Media Storage for new Macbook

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by realhiphop, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. realhiphop macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2010
    My wife is going to be getting a new laptop in the next few weeks. It looks like the Macbook will fit the bill for her for the purposes she’ll be using it.

    She will be mostly using it for Picture Editing and storing, Web, Music, and other basic stuff. Given the limited storage available, does anyone have any recommendations for how they store their picture libraries with the Macbook? I see there being really 2 options: External HD, or NAS.

    The thought of constantly attaching an external hard drive for storage would be painful. Does Photos allow you to easily access all of your pictures through the Cloud (I know they offer different storage options available)?

    The other option I was thinking about was to create a NAS that would allow for remote access to the library from multiple devices. I just don’t have a lot of experience with that. The side benefit is that I have a large media library hooked up to a Mac Mini, that I’d likely transition over to the NAS as well.
  2. whodatrr, Nov 11, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015

    whodatrr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2004
    Good topic...

    There are almost limitless ways to go here, and I'm sure quite a few people will chime in.But before all of that, you should absolutely be backing everything up! For that, you could use the Time Machine capability that comes in OS X (best backup out there, IMOHO). Performance isn't really important for this type of backup, so just strap a USB drive you your router (assuming it supports that) and fire up Time Machine.

    Regarding your question, I consider a couple types of storage: Internal, external, Local Server, NAS, and Cloud. .

    Internal - There's also a 512 option for the rMB that may or may to meet her needs. If you look around, you can find some good open box deals. Still, you should back everything up.
    External Storage - Plenty of options here. I'd just go with a small USB 3 drive (SSD or HDD, depending on size and budget). You'll need to buy a dock or one of those Apple cables ($50-100). There aren't many options around at the moment, but I expect them to multiply quickly. Be aware that if you just use basic a USB-C to USB 3 adapter ($6 on Amazon) she won't be able to charge while she's mounted the drive. But if you buy one of the multipart ones, she will.
    NAS - The options here are pretty muck limitless. On the NAS side, there are a ton of reasonably-priced solutions out there, so I won't get into comparing them. Don't worry about performance a whole lot, since you'll usually be bottlenecked by your 1Gbe or Wifi speed. If you've got a lot of data, beyond what a single drive can store, than a NAS starts to make a to of sense. Still, I'd backup the NAS - I've seen RAID fail before.
    Cloud - While it's great to have this option for backup ad sharing data, I still find that performance is too slow for daily use with large files. yes, I use iCloud/Drop/OneDrive for lots of stuff, but I personally prefer to have copied of my main stuff closer to home.
    Local Server - For our household tis is how I roll. All of these portable systems are great for mobility and flexibility, but I always like having one desktop in the house. Mine serves double-duty as a server and a workstation. If you already use Windows, you can share drives with your Macs over CIFS (Microsoft file sharing). If you already have a Mac desktop or unused laptop, just hang a few drives off of it and share them with the family. It doesn't need to be fast at all, so no worries there. The best part is that, if it's a Mac, the apps you discussed will work seamlessly. You can share iPhoto, iTunes, etc from that Mac and everyone else can have their own little libraries, but consolidate with the big one. Best of all, OS X does a really good job of managing this by maintaining thumbnails and such, so the experience feels fast... almost like internal storage, instead of networked.

    If you want to go the server route, here are a few Mac Minis, starting at $419. You'll still need to buy a USB drive though. If you have an old keyboard and display sitting around, just use that. It could wind up being the same price or cheaper than a NAS, plus you'll have an additional workstation to use and share. And again, the way Apple apps share libraries is what makes this particularly appealing for me. YMMV.
  3. realhiphop thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2010
    Thanks for the comprehensive outline of options. 256 MIGHT be enough for the time being, but I want to ensure that we have options if we decide to go another route. We have a Mac Mini that we use for our media that is hooked directly up to our TV in the living room (has a Lacie 2TB Hard Drive currently attached to it) so that might be an option.

    A few questions:

    1. Say we end up using the Mac Mini External HD to house the Pictures (in addition to our movies). Does Apple Photos allow you to pull up albums by default (and save pictures) to that drive over Wireless pretty easily? Are they easy to access remotely as well?

    2. How would I be able to incorporate a drive for backing up the library to that Local Server? I’d want to run TM automatically without having to plug the laptop into that external HD since it’s in a media console.

    3. What would be the benefit of attaching my Mini to a NAS server vs. the external HD I use now?
  4. realhiphop thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2010

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3 November 10, 2015