Copying/moving photos and music to external hard drive

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by godette, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. godette macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2011
    Hello there everyone. Can I please have your expert opinions on whether to move my iPhoto library into an external hard drive and make that my default location for pics or simply copy my photos over to the new drive and in that way use the external drive as a back-up.
    I'd like to have more than one set of pictures cos I'm afraid that if I only have the external drive or the Mac if anything should happen to either of them without a backup location my photos will be lost forever.
    Thing is, if I keep simply copying the pics into the external drive, that doesn't help the rapidly diminishing storage situation on my Mac itself. I can increase the capacity but even that will run out sooner or later.
    So, do you all actually recommend moving the entire library over to the external hard drive and making it my default location for photos or keep iPhoto on my Mac and simply copying the pics? Sorry if I'm all over the place with my question...hope you get the idea
    Would need links to a video tutorial to do either one, please, thanks!

    Also, why is it that my Mac doesn't seem able to calculate the size of my iphoto library? It's stuck at 'calculating size' forever and I'd like to know the size of the beast I'm dealing with.

    Same question for iTunes - can I transfer my library of songs into the external drive without losing anything?

    Thanks heaps! :)
  2. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I think.....

    you can use the external HDD as a backup device. I will not copy the iPhoto and iTunes Libraries, rather cloning them to the HDD. iPhoto, more than iTunes have a special way to locate/referencing where the photos are. Have read here in the Forums and in the Internet horror stories about messed up iPhoto libraries. And mixed up iTunes libraries, but in iTunes can be easier to reference what folder you want to use.

    But seems to me that both the iPhoto and the iTunes moving and referencing can be done. But have to be done carefully. I would check here in the Forums about sucessful stories or in the Internet.

  3. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Yes. You should have more than one copy of your files, or you WILL lose them forever. Make a backup. Now. OS X makes it very easy with Time Machine.

    As for running out of space: what Mac do you have? Perhaps you can replace the hard drive easily with a larger one. If that can't be done easily, then have one external for data and another one for backing up. (The backup and source must not be on the same physical device.)
  4. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  5. youzer macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2013
    Great app for moving iTunes files

    There's a great app called TuneSpan that takes care of moving iTunes files in an incredibly simple, effective way.

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