iTunes Library Storage/Backup- external HD, RAID or new Mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by VaatiKaiba, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. VaatiKaiba, Jun 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011

    VaatiKaiba macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    Hi guys.

    My iTunes situation is this: I have the library stored on an external hard drive connected to my Time Capsule, so that any computer on my network can access it. I then make a "backup" of the library by syncing the iTunes folder from the TC back to one of my old MacBooks, incase the external HD was ever to fail.

    However, I've recently completely run out of HD space (320GB) on my MacBook, and so need to find some extra space to continue backing up the library (as I don't think it can be covered by Time Machine as it's on a network drive). The 3 options I've come up with are:

    1) External hard drive - cheap(ish) and would solve the problem, but would take longer to backup and don't know how much money I want to invest in an old computer.

    2) RAID - more expensive, but quicker backups with the option of expanding again later on. However, can I start a RAID on an external HD with several partitions?

    3) New Mac - probably the ideal solution would be to get a Mac Mini, but they seem very expensive for what you get.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for what to get? Or any other potential solutions? Or is there a better way to do my iTunes setup?

    Thanks in advance, any help will be much appreciated!
  2. silvershamrock, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013

    silvershamrock macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2013
    Edmonton, AB
    Have you considered just cloning your library?

    I picked up a pair of 2TB external drives (one desktop drive and one portable). My main iTunes library is pointed at the desktop drive, which is attached to the TC for wireless access when I'm at home. Then I created a second library within iTunes on my MBA, pointed it at the portable drive, added all my content, and copied the metadata.

    This gave me an exact clone of the main library on the portable drive that I could use for iTunes while I'm on the road (where I don't always have reliable internet access). It also does double duty as my media and metadata backup.

    And since both library files are located in the iTunes folder of my MBA, they are automatically backed up by the TC.

    THe setup was time-consuming (my library is ~750GB) but not difficult. Switching libraries can be a bit of a nuisance, especially if you're like me and keep forgetting to switch back afterward. But if the clone is being used exclusively for backup then you'd only need to switch to the clone library when you've just added content to the main one and you need to copy those files to the clone.

    This would completely free up that old computer... :)

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