Best external HD for hosting iTunes

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Yendog, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Yendog macrumors regular

    Yendog

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Sonoma, CA
    #1
    So i think i'm going to bite the bullet and buy a new hard drive.

    I am a musician by trade and use my iTunes hundreds of times a day often. So I need a drive that wakes fast, is pretty quiet and extremely responsive

    I originally purchases, and am now using a Lacie Thunderbolt drive.

    http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Thunder..._UL160_SR160,160_&refRID=1QXY0B9XRPWN6RDKMM11

    I bought this cause I wanted no lag with my library as I constantly use it and I have a massive library.... 1.5 tb of just music. 135k+ tunes.

    For years I struggled to keep my iTunes library on the internal HD of the computer but since my library is getting so large that has obviously become impossible since apple hasn't up their internal storage capacities for years.

    This drive has been nothing but trouble since the day i bought it. Wont mount, unmounts randomly, won't mount and then when i unplug it I get an unmount error etc... all of these was annoying and the worst drive ever but now i've been getting hiccups in the playback of the drive... iTunes will just pause for a second or two at a time... completely unacceptable.. i've done disk repair etc... nothing.. recently i scanned it with a program and got an end-to-end error and a temperature error... this was the final straw i think and just going to accept that i just received a bum device.

    ANYWAYS... sorry for that ramble...

    I need a 2.5-3TB drive and I need it to be extremely responsive (as responsive as anything can be with iTunes being so laggy) so looking for advice on the best drive to get right now... I have a brand new iMac... 2 months old. All i'm keeping on this drive will be iTunes. Space is not a problem and the drive does not need to be portable.

    Any advice would be helpful from you fine experts out there!

    Thanks.
    Josh
     
  2. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    #2
    I am sympathetic to your problem, I have about a 3TB library, though I am not constantly accessing it, but I have a 3,1 Mac Pro, so I have sufficient internal capacity with spin drives. I also have a variety of external drives, and the most reliable ones that I have had in the spin variety have been Samsungs, but they are USB3 and I don't know if your iMac has that port. I am pretty sure that the prices on 5TB drives is pretty low now ($130 or so at NewEgg) and future proof your collection.

    As it happens, I have a graveyard of LaCie cases in my house because the bridge card in them all failed, while the drives themselves continued to be functional. I won't buy LaCie for that reason.
     
  3. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Go with a NAS solution, its always on, you simply copy over the files, add the drive/folder to the library and you are done.
    You will also have resilience then from drive failure and decent performance. Most come with a build in iTunes server so you can stream music without having the Mac on at all.
     
  4. Yendog thread starter macrumors regular

    Yendog

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Sonoma, CA
    #4

    hmmm.. thanks for that... i'm not familiar but I will do some research!
     
  5. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #5
    I think a NAS solution will be slower than the thunderbolt drive. Presumably you have a 1 GBit/s LAN, Thunderbolt is 10 (or 20 for the newer versions). Even USB 3.0 is faster than the ethernet connection. A NAS would be great for backing up your iMac and the iTunes drive. I have iTunes on one drive and then I use another for backups of both. Carbon Copy Cloner will let you selectively backup attached storage, and then Time Machine handles the rest.

    I purchased a ioSafe 214 for work and it has been great with two WD Red 3 TB drives.
     
  6. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #6
    1Gbe ethernet is 130MB/s - unless something has drastically changed that will get you 21 simultaneous 4k movies streams if iTunes could support that. You will have no issues with throughput to a NAS device. backing up the NAS device i would go with rsync or USB3 connection to the rear of the NAS device.
     
  7. 8281 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #7

    It may be adequate, but OP said they wanted something fast since they would accessing files a lot. Thunderbolt is, at least in theory, 10-20 times faster than ethernet. That's over 1,000 MB/s.
     
  8. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #8
    I am guessing a bit here, but I suspect that the LaCie solution wasn't designed well. TB is a very powerful/complex interface. Consider a USB3 interface (assuming your system supports that) drive. They are pretty responsive and fast, even the less expensive ones. Get one with UASP. Also, don't confuse access times (the result of app and filesystem latency) with throughput performance (how fast bits go by for a specific type of file). TB drives should be fast enough and responsive enough for even the most demanding application. The fact the it wasn't for yours doesn't mean you need something faster, it means you need something that actually works. A USB3 (UASP) enclosure should work, but check tomshardware for a rating. Buy it from a quality retailer that will allow an exchange if it doesn't work. USB3 is way less expensive than TB.
     
  9. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #9
  10. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #10
    Thunderbolt might be faster if you are trying to outrun a train, but all depends what you have on the other end, the limiting factor will always be the media. So for day to day use, you wouldn't notice a real difference unless you are moving 5GB files around every 10mins. The OP actually said iTunes - which doesnt push any volume of data... but needs capacity. (hence the ref to 20 4k movies at once!)..
     
  11. Yendog thread starter macrumors regular

    Yendog

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Sonoma, CA
    #11

    Yea I've been thinking a lot of the same here... I think I may just have a bum drive as it has given me issues from the get go... my computer has USB 3 so i think i might go that route just for cost purposes. A 3tb usb3 drive is very cheap these days...
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2016 ---
    yea i'm not moving any real large files with this HD I'm looking for.. just music... I just need the damn thing to actually work and not hiccup/take forever waking. In looking up "END to END" error it seems like it might just be a bum drive...
    --- Post Merged, Mar 7, 2016 ---
    and now i'm trying to figure out how to get around not having enough USB inputs... yes I have a hub but I have a direct audio interface, my superdrive, and my speakers plugged direct in... all those want (or need) to go directly into the computer... i could leave the super drive unplugged as I obviously very rarely use it but thats a bit of an annoying work around.... seems dumb to have to spend the money on a TB drive again (and i've had nothing but problems with TB in this drive and transference between computers directly that I really have a bad connotation with the tech) crap... decisions
     
  12. entropyfl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    #12

    Really pleased I've seen this post. I also have a Lacie drive and have similar issues. Basically evertytime the iMac goes to sleep the drive disconnects! really frustrating. I've even had a replacement drive and its doing it still. Based on your post I'm beginning to think that Lacie thunderbolts don't work that well with Macs.

    If I connect via USB 3 it works fine.

    I have a G tech drive which I find works very well. This is a FW drive which I connect via thunderbolt adapter and that doesn't disconnect so again that makes me think its Lacie drive issue.

    To be fair to Lacie they have very good customer service so maybe try getting return or refund.

    worse case give G tech drives a try that will be my preference going forward. whatever you do don't get a drobo
     
  13. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Location:
    Montana
    #13
    If you buy a powered USB 3.0 hub, you shouldn't have a problem. I agree, Thunderbolt is insanely fast, but that doesn't mean that it's super-responsive. It's meant to be a workhorse for heavy data transfers, so they don't take forever and a day to complete. I would also suggest getting a USB 3.0 drive as I've been using one for my media storage needs and it's quite an improvement over the several 2.0 ones I have. I've had really good luck with WD's MyBook line, especially because they have a tool where you can set the sleep settings now. Seagate and the others may as well, but I haven't really looked into them.
     
  14. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #14
    Go NAS for sure then.
    As previously, most NAS devices like synology have an iTunes server built in for music so you don't even need the MAC on..
     

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