iPad storage space in light of new Plex app?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Apocrathia, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Apocrathia macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2009
    University of South Alabama
    I've been a long time user of Plex. I've got a Mac mini that's practically dedicated to the one application. It's an absolutely fantastic application and it just got a hell of a lot better. Plex has now replaced Air Video for me with the release of Alexandria and I'm starting to consider getting a smaller iPad.
    I've been eyeing the iPad since it first came out, but I've been really waiting to get one with iOS4. I'm hoping maybe Wednesday might shed some light on the delay, but I'm not going to post false speculations here.
    With the advent of steaming apps like Air Video, and now Plex that can do everything (Music, Movies, TV shows, Netflix, Hulu). What's the point of having storage space? I've been wanting a 64gb iPad 3G, but streaming makes it seem more like I'd be better off sticking with a 16gb. I've already got a Mac mini server at home, running Plex Media Server, and hooked up to a 4x1tb Drobo.
    I've got a 16gb iPhone 3Gs right now, and it stays roughly 7 gigs full of apps (maybe 2 of music). On average, how much bigger are iPad apps, and what is your take on storage with streaming becoming so popular?
  2. mrathee macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2010
    Storage is great for the apps, photos, music.

    Videos are good for when you are away from your home connection. I stream to ipad over wifi, but it isn't great when I am outside of my house, so for those occasions I use netflix (as of today) or the stored videos.

    Plus, once you start using other apps like goodreader and pages, you can save more to the ipad itself, and obviously then storage comes into play.

    Its much better to have a bit extra storage than to run out.
  3. bmustaf macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2007
    Telluride, CO
    Personally (e.g. for my own use cases) I think that's a huge leap to make (e.g. eschewing local storage for network loading of data).

    iPad apps aren't that much bigger (e.g. the user interface xibs, etc aren't any bigger in terms of file size), but as more apps start leveraging the user interface possibilities, I think you'll see image file size (raster data) begin to grow. GPS apps that store their maps offline are one big space hog I see as they move to the iPad as a GPS device if auto makers start to create good mounts/integrations. I cache a lot of my Dropbox, etc in Goodreader. I've started to see the iPad/Evernote as a killer app for offline work (on planes, etc) and I store my entire 2GB Evernote DB offline.

    This really is a bigger question of how you'll use the device...my instinct is that the fact that you even ask this question leads me to believe there is some doubt that 16GB will be too small. I'd say go bigger and avoid buyer's remorse unless you really can't afford it. Here's my detailed thoughts on that:

    Applications/Uses I Don't Think Network/Cloud Performance (either Latency or Bandwidth) Is Up To

    -Viewing Albums in Cover Flow - thumbnail load et al demands pre-fetching and low latency. I haven't seen a well implemented network based system for this yet. three twenty comes close, but it's *not* true cover flow/multitouch.

    -Travel - unless "travel" is limited to some densely populated wi-fi areas, the networks are not reliable enough pretty much anywhere to say I can't use data. Also, on-board an aircraft, you're dead in the water without local storage...even on the wi-fi equipped portions of the fleet (well below 1% of the scheduled service in the world has this feature, anyway).

    -Anything time you can't/won't be near backup power for more than an hour - Playing video for 8 hours on my iPad is awesome! I love it, you'll never see that time powering a WiFi radio doing (relatively) constant bit rate streaming. Forget about it over a 3G connection, especially with how poor ATT's coverage is.

    -Camping/Outdoor/Backcountry Recreation - Well, my iPad/iPhone usually doesn't come with on stuff like this (the whole point), but sometimes I *WILL* bring it with when it's not a "jump off the grid" trip...but still, power is precious/unpredictable. Networks tend NOT to exist in places I go for stuff like this.

    I don't think the user experience is there to replace local storage for all but the most ardent geek who likes doing it because it's "cool" and because he/she "can" and/or the very rare user that will always have a low-latency and high-bandwidth connection and either 7000mah of backup power with him/her to charge the device and/or a power connection pretty frequently.

    In those circumstances, I'd just use my MacBook Pro.

