How do you deal with the 128GB SSD in the MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MACelmore, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013
    New member here, hello all! I searched through a few pages on the forum and haven't found anything, so here goes nothing!

    Ok, so I'm making the switch from Windows to Mac this weekend (maybe???? I may wait until the refresh).

    If I do end up buying this weekend, how do you owners of MBAs with 128GB SSD balance such a small amount of storage? I have a rather extensive iTunes library and a load of pics and documents. Do you move your entire iTunes library to an external HD to free up that much room? When I'll be portable with the Air, I wouldn't have much use for iTunes.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. macrumors 68040


    Nov 3, 2011
    I dont have any pics on my Air and I only have my Music on iTunes on my MBA - entire collection is on my iMac and most of my collection on my cMBP.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Ahhh, that helps when you have more than one Mac. What if I plan on making the Air my main and only computer.
  4. macrumors 68040


    Nov 3, 2011
    External Hard Drive - going to need to move files back and forth - unless you pay more $$ for 256 / 512 SSD.


    Cloud service
  5. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    You sell your mac and buy a PC. At least, that's what I did. I'm looking to get a MacBook Pro, but if the classics are gone by the time I'm ready to purchase I'm not 100% sure what I'll do.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR

    Use iTunes Match and/or think deeply about why you'd need to carry around so much music.
  7. macrumors 68040

    Jul 2, 2012
    Just put what you actually use on it.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    No problems here. Over the first month of use I had about 60 GB free, now about 1.5 months later I have 61 GB free space so I somehow gained space lol. I have about a 13 GB music collection and it probably won't get any bigger than 20 GB over the next few years because I delete stuff I don't like anymore. I also do not store photos or movies in bulk on my SSD, I'll keep a few files lying around here and there and then delete them when I don't need them anymore.

    I don't have an external drive either, just a 4 GB flash drive for the occasional transfer (although I need to get a new one this one is super slow).
  9. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013
    It's not having to carry around the music that bothers me. I have an iPhone for that. My question is how effective would iTunes work if all of its music on an external HD? As far as syncing with said iPhone or handling new music.

    Maybe I'm used to iTunes on Windows and there's a difference when using iTunes on Mac....?


    That's a huge help! Thanks. I don't have nearly as much music as you do. And that's my main concern. Thanks!
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2007
    i use one of these.
    you can store a few things on their like virtual machines, photos, music or what ever you want to put on their.

    basically it allows you to use your memory card slot as expandable storage.
    The nice thing is that it sits flush with the case of the mba/p so you can leave it in their and not ever have to worry about it.

    Their is also a cheaper option on ebay aswell which does the exact same job
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2013

    O.M.G.! That is absolutely PERFECTION. Apparently the nifty minidrive hasn't started production as of yet, but the minidrives on Amazon have great reviews. I think I've found my answer, which means I just may get the Air this weekend. Thank you thank you thank you thank you :D:D:D:D
  12. macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2012
    Winnipeg,Canada/New Delhi India
    Weirdly I have 96gb free :D,I deleted the sleep image,garageband and iMovie and used monolingual (freed up around 10 GB). Deleted iPhoto for Aperture, and keep my Mac free of any useless files.

    I have around 6GB of music, 7GB of photos and around 4GB of apps. All my movies and other not frequently used stuff goes on an external 3.0 hard drive.
  13. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012

    That's a major limitation.

    U maybe able to use an external drive but then u can't sync while on the road until u take the external w you.
  14. macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2012
    I store everything on my 3 TB external. Regardless, having only 128 GB is a pain in the butt. 256 GB at least would be somewhat tolerable.

    If you're gonna be on the road a lot, get a WD Passport or something similar. Can bring 1-2 TB wherever you go, powered by USB.
  15. macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2012
    I have 24GB for Win 7 via Parallels, 30GB Free and the rest ~67GB is OSX and apps.
  16. macrumors 68040

    Jul 18, 2011
    I use the 64gb air and still have about 25gb spare. Mostly documents, no music and stuff.
  17. macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    64gb usb3 memory sticks are pretty cheap now and good for putting videos and stuff on. This is what I use with my 64gb MBA

    If your at home most of the time I guess a nice NAS drive would be the best option. Or some kind of cloud service.
  18. macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2010
    You can get 32Gb micro USB's for about $19 or less and just put your music on there. If you have seriously more, then you'll have to consider your connectivity and using Match.

