Best external hard drive to store PC ripped music


I'm looking for a good External HD to store my music on.
To back it up with.
I use a PC and rip my music to mp3 320 kbps.

I got an Hitachi 500GB HD for Xmas, and it does store the files, but its not in a great user friendly way......

Does anyone have a HD that does a great job of backing up your music Library in a nice user friendly way?

Thanks for any and all comments.

Happy new year!
Along the same sort of lines, I am also interested. But I worked in IT long enough to realise the fallibility of hard drives - is there a solid state alternative?
I'm not sure what your question is. Hard drives by themselves don't have a user interface independent of the directory structure of the operating system you're using or the music server application.

Are you asking what application you should use to manage your music?
Sfar, My Hitachi HD does have back up software. I'm not a big fan of how they decided to organize files on the Hitachi.

That's why I'm wondering if some other brand does it well or better.

I want one that put all the music into one area, regardless of date.

So, if I update the HD drive every week, I don't want files for dates of back up like the Hitachi does, I just want the music files to go into the same folder for all music regardless of date entered.

One big pool of music.

or maybe a HD brand that may cater to music back up, or be more friendly for it. I don't know?
Mcgarick, if you're using a PC then why not use the Windows Backup utility? You can select the files that you want backed up and the schedule you want them backed up with. All versions of Windows 7 can back up to an external HD attached with USB, eSATA, or Firewire. (Only the Professional and Ultimate version can backup to an NAS.)

And I wouldn't micromanage how the backup software organizes your files on the backup drive. As long as it can restore them when needed, I wouldn't judge it on how it's stored.

In my opinion, simplicity of backups is an area where the Macintosh is superior. The Time Machine in Mac OS X is brilliant, useful, zero-maintenence, and utterly simple. But you have a PC so I won't won't say any more about that.

As for physical external drives, I have been extremely happy with the OWC's Mercury Elite-AL Pro. See I have several of them and none has had any problems. They are well-constructed and support all possible interfaces (USB, Firewire, and eSATA). They are marketed towards the Mac user but work just fine on Windows (just format them with NTFS).

Hope that helps.

Hi Sufentanil (Michael),

I've got a Mac Mini with a 2TB drive nearly filled up, largely with uncompressed music. I've got a couple 1.5 TB drives hanging around, and would like to use one for backup with Time Machine. Will Time Machine compress things down so a 2TB drive of mostly uncompressed music will likely fit on a 1.5 TB drive?

Software designed to back up and restore the files on your hard drive is a different thing from software designed to organize your music collection, and both are independent of the brand of hard drive you use.

If what you're interested in is having easy access to your music files then software like iTunes or J.River would let you manage those files easily.
check out Drobo's. They back themselves up, and have near infinite storage, with hot swapable SATA hard drives. Very cool, love mine.
I use "dbpoweramp ripper"....pretty simple. You just tell it where to save the files (in a music folder on your harddrive) also gets the album cover for you, and puts it in with the music files.

What could be more easy than that?


The short answer to your question is "not likely". Ideally the Time Machine drive should be significantly larger than the data to be backed up, because Time Machine keeps interval backups after the first one that allows you to go back in time and see how the data looked at a given moment (before you make a particular change, for instance). The larger the Time Machine drive, the further back in time you can go, as it starts erasing old history when the drive fills up so it can continue to provide backups near the present time.

Peter, another thing: If you have a couple 1.5 TB drives around, get a RAID enclosure for 2 drives, put both of the drives into the enclosure and set it for RAID 0 (no redundancy, but you simulate a 3 TB drive). Then use this RAID as the time machine, so you will have a 3 TB Time Machine for 2 TB of data.

Drobo is much better, simpler, and easier than RAID, which I used to have.
Michael beat me to it, but I was going to suggest the OP get a RAID solution using it in Mirror mode. You would then have two or more duplicate copies of your music library. If one fails you pull the drive and replace it with a new one - the RAID system will automatically copy the remaining drive, creating a new duplicate. And so on. You can, of course, have more than one duplicate, but the RAID enclosure will become more expensive the more copies you have. They also tend to be more noisy than conventional drives (especially the cheaper models), requiring more cooling in larger housings. The other downfall is that this system does not maintain an off-site backup.

If you are simply looking for recommendations for external raw drives then Hitachi Ultra-Star's would be my pick. That said, any of them can fail, which is why back up is mandatory, IMO.
Drobo is much better, simpler, and easier than RAID, which I used to have.

I'm not sure I follow you here. Drobo is a brand. RAID is a technology. If you are using one of their arrays, AFAIK, that is just a mirrored RAID system. Not sure how it could be simpler than any other mirrored RAID system. The one I use requires no software at all and works entirely automatically. Two mirrored drives. If one fails a red light comes on and the other drive is put into use. Remove the bad drive, slide in a new one, and a brand new copy is automatically made on the new one maintaining a mirrored state. How is the Drobo array any simpler?
I had a RAID system for several years. I used one of our IT guys to set it up, and it worked very well. But, it is not simple, it is not plug and play as the Drobo is.

Check out the DROBO website or any of the reviews on it. It is a one box solution to storage that includes self-back up. A drive fails, you replace it, don't lose any info.

Raid is much more involved.
My business requires bullet proof backup, that said I went with a NAS solution using Buffalo products. As my home system is the business backup system as well, all of my sales and engineering staff can access my location in a manner very similar to a mainframe in the old days.

The bonus for my audiophile needs is that I now have something like 10,000 movies on demand. My AV setup is a Denon 5308 with a UD4010 feeding the source.

A recent upgrade on power conditioning shows real promise on the fidelity, but with this set up, I can watch or play anything, anytime.

One additional feature is the ability to access my video and tunes from anywhere in the world that gives me internet access.

The Denon is the key here of course as it connects to everything offered on the planet.

A bonus in using the NAS solution is that when I have clients over to discuss design changes and engineering improvements I can use the Elite 60" PRO150 to do the display, it sure beats looking at a PC screen.

The downside of this is that I am fortunate enough to have a Network Engineer on the staff and his responsibility covers support on this system. But even though it is complicated, he can access the system remote, so there is no drive time required to tweak it up.

The Raids came in at $4 Grand but you can start at the $1 Grand mark for a reliable 2 TB NAS. There are cheaper ones out there, but since they have been installed there have been zero problems.

Hope this helps. Most all of this comes from getting professional advice from the manufacturers and those in the know. Make sure you trust your source for information before you invest.....

The Seagate drives from Best Buy I use were inexpensive and work like a charm.

The easy to setup and use and highly reliable backup software that comes with the drives for free adds greatly to the value.
I had a RAID system for several years. I used one of our IT guys to set it up, and it worked very well. But, it is not simple, it is not plug and play as the Drobo is.


Raid is much more involved.

The RAID you've had experience with using at work was using a higher level of RAID for slightly different purposes, using older technology. The more complex devices for industry do require some setup. Most of the reasonably priced mirrored RAID (RAID 1) solutions being offered currently are also plug and play (like DROBO's RAID units), are stone simple and can be treated like any other storage device with no complex setup. They are also very simple to swap drives in and out if one fails.