Storage Strategy for new Apple TV 3

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by stoster38, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    North Hollywood
    #1
    Hi Everyone,

    I just bought an Apple TV 3 about a week and half ago. I've started adding movies to my iTunes library after ripping them from my Blu Ray discs using Make MKV & Handbrake.

    Right now I'm letting the internal drive store the ripped movies but moving the MKV files to an external 1.5 TB drive that I used to use for my Time Machine backups. Unfortunately the drive is almost half full and I I know that I'll be adding way more movies in the future.

    Here is what I'm thinking of doing. Right now I have a 3TB drive that I recently bought for Time Machine backups and have a 4TB drive on order. I want to use the 4TB to host my iTunes library, use the 3TB to back up the MKV & MV4 files and go back to the 1.5 TB drive for my Time Machine backup.

    I'm thinking the 1.5 TB should last a while once my iTunes library is moved to the external drives. Music, movies, and other media take up about 400 GB on my drive and that will just grow over time if I leave it the way it is now.

    I'm also thinking of getting Crash Plan for offsite backup of my computer and external drives. What do you all think? I appreciate your suggestions/opinions !!! :)
     
  2. mic j, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #2
    I do something similar: iTunes (and music) on the MBP internal HDD, 300GB HDD for TM, 1TB HDD for mp4's and 2TB HDD for mkv's (all externals are usb connected to the AEBS through a hub) Works great.

    My only questions would be: 1) why you would want to put your iTunes library on an external. If you are using wifi, you may experience a slight decrease in responsiveness when using it. I did. 2) Do you really need 1.5TB for TM? Rarely do you need to go back very far in TM to restore anything, but if you don't have anything smaller, why not I guess. 3) I backup my music files but back up of movie files is probably overkill. Any losses of key movies(movies you tend to watch over and over) can be re-ripped and the less important movies, well...will you really miss them? And on-line storage of that much data will be very slow to upload and, if needed, download. Some cloud storage even limits the size of files that can be downloaded when restoring. So make sure you understand the process before putting a lot of effort into it.

    Edit FYI: I was looking at Crash Plan site and noticed that the Crash Plan+ with web storage has a 256MB file size limit when restoring.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #3
    It sounds like you have the right idea.

    For what it's worth, here's my solution to the problem:
    My internal 256GB SSD drive has basically no media files on it. It get's backed up to a dedicated backup drive. I have separate partitions on that drive for Time Machine (500GB) and a nightly clone I create with SuperDuper (256GB). Time Machine gives me access to old versions of files. The bootable clone gives me immediate recovery from drive failures.

    My iTunes Media folder and other media files are stored on a 2TB drive and I maintain a duplicate media drive using ChronoSync. One of these 2TB drives is a little USB-powered WD MyPassport portable drive. It's very easy to bring this with me when I travel.

    I have yet another 3TB drive where I'm stashing the really huge mkv files from my Blu-ray rips. I'm not bothering to backup those files. I do all my ripping and transcoding on a PC, rather than my rMBP, and I just leave the drive with the BluRay MKVs attached to the PC. I can stream them from there with a WDTV box.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    North Hollywood
    #4
    The reason I'm looking to put my iTunes library on a external drive is really for space consideration. With the media that I have now, including about 40 blu ray movies I ripped, the folder is almost 400GB large. My internal drive is only 1 TB and I have a lot more movies to rip.

    There's no way my internal drive is going to hold all of that so I want to use the 4TB drive to store the library. Plus I want to future proof myself because I know I'll be adding more movies than the ones I have now.I understand there may be some impact when streaming so I'll test it out. If there is I may just connect via Ethernet to minimize the impact.

    I see your point about not backing up the MV4 files as I can just run the MKV files through handbrake again so I don't think I'll back those up after all. As for CrashPlan yes I understand it would be a very long upload if I decide to go with that. The 250MB limit is if you use the browser option but if you restore via the desktop option then the only limit is your download speed and/or data caps.

    I'm still not sure about Crash Plan. If I do get it I may decide just to back up my non iTunes files. Still debating whether or not to sign up.

    I appreciate your feedback!!!



    ----------

    Thanks for the feedback!!!

    I did want to ask you if you just use the WDTV box or if you also use an Apple TV to stream your media? Have you seen any major impact streaming from your external drive over WiFi? I'm assuming you're streaming over WiFi. Or are you using a cable connection like Ethernet?

    My Apple TV isn't too far from the cable modem router so I can get a 25ft Ethernet cable and attach it that way. I appreciate your thoughts on this!!


     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #5
    My point is, your "library" and media are separate items. Your library is the iTunes database. You can keep that on your internal drive and all of your media (music and videos) on external drives. They do not have to be together. I found that having my "library" on an external drive using wifi cause some intolerable lags when using iTunes. Keeping the "library" on the internal and the media on the external eliminated (or at least 99%) eliminated that lag. But try it out and if you don't have that lag, that is great. If you do, you can always move the library back to your internal and keep the media externally.
     
  6. KevinC867, Feb 17, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #6
    I have quite a collection of media streaming boxes: ATV1, ATV2, Roku (several), WDTV Live (1st version). Believe it or not, they all get used. :)

    For the most part, they all have wired connections, as does my PC with the Blu-ray rips and my Mac. Only the Roku in my bedroom uses WiFi. However, with a good WiFi network, you *should* be able to stream just about any media. Raw Blu-ray at c. 30 mbps could be the exception to that.

    To be clear, my drives are directly attached to my computers, not to my Airport Extreme Base Station. I tried doing it that way for a bit. While it is fast enough for most streaming media, the AEBS is extremely slow compared to a direct connection via USB 3.0. It's also very slow compared to true Network Attached Storage devices (e.g. Synology boxes). I just found the file transfers to take far too long when the media drive was attached to my AEBS.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #7
    True, though I imagine the OP was thinking of everything in his iTunes Media Folder as his "iTunes library", rather than the database files.

    The most straightforward way to get that stuff on an external drive is to go to iTunes/Preferences/Advanced and point to the new (empty) iTunes Media Folder on the external drive. Also select "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library". Then go to iTunes/File/Library/Organize-Library and select "Consolidate files". This will cause iTunes to copy all the media files to the external drive and to update the library database files. Those library files themselves will remain in their original location in your Music/iTunes folder.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #8
    But if you "copy to iTunes Media folder", you duplicate your files and duplicate your storage size...don't you? I don't do the duplicate to the media folder, just let iTunes keep it organized.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #9
    Yes. I was just describing a way for the OP to move his content from it's current location on the internal drive to the new external drive. After iTunes copies it over and updates it's library files, you can delete the iTunes Media folder on the internal drive. Doing it this way preserves all the information in the library, including ratings, play counts, etc.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #10
    Got it!:)
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    North Hollywood
    #11
    Thanks for explaining it KevinC867!!! I guess I was using the wrong terminology. It's the media files that I want to export and keep on the external and use that to let iTunes stream the files through my Apple TV.

    Still new to the Apple TV world but loving it so far. Hopefully I'll get my new HDD this week and I can follow your instructions. Thanks to all for their input!!!!!

     

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