Airport Time Capsule: What can('t) it do?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rhyzome, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. rhyzome macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    I've been considering getting an Airport Time Capsule, but can't for the life of me figure out if it can be used as a wirelessly accessible external hard drive in addition to being an automatic time machine backup drive.

    Could I smoothly, say, move 1/2 of my itunes library to the time capsule and access the songs through iTunes?

    Sorry if this is obvious, but it seems that there are conflicting answers to the question of external drive functionality even on Apple's discussion boards...

    User stories/experience appreciated.

  2. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I don't own a time capsule so I'll avoid that front but, as far as I'm aware, there is no way to access half an iTunes library from one location and the other half from a different one. You have to specify with iTunes where your files are held and where it's library can be found.
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Not sure why you would want to move just half of your library. You could create a partition for your iTunes Library and use the rest for Time Machine back ups. However thats not really a good idea, since if the drive failed you would lose both copies of your library. Better use it for just Time machine (thats what I do) and then put library on internal or other external drive.
  4. samh macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2009
    That's not entirely true… For example, my iTunes library is on my main hard drive. But before I add a movie I rip from handbrake, I turn off the option to copy added media to the iTunes folders. Everything that comes out of handbrake goes on my external drive. When I add it to iTunes, it stays there--iTunes knows where to look for it.

    So there may be ways to accomplish that part -- I don't know if symlinking might also provide some options.

    The answer to the question is that the Time Capsule I used to have some time ago would allow part of its internal disk to be a shared drive on the network.
  5. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Alright then, you learn something new every day. I didn't know about that setting in iTunes. Definitely convenient for bringing in large files like movies.
  6. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    On my Time Capsule I put a powered USB2 4 port hub and run several drives from it. If you want to use a drive connected to the Time Capsules as a iTunes media folder you should learn more about true 5 GHz. You will not get true 5 GHz speed until you use the upper channels that the Time Capsule can use. This way you are using the true 5 GHz speeds. This way you could stream video without stuttering of the video.

    Now that connected external should be formatted for Mac. Then follow the steps on the blog post How to move an iTunes Library to an external drive.
  7. rhyzome thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    Thanks everyone. I decided to try it and it works great as a storage device for my music and for the general backup. I'm keeping the music backed up on another external hard drive manually. I found that the device actually can stream music to my airport express (connected by ethernet) and its speakers via airplay very fluently; there is perhaps less lag/skipping than there use to be when I did airplay directly from my mac to the airport express. In addition, if anyone cares to know, I could access my itunes library from outside the LAN at local cafes without any skipping during playback (though there were very brief delays before starting each song). I was worried that keeping my library on the TC would make me feel like I didn't have a library, but that is clearly not the case!

    As my next thread will indicate, I haven't quite figured out how to do everything with this device and am not totally sure if what I'm trying to do is even possible.

  8. silop, Jan 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014

    silop macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2012

    I was looking for the exact setup as yours, I'm lucky I've found one!
    TC + airport express

    According to some forums storing iTunes library in TC would result in a slow connection. Do you have such issues when connecting and listening to music stored in TC with or without airplay? My main concern is; if there is a slow connection streaming music via airplay will be painful!!

    And one more question: have you ever tried to listen to music from a Hdd attached to TC via USB .

    I'd appreciate any information you'd give me.
  9. silop macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2012

    Finally I bought Airprot TC, and works flawless with Airport Express
  10. Delawarekathy macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2016
    Wilmington, DE
    When is Apple going to release a 7th generation Time Capsule?
    I'd like to order this product, but not a model that will soon be out of date.
  11. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    There's nothing to update. No newer WiFi standard is on the horizon in Macs from what I can tell. So go ahead and get one if you need it.

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10 August 20, 2013