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10.4: Watch videos on data DVDs from Front Row
Authored by: reeses on Aug 15, '06 09:22:30PM

This is what I do with my JBOD chain of Firewire drives. I started ripping my DVDs (at current count, a little over 650) to disk some time ago so I could store the originals in binders and keep them out of the way. I encoded at very high data rates, and my first 300GB drive filled up pretty quickly. I bought a 400GB drive on sale, and then a 500GB drive.

Rather than RAID the heterogeneous drives in any way, which would be a bad idea for two reasons off the top of my head (space utilization and performance) I created an alias farm. I had already broken up the films alphabetically, so I just moved blocks of letters (directories) to the three drives and had aliases pointing to the appropriate directory on the various volumes.

For example, under ~/Movies/, I have Film/, Personal/ (i.e., iMovie output), and Television/ (for TV box sets). Under Film, I might have "0-9/" on /Volumes/Krank, "A/" on /Volumes/Miette, and "B/" on /Volumes/One. Of course, there's a practical limit to the number of drives I can put on one Firewire chain, but by that point, the smaller drives will start looking pretty useless and ready for retirement anyway and not worth the power they draw. I have about 1.6TB on the chain (another 400GB for backups, differentials, and junk I don't want on my primary spindle), and will probably look at one of the dual-drive Maxtor One Touch III's in "RAID" 0 mode soon.

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