Why 160GB Apple TV is Useless

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ClassicBean, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I have the 160 GB :apple: TV. While I love it, one thing about this thing bothers me.


    What good is a 160GB drive if you only have an 80GB hard drive in your computer

    The problem is with syncing. Once you get your movies and TV shows on the :apple: TVV, it's set up to automatically copy new movies to the :apple: TV when syncing is turned on.

    Now that's fine. But if I want to erase some media from my computer to clear up space, I don't have an option to keep it on my :apple: TV. The moment I sync again, if the media is gone from iTunes, it'll be gone from my :apple: TV. Even if syncing is turned off, in order to add new movies, you need to synch which will in turn erase stuff from the :apple: TV that is no longer on your computer.

    So.... why didn't they make this thing like an iPod? With my iPod, I have the option to manually add tracks to the device. If I remove those tracks from my computer, they'll still remain on my iPod.

    With a 120 GB hard drive nearly 3/4 full with applications, documents and music, that leaves a lot of empty space on my :apple: TV since I'm low on space for movies and tv shows.

    Anyone think we'll see an update to address this?
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    From reading forum posts here, a lot of folks keep their iTunes library on larger external drives.

    It would be cool if there was an easy way to have stuff stay on the AppleTV after it's been removed from the syncing computer...
  3. ClassicBean thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I would do that too if I had a desktop. But I take my MBP everywhere and like to keep my media with me.
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Yes. You have to purchase the "external 500 GB USB harddisk" update. You can buy this at many computer stores all over the world, and it will work with every modern Macintosh and most modern PCs.
  5. ClassicBean thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    I'd rather not carry around an external hard drive with my laptop wherever I go to keep all my media files on there. I still want access to my media when I travel.
  6. HelixOmnimedia macrumors 6502a


    Jul 26, 2006
    Traveling The World
    This is why I backed out of getting a upgrade for my AppleTV. I have a PowerBook with an 90GB hard drive and a lot of movies and tv shows which exceeds the PBHD and the ATV.
    Until a few days ago I had no space left on my harddrive, and moved all my movies to my exteral 500GB HD, but like people have said, I'm always on the move and want to take all/most of the content with me.

    Roll on October... Leopard = me buying a MacBook Pro
  7. Vidd macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    Exactly. A lot of people don't store everything on their machine's internal HD and rely on cheap, external storage.
  8. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    While the 160GB aTV may not be as useful to you, there are many people out there with Macs/PCs that have HDD's larger than 160GB. Even laptop owners have the option of 250GB drives now. Apple is being forward thinking in this case (not to mention the significant mark-up for the 160GB version).

    Also, I agree about the sync'ing aspect of the aTV. It would be a good feature to be able to manually sync and have stuff on the aTV that wouldn't necessarily be on the host Mac.
  9. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Well, the Apple TV isn't going to solve that problem either way . . .
  10. MikeyTree macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2007
    I wish there was some way to keep half my library on an external, and half on my internal. Or at the very least, keep the library on the external, but allow me to keep a few files on the internal that itunes will recognize when it's not connected to the external.
  11. ClassicBean thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    No, it won't. But that wasn't my point. My point was that if I wanted to sync my library stored on an external, i'd have to keep my media on the external. So when i travel, my media is no longer accessible because it's not on my local machine.
  12. ClassicBean thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    Yeah, that was my biggest point. Don't get me wrong, the 160 GB is useful. After all, I returned my 40GB for it. I was just trying to say that it would be more useful if it worked like an iPod.
  13. cleung macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2006
    Hong Kong
    Oh no! I just ordered a 160GB Apple TV today! Clearly I hadn't done enough research. I thought I could dump all the TV shows onto Apple TV and keep only the unwatched ones on my MBP. Right now, I dump all the old seasons onto an external HD.
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    I don't know if this would work for you, but you can have multiple iTunes libraries (each in their own location).

