External Hard Drive Information
As a requirement for this course, you may need to purchase an external storage device to keep files on. If you will be using your laptop, this may not be an issue for you. But for those of you wanting to record in the studio and then take files with you, then an external drive will be valuable.
This page should help you understand what you will need for class. Additionally, if I see any good deals out there, I will let you know. If you have any questions or need help with making sure you are getting the correct item, let me know.
In general, you will be looking for an external USB 2.0 or 3.0 portable hard drive. Other options include Apple’s Thunderbolt interface. These options, while faster, aren’t always available on computers, so be careful when picking a drive. If you want to make sure your drive is compatible with most machines, your best bet is to look for a drive with multiple connection options. You might want to consider pre-formatting your drive to EX-FAT if you are going to be using the drive on both MAC and PC. If you will be using the drive only on a MAC, then format it as a MAC drive.
Portable drives are smaller and don’t require a power supply (powered via the USB cable). They are obviously easier to carry around, but tend to be slower than the first option. Portable drives typically come in USB 2.0 or USB 3.0, but drives with multiple connection options are available at a higher price.
A note regarding flash drives. . . You can get by with a large capacity flash drive for most of the class, but keep in mind that data will move considerably slower using a flash drive. So, while this will work, you may experience some problems on larger projects. Something to keep in mind further down the road, especially if you intend to take other multimedia classes.
One more thought. . . Cloud storage is also a great way to save and share files. There are a number of free options out there including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and many more. I strongly encourage you to check one out – it is far better than carrying a flash drive around. Keep in mind that files take awhile to propagate into the cloud. So, if you record a session in the lab, and then drag it over to your Google Drive folder, it will need some time to upload to the cloud. This is very important to realize before you shutdown the computer and delete your session from a public computer/