Is this possible: Portable Hard drive, 2 Macs (tunes and pix)?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Miles Davis, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Miles Davis macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2004
    Hey all,

    I have an iBook and iMac (flat panel, but unfortunately w/USB 1.0) and both have 40G hard drives. I am running out of disk space and my iBook, which is my main machine, is getting slow (it has all my music and pix on it).

    I would like to get a portable firewire harddrive and place all my music on it, and then make it accessible from both computers. I would also like to do this with iPhoto as well if possible. That way, all this data will reside only on the hard drive which could be moved from computer to compter easily.

    Is this even possible? If so, how do I do it. If not, what are my other options? I thought about upgrading my iBook drive, but for the extra $300, I could just sell my iBook and get a new one!

  2. mklos macrumors 68000


    Dec 4, 2002
    My house!
    You can do what you want to do with iTunes fairly easy as you can change where you want iTunes to look for the music in the iTunes Preferences. iPhoto you can do, but its a little tricky if you're not familiar with Macs.

    Drag the iPhoto Library out of your Pictures folder to where you want it. Then launch iPhoto, iPhoto should come up and say there's no iPhoto Library folder and there should be a button that says something like Browse to Library. Click that and then point it to where ever you put the iPhoto Library.

    On the other Mac, if you've already launched iPhoto and you have no photos that you want, move the iPhoto Library out of the Pictures folder and it will give you the same error and prompts as above.

    Let me know if you need a better explanation of this...and I'll be more in-depth with the instructions....
  3. Miles Davis thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2004
    Would there be a way to still import cds and buy music on iTunes with out the Ext HD and then just move the info there afterwards?

    Is this all plausible or would it make both systems slow? What should I look for when buying an HD? I had thought about the Lacie Porche or Macmini ones or possibly a Firelite.
  4. baummer macrumors 6502a

    Jan 18, 2005
    Southern California
    Well, I have the same issue. I have two external USB drives connected to my Mac mini. I can access them as network shares from my iBook. I have my music on one drive, and design files and pics on the other drive. Using AFP, I am able to connect to them remotely when I am not at home using my LAN. Which means I can play my music from anywhere, and still have space on my iBook.

    In your case, hook up the drive to your iMac. Leave it there. Then, make sure you have file sharing enabled, connect to your iMac from your iBook. Copy all of your music files from your local iBook HD to the external drive. This might take awhile depending on how many files it is. Then, wipe your iTunes library on both systems. Make sure you have it set not to copy files to your local HD within iTunes from the prefs menu. Then, File > Add file or folder, navigate to your external HD, select all the music files you want, and click OK. This will take awhile. Do this on both machines.

    Note that if you want to listen to the music files on your iBook, you will have to connect to your external via your iMac, and as long as file sharing is enabled on your iMac, you should have no problem seeing it from your Networks tab in Finder.

    As for external hard drives, general suggestions:

    1. Make sure it is compatible. Most are, and you can always format it to be Mac, even if it says its for Windows only. I have one hd that is formatted to FAT32, since I use it on both a PC and a Mac, works flawlessly.

    2. USB or Firewire. In this case, you'll want Firewire for speed purposes.

    3. Price; don't spend more than you have to, you can get a decent 100-120GB one for around $99-130 or so.

    Hope this helps.

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