Bought a MBA 13' any solutions to the low storage?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Nikomanz, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Nikomanz macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    Hey guys!

    Just bought a macbook air 13 inch today! I am extremely satisfied with my first apple laptop purchase. I just love how the air is so lightweight, and so powerful!

    However, a problem does concern me. Even with 256gb of storage, i still feel like i am falling short (my whole music collection is 67 gb alone, and my movie collection is near the 200gbs) So are there any ways to increment storage without sacrificing portability?

    Are there any programs, or online services in which i can store files on the cloud, but NOT on my MBA, and I just access them need base, when i am in wi fi range?

    Can I buy a Time capsule and use that as a HDD when i am connected to my wi fi network?

    Any tips on how to deal with the low storage?

    Thanks guys!
  2. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    I put all my movies on an external hard disk. Only need to have the disk plugged in if I want to watch a movie. That's good enough for me.
  3. charliex5 macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Whoa, I got all excited because the title says "Bought a MBA 13' any solutions to the low storage?" :D

    How ridiculous would that be?!
  4. jahala macrumors regular


    Feb 7, 2008
    I have an 11" Macbook Air (mba) with 128GB of storage. I'll tell you how I deal with it after I mention that you can upgrade your storage in the Air. It is pretty pricey right now, but possible. OWC has some that are reported to work well.

    Now, I have about 22 GB of music in my library, all apple lossless. I decided not to store any of it on my mba. At home, I have an Airport Extreme router that I plugged a 3TB hard drive into. A time capsule gives you the same functionality, but I wanted easy physical access to the disk. The router shares the disk over the network so I told iTunes not to copy files into my library and added it all to iTunes. Now, at home, I can listen to the lossless music while connected to wi-fi. Movies are also added to the library similarly.

    To listen to my music on the go, I added it all to my 32GB iPhone at 128 Kbps AAC. iTunes lets you do that now automatically. I also have Back To My Mac enabled, so I can remotely access my less-used files if necessary.

    That is my solution. I hope it was helpful for you.
  5. Nikomanz thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 9, 2012
    Washington, D.C.
    So you're saying i should buy an airport extreme and attach a 3tb or 2tb external hd and deposit my files there?
  6. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I use a similar system. By keeping only current work on my MBA and everything else either on my NAS or my MBP and iMac...I keep space requirements to a minimum.
  7. dougutphy macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I have a 128 GB 11'' and I find external storage to be extremely useful for my MBA, (I have a library of physics textbooks, a number of movies, and a handful of music on a 2 TB external).

    Also just as a side note, I do keep quite a bit of heavy storage programs on it because I like to have some stuff with me at all times (Mathematica, Matlab, and some other academic things just because I'm a college student), but I am very aware of the files I have on it at specific times that I know are temporary, and I am quick to get rid of things I know I don't need anymore. I think just knowing what's on there at all the time (so to know what I can get rid of to free up some space) helps me stay sain when it comes to worrying about memory :D

    edit: I usually have about 60-70 GB of free space at any given time, up to 75 after a fresh round of cleaning up.
  8. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Most routers for the past few years allow external HDDs to be attached to them via USB.

    Have you looked into iTunes match? It's a subscription service that matches any music in your library with a high quality version that exists in Apple's iTunes database already. I think the limit is 25,000 songs. I believe this means that once the service has scanned and matched your music files, you no longer need the local storage because it will allow you to stream from the cloud.
  9. scottness macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101

    I've got a MBA with 256GB SSD. I move the movies to my desktop after I watch them. My iTunes library resides on the desktop also. MBA is a great machine, though it wouldn't make sense for me if I didn't have the desktop to keep the majority of my stuff. I mostly keep active projects on the MBA. Alternatively, an external drive would do if you didn't need a desktop.
  10. bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    External drive for movies - it isn't like you need them on your laptop all the time. As suggested, any router with a USB port for networking a USB hard drive would be beneficial as well.

    For your music, I'd move it to iTunes Match so you can delete your local copy of it. I moved my 60GB of music into iTunes Match and haven't looked back.
  11. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Aug 11, 2009
    There are really small USB thumb drives you can leave plugged in all the time. One of those would give you an additional 32–64GB. Put something on there that doesn't demand high read speeds (i. e. music) and off you go.

