Backing up iTunes residing on a TimeCapsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tootall, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. tootall macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #1
    I have transfered my iPhoto library and all of my iTunes (library and media) on my TimeCapsule. Now that they don't reside on my computer, will they still be backed up by Time Machine.

    In other words, can Time Machine back up data that resides on a TimeCapsule?
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    Nope... you will need to make some other arrangement. Maybe get an external and attach it to your machine then run something like CCC to backup from the TC drive to the external USB drive.
     
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    Keeping your libraries on a Time Capsule is not a particularly good idea. If if you want them on a NAS (which is generally slow)... Time Capsules are especially slow.

    Furthermore... the real problem is backup. Even if you could back them up... you would be backing them up to the same drive that they already reside upon... which would hardly be a real "backup" per se.

    I would find a new place for your media... and leave the TC to do a single job... backup.

    /Jim
     
  4. EwanMcTeagle macrumors 6502

    EwanMcTeagle

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    Lodz, Poland
    #4
    I have to kind of... disagree, at least in some part:)
    Of course backing up on the same drive is pointless, but as for TC being a media storage... I really like it. Been using it for over a year now and it works almost perfectly.
    I backup my music library manually - simply copy albums from my main 15", so that I can use them on my 13" and for my girlfriend to play on her White Macbook. Most of my 13MBP's iTunes library consists of music stored on the TC - since I have 256GB SSD I don't want to clutter it with music (it's about 70GBs right now), so I just keep my favorites on the internal drive and the rest is on the TC in the Data catalogue.
    And it works fine. Of course it stutters sometimes if I can't make up my mind and click the "next song" button 10 times in a period of couple of seconds. But it gets on track quickly. Other than it works seamlessly.
    Nevertheless there's one golden rule to follow - don't push "Play" until the TC is mounted - it can ruin the library: files get lost and you gotta tell iTunes where they are. But that also doesn't happen every time and usually iTunes figures things out after you show it one track.

    So as far as I understand that some may have had bad experiences with storing media on TC and really don't get the almost general bias.
    My TC can't be the only one out there that's working well:)
     
  5. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Location:
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    #5
    Here is what i do.

    I use a DROBO for my itunes lib (music. movies and TV show). I use Time Machine to back up every thing else on my computer to an Ext Drive that stays mounted all the time.

    I have a an Ext Harddrive Dock, and once a month i back up the stuff on the drobo and the time Machine backup.

    I like the dock because it allows me to swap hard drives in and out so i can have one for movies, TV Shows, Music and the TM back up. I use CCC for these backups.
     
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    Thunderbolt external drives for all libraries....iTunes, Lightroom, documents...etc. 3TB TC backs up the rMBP and the external drives.
     
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Looking at the numerous "disclaimers" in your post (highlighted in bold)... one must wonder if your solution really defines a tool to listen to music... or an exercise not for the faint of heart.

    The section highlighted in red reminds me of the advice from the movie Ghostbusters (for those of you old enough to remember the movie)... "do not cross the streams".

    My advice stands... a TC is not a very good NAS. It's performance is lousy, and there are much better NAS solutions available. I think a TC is the very best NAS for backup... because it is the only one supported by Apple... but it is otherwise a pretty poor NAS.

    Even using a great NAS (Synology, Drobo, Qnap, etc) for iTunes is not the best solution for libraries meant to reside on a direct attached storage. Yes people make them work... but it generally is a compromise... and care must be taken. Of course a NAS does allow one to extend their affective storage beyond the box wirelessly... something that is extremely convenient, especially for laptops that otherwise do not have enough internal capacity... but using a NAS comes with its own set of problem.

    /Jim
     
  8. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #8
    I have taken the following approach: my iTunes Library database (iTunes Library.itl) is on local drive and thus backed up by TM. The media files are on RAID-1 NAS and not backed up.
    So far it has been working well for me.
     
  9. EwanMcTeagle macrumors 6502

    EwanMcTeagle

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    Lodz, Poland
    #9
    Well, to each their own:)
    But to address your concerns:
    • Manually coping my library is not a disclaimer:) It's just a description of how I use my music collection. I copy my music library manually, because that's my choice. First of, I don't copy every song and album I own - large portion of my collection comes from CD's, so I don't need a back up of those and then there are those albums that I just don't like that much to care if they get lost in case of a system meltdown - the risk of which is fairly small compared to Windows. Also I like to chose what I want to be backed up, therefore I excluded my music library from Time Machine and take care of it on my own. That way let's me use my music on many computers and I don't waste space by double back up - Time Machine + my manual back up. Plus my girlfriend can use it on her Macbook, she can add something from her own music collection or remove something if she likes to. Thus this way is more flexible than a Time Machine back up, which as a backup can't be played in iTunes, obviously.
    • The "don't push "Play" until the TC is mounted - it can ruin the library: files get lost is more of an iTunes problem - it will be the same whether your using external HDD, USB pen drive etc. If you click play while the drive isn't mounted the iTunes won't be able to find it and famous exclamation marks appear next to the song (and its album) - it's not that real files get lost. They're safe on your TC, it's just iTunes can't locate them, because there was "no drive at path it had remembered. Unfortunately sometimes the exclamation marks appear next to every song that's on the external drive with iTunes prompting you to locate the missing songs. It's a not a Time Capsule fault per se, it's how iTunes operates. The same will happen if you move your song from one internal hard drive to another. No TC fault or malfunction here, but it's a good thing to remember to save yourself the trouble. Mount before play and there's nothing to worry about. But even in worst case scenario: having your iTunes library files backed up may solve the problem - recover them with Time Machine and it usually saves the day without the need for a lot of clicking.
    • stuttering - of course that's a con, but it's really not severe - 2-3 seconds at most and it's so rare that it's hardly a real nuisance. And it doesn't happen during a "regular" playback, but on "shuffle" when I quickly switch songs when playing a 300+ songs playlist. But if you play an album or a playlist front to back there's no problem.