    That's just me. I think a few areas where I *can* use media over the network vs. the local storage are:

    1. Recovery workouts on the treadmill at the gym - Usually less than 1.5 hrs, good wi fi network and/or 3g coverage for me in those areas, and I have power before/after to build battery in case I need to (sometimes even near by to the treadmill). I frequently stream some Family Guy etc over Netflix for this when I need to forget how much my legs hurt and zone out and just run.

    2. Lunch - again, usually have good power at/before/after and if I'm working/hanging out in an urban area, network is pretty good.

    3. Commuting - If I take the bus, awesome, generally the big corridors of metro areas have good 3G to stream media, and it's a short enough use that the power draw won't leave me stranded when I get to my destination.

    So, really, do you think 16GB is enough space to hold stuff when the network isn't available and/or you don't want to spend the battery mah? If so, sounds like you got a $100-$300 savings, but I don't think myself or the people I know would be willing to save $100-$300 to buy a device that would probably start to annoy us/leave us stranded. I'm pretty pessimistic on network performance, not because it is bad, but because when you need it, it usually is bad, this isn't true, but my point is human psychology more than fact here, you'll have a few failures when you need/want your data and I tend to think that over time you'll have buyer's remorse despite what a slam dunk $100-$300 savings this looks like right now.

    I have a 32GB (decided not to get a 64GB b/c I can Netflix stuff), but I have 16GB of my most often used media stored in addition to 16GB of app data.

  4. md63 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    In some circumstances you just can't beat storage. Some that come to mind.

    1) Being on a plane and wanting to watch a movie.

    2) Having two kids screaming for something to watch while you're trying to figure out why you can't get a 3G signal to access Netflix or Air Video.

    3) Traveling internationally and not needing to figure out how much streaming is going to cost.

    4) Three less things you need to rely on to access your media (home server, home internet, 3g service or wifi.) If I go away for an extended trip I personally don't like having to keep my Mini on during that whole time. Can a mac be remotely wakened with an iPad?

    I have a 64gb 3g iPad and also have two kids. I try to keep at least 20 to 30 movies on the iPad for the kids and myself. That is enough of a selection that I don't need to worry about keeping the kids occupied on trips. I can still access Netflix or the home server. I find Air Video better at home since its very fast to access the video

    An example of why I like to storage, recently I traveled to the Pocanos where earlier in the summer I had also spent a week. First trip I had strong 3g service while on the second trip (only about 5 miles away) I could only get EDGE.

    I would personally recommend the 64GB 3g.
  5. poloponies Suspended

    May 3, 2010
    You can also supplement the on-board storage (for movies) with SD via AirStash or the Camera Connector Kit.
  6. md63 macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2007
    That is good to know. I didn't realize that. Thanks for the tip.
  7. Apocrathia thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2009
    University of South Alabama
    Thanks guys, you've made some really good points here. I probably will go for a 64gb 3g, and just do some extra work on the side to build up the extra cash. I've always had the philosophy of buying something big the first time to make it last, and buying it once. So, my ideas behind getting the 16gb were a bit unconventional to my general purchasing habits. However, it seems like more and more is moving towards streaming. It's just a shame the network sucks sometimes.
    I completely agree with some of the points you've made about network reliability and availability. I generally don't take a lot of road trips, or go camping. I'm a student, and I am almost always around Wi-Fi (I wanted the 3g for the gps mainly, I'll tether off of my iphone the rest of the time). I am also looking at getting one for my job. I work as a network administrator, so having an ipad on me while I'm in a server room seems a bit more comfortable than lugging my macbook around (the blackbooks are kind of heavy). Most of my administration can be done through webapps and commandline interfaces (mobileterminal, woo!), so it seems like I should be able to get a lot of usage out of it.
    I'm going to see what tomorrow's event is all about, and I'm hoping for a holiday price drop.
  8. mrathee macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2010
    It honestly will be worth it. When I was looking around for an iPad, I convinced myself to get the lowest model 3g, just as I had done for the iphone. BUT - having researched the ipad and apps for 4 months before purchasing, I knew that I would be able to do a ton more on this than I ever did on my phone.

    So, I saved up a few extra hundred for 64gb, tossed it on a credit card to get cash back, and then paid it off and never looked back.

    It was a great decision to go for a higher model, for me. If you have the money and know what you want to do with the device, why limit yourself?

Share This Page