USB-C & USB 3.1 Type A External SSD Confusion...

MushroomMan

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 31, 2015
113
32
Thailand
Background

Last December I picked up a 2018 MBP 15" (2.6 / 32GB / 1TB / V20) to replace my 2011 MBP 15" which evidently died from Radeon Gate. I was quite happy with the 2011 (internal SSD / Optibay / 16GB), and a bit annoyed that I would have to move to a machine which was not upgradable. I would have loved to have been able to afford a 2TB or even 4TB 2018, but I just couldn't justify the cost.....I've had plenty of used cars which have cost me less than the 2018 did :(. It is what it is.

After almost a year with the new machine I am a big fan despite the Vega flash issue (jury is still out on the keyboard). However, I am now running into storage issues with only about 50GB available. Most of my storage is taken up by my music library which I've cut down from about 1TB to just under 700GB. It's a collection I have had for over 15 years and one I would not like to lose as the physical media lives in another country (CDs & Vinyl), and I spent countless hours ripping CDs & recording records yada yada... Given my SSD size of 1TB, I know I need to shift my music to an external drive - no dramas. The problem is that I am super confused by USB-C. I have a 2TB USB3 Western Digital External SSD that I use for TimeMachine back-ups currently, and figured I would just go with another one of these for a 'media' library (ideally 4TB), but I really want to just plug straight into the MBP's USB-C port.

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 22.07.29.png
Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 22.07.11.png




Some Questions:

1. The 2TB WD SSD is USB 3.1 (Gen 2 ??) with a Type A to what I 'think' is a WD proprietary connection. Is it possible to buy a cable that will connect to the WD connection on one end and have a USB-C connector on the other (so it can be plugged straight into the MBP)? Is there any reason this will cause dramas, or not work?

2. In General, is there any issue with having a USB 3.1 connector on one end of a cable and a USB-C connector on the other?

3. There don't seem to be many USB-C external SSDs available compared to SSDs with USB 3.1 Type A connectors, why is this? Is it that you can just buy a cable (as mentioned in Question 2 above)?

4. I know this would be a costly option, but as I would really like to keep my music data with the laptop is there any reason a 1TB SDXC card couldn't be my iTunes storage media (super portable etc..)?



Thanks for reading, and any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Where I live imported things are heavily taxed which makes it hard to just order from the US etc. when I don't know exactly what I am looking for.
 

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
5,905
3,146
Is it possible to buy a cable that will connect to the WD connection on one end and have a USB-C connector on the other
That was a long post, but it all boils down to the quoted above, to which the answer is yes. The connector on your drive is a "Micro B" connector. Here is a cable for $6.


As for the other questions:

2. No.

3. The number is growing as USB-C adoption grows.

4. SDXC cards are not as fast or reliable as SSDs, but yes you could do it.
 

MushroomMan

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 31, 2015
113
32
Thailand
Thank you very much for the speedy reply Chabig, and apologies for the essay lol

Excellent info and thanks for the link - much appreciated!
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,991
4,559
You can also consider migrating your music library onto a local network disk (i use a Synology, it’s also great for backups and movies), or getting a music streaming subscription. I’m sure that 99% of your music library is on Apple Music for example. In this day and age, having large local music collections is mostly unnecessary.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,508
367
It's a collection I have had for over 15 years and one I would not like to lose as the physical media lives in another country
Make sure that you follow the backup rules, such as 3 backups in 3 different media types and 3 locations, one in something like a bank safe deposit box.
 

MushroomMan

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 31, 2015
113
32
Thailand
Cheers for the Input Leman. I like the idea of a wireless solution, although I am not really into subscriptions (I like 1-time payments).

While lot of my music would be available on something like Apple Music, plenty wouldn't be. That said, I don't really listen to it anywhere near as much as I did in the past. I've just been used to always having it on a local drive - we are not talking about millions of songs, they are just uncompressed I move around a bit and it's just nice to have it when I want it. And I completely agree with your last sentence, and always thought I would just take advantage of an SD card slot to have a simple solution.
- - Post merged: - -

Make sure that you follow the backup rules, such as 3 backups in 3 different media types and 3 locations, one in something like a bank safe deposit box.
Yes, while it is only music after all (not related to a business or anything) - I have already learned the hard way..... twice :(

Off to go and check out some hard drives now....thanks again for all the pointers :D