How to deal with a large iTunes library

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jh721, May 1, 2012.

  1. jh721 macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2012
    New Hampshire
    Hi folks. New here, but been lurking for awhile.

    I was using MediaMonkey on a PC for a couple years, but decided to switch to iTunes. I've been ripping my CDs (again!), and currently have ~ 40K files/700+GB (all music) - mostly apple lossless. The project is continuing, and there are still a couple thousand CDs to go. Haven't even thought about doing my movies yet.

    I plan on getting an iMac as soon as the update is announced. I thought I'd get the 2TB HD and back up to an external drive, but it won't be large enough. A 3TB HD would probably be about right, but I don't imagine they'll offer one. So, a couple questions:

    1. Can a 3 TB drive be installed in an iMac?
    2. Should I not bother with the internal drive and get 2 3TB external HDs (1 for backup)?
    3. If so, is a 2x3TB drive (like the Lacie in the apple store) a good option?
    4. Finally, any tips on dealing with a large library in iTunes? Not thinking so much about organization...more about a possible need to break it down into separate libraries. iTunes has slowed down drastically as the library size has increased (a Windows issue?). Seems like it chokes trying to handle so much data.

    Thanks very much.
  2. ReggaeFire macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2003
    1. Yes, you can install 3TB drives in new iMacs, but installing HDs in current iMacs is not for the faint of heart. If you're used to taking apart computers it's not that big of a deal, but it does involve removing the glass and the screen and then removing a dozen or so small screws.

    2. Since the iMac is stationary it's not a big deal to have your iTunes media on an external drive, this is far easier than taking apart your computer.

    3. I've not worked with any 2x3tb drives. OWC has a very good reputation though, you may want to check out their offerings.

    4. I have an 1st gen Mac Pro (2 2ghz Xeons, it's getting to be ancient at this point) with 8gb of RAM. My iTunes library is 90k songs, about 1.5TB, 70k of those songs are ALAC. There is occasional slowness, but it's not bad. RAM is the key, iTunes is currently taking up about 800mb of RAM, and it's just sitting there. I would recommend a minimum of 8gb to run super large iTunes libraries, 16gb may be overkill, but RAM is cheap so I would say if you can afford it, go ahead and do that.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I would not put my media library and its backup in the same physical enclosure. There is a small chance that the power supply could die and damage both drives. ALso, if something happens to the enclosure you do lose access to both drives.

    I tend to get at least 2 of an enclosure type so I can swap disks if I need to get something from an enclosure that has a problem.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  5. jh721 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2012
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for both comments. I was looking at the OWC 2x3TB drive. I was not aware you could set it up to write to both drives at once and then not have to be concerned about running backups all the time. Can you do the same thing if you have 2 separate drives in separate enclosures? If so, do you need special software or is it something you can set up the Mac to do?

    Thanks again for your help. I wasnt to try (as best I can) to get it right the 1st time.


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