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Music, Audio, and Podcasting Do you use your Mac to create music? This is the place for discussions on creating and editing music on the Mac!

Best External HD for Massive iTunes Library

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Member Since: Jun 04, 2009
Posts: 2
frankcab3 is on a distinguished road

frankcab3 is offline

I recently lost my entire 140 GB iTunes library (along with hours of raw and edited video and audio recordings) when my cheap Iomega 500GB decided to start making a ticking noise and crap out on me. I had my library backed up through iTunes on 9 DVDs a year ago, but i still lost everything I had accumulated over the past year and a half.

I am looking for the best external HD with the fastest transfer rate (USB/Firewire 400). My top priority is reliability and I need my data to be secure and safe, not necessarily disaster proof like ioSafe drives, although I would like it to be able to take a simple fall in case something were to happen while moving it. I just don't want to have to go through this again.

I have also heard about making my own external HD but am clueless about the process. Might this be a better option?

I am also entertaining the thought of buying an Acer One 160GB to use strictly for my iTunes Music (no video) since I would like to make my library more portable. I read an article about moding one to run Leopard, but the directions were a bit over my head. I guess I could put up with Windows (EEEK!) just for iTUnes Music purposes. Help!!!

I have a Macbook 2GHz Intel and 2 GB DDR2 and use an 8GB iPod Touch (in case this makes a difference).
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Member Since: Jun 09, 2009
Location: South Australia
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blads is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacPro | 15" Macbook Pro (2009)

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Being a new user to macs (previous windows person) you may wish to try a WD My Book Studio II 2Tb dual-drive storage system (with Raid). It uses either Firewire 400/800 or USB2.

cheers blads
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Member Since: Oct 11, 2008
Posts: 121
Jmurr187 is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: MacBook Pro Intel Core Duo, ProTools HD, Digi 192

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Western Digital is my choice also. My Book's are great!
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This is what I would recommend:

FireWire RAID 1 Redundant Mirror Performance FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 Storage Solution NewerTech Guardian MAXimus at

Any external drive with a single mechanism has a single point of failure. With a dual-drive external, running in mirrored mode (also known as "RAID1"), if one drive fails, you're still OK. You can simply replace that mechanism and keep on going.

Single drive externals are great for backups. If you want to use it as the sole location for important data, you should seriously consider something like the above.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Member Since: Jun 05, 2009
Posts: 11
cesar_spain is on a distinguished road

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My inclination is always a NAS (Network Attached storage) with at least 2 HDD, for RAID capabilities.

Here an explanation:

YouTube - NETGEAR ReadyNAS Duo

Here some options:

Lacie 2big NAS:

Link: LaCie - LaCie 2big Network - Professional 2-disk RAID
Advantages: quiet, pretty good aluminium box, similar to Apple style. Nice support.
Disadvantages: price, performance, lack of some features

Synology 209+:

Link: Synology Inc. - NEW NAS Experience - Products :: Disk Station DS209+II
Advantages: one of the quietest NAS, lot of features (one of the best), high performance
Disadvantages: price, ugly and fragil plastic box

Neatgear ReadyNAS Duo:

Link: ReadyNAS Duo -
Advantages: nice solid box, high performance, many features
Disadvantages: noisy unit, price


Link: IO DATA HDL2-G: New Fanless NAS with 1TB-2TB of Storage : Akihabara News .com
No idea where to get, how it work, anything.


From my point of view, there is no a perfect solution out there (don't know why): fanless unit (so, completely quiet), solid box, plenty of features.

-- NAS comparison

I think the quiest unit is Synology one (very important feature, actually) and includes many features for adapting the unit to any environment. But, the plastic box, man it is really bad, you have to use a screw driver in order to change a failing HDD.

Lacie is so beutiful, but reviews of the are not so good.

REadyNAS is a nice choice, if you don't care the noise of the fan.

-- External HDD? best bet, laptop HDDs

I wouldn't recommend an external HDD alone, since they tend to be unreliable, due to mechanical heating (usually, do not come with proper cooling solutions), movement tend to break them and so on. As student, I saw at least 4 external HDD with troubles, so people looses their information.

Laptop HDD are better for such purposes: smaller (so, you can bring them anywhere), lower power consumption (comes fro USB, no need to plug it to the network), less heating problems.

Hope that helps

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