iPod suitable as portable external HD?

plunar

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Original poster
Sep 7, 2003
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considering picking up one of the new 80GB ipods with a new machine soon. i only have a few gigs of songs, and don't really care for the whole video deal at all. but i need an another drive for on the go, something that can be powered over the firewire bus, and i want an mp3 player. but i'm concerned if the ipod is not well-suited for heavy disk use (a Photoshop scratch or final cut for example). i don't even know what rpm it runs at. better off buying a nano and a separate drive?
 

Danksi

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Oct 3, 2005
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Nelson, BC. Canada
plunar said:
considering picking up one of the new 80GB ipods with a new machine soon. i only have a few gigs of songs, and don't really care for the whole video deal at all. but i need an another drive for on the go, something that can be powered over the firewire bus, and i want an mp3 player. but i'm concerned if the ipod is not well-suited for heavy disk use (a Photoshop scratch or final cut for example). i don't even know what rpm it runs at. better off buying a nano and a separate drive?
Personally I'd go Nano and seperate drive - mainly because you don't have many songs and not interested in video features.
 

yankeefan24

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Dec 24, 2005
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NYC
I used an old 20 GB iPod to use as a backup for one video project that I had to do (file was aprx. 12 GB), and while importing the back of the iPod got very hot. I went and put an ice pack underneath the iPod (the last thing I needed was to lose that video), and it all turned out fine. But if you have to use it to do any regular uncompressed video or heavy image work, I would get an external. If you are using it as a back up for word files/e-mails/music, etc. it should be fine. But using it for large files is something I would not recommend for day-to-day use.
 

madmaxmedia

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Dec 17, 2003
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Los Angeles, CA
iGary said:
Why did you feel the need to say this? :confused:

He's talking more than a couple of GB, if you read his original post.

Anyway, no - occasional use is OK, but the small drive is not intended for radical use.
OP mentioned firewire, so he was just clarifying that the new iPod is USB only. If OP had an older Mac with USB 1, then an older iPod w/ Firewire would be better.

I think your concern regarding the small drive is completely valid, but there are portable storage units that use these smaller-sized drives as well. Plus playing back video on an iPod involves heavy HD usage. So I'm wondering where to draw an approximate line on this.

I mean you probably don't want to use your iPod as your Photoshop scratch disk. ;) But for general purpose storage and backup, I think it should be okay, no?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
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New England
madmaxmedia said:
OP mentioned firewire, so he was just clarifying that the new iPod is USB only. If OP had an older Mac with USB 1, then an older iPod w/ Firewire would be better.
While you're right no Firewire data on new iPods, the new iPods can still be powered/charged by Firewire (otherwise many auto kits etc... would have stopped working).

Still sounds very tricky to power the iPod over Firewire and pull the data off the USB. ;)

B
 

extraextra

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Jun 29, 2006
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California
I wouldn't use an iPod has an external drive. If you're also going to listen to music, you may drop it or ruin it somehow (everyone says they won't, but it always happens) and then your data is lost. I've heard of people having iPod's that never die, but mine always seem to have HD failures and therefore have to be replaced completely. :(
 

plunar

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Original poster
Sep 7, 2003
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well this is not happy news. i was expecting the worse case scenario to be slower response times, but no firewire even? So you can't even boot off the new iPods?

I don't know about this direction for the ipods... granted, my usage is not the general market, but is it really that economical to take off firewire? I've personally always found usb 2 to be flakey, at times down right slow on my 12" pb. not very reliable when i'm moving gigs of video and large RAW files over.

guess i'll be ponying up for another portable hd.
 

faustfire

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Jul 17, 2002
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California
plunar said:
I've personally always found usb 2 to be flakey, at times down right slow on my 12" pb. not very reliable when i'm moving gigs of video and large RAW files over.
Yea, IMO usb 2 mac performance sucks.
 

xfiftyfour

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2006
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Clemson, SC
plunar said:
well this is not happy news. i was expecting the worse case scenario to be slower response times, but no firewire even? So you can't even boot off the new iPods?
the intel macs can boot from USB2.. the PPC's are the ones that can only boot from firewire. granted, i think i've read that the USB2 is slower than booting off firewire, but it does work.

but, anyway, for a bit of storage, i'd use the ipod. if you're intending to read and write heavily to it every day, then i'd go for the nano + external. the external would be a better bang for your buck per gb anyway.