    So, like I said. TC is almost perfect, but then again probably nothing except an internal HDD is. If you remember to mount before play then there's nothing to worry about.
    I understand you don't like, but I do and I use it daily and I can really recommend it. It's really hassle free if you stick to rule #1 - mount before play:)
     
  10. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Around
    #10
    Seem like a lot of work. My issue with the backs up like that you're telling us about, you really don't have a back up. If all your music is on the Time Capsule and not on your computer, where is the back up then?

    Music, movies, and pictures are the main reason why I use an off site back up now. Music and movies can be replaced, but it will take a lot of time to redo everything, and pictures can't be replaced. If my house gets robbed, burned, or something my hard copies of music and movies would be gone along with the computers most likely.
     
  11. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    #11
    Yep. I don't have a TC, but I do keep Time Machine and iTunes libraries on a separate hard drive. These hard drives then get backed up to the cloud via CrashPlan.
     
  12. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    You do not back up your TM drive to Crashplan do you? It is not a very good idea to back up a backup drive.

    /Jim
     
  13. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    #13
    No, I don't. Just my media. But out of curiosity, why is that bad?
     
  14. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    It is never a good idea to "backup a backup"... because any errors that occur in the original backup just propagate over to the new media. So from that standpoint, it does not offer any significant new protection.

    From a practical standpoint... small changes to backup data can cause larger changes in the backup set. Hence... if you are backing up that "backup"... then you can often end up with a multiplying affect of how much data is being backed up... especially to the secondary backup. In a case like backing up to Crashplan+... that is valuable network bandwidth that you are consuming.

    Finally (and you are doing this correctly)... you are MUCH better off using a totally separate and independent backup to the second destination... ideally, using a different backup program. All backup programs have their pros & cons. All of them can suffer from programatic or human error. By having a set of different and independent backups... to different destinations... is the ideal situation.

    I believe that you are using Time Machine & Crashplan+. This is perfect. You have two different backup programs, backing up to two different destinations, one of which is offsite, and both of them are "hands off" meaning that if (or better said when) you get lazy and forget to do something... your data is being backed up.. A great solution.

    The only thing I do extra is make a clone copy of my primary media. I use CCC for that. I generally do not like clones (because they do not provide effective versioning)... but since TM & CP+ does versioning for me... I am covered. I back up my media (Aperture Libraries, FCPX projects, Personal video media, etc) because that it irreplaceable data, and in the event that I have a major computer failure, I can simply move this media to a different computer in my house and keep working.

    /Jim
     
  15. Amplelink macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    #15
    Excellent response, thanks. I'll have to look into adding CCC into the mix. At the moment, I actually have TM/CP as well as Dropbox. I don't really view Dropbox as a backup solution, but it's a third place for certain files to reside (like, say, photos). Do you have any reservations against using Dropbox as a backup solution (so long as it's not the only backup)? Security perhaps?
     
  16. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #16
    I do use dropbox, and it does some versioning at the file level. I do not think (or better stated... I have never checked) that dropbox can be used to "turn back the clock" in a general sense like TM can. However, I have tested restoring an older version of a particular file. It seemed to work fine.

    I am a bit careful with dropbox. Unlike a real cloud backup solution (like Crashplan+) that only ever gets strongly encrypted data... dropbox does have access to your data. In other words, dropbox has your raw data, and then encrypts and stores it on your behalf. This is similar to any other cloud service that needs to have access to your data... like your electronic banking, or merchants that have your credit card, etc. By very strong contrast, Crashplan ONLY ever sees data that is encrypted by a key that only you have access to (as long as you use level 2 or 3 security) with your Crashplan account. Hence... the folks at Crashplan have no access to your data ever... unless you let them control your key (which I do not).

    I tend to think of Dropbox as a "syncing" service rather than a "backup" service. Any bit of versioning that dropbox can do is an "extra" in my mind... rather than even thinking of it as "backup".

    I am pretty careful about which data I choose to store in dropbox. I do keep my 1Password keychain there... but that is strongly encrypted so even if dropbox was to have a security breach, it would be of limited to no concern. Other than that, I only keep fairly innocuous data that could not be used for identity theft. Note that dropbox did have a security breach a couple of years ago, where all (or most) of the accounts were completely open to the public for about 4 hours (if I remember right). This is pretty serious, which is why I choose to be careful about what I keep there. It is generally not an issue with data that is otherwise encrypted.

    It is good that you are thinking about security and backup. Digital data is very valuable, and too many people (even really smart technology experts that I work with every day)... tend to ignore it until too late.

    /Jim
     

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