Where will iTunes run better? NAS or USB 2 external HDD

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by MrMister111, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. MrMister111 macrumors 68020

    Jan 28, 2009
    My iTunes library has grown to over 100Gb now. Its getting too big for my iMac HDD. So where is best to store it now? where do others?

    I have a NAS wired 100Mbps connection to my iMac, or a USB2 external disk connected, or any other ideas? A lot of users I expect now have too large librarys for their internal Mac's HDD?

    I use Apple TV so need my iMac on (sleeping) all the time, will this mean external HDD running all the time?

    please someone tell me their preferred methods for iTunes storage, and Home Sharing.

  2. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    NAS works for me

    FWIW, I have a NAS on my home 1Gbit/s network that keeps my 350GB iTunes library (~17000 songs). It works great. I use it for multiple computers and for an Apple Express connected to a receiver.

    Very convenient. Works like a charm.
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    I think that your preexisting NAS is your best bet. I have a similar setup to the poster above (but a Mini HTPC). Even over 10/100 it'll be plenty speedy enough to handle your data as long as it doesn't have to go over wireless twice.

    If you go the USB option, any modern drive should go to sleep along with your iMac and spin up as needed. There's an option in energy saver for powering down hard drives, and this applies to USB as well.
  4. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    Once set up, either will work fine.

    A Direct connected external drive is far easier to set up with iTunes than a NAS. The NAS will bring more features to the table, but if you only want to do the iTunes Library storage and will always access everything through iTunes (like ATV), External is easier.

    The problem I have had with storing my library on NAS is making sure the share is mounted before iTunes opens. If you fail to do this, unpredictable things will start to happen, such as iTunes will reset its library location to the default and all of your content will be marked as missing. Not fatal problems, but annoying and not what I want from my Apple ecosystem...

    Unless you are trying to share the same media to other devices that the NAS would support directly (it probably serves as a DLNA media server for example), or have other reasons to put your library on the NAS, I would stick with direct attached externals. I would go with FW800 over USB2 drives, but that's another story...
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    If you have more than one computer I would use the NAS. Then if you uncheck the "Keep iTunes Media folder organized" option. Each computer can run off the same library.

    When you go to add songs or create playlists I found it is best to only do so from one computer. Then you just copy and replace the iTunes library database file from that computer onto the others. This also works between Windows and Mac. I would note that they must all be running the same version of iTunes. When transferring the database between Windows and Mac OS you must wait a couple minutes for the computer to rebuild the database file.

    Otherwise I would stick with the external hard drive as Panch0 mentioned as it is annoying when you open iTunes and the share is not mounted. Though you can add it to your Startup items in System Preferences to minimize this error.
  6. thenumbersrbad macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2008
    iTunes on external drive

    I have my iTunes library on an external hard drive but if I click on iTunes and the drive isn't connected it tells me that the library can't be found, I'm assuming that's normal but is there a way I can still get the contents of my library to show without the drive connected?
  7. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Yeah, but it involves separating your iTunes library file from the media it's associated with. Take a look at THIS guide.
  8. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    I would wait for a thunderbolt HDD enclosure. However, my USB enclosure with a normal HDD is fine for my iTunes media.
  9. MrMister111 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jan 28, 2009
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    Thanks for replies another question please.

    On my NAS, a buffalo linkstation live, there's an option for an iTunes server. Currently my iTunes is just in a "normL" folder in the NAD and the iTunes server is disabled.

    What is the iTunes server on the NAS? What does it do over a normal folder?

    I only use 1 iMac to connect to the library btw.

    I think a NAS will be easier for me as all my video is on the NAS anyway as it's too large for my external HDD, so I just reference the videos into the iTunes library.

    It only hops 1 wireless to, ie my NAS is wired to my Airport Extreme, then wired to my iMac. I use Apple TV wirelessly for my music and video.

    I do get the error about "pick a library" as I put my NAS to sleep overnight. How can I auto mount the NAS when it's awake, as my iMac is on all the time anyway.


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