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Reliability of iPod hard drive

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've been looking into 2.5" portable FireWire drives in the 20 to 40GB range to use for easy backups (of my iBook) and storing digital images and MP3s. With the announcement of the new iPods, I'm thinking about getting the 10GB or 20 GB 'Pod instead and getting an MP3 player to boot. I am, however, worried about the long-term reliability of the iPod's small Toshiba hard drive.

Does anybody have statistics on the longevity of the small Toshiba hard drives used in the iPod in comparison with regular 2.5" notebook hard drives and 3.5" desktop drives? I would love to hear about anything positive or negative.

Escher
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
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"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
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post #2 of 12
Wassup, E?

Anyway, as I recall, Apple has specifically stated that the iPod should not be used as a startup drive because the hard drive was not designed for sustained use.

There were reports of people using the iPod as an OS X startup drive, even a server drive, and some people actually have had the drive fail after a week of such use.

However, as a backup drive it should be fine. At least I hope so...

As an MP3 player, the iPod is well worth the price. My MD has been mighty lonely!

Can't wait to get the new remote!

By all means, get an iPod, Esch. You deserve to be good to yourself!
post #3 of 12
problem is it's hard to know how well hardware is going to perform when it's brand new. in a year or so you might start to get an inkling of what the drives will be like, but this soon into it, it's too early to tell.

for example look at the IBM deskstar series. up until then you could pretty much bet on having an IBM drive that would last. they were rock solid.

then look what happened.

-alcimedes
post #4 of 12
I figure, if you don't use it heavily (any more heavily than backups every once in a while, and the mp3 player bits) it should last...

hell, they now have a 1 year warranty on them, if that's any indication...
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Good to see you too, tonton. Thanks for your input too, alcimedes and Jonathan.

For now, I think I'm tempted to get a 10 gig Pod and skip the 2.5" drive. As soon as I get a new PowerMac I'll have plenty of HD space anyway (or can just pop in a second one). On the other hand, what will I do if I wait for a PowerMac because the August announcement is still not good enough? Maybe I should be reasonable after all and just get a 2.5" portable drive and skip the iPod.

I guess I'll think about it some more. At least that doesn't cost a penny.

Escher
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I ended up being cheap and ordering a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006B72A/104-7010408-5089551" target="_blank">SmartDisk 20GB FireLite</a> FireWire HD for $191 from Amazon.com. (eCost was even cheaper but didn't offer free shipping.) The price was right and I love the VST/SmartDisk designs. I need to set up an MP3 workflow (and rip more songs) before sinking money into an iPod.

Escher
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
post #7 of 12
FWIW my iPod has been dropped on pavement twice with a chip out of both bottom corners (not my fault!!!) It's fine. Now THAT'S quality hardware. So yes, when you get an iPod, it will be durable.
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"Overpopulation and climate change are serious shit." Gilsch
"I was really curious how they had managed such fine granularity of alienation." addabox
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
The UPS man delivered the 20GB FireLite drive to my doorman this morning. I'll post an update when I have a chance to try it out.

Escher
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
post #9 of 12
I agree the iPod is durable. I dropped mine twice, damn slippery thing, with no ill effects. Luckily, it was on carpet over my hardwood floor, and so the experience left no mars on my iPod.

As far as harddrive durability, I leave my iPod plugged into my Mac most of the time and use it for additional space for my tunes. iTunes plays off the iPod constantly, and I have had it for almost a year. I think this indication is good for the life expectancy of the iPod harddrive, but ofcourse, usage over time will be the ultimate test.
post #10 of 12
[quote]Originally posted by Escher:
<strong>I ended up being cheap and ordering a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00006B72A/104-7010408-5089551" target="_blank">SmartDisk 20GB FireLite</a> FireWire HD for $191 from Amazon.com. (eCost was even cheaper but didn't offer free shipping.) The price was right and I love the VST/SmartDisk designs. I need to set up an MP3 workflow (and rip more songs) before sinking money into an iPod.

Escher</strong><hr></blockquote>

MP3 workflow? Wow, you're much more reasonable than I could ever be. But you've now got a 20g HD and you saved enough money over the 20g iPod that you could get the 5g iPod and still come out slightly ahead. Now, about that MP3 workflow thing.... untuck that shirt, put on some shorts and grab a beer.
post #11 of 12
I don't see why the iPod HDD would be unreliable if used like a normal HDD. Imagine if IBM/Iomega MicroDrives only lasted a few weeks at a time. That would be ridiculous! My 20 gig iPod did get quite hot while I transferred my 15 GB music collection though
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I can change my sig again!
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post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by torifile:
<strong>MP3 workflow? .... untuck that shirt, put on some shorts and grab a beer. </strong><hr></blockquote>

torifile: LOL! That's the way to go! I just need to fix the CD-ROM tray on my iBook first.

[quote]Originally posted by Eugene:
<strong>I don't see why the iPod HDD would be unreliable if used like a normal HDD.</strong> (emphasis added)<hr></blockquote>

Eugene: That's exactly why I chose the FireLite over the iPod. I wouldn't use the iPod like I would use a normal HDD.

Considering that I'm going to use it for backup, I figured that I would reduce the risk as much as I could. I have no doubt that the iPod is very reliable, but I still think that a tiny drive that is shaken a lot (i.e. the drive in the 'Pod) is more likely to fail than a FireWire drive that will only spin for backups while stationary.

We'll see whether I get an iPod when I jump on the MP3 bandwagon with all my luggage. Sony's water-resistant MP3-compatible Sports CD Walkman is tempting as well.

Escher
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
"The only laptop computer that's useful is the one you have with you."
Until we get a 3 lbs sub-PowerBook, the 12-inch PowerBook will do.
Reply
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