What to do with my new, big-ass hard drive?
December 18, 2008 6:47 AM   Subscribe

I succumbed to cyber-Monday and bought a 1TB USB 2.0 Hard drive for $100 (AR), shipping included. What should I do with it?

-Ipod backup? Is there an easy way to backup my 80gb iPod to the external HD (I don't have nearly enough room on my Macbook HD to transfer everything from the iPod to the Macbook first using Senuti).
-Media storage/streaming? Do I need a dedicated desktop computer or NAS to stream content via XBMC over my router? Is there a way to stream content directly to my HDTV?
-Time Machine? Is there a way to only use a specified portion of the HD for Time Machine backups?
-What else should I put on the drive? We're talking about a lot of space here!
posted by ericbop to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Partition the HDD - you can do this from Disk Utility. Then it'll mount as two different drives. Use, say, half for Time Machine. Use the other half for media etc. and your iPod backups.
posted by edd at 6:52 AM on December 18, 2008


Ipod backup? Is there an easy way to backup my 80gb iPod to the external HD (I don't have nearly enough room on my Macbook HD to transfer everything from the iPod to the Macbook first using Senuti).

I'm confused by this. How can you have more music on your iPod than on your Mac? Doesn't the music come from the iTunes on your Mac in the first place? So isn't it... there?

Since you're talking about using Senuti, you must be using your iPod in some unusual way, not the regular "it gets stuff dumped into it from iTunes" model. But specifically, you can use Senuti to suck MP3s to any volume, not just your MacBook's internal drive. Don't think of it as "inside my MacBook" and "this external drive". Think of it as two drives that your Mac is using: one happens to be connected by a USB cable, the other by a tiny ribbon cable inside the chassis, but they're logically the same. You now have two drives.

-Time Machine?
Edd has this one nailed. Exactly right. I'd make the Time Machine portion twice your internal hard drive size, myself.

-Media storage/streaming?
That's a huge topic that someone else can respond to, hopefully. Storage is easy and sure, XBMC is a good option. But streaming is complicated.

What else should I put on the drive? We're talking about a lot of space here!
Famous last words. Your use of storage will expand to fill the storage you have. It's an immutable law, and in six months you'll be back here asking how to add more space to your jam-packed 1Gb drive.
posted by rokusan at 7:16 AM on December 18, 2008


bittorrent.

That can suck up all your space.
posted by Hugh2d2 at 7:44 AM on December 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


One thing that I'm planning on using my 1TB drive for is to rip my CDs to it in a lossless format. (in iTunes, this would be Apple Lossless) This way they're future-proof; you might need to re-encode them to fit on your iPod, but you'll have full quality files and won't have to worry about reripping CDs if you decide your mp3s are too low quality.

Also, since you don't mention it, definitely backup your internal harddrive to it. Otherwise it'll probably fail at the worst time, and that can be something of a fright. :)
posted by closetpacifist at 8:01 AM on December 18, 2008


I'm confused by this. How can you have more music on your iPod than on your Mac? Doesn't the music come from the iTunes on your Mac in the first place? So isn't it... there?


You can very easily copy music directly to the iPod, bypassing iTunes's local library. Just turn on manage music manually and drag files right to the iPod. This is not unusual in the era of 160GB iPods and laptops.
posted by neustile at 8:02 AM on December 18, 2008


The internet is for PORN.
posted by jckll at 8:22 AM on December 18, 2008


By no means am I suggesting that you do anything illegal but it would be interesting to download entire discographies and determine what your favorite albums were / weren't.
posted by ezekieldas at 8:42 AM on December 18, 2008


Get another identical disk and a 2-bay network storage enclosure. If one disk fails, you don't lose any data.
posted by swift at 9:39 AM on December 18, 2008


Oops, you have a USB drive. In that case, yeah, lossless audio.
posted by swift at 9:47 AM on December 18, 2008


Do you have favourite movies/TV shows but can't be bothered finding the DVDs? You could rip/download them to your HDD, saving precious minutes!
posted by jhighmore at 10:29 AM on December 18, 2008


-Media storage/streaming? Do I need a dedicated desktop computer or NAS to stream content via XBMC over my router? Is there a way to stream content directly to my HDTV?

If you attach just about any sort of machine (I have an old G3 doing this, and also an OpenWRT based router) to the USB drive, and share the drive with CIFS / SMB (windows sharing), you can set XBMC to access it. It's not 'streaming' per se, but it works fine, and is simple.
posted by pompomtom at 2:28 PM on December 18, 2008


Do what swift says, though not necessarily with NAS. Get a second drive now, and dedicate it solely to backing up all of and only whatever you put on your first drive.

Filling a 1TB drive is going to represent a considerable investment in your time. You should double your available storage now and then immediately forget that you own 2TB so that you can enjoy your 1TB of safer redundant storage.

Digital data doesn't really exist until you have at least two copies of it, preferably on physically distinct media, preferably in different buildings.
posted by flabdablet at 4:19 PM on December 18, 2008


I'm confused by this. How can you have more music on your iPod than on your Mac? Doesn't the music come from the iTunes on your Mac in the first place?

...And then you can delete it from the Mac, but not from the iPod.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:26 PM on December 18, 2008


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