External Hard drive library question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BJMRamage, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007

    So, I have an older 24" iMac. I upgraded the hard drive to a 1TB one.

    But that is getting fuller and fuller every week.
    I notice a few areas filling up...my Photo library, iTunes library and my iMovies and iDVD files.

    I am not sure which library is sucking up more storage space but want to push one (or more) of these to an External Hard Drive.

    My machine only has USB 2. Obviously when i decide to upgrade (maybe next year) I will have more connection options...USB 3, Thunderbolt, etc.

    Which would be the better library to push to an external hard drive?

    Not sure if editing a photo (RAW Files) via external would be horrendously slow or if listening to Music would be too slow.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    Moving the iTunes Media folder to an external hard drive is the obvious choice : it works very well and is easy to do.

    Use this : http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

    You can then add the external drive to your Time Machine backup (if you use it).

    (iTunes Media folder on an external drive won't slow down anything)
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    It also has Firewire 800, but if you will get an upgrade in the near future, USB 3.0 is the better choice for an external HDD nowadays.

    As for which library, I would get the Music one off the internal HDD, as even uncompressed stereo music has quite a small data rate that even USB 2.0 will be bored with that.
  4. BJMRamage thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007

    I was trying to do research online but hard to find a good comparison.

    part of me thought the constant pulling of audio might not be great compared to photos but then photos (RAW especially) eat up lots of space too and to flip through them or make adjustments would be even slower.

    Thanks again!
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    I put all my libraries on an external thunderbolt drive. I carry music in my iPhone and photos on my iPad.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Listening to music dose NOT require a fast disk drive. It works even over USB 1. You don't sen need USB 2.

    Photos are best kept on the faster disk.

    DOws you Mac have Firewire 800? If so buy an external disk with multiple interfaces. Use FW800 now and later USB 3.

    USB 2 disks are OK for Time machine backups
  7. pezdaddy macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2012
    Music, no hesitation.

    My itunes library file is on my mac's internal drive, but all the music files themselves are on an external 5,400 RPM drive connected/powered by USB 2.0 (no external power supply on the drive). Almost all my music is in Apple lossless format, and I have zero problems. Never a stutter or slowdown.

    You don't need a fast drive or connection to stream music.

    My photo's are on the mac's internal drive, music on the external.
  8. BJMRamage thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    Thanks so much for the input...sounds like Music (and possible Movies from iTunes library) will make their way to an external box.


    how does the library stay on the internal drive?
    please excuse my ignorance here.
  9. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

    Aug 24, 2013
    Far from here
    Refer to post #2.

    Your "iTunes" folder must stay on your internal hard drive, but the "iTunes Media" folder (which is inside the iTunes folder and holds your Music, Movies, etc..) can be moved to an external.
  10. BJMRamage thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
  11. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I bought $50 wireless hard drive off craigslist few months ago and put iTunes media files to wireless hd then told iTunes to find them on external hd. It worked very well and I have more space on my ssd.
    Also I forgot to add both iMovie and Final Cut Pro media files to my wireless hd as well. But it has to stay connected at all times if you are working on iTunes or iMovie or fcpx.

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