    If you hold down the OPTION key when you launch iTunes, it should let you pick (or create) a library.

    You could have your main one on an external drive, and then maintain a smaller one locally.

    The only catch is that iTunes can only access one library at a time -- you'll have to manually switch back and forth.
  15. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    I have an idea. Why don't you remove everything that you don't want on your harddrive first from iTunes, and then move it to an external drive. Then re-add it to iTunes while holding OPTION. This prevents iTunes from copying the files locally, but it will still add them to your iTunes library. Of course you'll need to get an external drive for this... I hope that helps! :)
  16. joshwest macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2005
    they should just release a update for external HD capable for the apple tv, and write a ap called Caput or something that just keeps it on the HD untill you do what you wish to it. I bet something along these lines will be released this year.

    Look at what they just did for Leopard pretty much took Apple Remote Desktop off the map with file sharing through your .mac account.
  17. cazlar macrumors 6502

    Oct 2, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    I don't have an :apple:TV, but if it acts like an iPod, this should be normal behaviour. Just have the ones you want on the external in your library, but when you add them, turn off "copy to library". So iTunes just has a link to them on the external. When you sync with the external present, they should sync over. When you later sync when the external is not present, they should still stay on the :apple:TV. At least that's how it works with an iPod.

    Edit: Forgot to mention the only downside of this is when the external is gone, iTunes might question mark the missing files if it tries to access them, and it can be a pain to convince it they are all back when you reconnect the external (at least previously I had to do it track by track, there's probably a better way).
  18. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    well the title is a bit provocative. just because your computer has only 80gig doesn't mean the ATV is useless.

    anyway, my experience is to avoid external storage as much as possible and ather upgrade to a larger HD in your notebook. it's not that hard to do and you get 160 GB for ~100 bucks and there are even 250 GB 5400RPM notebook drives.

    that should be enough to make use of ATV. external disks are only for backup and storage of data you don't need all the time. at least in a notebook setting i would set it up like this.

    if i have two computers i would try to get HD's of equal size and sync it all. it's just easier that way.
  19. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    AppleTV doesn't have a "manage files manually" option like my iPod?
  20. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Yes it does. I have one.
  21. rockstarjoe macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2006
    washington dc
    So that solves the problem, then, correct? You just copy stuff to the Appletv and delete it from your harddrive, and everyone is happy? yay?
  22. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Is this new? Because according to this thread, it's not possible. :(
  23. MagicUK macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    Hampshire, England
    Thanks I didn't know that....You live and learn!

    Okay not sure if you have heard of ScreenCastsOnline but the its basically a video podcast (free) or enhanced or HD stream that at $35 for 6 months is pretty good value.

    Well the bloke that runs it did a two part thing on the :apple: tv box that might be worth a look.

    Try Here http://screencastsonline.com/sco/Shows/files/category-apple-tv.html
  24. NicP macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2005
    I do this, works quite well. I actually use a network drive for the additional storage, if the network isn't available it complains it cant find the song, if the network is available then it mounts the share and plays!
  25. filman408 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    For the record, my iTunes library is 400GB+. Far too much to keep on a portable.

    I usually have ~5GB (my favorites) in one library on the internal (for mobile entertainment) and then while at my desk with the enormous external hard drive hooked up and connect to the external library thru option-clicking iTunes. My entire library is on the external. Best of both worlds.

    In my mind this is easier instead of worrying about what files are referenced and what files arent. I've been burn with that method in the past. :(

    -I did this when I only had a 1st Gen MBP.

    I have a 160GB aTV and have copied my favoite content to it. 150GB consists of the content I use most. I figured I could copy once and then the laptop drive is out of the equation. You could do this while hooked up to the external library. Just don't add data to the aTV and then delete it from the computer (I guess this is OK if you have a physical back-up somewhere). Talk about horror stories. Even if it is possible, just dont do it. You will most likely have to reformat the device and you cant copy from aTV to computer.

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