AirPort Time Capsule to store media

qtrim

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
278
30
Can the hard drive in a AirPort Time Capsule only be used for backup, or could I also put my itunes library on there too? Mainly to stream movie collection.
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2011
2,300
3,106
Can the hard drive in a AirPort Time Capsule only be used for backup, or could I also put my itunes library on there too? Mainly to stream movie collection.
I have a fourth-gen (2011) TC and I store most of my movies and music on it. The read/write speeds are a bit if a downer, but the newest gen should be slightly faster.
 

Brian33

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2008
762
43
USA (Virginia)
Can the hard drive in a AirPort Time Capsule only be used for backup, or could I also put my itunes library on there too? Mainly to stream movie collection.
You can put your iTunes library (or any other files) on the TC and still use it for Time Machine backup. The backups won't overwrite any of your files.

One BIG thing to remember, though, is that Time Machine (the backup program) cannot back up any files from the Time Capsule's internal disk, or any USB drives attached to the TC. For example, if your iTunes library needs backing up, you'll have to set up your own backup procedure like keeping it in another place and keeping the copy up to date.

Also, since the ".sparsebundle" file containing the TM backups will continue to grow, it will eventually fill (nearly?) all of the disk. Then it might be inconvenient to add (large?) files to your iTunes library, as you might have to free up some space first.

Other than those two caveats, you shouldn't have any problem unless the performance (speed) is too slow. I don't know if that's a problem or not.
 

qtrim

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 7, 2011
278
30
I've only been on Macs for about two years now. I've used CCC up till now, never tried Time Machine. But my wifes 2011 Air takes forever to backup using CCC over wifi (N). I was wondering if Time Machine would work better.
 

Brian33

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2008
762
43
USA (Virginia)
I don't know. The time it takes depends upon so many factors. Is CCC backing up every file every time? That would take forever! Assuming CCC is instead doing incremental backups, I would guess its speed would be similar to Time Machine, if they were to back up to the same destination over the same throughput WiFi link.

(You probably know that after the initial backup, TM will back up only files that have changed. I expect there's a way to do that in CCC too.)

What's the destination for your CCC backups? A Mac on the local network, a NAS device? Maybe that's the slow point. If so, a Time Capsule (in conjunction with TM) could be faster. But it all depends...

I'm a very happy user of TC and TM, for five years now. I love this setup. My 2008 iMac and my 2011 MacBook Pro are backed up to the TC (wired and wireless, respectively). I haven't noticed any long wireless backups except when I'm near my "G" access point instead of my usual "N" access point -- then it's noticeably slower, as would be expected.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,542
413
Atlanta
external drives are dirt cheap. Put your libraries on one and make sure that TC includes it in backups.
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2011
2,300
3,106
external drives are dirt cheap. Put your libraries on one and make sure that TC includes it in backups.
Or just put the library on the TC and then periodically back it up to an external drive manually. That way you have access to your library over wifi which is nice.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,329
44
Colorado
I've only been on Macs for about two years now. I've used CCC up till now, never tried Time Machine. But my wifes 2011 Air takes forever to backup using CCC over wifi (N). I was wondering if Time Machine would work better.
I assume you are talking about backing up over wifi to a Time Capsule using CCC? If so, then yes, you should definitely give Time Machine a try. The Time Capsule and Time Machine are a very convenient and well integrated backup solution for OS X. I've used it for years with no issues. The initial backup can be slow, I usually connect via ethernet for the first-time backup, after that incrementals over wireless are usually not even noticeable.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,542
413
Atlanta
Or just put the library on the TC and then periodically back it up to an external drive manually. That way you have access to your library over wifi which is nice.
My libraries are on external LaCie drives and are available via wifi from TC all over our house. No libraries have to reside on TC.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,329
44
Colorado
My libraries are on external LaCie drives and are available via wifi from TC all over our house. No libraries have to reside on TC.
If you want the TC to host the media files, I agree, that an external is the best approach. Let Time Machine use the internal as intended to backup the computers in the house.

If you need to implement a backup solution for the media drive, buy two externals, connect them both to the TC through a USB hub. Then use a third party backup program (that's works with network drives, like Chronosync) running from a Mac to automatically perform weeklys (or whatever) incremental backups from the primary external drive to the backup external drive.