I also turn the Drobo5N off for a week or two at a time because I can stream what I need over the Internet on my Apple TV. I keep everything stored on the Drobo5N, because I only have 128GG SSD on the 11 inch MBAir I bought last summer.
Some of my iTunes movies and Tv shows (files), very few, are in library on the drobo, but won't show up as being there in iTunes, and show the download or stream arrow, and that happens for some reason after iTunes updates. I do use the Apple TV to stream from the MBAir as my Home computer, and even when it looks like it goes to sleep it still streams my content.
__________________
2013, 11 MBAir - 64GB iPhone5S Gold - 32 GB White iPad3, iPad mini - Apple TV2 - Philips Hue Lights - Drobo5N, Drobo FW 2nd Gen, ACU-RITE PWS KPABALLY2

Last edited by JBmac; Oct 26, 2013 at 02:49 PM. Reason: disk drive size are 2, 3TB, and 1, 2TB
JBmac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2013, 02:48 PM   #22
rbrian
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
I'm not looking at any kind of NAS in the near future. I leave the Mac mini on all the time, HandBraking and/or BOINCing. I see no reason to pay the cost of two hard drives for an empty chassis which will do no more than the mini is capable of. All I need is the correct software, which is built in or easily downloadable, but I'd like a little more information before I do something which has the potential to destroy my data.
__________________
2011 11" Air i5 1.6/4/128; 2011 Mac mini; iPad mini retina 128GB; iPhone 5s 64GB; Apple TV3
rbrian is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 26, 2013, 03:06 PM   #23
JBmac
macrumors member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Eastern, PA
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrian View Post
I'm not looking at any kind of NAS in the near future. I leave the Mac mini on all the time, HandBraking and/or BOINCing. I see no reason to pay the cost of two hard drives for an empty chassis which will do no more than the mini is capable of. All I need is the correct software, which is built in or easily downloadable, but I'd like a little more information before I do something which has the potential to destroy my data.
I have to watch my power usage very carefully, and the MBAir and the Drobo5N are excellent for this, if I didn't I'd still have my old PowerMac up and running, or be using a Mac Mini always on (which is what I would like). I don't like keeping my data in the cloud only either... It was just a suggestion. Yes, I had to pay a price up front (no new computer, or laptop for 3 years), and there could be some vulnerability, but I have multiple backups. And now it doesn't matter what computing device I get in the future, I just need an OS on it to access my data.
__________________
2013, 11 MBAir - 64GB iPhone5S Gold - 32 GB White iPad3, iPad mini - Apple TV2 - Philips Hue Lights - Drobo5N, Drobo FW 2nd Gen, ACU-RITE PWS KPABALLY2
JBmac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Oct 27, 2013, 02:23 PM   #24
wes1856
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Good ideas in here - here's what I've been thinking of doing

My main concern is storage of pictures in addition to iTunes (we have over 40k images and 200+ hours of video). Right now every things running off my power sucking '08 mac pro which i'd love to retire.

I'm thinking of getting a mac mini server for iTunes and then directly connecting a LaCie 5big 10 or 20 to it. My understanding is that you can set up 2 drives on one RAID partition and the other 3 on another. I'd use two for picture, video and other files and the other 3 for RAID protected time machine backups of our four other macs and the mac mini. Does this sound like it would work? Anyone had any experience with the LaCie 5big?
wes1856 is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Hardware > Buying Tips and Advice

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Storage solution for media library. HalfNelson Mac Peripherals 9 Aug 31, 2013 06:15 PM
Solution to a large itunes library? sonicrobby Mac Peripherals 5 Aug 25, 2013 12:05 PM
iTunes Library Storage Solutions. alw969 MacBook Air 5 May 24, 2013 04:17 PM
Can anyone recommend a wireless storage solution for iTunes? dh2005 MacBook Pro 33 Aug 27, 2012 11:13 PM
iTunes library storage advice. rlogan814 Mac Peripherals 9 Jun 16, 2012 06:58 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:57 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC