External HDD for 2011 iMac to use for iTunes library

Discussion in 'iMac' started by themoffster, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. themoffster macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    I have a 2011 1TB iMac which i have pretty much maxed out.
    I am looking to get an external HDD which i can use to host my iTunes Media folder.

    I have a couple of questions...
    1. If i have an external HDD (single HDD) how will this be affected by the iMac being put to sleep all the time? I regularly put my imac to sleep.
    2. I'm aware of RAID discs, but i'm not really looking for a backup - therefore is there something similar so that i can add a disc, but once that gets full i can add more to it in the same way you can have a 4 disc RAID array?
    3. Am i able to get my media folder across several HDDs or do i need to buy a large 2TB+ single disc?
    4. has anyone had to do this before?
    5. i'll be streaming movies etc to my atv2 - does it matter if the external drive is connected to my iMac by usb, thunderbolt etc?
    6. does anyone have any suggestions for drives i should look at?

    Ideally I'd have liked to have a macMini as a media server, but in the UK they are too expensive and also they have at most a 1TB drive.

  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    1. No affect what so ever.

    2. Ignore RAID for putting your library on an EHD. To be honest this is a very simple task and you are making it far more complex than necessary. Just purchase a good quality HD.

    3. You can't split up your iTunes library onto multiple EHD's, it must be on one drive. If your library is in the 2GB range then get yourself a minimum of 2TB or 3TB is better to plan for some growth.

    4. NA

    5. I would recommend at least FW800 or a Thunderbolt drive. While USB will work and is cheaper it does not allow daisy chaining to additional EHD's and it's not nearly as quick.

    6. The drives I'd recommend are:




    All are equal in features and quality. Personally I use 4 of the LaCie's and have been happy with them for over 4 years but I'd have no problem putting a G-Tech or OWC drive on my desk too.
  3. themoffster thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    I can see the need for Thunderbolt speeds when copying my data to the EHD, but why would i want to daisy chain if i must have my iTunes Media be on the one disc?

    Thanks for the reply
  4. GGJstudios, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    This is absolutely false.
    Of course you can split your iTunes media over several drives. I do this with mine, as my library won't all fit on my MBPs internal drive. I keep my favorite music on the internal, with the remainder of my library on an external. There is no requirement that it all has to be on one drive.

    How to split a single iTunes library over two or more media locations
  5. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    I also have all my music on an internal drive and all my ripped movies on an external drive.

    For movies, the easiest way to keep movies on an external drive (or any location other than your iTunes library folder) is to hold the option key while dragging the media into iTunes. The movie (or other media) stays in the location it is currently but is now available in iTunes just like any other media that is located in the library folder.
  6. themoffster thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
  7. themoffster thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    Sorry it's taken me so long to try this, but i just tried the above and it didn't work.
    It copied the 4GB file to my iMac HD (when i right click 'show in finder' it pulls back the /Users/Shared/Music/iTunes/..../ folder).
    I held down the CMD key next to the space bar.

    Any ideas?


    I unchecked the 'copy to iTunes folder' in the preferences and got it to work.

    Thanks very much

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