Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

M1 Chip

m1 chip and hard drives

I need to buy a backup for the new desktop - do these new mac’s have some special requirements for external hard drives? I ask because my mom got a new laptop as well and she was reading about some adapter she has to get when she buys a backup. Your expertise is appreciated!
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No special requirement really. You can use any hard drive with a USB to USBC adapter. You can, of course, just buy a USBC hard drive but there’s really no need to spend extra money. Since this particular drive would just be for backup, performance gains using USBC would not be noticeable.

How should I handle my music library with my new iMac?

I just got the new desktop iMac with the m1 chip and I have already moved over all the files/photos etc I want, but iTunes is the big problem. What do I with that whole program? You know I’ve got thousands and thousands of songs on it and my iPod classic is how I listen to them. I sync it all the time to add new stuff, but I’m afraid this old desktop will go soon and I don’t know how to save ALL of this music.
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iTunes (now called “Music”) has a specific file called the ituneslibrary file that contains all the actual music files. This is usually located in the Music folder of the user however I seem to remember you may have kept your music library under a different user or perhaps it lived in the “shared” folder. It seems like you didn’t just have it in the traditional place.

As long as you have a large enough internal drive on your new Mac, you could just move that over continue with business as usual however keep in mind there will come a point soon where Apple will no longer support the iPod. Sounds crazy I know but we are headed there.

There is an alternative way to deal with this and that is “iCloud music library”. AKA: iTunes Match. If you pay for that service, Apple basically takes note of all the songs you have and if they are already available in the Music store Apple makes them available to your account. If they are rare or unique then they upload the audio file to their server and give you access to it across all your devices that are able to talk to the cloud. (Not an iPod classic)

This is one way to work around the problem if you don’t have enough space on your internal hard drive or phone etc…

Another way is to have an external drive dedicated to storing your music. That does not count as your backup drive. Your backup drive would then be yet another drive that is told to back up both your internal drive and your music drive. Sounds more complicated that it actually is.

Is it worth upgrading to the new M1 Macbook Air?

Is it worth upgrading in the first place? Will Rachel get much benefit - she’s going to use it for law school for the next 3 years.
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The new M1 chip is the future but it’s not the present. This means, 8 months from now you will be glad you’re on the M1 chip but for now it there will be some growing pains. Several programs like Microsoft Office are having to run in an emulation mode called Rosetta. I’ve been working with a few M1 machines over the last couple weeks and I can see the potential greatness but there are some hurdles for now.
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