Large Media Drive Options for iTunes

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MagnusVonMagnum, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2007
    I'm currently encoding my entire DVD library (250+ DVDs) to use in iTunes with my two AppleTV units which I serve using an upgraded old PowerMac that's on 24/7 (a sort of iTunes capable NAS that also happens to be able to do things like edit photos, access the web, word process, etc. and doubles as a 3rd media viewing/listening location in my den with Klipsch THX 2.1 speakers attached). I've already got most of my older photo albums scanned and newer digital photos placed (to view with AppleTV) and my entire CD library (400+ CDs) on there, but my two 500GB Sata drives (one is for backup) are pretty much full so I need more space.

    I currently have my laptop's 500GB backup drive attached at the moment using the spare 200GB partition to keep adding movies for the moment (it takes a good LONG time to encode nearly 300 DVDs) with a backup to go on the spare space of my Windows 500GB backup drive in the short term. I also want plenty of space to keep adding movies in the future (and If I ever convert future Blu-Ray movies, I'll need 2-3x the space per movie as a regular DVD).

    I'm debating now between buying two internal WD 2TB drives or getting two external Lacie 2TB drives for my 'new' media drive. I suppose I could get one internal and one external as an option too. The thing is the new WD 2TB costs around $280 shipped and yet the Lacie 2TB external with 3-way interface (FW800/400/USB2) costs $220! Since when is external cheaper? It appears to be one drive also (don't see how, though if it's not using the WD drive unless it's using some other drive profile or the picture is wrong and it's using two 1TB drives with Raid 0). There's also the WD My Book 2TB external with a 4-way interface (FW800/400/USB2.0/eSata) for $240 each.

    I'd prefer the lack of clutter of using internal drives in my PowerMac, but external offers mobility (in case I want to take my library with me on the road) and would be easy to move to another computer quickly if the PowerMac had a failure or whatever. I suppose given I'd only have to add new titles to the backup drive on the occasion of buying new movies, having one internal and one external would mean I could disconnect the external and put it in a fire safe or something when not needed. If only I had purchased the Sonnet Sata card with 4 ports instead of two, it'd be simple to leave my existing two 500GB drives in there and just add a single 2TB drive plus the external 2TB for backup. I could buy one but that's more cost. Daisy-chaining two externals would be simpler/cheaper at this point, I suppose and I could disconnect one when not needed for backup.

    The worst part about any drive option is that Windows can't read HFS without additional software and the Mac can't WRITE to NTFS and Fat32 sucks and can't handle 2TB anyway. So no matter which drive I get, I can't easily move it between my Mac and PC should the need arise. I don't know why Apple and Microsoft can't mutually share their file systems so users don't have such a PITA moving between them. I suppose a NAS would solve the issue, but it costs more, operates slower and AppleTV can't read directly from it anyway (without using Boxee instead of the ATV interface anyway). Too bad Apple can't get their act together and add that functionality to ATV. As it is, I just use the PowerMac as if it were an NAS that also happens to be able get on the web, edit photos and word process. Is there any way to add NTFS "write" capability directly to OS X via 3rd party add-on or something? Maybe it's easier to add HFS support to Windows?

    So how fast do you think the new WD 2TB internal drives will come down to something comparable to the current external solutions and which way do you think is the best way to go considering the information above? As for the internal drive possibilities, I'm thinking my next desktop will likely be either a Hackintosh or a Mac Pro (unless Apple decides to release a mid-range tower in the next year or two). Internal drives COULD always be made into externals in the future, but that's more added cost once again. External seems a bit messier, but seems like the most cost effective and flexible option.
  2. tefleming macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2006
    That's a lot of post...

    Check the warranties - some places list the lacie as 2 yr, others as 3.

    The lacie appears to be Raid 0 which would up the risk of failure.

    I'd go with internals to avoid the clutter. I don't know how often you'd need to take the whole thing with you.
  3. MagnusVonMagnum thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2007
    Well, I guess it would be twice as likely to fail as a single drive, but I'd obviously have to buy a 2nd one to back it up. The odds of the 2nd unit failing within the short amount of time one unit would be down are small. I'd prefer internal too, I think, but I'm little put off by the initial high price of that 2TB drive ($220 was the rumor and that's very reasonable; $280-300 is getting up there when you have to buy more than one drive).

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