MacBook Air & iTunes Library

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ag227, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. ag227 macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2007
    I'm going to be getting a new MacBook Air with 128GB of storage. My iTunes library is currentley about 400GB of TV programmes and films and all stored on my laptop that is about to give in.

    I dont want to depend on iCloud and all that so I will be keeping all my TV programmes and films that I have bought on my own storage.

    My question is, how can I manage my library with the use of external drives.

    Ideally I would like the following:
    All my music bought and downloaded from iTunes saving/saved onto the MacBook Air so that it is avaliable anywhere the MacBook Air is.

    All of the films / TV programmes that I buy and have bought being saved onto a NAS. All of which must be in the iTunes library of the MacBook Air so that Apple TVs can see it via home sharing and be accesed when at home.

    The only way I can see to do it is to have the library on the MacBook Air and when I buy anything manually move it onto the external. Is there a better way that im overlooking?

    I ask here as others must be in the same situation as me with MacBook Airs and have good solutions for managing it.

    Thanks for any suggestions in advance.
  2. Kaith macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2012
    I'm also interested in this, I don't know what I'm going to do with such little room!
  3. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    Keep the tunes and content on a outboard hard drive, lots of us do it. Library settings in iTunes settings...
  4. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    I've tried NAS storage of my iTunes media. It works, but it has a lot of issues. It's become enough of a pain that I'm about to migrate my library back to a direct connected external drive.

    My recommendation would be to get a mac mini, or even a cheap windows PC to act as your media server running iTunes. You can always sync over any media you want on your air using Home Sharing, then remove it from the Air after viewing to free up some space.

    Even if you decide not to go with a dedicated desktop as a media server, Direct connected storage is far simpler to deal with than NAS. NAS has advantages of it's own, depending on the device/vendor your go with, but it is over time more trouble than it's worth. At least that's been my experience over almost a year now - YMMV.
  5. dona83 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2004
    Kelowna, BC
    I bought a 2006 iMac for $300 to use as a home computer for the entire family and an iTunes media server. Upgraded the hard drive to 1TB.
  6. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    This is one of the areas where it doesnt make sense for Apple to ignore a common problem. With 64/128 base configurations for Airs then people need to keep their libraries on external media but they dont offer a more precise way to split up your data yet also allow iTunes to manage it.

    I have a Time Capsule and here's my content sizes:
    Mobile Apps: 48GB
    Music: 50GB
    Movies: 1TB (I rip my blurays to be used on AppleTV)

    Its too much data for an air so Im manually managing data in multiple places. Itunes should allow you to say "Store Video and Mobile Apps on NAS" "Store Music Locally" So that things can be organized better. But this has been on people wish lists for years.
  7. Spoonz macrumors member

    May 16, 2012
    +1, I thought they'd have a really simple one-fits-all solution to this by now but afaik there isn't.
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    I tried doing this, and it seems Apple only supports an all or nothing deal. You can move the entire library to an external drive and have iTunes point to that.

    I didn't want that. I wanted all my music on my MBA but all the movies on the external drive. I kinda got it to work, but its a kludge.

    I basically moved all the video files to an external drive, then went into iTunes and clicked on one. It couldn't find it, so it asked me. I pointed it to the external drive, and voila, it found them.

    Problem is any new movies I buy get downloaded onto my MBA. So I have to download it, move it, and refind it. PITA.

    Another folder that is getting out of hand is the iOS app folder. I tried moving the entire iTunes folder onto a 64GB SD card, but iTunes started acting funny so I decided against that.

    At least the movies and TV shows I could keep off the SSD, which is holding me over until I can afford a 512GB SSD...
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
  10. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    I move large media files/movies etc to an external drive and delete them from itunes.

    I store them in the same foldering structure as itunes so I can see what I have quickly.

    Aside from music, once I have watched a movie, pod cast or tv show I dont watch it again so I dont care if its not listed in iTunes. If iTunes showed me everything I ever purchased, then I would just redownload what I want and not even make backups.
  11. macmyworld macrumors regular


    May 25, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    My answer has always been having an iMac as a server. I use the iMac to contact to an external drive. It is my home for iTunes, iPhoto and connects to my external drive for backups and time machine. The iMac also runs virtual machines, and is my print server.
  12. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    While this works, I think no letting itunes manage tends to create a mess of a library and more manual management.

    You can let itunes manage your media folder but add files that bypass this management.

    Just hold down the Command and Option keys and drag the file(s) to the main iTunes window (not the Dock icon). You'll notice that the plus-sign icon does not appear. iTunes adds the file(s) to your library, but the library's pointers are the files' location, wherever they are.
  13. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
    The biggest problem with Apple file management is that Apple doesnt believe in folder monitoring. Most other apps then you tell it what folder your files are in and it scans the folder to determine whether new files were added or removed and adjusts the database accordingly. With Apple products like iTunes, Aperture, iPhoto etc then many times file links get broken and precious photos, music or vids simply get lost. it causes a mess because you have to fix every file manually, or files dont get deleted and end up taking tons of space.

    In relation to iTunes then take a look at your mobile applications folder. There are so many duplicated files and even a Previous Versions folder that backed up years of old files that can take gigs of space (for me the app folder was 70GB and 32GB were garbage). If Apple allowed folder monitoring then it would be easy to weed out the duplicates and even recover all those broken links without wasting a day hunting them down one by one.
  14. estockme macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2011
    I've been wondering on this as well. I keep wanting to map my MBAs library to my desktop's - it seems like i am always logged in when i'm on my home network - But I haven't bothered trying yet because I'm afraid of messing something up. At the same time spotify and netflix seem to be more than adequate for my needs.
  15. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    So I have a MacBook Air and I only have my music on it now. I setup a server so I could access all my media through Plex for TV shows and movies. I don't use iTunes anymore because it just doesn't have what I need. If you want to stay within iTunes... It makes things a little more difficult as having content on an external can make your whole library break which is just such a pain.

    I'm working on a guide for people looking for a solution beyond iTunes and want a device that can serve their content to their devices. Honestly, I rather rip blu-rays and get away from the Apple ecosystem after being in it for 3 years without TV service. I hate DRM content because I want my content on my devices the way I want it.

    DRM is horrible because it does not provide a competition in the way we consume our content. That's another argument though.

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