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For those of you with huge iTunes libraries, what's your setup?

Star Nuts

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 24, 2012
I'm thinking about getting a Macbook Pro but am curious about what I'll do for my media since it has such a small hard drive. I'm thinking about connecting 1 2TB external hard drive to my Airport Extreme so I can have access from anywhere in my house. That means I'll have to connect my MBP to my external Time Machine hard drive at night to let it backup. If I go this route, I'll have to disconnect my iTunes storage every once in a while so I can allow that to backup as well. It's all do-able, but it's a bit of a hassle. What's your setup and how do you like it?


macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
Montreal, Canada
I used to connect a USB external hard drive to my AirPort Extreme for both my iTunes Library and Time Machine backups but bandwidth and latency were both terrible.

Now I connect my external hard drive directly to my MBA, much better, although I can't listen to my iTunes content when I'm disconnected. I have iTunes Match, so it's not that bad, but I plan to transfer my music collection to a 128GB microSDXC with a Nifty MiniDrive as soon as I can get both.


macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
Yup, Itunes Match will allow you to stream your entire library from the MBP even when the local disk is not attached. You can do this from any computer with Itunes, or, if the MBP will still be your main Itunes computer, you can create a second profile to which you add no content, but you do turn on Itunes Match. When you have the drive connected, choose the main profile, when you don't have the drive connected, choose the new profile and you'll be able to stream your music while keeping all metadata up to date.


macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2007
I have two internal drives, an SSD for the system and a 500gb data drive where my music and recent photos sit. My photo archive and home movies are kept in a USB storage device. I have too many photos and movies to fit on the 500g drive.

This is a pain because I use Picasa to organize my photos and if it can't find the external USB device it freaks out. Then it tries to rebuild the photo archive when I re-connect it. I'm not sure how iTunes would behave in this configuration to be honest.

Eventually I'll move to an external NAS storage so iTunes, photos and Time Machine are always available at gigabit Ethernet speed.
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