    There's a thread about a few of those small thumb drives somewhere here in the MBA section...
  12. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    I use Tunespan to manage my itunes library across the Air and my external HD - movies and tv and stuff I don't listen to often on the external, music and current stuff on the Air - works quite well
  13. Sythas macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2009
    Québec, Canada
    I'm using a small USB harddrive 750GB. When I watch a movie or listen to my music I just let it rest on the palm rest (Western digital and goflex are just the right size), so I can move with it working and still use the track pad to select something else... very easy cheap and can still use my music at work or when I'm at a friend's house.
  14. LordVic macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2011
    I dont think the MBA was ever intended to be an all in one computer to store your libraries.

    i'm using a 64gb model and done find there to be any real space issue if you centralize your media.

    There are two decent options.

    USB based hard drive. Pick up a 2.5" with external case. the smaller slower drives for external storage often do not need additional power and can be driven entirely off USB. They're small, portable, and offer slightly better "bump" safety than 3.5" desktop drives anyways.

    At home, I recommend setting up a personal server of some sort. some NAS box with streaming capabilities, or even an old desktop you can throw some large drives into.
  15. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2010
    I bought a LaCie time machine compatible HD. It does the job. But then again the macbook air isn't going to be my only computer for much longer. So storage wont be an issue for long.
    Also, I usedto have a massive music collection too. The I realised that I didn't listen to half of it, maybe doing a bit of cleaning will help?
  16. DenniZ macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    As for the music part how about using iTunes match?

    I have about 20GB in iCloud to stream when needed, you can keep local copies of your favourite and the rest are in the cloud, plus if its poor quality some music might be matched with the iTunes store so you get the iTunes store 256kb/s quality.
  17. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    I would recommend a NAS with some sort of RAID functionality for the sake of redundancy. Last thing you'd want is to lose your media collection because a HDD crapped out.

    I use a Drobo attached to a Mac Mini, but I hear the Synology NAS setups are nice too if you don't have another computer to run it through.
  18. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Just get an external HDD. I used to be one to hold 200-500Gb of movies but then I realized "I don't watch any of them!". So I was able to whittle that down to under 50Gb in no time.

    As for iTunes Match, I'm a bit mixed about it. Mainly for two reasons
    1. It requires a strong 3G connection to be used in a satisfying way, if you commute on a subway then get ready for some frustrations.
    2. It uses your data limit up pretty fast. If you're not able to use it on WiFi then you easily risk exceeding your data limit (unless you're on Sprint's unlimited plan) pretty quickly. And by that I mean within about 5 days of moderate listening.

    I think your main solution is to figure out what to do with your movies. Cause honestly, you don't need 200Gb of them. Hmm, unless their home movies in which that case backup, backup, backup, backup!
  19. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    Just so you know, any hard drive is Time Machine compatible.
  20. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oh, right, well I couldn't get it to work properly on my old hard drive and the LaCie one just worked straight away. It was simple to use I guess.
  21. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
    Are you sure it was HFS formatted?
    Easy to use could mean HFS pre-formatted, other than that there is no such thing as an "easy to use" drive. A drive is a drive.

    However technology being what it is, I can imagine a drive that works for everything except for Time Machine, things are weird sometimes.
  22. mkaiser1 macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    Leicester, UK
    I'm looking at an MBA too, but want to use external storage for photos and home videos (use Spotify for music now so my 90gb+ itunes library will sit on an external for a rainy day). Will iPhoto and iMovie work just as simply and just as quickly if I store things on an external HD? Will I be able to get them both to point to this external HD by default too?
  23. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2010
    It was a really old seagate, it probably would have worked with time machine, I don't doubt you, it just needed upgrading anyway and I couldn't be bothered to mess about.
    That made me think that I couldn't use time machine on it. Just a mis-understanding on my part.
  24. Smileyboy macrumors 65816


    Aug 6, 2008
  25. KohPhiPhi macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    I have a 256 gb SSD. I store all my multimedia files (photos, music, videos) in a tiny external HD, and I leave the SSD for work and applications. It works fantastically well.

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