Storage solutions for big libraries

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ZBoater, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #1
    So what are thin MacBook owners doing? 500GB is not enough. I need at least 2TB. And other than an external option, I'm not sure what to do with all my movies and photos and music. My only option is to get a unibody MacBook Pro 13" and replace the internal SuperDrive with a 2TB Seagate Slimdrive. Not an ideal solution.

    I love my MBA. But iTunes just doesn't like a split library. It's an all or nothing deal, making an external iTunes library a PITA.

    Ideas?
     
  2. JBmac macrumors member

    JBmac

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Eastern, PA
    #2
    I use a Drobo5N for a year and half now, and very pleased. Had the Drobo 2nd Gen FW before that, which I use as my offsite backup, or backup. I like to keep my data and OS separate. Been using Apple/MAC since 2000, and all the hardware and software changes were making my equipment and OS legacy, so that is why I went external data storage. I don't use Time Machine , don't need my data or OS backed up constantly. iTunes getting better with external storage. I used to cringe at every iTunes upgrade, had to choose the library again, and some minor, maintenance, but the last 2 or 3 have upgraded without any issues. I use it for all data since i only have the Macbook Air 2013 128gb. Everything that can goes right to the Drobo. Drobo now stays mounted all the time, and I can stream to Apple TV with the laptop display off, and almost likes like it is sleeping. Save a lot on electric bill too, since I used to use a 2005 G5 Powermac.
     
  3. ZBoater thread starter macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #3
    That looks nice. I already have a NAS. I was hoping for a solution I could carry with me. With this thinness obsession comes the push to the cloud, and iTunes is not keeping up with that. Plus I'm not a cloud fan.

    I guess my options are an older MacBook or give up on Apple. Bahhhh...
     
  4. JBmac macrumors member

    JBmac

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Eastern, PA
    #4
    I don't think affordable solutions for the consumer (miniaturization of storage like we can't imagine ) will arrive for that for a few years yet...everything is being focused on the cloud, i.e.: :apple:Watch, iPhone. I don't mind having some things in the cloud, but not everything.
     
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #5
    I have a 2013 i7/8gb/512gb MBA. As I ripped my large DVD collection it started to become obvious that 512gb wasn't going to be enough. I tried putting the library on a network drive, and while that does work, there are too many "gotchas" for me. Ended getting a base Mac mini with the library on a fast 3tb USB drive (plus two identical drives for backup).

    I am happy with home sharing for my library now between my MBA and two apple TV's, although it's kind of a nuisance to have to select the shared libary every time and navigate to whatever you want (as opposed to a local library that opens up with the same view you had before).

    For travel, my only solution is to load up everything I want on the SSD. I keep a couple hundred GB free and can clear additional space by moving old files to an external drive if needed. I guess I would be happier with a 1TB SSD, but not sure that I would be willing to pay the cost differential.
     
  6. ZBoater thread starter macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #6
    Did you create two iTunes libraries? One on your laptop for when you are traveling and another on your Mac mini that is "shared"? I'm trying to figure out the best way to keep all my music on my laptop by all my videos on the network at home, and only bring some with me when I leave the house. That would probably work for me, since its the video files that push me over the edge on the 500GB MBA drive.
     
  7. ZBoater thread starter macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #7
    I ended up creating two libraries, on on my laptop with everything except apps and videos (app folder is 13GB!). The second library on the external hard drive has those. I used a trick I found on Google to give both libraries the same persistent ID, which technically should let me sync my iPhone and iPad with both libraries without one overwriting the other. We'll see.

    ThIs seems like a PITA. I can start iTunes while holding the Option key and pick the other library. Any other more elegant solutions?
     
  8. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #8
    Yes, the mini has its own library that is accessed by home sharing on the MBA. I rarely sync my phone - in fact I haven't done it since I got the mini during the summer - so that isn't much of an issue.
     
  9. MacModMachine macrumors 68020

    MacModMachine

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    i personally use unRAID , its great.

    easy to setup , cheap to run and requires any old pc.

    i build a itx cube for 185$ and threw 4 disks in it.


    unRAID works very well with OS X , even supports time machine.
     
  10. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #10
    I avoid using iTunes as much as possible for this reason. Awkward library management.

    Photos are no problem, that's not iTunes, easy to copy them anywhere.

    Can you copy your iTunes content (files) to a different location, find them with the Finder, and still open/play the files as necessary with iTunes? Might be a good solution. Unfortunately you won't get whatever Library management features iTunes has to offer but I never cared much for that stuff anyway.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    You can easily split your library. Simply store the most frequently used music on your internal drive, and store the excess on external drive. Then in iTunes > Preferences > Advanced uncheck these boxes:
    [​IMG]
    Now add all your music to your iTunes library. When you're mobile, the songs that are on the external drive will still appear in your library but will have the exclamation mark on them, indicating that the file is not found. When you reconnect your external drive, relaunch iTunes and it will find all of the songs.
     
  12. ZBoater thread starter macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #12
    Thanks for the suggestion. I tried that but there were times when I did want the library organized, and it didn't seem to work for the app ipa files.

    Seems to be there should be a supported method of keeping certain files on an external drive without resorting to this.

    If I can successfully sync my iPhone to two libraries, that seems like the cleanest way but still a hack. On a separate note, is there a need to keep all those ipa files locally? Those seem like a good candidate to just delete.
     

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