I mentioned in my previous post that there's still a couple of things I'm not sure about how to deal with in transitioning from my desktop G5 to my MacBook Pro laptop. This means it's time to ramble on about Macs again! Sitting down and typing all this stuff out usually helps me organize my thoughts, helping me get closer to a decision. So bear with me!
The first thing I've been trying to decide how to handle is my iTunes library. I bought the 400GB external hard drive to replace the 250GB drive inside the G5, where the library currently resides. But then I have to take the laptop into the computer room and plug it into the external drive every time I need to sync my iPod, which might get kind of annoying. The other option is to turn my old G4 into an ad-hoc NAS, then I need only to mount the networked drive and I can sync from anywhere. I'm concerned about speed issues there though, syncing all that data over a wi-fi connection (or even over a wired ethernet connection if I actually plug in) could take longer than I'd like. (I have an iPod, so I don't really need access to this library except when I'm at home anyway. So having to drag the drive around with me is a non-issue.)
The other similar issue is where to keep all my own music projects. I've been using an external 120GB drive that I bought a couple years ago expressly for that purpose to store it all on, but I've got that same issue again. I don't really want to have to drag that drive around with me all time. But, unlike with my iTunes data, I actually want to have access to this data even when I'm mobile. This is another case where an ad-hoc NAS might work as well. The bulk of the data is in my huge sample libraries, which I don't always need access to. I can keep the main project files on the laptop hard drive and store the sample data on the networked drive. My major concern there will be how well Ableton Live handles previewing clips off a networked drive. Once I decide to use a sample in a song I can tell Live to consolidate all the files and it'll copy the files to the local drive on it's own, so it's just a matter of how well I can browse the files over the network.
Having collected my thought here, I think I just need to run a test of the NAS idea and see how it works. First thing to try is the Ableton issue, I can mount that external drive off the G5 right now to try it out. If that works, I'll try iTunes next. I need to get the library moved to the 400GB drive anyway, regardless of how I end up using it, so I may as well just try it off the G5 and see what happens.
Now, to find time to actually do all this…