External Storage Options

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Flynner84, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Flynner84 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012
    Hi all

    I've as good as decided to go for an 11 inch MBA but I'm debating whether or not to splash out on the 512g ssd.

    My main issue is my music collection. I have about 350g worth and this is only going to increase.

    Ideally id like it all on the MBA but if there was a reliable external solution Id go that route in light of how expensive the 512g upgrade is.

    What are my options? The time capsule sounds on the face of it like a good option but I've read pretty bad reviews. I'd be happy enough to have my entire collection available at home over the wireless connection and keep my MBA pretty clean.

    iTunes match sounds great too but again, people seem to be experiencing issues with it as well.

    I'd prefer to avoid a standard external hd If possible.

    I intend on starting to do some light video/photo editing and some music production on the air but as I'm a beginner with regards all 3 I'm not sure how important the storage will be.

    Might I be as well just shelling out the cash to save myself the hassle down the line?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can split your library, keeping your favorite music on the MBA so it's available when you travel, with the remainder on an external or network drive.

    How to split a single iTunes library over two or more media locations
  3. Flynner84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012

    Would you recommend the time capsule as a wireless option? Like I say, it sounds great on paper but there seem to be a lot of negative reviews floating about.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    I haven't found the need for a Time Capsule. If you have an AirPort Extreme, you can attach any drive to that and share it wirelessly. Alternatively, if you have another computer on your wireless network, you can share any drive attached to that computer. I keep drives attached to a Mac mini, to serve music, movies, TV shows, etc., as well as for backups. They're all shared on the network, so I don't need to plug anything into my MBP.
  5. Flynner84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012
  6. TyroneShoes2 macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    I think the negative reviews center on two things:

    1) It is way over-priced; you can get an x drive much cheaper that will do the same job as well or better, making the TC basically a sucker purchase.

    2) the granularity of Time Machine is lacking, and it is designed specifically for those who do not want to tinker at all or be bothered with backup chores. The penalty there is that it fills your HDD very fast.​

    But TM does not imply the use of a TC, so you are not compelled to have a TC if you want to use TM.

    Also, there is a free utility on the internet called Time Machine Manager (?) that allows you to use TM, but gives the user much more granularity in the settings.

    I highly recommend TM using TMM on any HDD other than a TC. If you want wifi involved, there are options there, too, such as a NAS.
  7. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Did you say storage?

    You cannot safely avoid an external hard drive.

    Simply put, all your data needs to be backed up in two separate places. If with a large SSD on the MBA, then one external drive can serve as the second repository. Although issues with that can come when you've exceeded the storage capacity of the MBA (it can happen, particularly if much HD video); at that point you are then looking at two separate external hard drives, with whatever is on the MBA largely inconsequential insofar as backup.

    If more expensive than other options, a Time Capsule can work quite well. A caveat being that since it cannot be partitioned (and Time Machine by design will overwrite an entire drive), you can either use it for its intended purpose as Time Machine backup, or as storage backup and server. Since it seems the smallest capacity Time Capsule is 2TB, even this would be excessive as no more than Time Machine backup for a MBA. But if you wish storage for multiple TBs, then the 3TB model probably the best option. They are easy to deal with, and fast enough to serve HD movies via wi-fi. It is basically just the greater expense for his convenience, AND also the consideration what happens once you exceed 512GB on the Air. Then the issue of adding another hard drive to backup everything on the Time Capsule.

    Since seemingly at the inception of this decision, you may wish to consider what your storage needs are likely to be next year, and several after that. Either that or buy equipment now which may soon not meet your needs. There are a lot of options in external hard drives, particularly in sizes 2GB and below. But consider that various options, such as in daisy chaining them, may prove neither simple or elegant. Ideally, one wouldn't wish to bother with any of this, and as simple as accessing whatever is on the internal SSD. But beyond that one would prefer to have all their files in one central place (and backed up), instead of spread piecemeal across several different drives. Something to consider.

    To begin, it may be preferable to spend the money on a 512GB SSD. In the short term that can make your life simple. Just get a Time Capsule for Time Machine backup, or configure some other hard drive to do as much.

    Although do not be surprised if sooner than expected you find yourself considering how best to afford multi terabytes of storage.

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