Storing photos and music without computer


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2015
I'm really not sure if this is the correct forum for this post. But I've got an iMac that's on its last leg and I'm a little unsure if I want to replace it or not. We're an Apple family with 3 iPhones, 2 iPads, 2 Apple TV's, and an iPad mini. I purchased the iMac several years ago before all of the other devices. Originally I used the iMac for everything. But nowadays it very seldom gets used. The iPads are just so much more convenient and faster to use. So that being said, spending a fortune on another Mac would really be a waste of money. The problem is all of my photos and music. I've got several thousand photos stored on the Mac that I don't want to lose. And also hundreds of CD's imported into iTunes. I take a digital camera when we vacation and can easily come home with 600-700 photos that I import into the computer. I would think there would be a cheaper solution besides a new computer for storing these things. I was thinking an external hard drive but I don't know how to import onto the drive without a computer. Anyone have any ideas??


macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
The WD Wireless Passport might do most of what you need .... but I think you need a computer for dealing with photos.

This device has a card reader to input your photos from the camera card, then will wirelessly share them with your phone, iPad, etc. However, you have no ability to edit them other than perhaps on the iPad ... it would be much better using your computer.
Last edited:


macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
If you don't want to spend the $$$$ for another iMac, consider getting a Mac Mini instead.

Properly configured they offer a surprising amount of power at an attractive price.
  • Like
Reactions: The Doctor11


macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
If you're really trying to go without a computer, Apple and other companies offer cloud services to store your photos and music. AFAIK, if you use another service, you're then stuck using their application to access your photos and music (instead of the built-in Photos and Music apps on your Apple devices). For me, I like the built-in apps, so that was enough to limit me to using Apple's cloud services.

I've just started playing around with iCloud Photo Library, and I'm liking it so far. My Photos library (on my Mac) has about 40,000 pictures. To fit them all in iCloud, I had to upgrade my iCloud storage to the 200GB plan, which costs $2.99/month. It fits all of my pictures and I still have a lot of room to grow. I used to do all of my photo edits on my Mac (and then having to use iTunes to sync the changes to my devices). Now that the pictures live in iCloud, it's been cool being able to do edits on and of my devices (I mostly use the iPad now, while watching TV on the couch) and having the edits automatically appear on all of my devices.

I see that iCloud Photo Library has some features for being able to share a Photo Library between family members, but I haven't tried that.

For getting vacation photos off of the camera, if your camera works with the iPad Camera Connection kit, that might be a way to get vacation pictures off of the camera without a computer.

For your music, Apple offers the iTunes Match service. That will give you access to your music from any of your devices. Again, no experience with if/how that works with other family members.

You should be able to "kick the tires" with both of those services and see how you like them. If they are a fit, you can keep your old iMac, but just use it less frequently.


macrumors newbie
Nov 10, 2015
If all you need is loading and storing photos your current iMac might still do the job. What exactly is wrong with it?


macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2015
Mac mini just for managing some storage seems over the top. I would just use my router to connect a HDD, it has decent NAS functionality and you can also connect an SD card reader or other mass storage devices like a camera. It's completely manageable through its web interface.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2015
Thanks for all the replies guys. Turned out to be a failing hard drive. Found a local computer shop that replaced it for $200. So I went ahead and bit the bullet. Hopefully I'll get a few more years out of it.


macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2015
I see you have a solution......but just for future reference here is what I use to store GoPro videos and pictures when on vacation on my motorcycle.
No computer needed and I have 2TB space with a cheap WD USB drive.

Allows you to initiate transfers of pictures/videos/files from an SD card to a hard drive (user supplied) via your smart phone. USB HD is powered by the wireless G2 and it's rechargable.
I have one and love it on perfect.

Best part is it takes up little room and no computer needed.

Kingston Digital 5-in-1 Mobile Companion, Expanded Storage, 4640 mAh Battery Charger, and more for iOS and Android devices (MLWG2)
Last edited:


macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2010
Thanks for all the replies guys. Turned out to be a failing hard drive. Found a local computer shop that replaced it for $200. So I went ahead and bit the bullet. Hopefully I'll get a few more years out of it.
I'm glad you found a solution that cost less than a new computer! A new hard drive should take that computer out past its useful lifespan with regards to RAM and CPU power. You'll be fine with it for a couple more years.

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.