Do I need TuneSpan?

Brian shared this question 2 months ago

I have a MacBook with limited storage. So, my current approach is storing all of my music on an partition on an external hard drive, which is attached to a Mac mini and shared to my network.

I've created a new library on my Macbook and in iTunes' Advanced -> Settings preferences, pointed iTunes to the shared partition. This works perfectly; all I have to do is ensure the shared partition is mounted on the MacBook and then I can listen to whatever I want over the network. When I add new files (iTunes -> Add to Library), they get copied to the partition (as I'm using the 'Keep iTunes Media Folder Organized' preference as well).

So, I guess I want to know: what does TuneSpan do that I'm not already achieving with my current setup? It looks like a great app but I'm not sure if it will just be redundant for me. Thanks!

Comments (3)


Thanks for getting in touch.

It sounds like you've got a good working solution already, but TuneSpan would be able to offer you some more flexibility.

With TuneSpan, you would be able to easily move some file to your internal drive so that you would have some of your favorites when the NAS is not mounted.

Also, if you're using TuneSpan, you could point your iTunes Media folder to be on your internal drive so that all new media is added locally and then you can be selective about which stuff you want to move off to the NAS.

Basically, TuneSpan allows you to not be locked into all on your internal or on all on the NAS. You can have some here and some there :-)


But, of course, if you just want your entire library to be on your NAS, it doesn't sound like TuneSpan would have much to offer you.


Brian, sorry for just finding your post, but FWIW, similar to what was suggested and your setup with a NAS, I have an iMac with SSD, and then a Drobo for all my mass storage requirements (photos, music, movies, tv shows, etc). I ran for a while with everything (including my iTunes library) on my external Drobo, but found keeping my iTunes Library on my SSD and spanning select archived podcasts, all music, movies, and tv shows to my Drobo is a far better solution for me.

  • As was suggested, apps, new podcasts and other new iTunes items come onto my SSD. It's a cinch to then upon occassion fire-up TuneSpan which I have set to automatically span most things over to my Drobo, clearing up space on my SSD. Besides my monthly physical backup processes including an offsite copy, I let TimeMachine backup my SSD where multiple copies may be useful for more of my working files and documents, but my Drobo has built-in backup on my desktop for the larger files... It's turned-out to be a pretty good way to keep it simple, keep my TimeMachine device relative small, but provide myself desktop redundancy of my whole system between true external backups.
  • Having only my iTunes library (and non-spannable files) on my SSD also helps if you care about saving a bit of power like I do... I like to turn my 27" i7 iMac on in the morning and let it sleep when not in use, until I turn it off when I head for bed each night. Using TuneSpan to maintain my iTunes library on my SSD, but putting the large volume of physically larger media files that are not accessed as often on the Drobo, allows my Drobo to spin down to a large degree even when I'm using my Mac but not iTunes. If I access any of the iTunes media that TuneSpan has placed on my Drobo from my Mac, AppleTV or whatever, the Drobo wakes up without any interaction until it will eventually. (I found if I keep all of iTunes on my Drobo, and keep iTunes running all the time on my Mac in case I access it from one of my other apple devices during the day -- the Drobo never spins down, I believe because of iTunes doing it's occassional checks with the mothership for available downloads, etc. Using TuneSpan to keep the core of iTunes on the SSD, but most of the media files on the external drive, allows part of my system to sleep more than it otherwise would.) IDK if your NAS has an option to power-down when not-in-use for a period of time, but a little power savings may be a side benefit of splitting your iTunes world across your Mac and NAS...

Net of all that is TuneSpan has given me a lot more flexibility than without it for backup and power savings across my internal SSD and external HDD (Drobo). TuneSpan is also just a rock-solid app. YMMV with your NAS compared to my setup, but hopefully some real-life example may be of interest in your decision making if you've not already taken the leap into TuneSpan. Good luck.