itunes mp3s on hard drive separate from time machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by brokenglass, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. brokenglass macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2008
    Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm wondering if anyone has any sort of suggestions for working around my current situation.

    My iPod holds ~27gb of music but i've got near 30gb in iTunes. My laptop's hard drive is ~80gb. I have an external hard drive that hold 120gb, I believe.

    I have the external set up as my Time Machine back up, but since it's not always plugged in, I just back it up whenever I think to/feel the need. However, space is starting to get tight on my laptop mainly because of my mp3 collection. I'd really like to store it on my external but am not sure how that would work what with my time machine backups taking up so much space. I'd also like the flexibility to change/add new music to my ipod easily. I wouldn't mind having to plug my external in every time I synced my ipod (that would still be preferable to having it hooked up all the time).

    Any ideas of how I can work with this? I honestly don't use time machine to retrieve lost documents or anything and should something horrible happen the only things I would be heartbroken to lose are my pictures and mp3s and a few odd documents. So disabling time machine wouldn't be a big deal if necessary to store other things on my external.
  2. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    You can set iTunes up to reference the music by unselecting the box that says "Copy files to iTunes Music Folder when adding to library" located in preferences under the Advanced tab. This will let you store your media in iTunes anywhere you want and reference it in the library taking up a lot less space on you main HD. After you select this, you will probably want to drag all of you music over to your second HD, then remove it from your library and add it back. I hope this helps.
  3. brokenglass thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2008
    That sounds like it would work, thanks for the quick reply.

    I realize now, however, that with all the space taken by the Time Machine backups, there are only 33gb available on my external. I wonder if it would be worth it to move my current library over there and then just keep new stuff I acquire on my laptop, leaving the remaining space for my next time machine back up? But it would run out after one or two backups and then I would have a whole new quandry :/
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If you move your iTunes folder onto the external hard drive, it will use 30 gigs of space. Time Machine will only have 90 gigs of space to use. If your internal hard drive is 80 gigs, that leaves Time Machine with only 10 gigs of spare space. not ideal, but not the end of the world. It will work as a backup still, you just might not be able to go back and grab an older version of a document.

    However. By putting your music on the external drive, Time machine won't back it up. If something happens to the external drive, you lose all your music.

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