iTunes on large SD Card, any tips?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by bigsciota, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. bigsciota macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I've used all but 30gb of my 2012 Air's storage, of which 50gb is music on iTunes. I'm thinking about getting an SD card and essentially using it as an expansion, keeping it in most of the time and keeping my iTunes library on it, in which case I'll have as much free space as I need. I've seen 128gb cards available, so I might go for those; does anyone have any tips as to how fast the card should be or which brands/types to avoid?

    Also, If I wait another few months or so, is the price on one of those going to drop enough to make it worth the wait? I'd like to go for the 128gb card since I'd obviously like not to have to do everything over again once I surpass 64gb.
  2. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    Wait for this to be released:

    You can thank me later.
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Right now B&H has a sale on 64GB Sandisk SDXC cards. I've used this same model before (though for things like photography and video recording) and have been very happy with it. Generally, SanDisk, Lexar and Kingston are pretty good brands. Avoid brands that look obviously cheap.

    Also, it's generally not a good idea to get your cards from no-name vendors, and even some eBay sellers are questionable. This is because there are a LOT of people selling knock-off memory cards at these outlets: basically cheap, unreliable cards that have fake SanDisk or other big-name labels on them.

    As far as speed goes: you'll probably be fine with a Class 4 for music, but if you intend of storing and directly playing back video, you might want to go faster, like a Class 6 or better.

    Lastly, just the practical things: you're going to run into (likely minor) problems if for any reason you launch iTunes without the card inserted. The fact that the SD card sticks out at the edge ight be an issue when transporting your MacBook. And, definitely make a backup copy of your iTunes library on an external hard drive, or at least another SD card, and store that in a safe spot.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Thank you? He still needs a MicroSD card and would still want to know what is optimal for his needs. I wouldn't bother if I needed the storage today. He can get a micro to SD adapter and then when the Nifty Mini Drive is out, he can pick that up. Again, the Nifty doesn't come with a card so he'll still need the microSD card.

    I would get the largest possible card. I think the fastest would be best as well. I prefer SanDisc. Here is a 30/MBs model but they do have a 40MBs model, I think. This comes with the adapter. This is the assumption that you want a Nifty drive and if not, get a fast SD card.
  5. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2010
    I'm think about getting a SD card for my new MBA too. What is the maximum speed of the SD card slot on the MBA itself? And what is the corresponding class of SD cards which just meets that limit?

  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
  7. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    If the music as it is played will be read from the SD, you may want to look to the higher end of SD cards, meaning, for photography and video, usually 95Mbps and up.

    I am no expert, but you may have to consider the way the music will travel and the limitation of the SD port about speed and the bus speed of the logic card itself.

    I am the kind of person that takes this into consideration, but I never do the math. So I may end up a little on the overkill side, but honestly is better to have more than getting short and have a bad experience with it.

    Just my personal point of view.
  8. paulrbeers, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013

    paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    No SD card can match the speed of the port. It's either connected to the USB 3.0 bus or is 1X PCIE. In either case, the fastest SD cards can't match the speed.

    EDIT: As a follow up, the SD Card reader is hooked to the USB 3.0 bus so it has a theoretical maximum transfer of 5 Gb/s. The SD Card will be the bottleneck and not the bus/port speed.
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    The slot supports SDXC cards, which have a theoretical 2TB maximum.

    128GB seems to be the upper limit of what's being sold right now though.
  10. hakr100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2011
    East Coast
    It's reasonable to assume, then, that commercia movies stored on one of these cards will play properly? Most of mine are in *.avi format and I use VLC as my player.
  11. epphllps macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2011
    West TN
    I've been running a SanDisk Ultra Micro SDXC 64GB UHS-1 card with the Apotop SmartSuit adapter ( Works great for an iTunes library with no issues at all.
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Prices fluctuate all the time and Amazon seems to have a Sandisk sale every few weeks. Here's a link to the Sandisk 128GB 45MB/sec card at Amazon. You can select other sizes there as well.
  13. JonLa macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2009
    I've got one of the earlier Nifty Minidrives and run half of my itunes library on a micro SDXC card.

    I used Tunespan to split my library onto different drives - useful if you want to keep some items on the mac's ssd.

    Works great - never did work out how to get time machine to back it up though, so as it's contents are fairly stable, I just copied them to another external hard drive.
  14. gloryunited macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2010
    Cool, thanks.

    If we are to mainly store our iTunes music library on the SD card, then anything from 6MB/s to 10MB/s (Class 6 to 10) should be enough right? even 4MB/s would be good enough I guess coz music files are small anyway.
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Not really needed. With a slow card, moving the library to the card will take its time, but for music playback and even video playback you don't need much speed at all. Obviously look at the cost. If you get a slow card for £40 and a fast card for £45, get the fast card. If the fast card is £80, get the slow one.


    Music is usually encoded at 256 Kbit/second = 32 KB / second = 0.032 MB/s.
  16. luisito macrumors regular


    Nov 15, 2012
    Something worth looking at for people needed more space. I wonder is there is a negative of using this as an alternative.. or perhaps there is no downside at all. :eek:
  17. ihonda macrumors 68000

    Sep 17, 2009
    battery life is the only downer

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