    Me? With my 128 Gb MBA, I do both, or, could do all three. I have my iTunes on a NAS (3Tb) drive, and have iTunes. To me, it's silly to think of your MBA as the music storage spot on trips. That's what my Nano, or even iPad is capable of doing and a better job at that. I can take a Nano into a store and "borrow" a charge (in a pinch) easier than my MBA.

    I use the 32Gb to create bootable USBs to play around with other OSs. I've got a fully bootable Ubuntu, and tonight I'm going to try again with BootCamp to create a bootable Win7. I suspect a dodgy ISO was my problem last time.

    I have about 60Gb free with tons of pics on it. I did move home movies off, as I don't really watch them on the road. I'll put movies I want to watch in a specific folder (exempted from Time Machine backups), which get deleted when I return.

    These are just some ideas.... I thought I'd be hurting but things are ok with 128 Gb.

    On a side note, depending on your geeks skils with connectivity availability, most NAS drives lately will also work with DyDNS so you could in effect have your own 'cloud' (misusing the term). Meaning, you can hit a drive at home via an internet connection to your own domain name. I'd be careful with this scenario as I'd assume anything I hang out there will be hacked (don't save your 1040 tax form onto it), and check what your ISP allows for remote connections to your home network.
  19. macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2010
    I was just going to ask the same question, mine is forever filling up, today it said I couldn't back up my iphone as there wasn't enough space. I have been looking at this Seagate STAM3000200 3TB, but it has terrible reviews. It says it automatically backs up your computer so would be great for the mb air. I would like to be able to save my music and photos directly from the iphone to something, bypassing the mb air altogether. The nifty minidrive looks good but no memory card slot on my macbook air.
  20. macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR

    iTunes Match.

    Cheaper than a hard drive.
  21. barkmonster, Mar 12, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013

    macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    My system with a lot of third party applications and sound libraries only comes in at around 30Gb excluding my itunes library.

    Simply put your library on separate drive and plug it in when you need to use the files.

    The support files for iTunes are here:-

    YOUR USERNAME/music/iTunes/

    Move the contents of the music folder inside the iTunes folder at that location to your external drive and then change the preferences in iTunes so it points to your external drive.

    The itunes library (iTunes Library.xml, iTunes Music Library.xml etc.... not the actual audio, apps etc...) and artwork files remain on your internal drive with all the media on the external one. I have all my iTunes files in a folder called Media on my main drive to make backing up easier but the same technique would work no matter where you move your library to, I chose the name "Media" for convenience because I also moved the iPhoto library there too.

    This may seem unnessasary with my setup but I'm planning ahead. I have a bootable clone of my OS on a small external USB drive and once I get a larger internal drive (Probably a 256Gb SSD or 750Gb Scorpio Black with a partition for multi-track audio), I'm cloning the system onto my SSD to boot from that instead, the media folder onto the new internal drive and then using my current internal drive as a bootable backup.
  22. macrumors regular

    Nov 27, 2010
    Are time capsules worth the money as compared to the cheaper external drives?
  23. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    I've had my 128GB MBA for just under 2 years now and it has only just got to the point where I need to do something about disk space.

    All my iTunes library is on there, as are a fair amount of photos, Office for Mac and a few other programs.

    I have a ReadyNAS Duo for backup and for the larger photo library; the backup to the NAS is through Time Machine.

    I am now looking at options for long term fils management. At the moment the mid level Mac Mini is looking favourite for my full iTunes library and as a desktop.
  24. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I used to have a 320GB MacBook Pro, then when my iTunes library outgrew it, I changed to a 500GB and then 1TB internal drive. Once I outgrew that, which was the largest drive that would fit, I bought a Mac mini and currently have 2 3TB USB drives attached, containing my iTunes library and backup. After I'd set that up, I was finally free to switch to the Air which I'd wanted to do ever since I first saw the 11".

    I have about 30GB of my 128GB free, and that's with a 20GB Bootcamp partition. If I'm going away I plan ahead and copy some movies across using a 32GB USB stick. Sometimes I just leave them on the stick, they play fine.

    I keep my work documents on an 8GB USB stick, mostly because the USB ports are still unlocked on my work laptop, but all the cloud services are blocked (except SharePoint, which I can't access from my Mac), and there is a 7MB email limit. It's a bit slow to open documents with USB 2, but not much slower than my work laptop's 5400 rpm hard drive.
  25. macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2012
    El Salvador
    Buy an external hard drive and make all programs folders to be in it.

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