iTunes config & Backup software for Mac

Hi. I'll be using a MacBook as a music server only, which I'll purchase next week w/ Leopard installed. Couple of quick questions.

1. Because I'll need at least 230 gb for music, I'll have to put my iTunes library on external drive. Is it easy/straight forward cofiguring iTunes so that it knows I want my music library on external drive?

2. Because music will be on external drive, I'll have to back up that drive to a second external drive. (The internal drive on the MacBook will just be OS programs/files.) If I'm interested in backing up music library only, anyone know if Time Machine lets the user have a bit more fine tuning control, that is, not a plug and play, but a directed backup?

1. Yes. Under "Preferences" /"Advanced" you can specify the external drive as your library.

2. Not sure.

Good luck.
Maxtor makes a nice 1tb drive for backup it uses 800firewire so its fast and they are around $375 now.

I dont remember exactly how to configure iTunes to point to an external but i did it once when i had too much on the school Mac server but it was not difficult, its a Mac!

If you set the external drive as the default storage and at any time start iTunes before you connect it or turn it on iTunes will change the storage location back to the internal drive and won't tell you it did it.

You should go to preferences each time before you rip to make sure the files go where you want them.
The best way to use an external drive for iTunes is to make an alias of the external drive, rename the alias to "iTunes", and drag it into your Music folder. You don't need to change any setting in iTunes.

I wouldn't use Time Machine to backup iTunes library. Time Machine wants to keep everything. As you reorganize tracks in iTunes, iTunes will rename tracks and move tracks from folder to folder and that will cause multiple copies of the same track being backed up by Time Machine.

Also, if your drive crashed, you need to get a new one and restore all the music tracks from Time Machine. That can take a whole day for 230G.

I use a small program called SilverKeeper. It is a free download from LaCie. It simply copies files from one drive to another and keeps them in sync. That means after I run it, I will have two drives with identical contents. If my iTunes drive crashed, I simply make an alias of the backup drive, call it "iTunes", drag it into my Music folder to replace the old one and instantly, I will have all my music back without any restore.
Thanks all for your comments/suggestions.

Is the Maxtor a quiet drive? I'm seeking ultra quiet and reliable drive. The connection will definitely be firewire, but may only be firewire 400; depends on if the anticipated minor refresh of macbook will include firewire 800 or not.

Any further suggestions on ultra quiet drives?

Is the G-Technology 320 GB any good?
What other manufactures should i consider?

Many thanks.
Macbook doesn't have firewire 800, only firewire 400.

Why do you want to stick to firewire? USB-2 is just as fast (actually faster on paper), more reliable, and cheaper.

If you want a quiet drive, try a Seagate.
The thought on using firewire for backup hard drive is that i've been told that w/ my USB DAC that it is best to have a little on the USB as possible.

True or false?
For this application the speed differences among USB-2 and the Firewire flavors aren't terribly important. The only time it will be much of a factor is the one time you back up the whole first drive to the second one and you're not going to have to sit there and watch it do that. Once you're into incremental backups or using the drive to stream music any of the connections is fast enough.
Sidssp, won't you run into a problem when the first drive gets full and and you add a second?
10-26-07: Herman
Sidssp, won't you run into a problem when the first drive gets full and and you add a second? Herman
iTunes will recognize multiple drive locations for the Music folder. Though not apparent, simply select a second drive as the location of the Music folder after the initial is full. Then music files from both drives is accessible.
Nice thread.
I personally prefer not to add a second drive because it will split the track location references in the library and you will have to backup to two drives which is inconvenient. I would rather buy a pair of bigger drives and copy everything on to a single drive. HDs are really cheap. You can get a 750G Seagate for about $250. Unless you are doing everything in 24/96 uncompressed, it is going to last a long time.

You nailed down what I am now doing. I how have 2 Seagate 750 gig drives. One is used for iTunes playback and the other is used for backup.

I use to have a LaCie external drive, it broke and I lost all the files.

Last week I got my Seagate 750 gig external drives for $194.00 each plus tax at best buy.
Nycjdc, there is more power available on the FireWire bus than on the USB bus. To work properly, some USB drives may require an extra power takeoff wire from the other USB port or from an external (wall wart) supply. This situation appears to be most common if you are using a PowerBook (see, "PowerBook USB issues".)

Your advisor may have been thinking of the need to keep the power demand down on the USB bus.

I have always preferred FireWire external drives to USB drives. Initially this was a speed issue, but USB 2.0 has gone some way to remedy this.