Newbie question about switching from PC to Mac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by durangojim, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. durangojim macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    We're switching this week from PC to a new 2013 base 21" imac and what I'd like to do is copy my itunes, ripped dvd, photo, and home video files from my pc to an external HD and then use that external HD with the mac. I understand about formatting the disc in the exFAT format so I can use it with both computers, but I'm uncertain about the folder system. Can I just point the Mac to use the external HD as the location for itunes, and iphoto? I couldn't really tell based on searches I did. Also is there a way for me to use the external HD for the location of my photostream files like on a PC, or do I have to manually transfer them every so often from the main HD to the external one?
    Thanks and sorry for the questions.
  2. Kelmon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2005
    United Kingdom
    I'm not sure about Photostream but the answers to the other questions is "yes" and I'd have a reasonable wager that the answer is also "yes" for Photostream. For iTunes, I'm not sure if you can use your Windows iTunes library directly but I think you probably can, in which case all you have to do is point iTunes to its location on the external drive. For both iPhoto and iTunes you can direct it to a non-standard location for a library by holding down the Alt/Option key when you click the application's icon on the Dock, at which point it will ask you where your library is located or where you want to create one.

    One point with iPhoto is that you need to import your photographs into its library; I don't think it can work with photos stored outside of it. This is normally quick and easy to do.

    The best of luck with the migration.
  3. TheyCallMeBT, Nov 9, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013

    TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2013
    Most external hard drives come formatted as FAT. Check it and see before formatting it. If it says NTFS, then you will have to format it.

    Edit: oops, I actually wasn't familiar with the exFAT format. Which surprises me that I wasn't. lol. I was thinking you were referring to FAT32.
  4. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    It can work either way. There is an option in preferences, something like "copy to library" which by default is on. Some people like having the "security" of having their photos in folder structures they understand in which case untick it.

    Personally I think if you are going to do that you lose half the point of having a photo manager and may as well use Picasa or similar free programs or PhotoShop Elements which has a management system for places and faces and keywords and the like but I think doesn't mess with your directory structure.
  5. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
    Don't just buy the base comes with old slow harddrive...get with at least the fusion or even better the ssd me you will be glad you did!
  6. d0nK macrumors 6502

    Nov 4, 2011
    Add the 1TB fusion drive and be done with a great machine.
    The slow laptop hard drive that they starting using in the 21" iMac's last year is a bad design decision.
    Fusion drive should be standard in these laptop-hard-drive 21" iMac's now, to avoid the bottleneck they cause.

    Jonny Ive needs to be kept away from certain design decisions.

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