iTunes and Hard Drive: Or How Much Is Too Little?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by prisoner6, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2011
    Here is my questions and situation.

    Moving from an older Windows laptop to a MacBook Air.

    The only thing I really keep locally on the Hard Drive is my iTunes library.
    So I considered just moving it to an External Drive and plugging in when I need it.

    However, I also use iTunes in the Cloud.

    So, lets say I am out and about, and want to download one of the songs or Movies I have, but don't have my External Drive. What happens? Does it download a second copy locally? Wouldn't it be looking for my Est Drive as the location of the library anyway? Where would it download to? WHat happens when I plug the External back in?

    I'm just trying to manage a library bigger than the HD on the Air. Unfortunately it would be my primary and only computer.
  2. macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    This is all in theory but I think should work.

    You would want to have two iTunes libraries. One for when you have your external plugged in, and another library when you do not.

    If you're on the road without your external you can still open iTunes (hold option and choose which library you want) and then connect to iTunes Match (the cloud) and listen to your music. This would download/save whatever you listen to/watch on your MBA but won't use up your entire hard drive.

    Back at home, just open iTunes and select your home library and you'll have your basic local library available (from external drive).
  3. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2011
    Great suggestions.

    Or am I crazy to go through all of this? My iTunes mostly exists to feed the iPhone/iPad anyway. If I make a backup of my library, could I mostly trust iTunes in the Cloud?

    I don't need a lot of actual computing power so don't want to pay for more than I need.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    I just keep mine on my SSD. It's always there and only occupies around 80 GB of space.
  6. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If all you do is surf the web, check emails and play iTunes content, an iPhone/iPad can do all of that, syncing and backing up to the cloud. If you don't need a computer for anything else, the MBA may not be the best choice.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I also keep my full 36GB iTunes library on my MBA. I have a 256GB MBA, and still have about 100GB free space. I don't keep my full photo library on the MBA, perhaps another 40 or 50GB, and I literally have two milk crates full of external drives with Final Cut Pro video files. There's also about 30GB of additional old work-related files from a previous job on an external drive.

    If I had a 512GB SSD, I would add more stuff (like video) to my iTunes library and move the still photos to the MBA. It's kind of a nuisance to keep stuff on external drives, but it's workable.

    Buy the biggest SSD you can afford, you will not regret it. :)
  8. macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2009
    i think this is good advice. obviously you want to stick to your budget and the extra $500 for the 520 gig drive prices a LOT of people out but never the less I doubt many people sit down and think "dammit - i have too much disk space"

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