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Playing Audio from an external hard drive

by MichaelAntin / December 10, 2007 10:40 PM PST

My son has filled up his internal hard drive on his laptop ( HP Pavillion zv5000) with music. So I was thinking of getting him an external drive so he could transfer his music collection to the external device. Can audio be played directly from the external drive or would he have to transfer files to the internal storage before playing ? What about direct transfer to his iPod from the external device ?

If this is the objective what specific products on the market should I be looking at ? Alternatively, what characteristics are most important for me to consider given this usage pattern ?

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Re: external drive
by Kees Bakker / December 10, 2007 10:51 PM PST

Any USB-drive would be fine. Apart from another drive-letter (say g: in stead of c:) there's no difference, and it's certainly fast enough to play music or even video's.

The most important things to decide on:
- Externally powered or powered via the USB. If the laptop runs on a battery, externally powered is. If it's connected to the mains, there's no real difference.
- Capacity in Gb. 250 gB is about the minimum at the moment.

Things to note:
- External drives, somehow, are more errorprone than internal drives. So it's essential that the external drive isn't the only place where music is stored or he'll lose it sooner or later. Keep it on the laptop ALSO, or burn to DVD.
- He can use the external drive as a backup medium for all files on the laptop he doesn't want to lose, such as his school stuff or pictures. It needs some discipline to do, but - if the laptop suddenly fails - he'll be glad he did.


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Sorry, forgot about iTunes
by Kees Bakker / December 10, 2007 10:54 PM PST

Some programs are rather choosy about where they accept their files. Outlook Express, for example, refuses to put it's mail files on a removable hard disk or an network drive.

I don't know about iTunes. Maybe better ask in another forum, if no answer comes here about that. It would be a pity if you bought the hard disk and iTunes gave an error like "Music library can't be on removable disk". After all, it's copy protected, so you can't play it on another PC, so what's the use of putting it on such a drive. A good reason to disable it, seen from Apple's point of view.


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itunes & external backup
by tech532 / January 11, 2008 5:45 AM PST

I'd like to know if anybody has stored their itunes library on an external drive. My daughter's music collection has maxed out the storage on our dell xps hard drive. I've deleted everything possible but need to off load the music to free up storage space. Also, what kind of external drive should I get. I started to do the research and am pretty confused. Thanks.

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iTunes storage
by tommybitt / January 16, 2008 1:36 AM PST

I didn't store the iTunes library on my external Hard drive but instead created a music folder, containing "artist" folders and then just copied the music to appopriate folders. Then I could remove/delete music from my computers hard drive as I wished. To play the music files I would just copy them back into iTunes folder.
One mistake I did make...did'nt back up 120 Gigs of music and 100 gb of family pics to DVD! And of course my hd crashed. Now I'm researching how to recover.
External hard drives WILL fail eventually, so always back up your files to DVD if you dont want to lose them!
Pray for my file recovery

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by quartet1977 / January 22, 2008 1:16 AM PST
In reply to: iTunes storage

I moved my entire itunes library from my HD to my My Book without problem. This included m4b audiobook files, mp3s, and music purchased from the the itunes store.

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