How to have a large iTunes library wirelessly

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by suksmo, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. suksmo macrumors member

    suksmo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I need to be able to access a large iTunes library from my Macbook air - at present I'm holding it on an external drive which I plug in via USB. I would like to be able to access the music wirelessly instead of plugging in the hard drive.

    Does anyone know the best option? or how do you handle a large iTunes library?
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #2
    Check if your router supports shared hard drives, and plug it in if it does.
     
  3. suksmo thread starter macrumors member

    suksmo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    #3
    It doesn't unfortunately - if I purchased an airport extreme would this be suitable with either the internal or external hard drive?
     
  4. Boyd01, Jun 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    I have recently done this. You could use an Airport Extreme with external hard drive, but it will be much slower than the internal drive on a Time Capsule. See this: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1747622

    So I used a Time Capsule for awhile, and it works fine, but there are a bunch of "gotchas". If, for any reason, the shared drive is not available while iTunes is running, then you have problems. This caused my iTunes Library to become corrupted a few times. There are many reasons why the disk might not be available - like when the computer goes to sleep while iTunes is running, then you wake it up in a different location.

    Anyway, this finally got too annoying after a month or two so I gave up on it. I got a Mac Mini for an iTunes server, and it just sits there running iTunes all the time using home sharing. This works really well and does not have any of the issues mentioned above. If the MBA can't connect to the server, there are no problems, you just won't be able to access the library. And this solution also makes your library available to any other i-devices or computers for you and your guests. It also makes the library available all the time for an Apple TV.

    I would really suggest this solution over putting your library on a shared disk, Apple has done a nice job of building this capability into iTunes. You could use an older Mac for this as well - many people use old core 2 duo machines as servers, but I wanted something new with a warranty that would be fast and last me a number of years.

    Also, regardless of how you do this, you will want a way to regularly backup your library. This is more of a pain using a Time Capsule or Extreme. You would need to run the backup program on your MBA and all the data will flow over your network at the speeds in the thread I linked to above. You can't use time machine for this, so I used Carbon Copy. If you have a large library, a backup can take a long time and will tie up your MBA while it's running. With a dedicated server, the backup can be done to a local drive with Time Machine or CCC.
     
  5. suksmo thread starter macrumors member

    suksmo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    #5
    It appears a mac mini may be the answer - how easy is it to swap out the internal drive on one of those?
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    Why do you want to swap the internal drive? A USB 3 drive will be more than fast enough and more versatile. I have 3 identical 3TB drives that cost around $100 each. I use one for my library and the other two are used for rotating backups with a CCC script that runs every night. These drives clock at around 180MB/s which is more than fast enough to saturate gigabit ethernet.
     
  7. suksmo thread starter macrumors member

    suksmo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    #7
    Do usb 3.0 drives require external power?

    Sounds like mac mini could be the way
     
  8. IlikeMacsSoMuch macrumors 6502

    IlikeMacsSoMuch

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    Blainville, Province of Quebec
    #8
    It would not be that difficult: see here

    I use a mac mini as an itunes server myself but I use an external drive plugged in via firewire 800. It works flawlessly, so if you buy a recent model with thunderbolt port, your setup would be even better. Using an external drive would allow you to better control you hdd temperature as the mac mini can get pretty hot.

    Just my two cents...
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    There are both kinds. I have one bus-powered USB 3 drive, but it is slower than the larger externally powered drives, it runs around 100 MB/s. I believe all the bus-powered units use laptop drives, and that limits their capacity to 2TB IIRC. I saw one bus powered device that had two drives inside configured as a RAID but it was expensive. Is there some reason you don't want external power? I think they are the best option in terms of speed and price.

    There are a number of threads about swapping internal drives in the mini if you visit the Mini forum here. This is one of them: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1747589
     

Share This Page