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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MacBook Pro vs. XP desktop: iTunes

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I just picked up a MacBook Pro - the 15" 80GB model, and since I'm a brand new switcher, I added more RAM to make Parallels to run a little more smoothly.

I am trying to use the Mac as much as I can so I get sort of immersed in it. That's not easy, because I'm a .NET developer for 40 hours a week, but I'm really enjoying Quicksilver and getting set up.

One thing I was really looking forward to is using iTunes in OS X. I've been a huge fan since the beginning of iTunes for Windows, so I've amassed a library - more than 80GB of podcasts, album rips, iTMS purchases, video blogs, etc., and obviously that won't all fit on the MacBook.

Before you think that's the question I'm asking: that's not the question I'm asking. I picked up an external USB 2.0 HD thingy and it's managing the whole thing quite well. (I have some experience moving iTunes libraries around, and I've even got new stuff going to the local drive, and the archive in the external drive, so when it's disconnected, I still have my newest stuff. I am very proud of this.)

The question I'm pondering today, and I'm wracked with guilt (okay not really): I have ample hard drive space on my XP machine. It's always on, it's always connected to the internet, it's got the same USB ports... why am I going through the contortions of getting iTunes all happy on the MacBook? The experience isn't like 800x better on the MacBook. (It's like maybe 14% better.) I have an iPod, so it isn't even like I really need access to the music, and when I'm on the road, I obviously would have to go to that for a backup anyway.

The Mac does offer me Front Row, and that's kind of cool, but I'm not totally sure it makes or breaks the deal. What else would I lose / gain by switching back for iTunes alone? Do you think it matters?

I'm not real into having a shared library pointing to a network drive. I'm not in love with the speed of iTunes playlist sharing, either, but I suppose I could make some of those lists less intricate and make that easier on myself. If anyone else switched from a large-disk Windows world and has successfully made the most of the smaller space in the MacBook world, feel free to tip me off here.
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Originally Posted by dnordquist
If anyone else switched from a large-disk Windows world and has successfully made the most of the smaller space in the MacBook world, feel free to tip me off here.
It's similar to the case of having 30,000 songs and then buying a Nano.

You simply haven't got the room and you don't need to make the room either.

If I was you I would continue to use Windows Xp as your Main Computer then only transfer what you need for the road, or whatever it may be onto your Mac. I suppose in a way it's similar to me and my Brother he has a Windows PC jam-packed with Music but I only use what I'm listening to or I like.

So I only transfer the "good songs" that are often used to my iMac and the rest of the crap can stay on Windows.

Kind of talked crap for a bit there but I hope you got the message.

Damien Healy
iMac 20" OSX 10.4.9 Tiger | |
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Yea my windows box has about 1.3 TB of storage. So I'm going to use it as a file server. I started Transferring data to my macbook and noticed I only had 20gb free out 100gb drive so i Decided to keep everything on my windows box. And only transfer when needed.
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You've used up 80Gb already? Thats fairly quick sure you shouldn't of got a bigger HArd Drive

Damien Healy
iMac 20" OSX 10.4.9 Tiger | |
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Thanks for the replies. I'm not against using a bunch of computers in my house, but if I'm going to switch, I really want to give the MacBook a chance to replace all the stuff I use the other computers for.

But you're right, it's not a file server, and probably shouldn't be leveraged as one. I was thinking that iTunes was really a "lifestyle" app, and that it would be well worth it to have on the MacBook, but it's probably more like a file server app the way that I use it. (I already had switched my torrent stuff back to XP: no sense running torrents on a machine that migrates from network to network, and spends half the day in my bag.)
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I find apple's Bon Jour technology quite adequate for my music sharing needs. And that too, I use it over wireless network. All the crappy GBs of music are left on the PC (with a 120GB HDD) and only the choices of songs are on the iMac (250GB HDD). I know its silly, but I don't like to fill up my iMac with junk. And since music sharing works perfectly, I have no reason to transfer all the tracks.
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iTunes sharing is great. I keep my music on a server in a closet in my basement and I access my library on my Macbook everywhere in my house over wireless.

Saves my harddrive and theres no difference in my mind.
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No difference? What if you want to download music? Buy stuff? Even change a playlist around? Subscribe to a podcast?

Unless you're talking about mounting a Windows file share as your music directory. That I think I could get behind. (It was slow when I tried it.)

There is also the matter of having my play counts not go up. (Seriously, I am that much of a spaz.)

The happy resolution to this particular case is that I had my super sweet USB 2.0 drive behind a USB 1.1 hub, which was making everything kind of pokey. Connecting it directly to the Mac makes the iTunes experience like 164% better.
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I also thought an 80GB hard drive was a great size, here is my setup:

I do the majority of my programming (all internet based languages) and graphic arts work on my laptop. This is just because I can pull it out any time and use it. I also can connect it to my large display in my office and use it from there. However my strategy is to keep my machine as lean as possible.

I don't store a bunch of stock photography on it, only have about 250 songs on it at any given time, etc...

I also use my windows box for storage of all media, and to watch movies on while I work :-) I also have an external hard drive for storage.

Like I said in another post. I am surprised how LITTLE I really need on my machine and how much my previous laptop had on it that was just clutter. I can really increase my workflow with less folders and less clutter so it is very advantageous to me.

Also, I love the networkability of the new Macs, it can network with window no problem, etc.. Its good to take advantage of!


If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
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