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I haven't bought any TV shows on iTunes, but my boss has -- many. His MacBook Pro's 250GB disk is more than half filled with TV shows (mostly sitcoms for entertainment during travel). Most of the rest of the disk is filled with other stuff.

I see a couple options for clearing up some space currently occupied with TV shows:

  1. buy a bigger disk (go to Apple store and have them swap out the 250GB model with the 500GB model)
  2. move some of the tv shows to an external disk and help him restore when needed
  3. backup itunes library and then just nuke

I've looked around on apple's site and on some other pages about backing up iTunes and it doesn't seem like #2 is easy to do from within iTunes. The full iTunes backup (#3) is more straightforward, but I think a full initial backup will take a couple dozen DVDs.

The hurdle for buying a new disk is the cost plus the downtime while the Apple store is performing the installation and copy.

Are there other, better options that I've missed? Has anybody done any of my suggested options?

  • If he's worried about the cost and downtime, why not switch the hard drive out himself? It's an extremely simple procedure. – Robert S Ciaccio Nov 8 '10 at 20:40
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2. move some of the tv shows to an external disk and help him restore when needed

If your boss has another Mac or PC running iTunes, he can set up Home Sharing and move content back and forth from his MacBook as needed. This option is appealing because it's contained within iTunes and doesn't involve manually copying files and deleting/re-adding them to the iTunes library.

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Regarding option number 1, the Apple Stores do not do hard drive upgrades. You will need to take it to an authorized 3rd party or if it is a recent model MacBook Pro i would recommend just doing it yourself. It is fairly easy and iFixit has a step by step guide on their site http://www.ifixit.com/Browse/Mac. A 500gb hard drive should be relatively inexpensive on newegg.com or amazon.com, and i would also recommend going with a 7200rpm.

I upgraded my late 2009 13" MacBook Pro to a 320gb 7200rpm Western Digital drive from newegg and have been pretty happy with the performance.

For option number 2, all you have to do is drag the tv show out of itunes and on to another drive. Once it is transfered you can delete it from itunes. Keep in mind that you probably want to keep a back up of the drive you transfer the shows to or else if that drive fails you have lost the content.

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Do not use DVDs as backup, short or long term. You are much better off using some kind of arrayed disk solution (like a Drobo or something on the network).

Backup (regularly, to an external hard drive) and buy a bigger disk. Which will be more expensive: having a new hard drive installed or simply losing all of that content?

Finally, put in place a sensible policy on what (I assume is) company hardware is to be used for. When my IT group sees so much has 1 MB of non-work files they go nuclear.

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