Time Capsule as a hard drive for Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by aoreilly88, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. aoreilly88 macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2009
    I am planning on purchasing a mac mini solely for the purpose of playing music - it will be hooked up to a hi-fi amplifier and speakers. All of the music that will be on the computer will be in lossless format, which is very large. I will need a lot (320+ GB?) of storage.

    I'm wondering if I can cut costs by buying an old 80 GB mini and augmenting its hard drive with a time capsule. I was planning on buying a time capsule anyway, so I could save something like $300. My questions are: would I be able to stream music from the time capsule to the mac mini? Would I be able to import music from itunes directly onto the time capsule? If I hook the mini up to the time capsule via USB, can it serve as a hard-drive, even if my internet is down? Is it going to be much more worth my time to buck up and buy a new 320 GB mini?

  2. Lanbrown macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2003
    USB and streaming usually don't work all that well. You could buy that Mini and put a larger drive in it. Drives are not that expensive.
  3. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    Why not just get an airport express and hook up your stereo to it and stream your music with Airtunes?
  4. aoreilly88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2009
    How expensive are larger drives? So you would reccomend not storing music on an external drive and playing it from there? I've been looking an used minis like this (costs about $400):

    Used Mac mini G4/1.42 GHz

    1024 MB of RAM
    80 GB internal drive
    Internal SuperDrive
    Internal 56k modem
    No keyboard or mouse
    Airport Extreme and Bluetooth installed
    ATI Radeon 9200 Video
    Certified Pre-Owned Mac with 90 day warranty
    OS CD is not included
    OS 10.4.11 installed
    Classic Installed

    Can I add like 500 GB to the hard drive? Will that cause me problems? And adding it to the internal computer would be better than an external hard drive?

    I want a stand-alone unit for the music. Scrolling through front row on a large monitor with a good stereo is a beautiful thing.

    Thank you!
  5. emptyCup macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2005
    You could do that if you don't mind opening the mini. Or you could use a MiniStack if you don't mind an external.
  6. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    You can use the TC as a normal network drive, but depending on how you'll do that, say through wireless, it wouldn't be as fast as with a dedicated external or wired connection.

    If all you are looking for is a cheap way to store your music, always check out newegg.com.

    I just went and found a 1TB external drive for $99 (or $79 with the mail in rebate).
  7. aoreilly88 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2009
    I checked out that link.....ministacks just external hard-drives? I don't mind externals much - this computer will be stationary, so I can keep an external plugged in. When I'm ripping files from CD's though, can I import them directly to the external harddrive?

    That definitely seems like a very affordable way to do it, and is looking very attractive at the moment. I've been doing the math, and I don't think that 320 GB would suffice for the 1000+ albums that I plan on importing in lossless (probably going to be around 500 GB), so I would need extra storage even if I bought the biggest stock mini on the market.

    I still like the idea of a time capsule (I need a wi-fi base, I would like to also back up my macbook pro). I haven't gotten a straight answer on this though - can I use the time capsule as an external hard-drive? Can I store music on the time capsule and play the music from the time capsule. I'll connect my mini and the time capsule through whatever method...


    EDIT: Just read up on ministacks - they seem like fantastic units. Is this correct? Seems like I could save a lot of money by sitting a 1TB ministack underneath a low end mini?
  8. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Basically, the TC drive pops up on your desktop as an external drive, and you can do with as you please. The link I posted was for using multiple machines to access the drive in the TC.

    In iTunes, you can go to the preferences and select where you want your library to be (or where it is). You then navigate to the TC drive, select a folder or create one, and iTunes will store/read music in that location.
  9. spinne1 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 12, 2005
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    A G4 mini is not a good option especially at that price. An Intel Mini should be purchased instead (much more powerful, about the same price.) You can get Intel Core 2 Duo Minis on ebay for around $400. They will blow a G4 away. BIG TIME. Now, if you could get the G4 Mini for $200 it would be worth it as all you plan to do is play music, which actually any Mac since the mid-80s could probably do just fine.

    An external hard drive for the Mini is a good way to go because of speed issues. A networked drive might not be as robust at playing back your music especially if being used for other purposes at the same exact time. However, you might never have an issue and it will work just fine to stream from the Time Capsule.


Share This Page