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Storing iTunes Video Files on an External Hard Drive

I just finished copying movies and TV shows to an external USB hard drive, freeing up around 30-40GB of disk space on my MacBook. I created an alias of the two video folders on the external drive and put replaced the original ones in the iTunes Music Folder. Once the original files were deleted from the Mac, I still had to manually locate all of the videos before iTunes would allow me to play them again. In order to do so, I had to go into the iTunes Preferences and deselect some option to prevent the program from copying files over when they were added to the library as well. I've done all of that, and right now, iTunes happily copies any film clip or TV show over to one of my docked iPods. Also, I think I read somewhere that doing the same with the Podcast folder will prevent iTunes from automatically updating and downloading new podcast episodes, so I'm going to leave those alone. Disconnecting the drive will cause iTunes to complain about lost files, but reconnecting it allows me to play the videos again, just as I thought. So far so good. This is why I could use a bigger internal drive, and a new desktop for that matter.

Now, the aliases I created link to the external drive, but I don't think iTunes actually needs them, since I had to manually locate the files myself. I think I am going to leave them in the iTunes folder for reference, perhaps, but one would think that iTunes could use an alias to find the something for me. Strange. Is this normal behavior? Just curious if I could make better use of them.

One other question: I saw an ad for some new Seagate Portable USB drives. They can be connected with a separate dock and come in 320GB and 500GB models. Not too bad. My only gripe here is that it lacks a FireWire connection and uses a 5400rpm drive. It is marketed towards and built for travelers and portable use, so I'm not too surprised. I thought about purchasing one and using this for my external video storage, which would allow me to watch more content when I'm out of town or away from my current USB drive. Would this be a viable solution? If it's as small as it looks, then I could easily keep it in my laptop bag. Although, I've been considering getting some sort of iPod Classic, most likely the 120GB model. I could put every movie in my library on it and watch it whenever I want to, pretty much eliminating the need for a portable, external drive. I think the iPod would make things easier: no cables attached. Any suggestions or recommendations? Thanks in advance.


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Check our Storage forum.

In reply to: Storing iTunes Video Files on an External Hard Drive

The moment I read you wanted to store files on an external drive I thought of all the people that lost it all when the external hiccuped. These are less reliable than your average internal drive so besides your issue, is there a backup plan?

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My problem was with iTunes

In reply to: Check our Storage forum.

I was wanting to know if iTunes could use aliases in the iTunes Music folder to locate items for me, that's all. I've already set up my video files on the external drive. Transfers are nice and quick, so that's taken care of. I figured my problem was more software-oriented than hardware. From there, I was hoping to get a recommendation on the Seagate drive, provided I could make iTunes work for me. If not, I mentioned I was considering getting an iPod with enough capacity to do the job for me. Then, I could also watch the videos directly. I apologize if I misstated my question and problem.

I could understand why some regular, portable hard drives would be less reliable than an internal hard drive. They're small, run at 5400rpm, and are (usually) restricted to a single interface due to the enclosure. Some are cheap. However, how can all externals be less reliable than internal drives? My external drive uses a 3.5", 7200rpm HD while my MacBook uses its stock 2.5", 5400rpm HD. They have never shown any problems whatsoever, and both must be over a year old by now. The external drive isn't even used on a daily basis. What makes the external less reliable than the internal? And if I bought an external, 2.5" drive, what difference would it make if I switched it with the one in the MacBook? Most external drives are just internal drives with an enclosure around them. That's what I've been led to believe, although I'm happy to hear you out. BTW, if format is a problem, the drives I use with my Macs are all formatted as Mac OS Journaled. I only keep a few USB devices as FAT32 for data transfers between regular PCs.

As to the Seagate and iPod question, I think I've got that figured out. It looks like I won't need the HD, since I can try to make some use of a new USB drive that I got a little while ago for my Windows backups. It works well and I'm sure I could partition it for better use later. So for now, I'm eying the iPod. And again, I'd like to know how to get those aliases to work. Thanks for the help.


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In theory yes, it can work.

In reply to: My problem was with iTunes

But it's only theory and I have yet to do this.

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