Networking iTunes and iPhoto from an external drive

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Qohelet, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Qohelet macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Hi Everyone,

    I need some advice. I have a 13" Macbook that contains my primary iTunes library, my iPhoto library, and my Delicious Library library. I am hoping to put each of these libraries onto a networked RAID drive and have them accessible to every mac that I own. I want to have everything in a single place, rather than having part of my music library here and some of my photos there.

    I plan to attach the networked drive to my new Mac Mini once I get it. I have not signed up for iCloud yet, only because I don't want things to start syncing between devices until I get this solution set up.

    Has anyone done this before? Any advice on drives to use, or the best way to set it up, or to transfer the libraries to the drive?

    I appreciate any advice. Many thanks! :)
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    I run iPhoto library on an external. It's a bit of a pig, not real happy with the performance. I use a ReadyNAS Duo. The drive is performing reasonably well, connected via gigabit Ethernet, but I'm spoiled by the access speed of my Fusion drive so really would like to move the iPhoto library to a local drive as well.

    My plan is to go with a Thunderbolt external drive, and probably use that for my iTunes library. That will free up enough space on the Fusion to run my iPhoto library there; iPhoto would benefit more from the Fusion speed than iTunes will (since the iPhoto library will get a lot more "writes" than iTunes). The NAS will just be used as a Time Machine destination at that point.

    You mention making your libraries available to multiple Macs, that can get tricky in terms of keeping the library index files up to date and is not officially supported. Make sure you do a lot of homework on that before trying to open up the libraries on a different machine. Safer to have the libraries visible to only one computer, then share the libraries (through iTunes and iPhoto) to the other machines.
  3. gtstricky macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2012
    I tried this a while back and found it to be a huge PIA. Both libraries are on an external drive but now I use homesharing for iTunes and only use the local mac for iPhoto.

    I still get tired of the slow album art loading for itunes. I am in the process of getting a mini running with an internal SSD and 1tb drive that I will put my iTunes library on.
  4. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Yes, i've ran my home media center like this for the last three years, a headless mac mini and external firewire drives. ITunes is shared out over the home network via home sharing and bonjour sharing. IPhoto via bonjour sharing, file sharing and some other misc network services like open dns, airprint, etc.

    Its primarily feeds 5 apple TVs and a several sets of ceiling speakers throughout the house via airport express. As well as some macs, several ios devices and a portable network speaker for the patio/garage. I use vnc on my ipad to login in and manage the headless mini.

    Coincidentally, i just upgraded this past saturday from a 2009 mini and OWC firewire drives to a 2012 mini and a couple LaCie thunderbolt 2big 6TB drives. Damn, these 2big drives are fast, in RAID 0 I'm getting 320/370 write/read. I would definitely recommend taking a look at the 2bigs for your setup.

    As for drive setup, i use RAID 0 for primary storage for its fast response. Mirrors are non RAID and time machine backups are on a RAID 0 device for speed and bulk (it also provide time machine storage for all Macs in the house as well as the media center).

    When i have to do mass data transfers during restorals or upgrades, I use Chronosync with verification enabled. Chronosync is also how i maintain weekly mirror images of my primary storage in the event of failure recovery. And I use Time Machine as secondary for the long term incremental backups.

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