External Hard Drive decisions

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dellavoce, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. dellavoce macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    My new MacBook Pro has a 500GB hard drive which is good except for my iTunes library which is itself quickly nearing 500GB, so I'm trying to decide on an external hard drive. I want something with lots of "growing room" so I'm thinking at least 1TB. My first thought was to just buy a 1 or 2 TB hard drive either USB or Firewire, but then I started thinking about the Time Capsule. I know that it will back up my laptop via Time Machine, but I'm wondering if my iTunes library could "live" there and still be accessed as if it were in an external hard drive plugged into the computer. Also, I know I could access it while in the house on the same wifi network, but what about over the internet in separate locations?
  2. 1934hotrod macrumors regular


    Jan 27, 2013
    Have a look here I am very sure you will find what you need:

    I recently purchased a drive from these folks, it came with a software bundle that has some great applications, back_up and most note worthy a drive maintenance application that is the best I have seen is a while.
    I am sure whatever your desires are they have a product that will handle it.

  3. cocacolakid, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013

    cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    You could partition any external drive so one partition is for Time Machine backups of your MBP and the other partition is for iTunes and media. Disk Utility in the Utilities folder can partition anything to your heart's desire.

    As for accessing your media via the Internet, you have several choices. One is to use an app like Orb (many versions, but you would want the free Orb Caster on the machine with the media and the $9.99 iOS app), which will stream music/video over the web to any device you want. The only drawback you need to have a computer at home that the media can be accessed through, i.e., your MBP, which is fine if you only want to access the media on an iOS device while out.

    Another choice is to buy an optical hard drive caddy to put in your optical drive slot and just put a large, 2nd hard drive there, right in the MBP. It's easy to do and the caddy's only cost $15-20 U.S. for most brands (plus the cost of the hard drive). If you put a 1TB hd in as a 2nd drive you could partition that for both Time Machine and your media and not need an external drive (although having an external drive for backups is a good idea when you have a laptop in case it's stolen, lost, or significantly damaged and you can't get to what you need).

    The last option is to use either iTunes Match, Google Play, or Amazon Cloud to upload your iTunes music to the web. It won't do any video, and none of those 3 do that great of a job actually matching your songs and getting them correct on the cloud. iTunes Match and Amazon Cloud are paid services. Google Play is free, but there is no app for iOS devices or Macs, you access your music through a browser.

    Orb is fantastic, and will stream music and videos, and I believe, can also find files, but don't quote me on that since it's been over a year since I used it (haven't had a need and it was completely free when I first started using it, now they have various free and paid versions depending on where you want to stream to). But as I said, Orb needs the media to be connected to a computer back at home, because Orb will be running on the computer at home and the computer or iOS device outside the house.
  4. dellavoce thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    Those are some awesome ideas. I especially like the idea of replacing the optical drive, but I wonder, if I'm going to open up the MacBook, could I just purchase a 1 or 2 TB hard drive to replace the 500 GB? Is it hard to do?
  5. dellavoce thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    Those are some awesome ideas. I especially like the idea of replacing the optical drive, but I wonder, if I'm going to open up the MacBook, could I just purchase a 1 or 2 TB hard drive to replace the 500 GB? Is it hard to do?
  6. popcorn-in-sac macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2008
    Seattle, WA area
    The folks at Other World Computing (OWC) sell products to do what was suggested, and they also provide videos that show the level of difficulty. In the case of a hard drive swap, it's not too difficult.

    Here is a link to an example video on their site:

  7. dellavoce thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    It actually seems pretty simple. Thanks for the link! I wonder then, is it possible to upgrade to a 2TB? I know Apple only offers up to 1TB.
  8. cxc273 macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2012
    It is possible to replace your stock 500GB MBP hard drive with a larger drive. It just depends on your budget.

    Newegg.com offers drives by Samsung and Western Digital for less than $70 that will fit in a MBP. The company only offers one 2TB-sized hard drive for about $190.

    If you desperately needed even more space, you could still swap out the optical drive with one of OWC's data doubler products and add a second 2TB drive, bringing the total maximum possible on-board storage to 4TB.
  9. emjaycee18 macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2010
    I've been looking for an external hard drive for my MBP as well. I really can't justify the cost of a Time Capsule as my modem and router are brand new and both support my 50mbps internet connection.

    Does any one have any experience using WD My Book Live? I'm looking to get either the 2TB or 3TB model for both Time Machine backups and to eventually move some (if not all) media over as well.

    Since this device is listed as "personal cloud storage" I'm assuming I'll have access to all files stored on the disk at all time, as long as I'm on my network. The plus of having automatic Time Machine backups is huge for me as well.

    Any help or alternative recommendations would be great.

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