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I’ve got my Mac mini hooked up to my TV for viewing TV shows bought on iTunes.

I’ve currently got all the TV shows stored on one 1TB LaCie external hard drive. I’m a bit nervous about just having one copy of all these purchases.

I might just end up buying another external drive and scheduling a backup, but I’m also thinking about replacing the external drive with a Drobo, to give me a bit of defence against data loss from individual hard drives dying.

If I go down the Drobo route, what sort of hard drives should I be looking to put in the Drobo to avoid the read speed being a bottleneck for playing video?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

As with any storage system, in general, the better/faster the drives the better the performance. I would recommend the constant speed 7.2K RPM drives for the best performance. The great thing about Drobo is you can use any 3.5" SATA II drives in the system. You can mix and match sizes and speeds and the thing just works. You can also start with as few as 2 drives and add additional drives when you need the space. That's the beauty of their BeyondRAID technology.

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You realize that since you bought the stuff on iTunes you can always download it again if you lose it...

This is one of the few benefits of going with digital only purchases. There is no physical media to lose and you can always re-download your purchases. You don't have to worry about backing it up, Apple is taking care of that for you.

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Except if they decide to remove some stuff from their store (which already happened in the past) or shut it down completely (as Microsoft did in the past). – JanC Aug 24 '10 at 3:59
I seriously doubt they would shut down iTunes completely, nor that it would come without warning. As far as content disappearing, yes it's possible, not very probable though. The only things I have ever seen them remove from the iTunes store were applications for iOS devices. – Marcin Aug 24 '10 at 5:28
About content disappearing: I've lost several iPhone apps because they are no longer available in the App Store. I've reinstalled my computer over the years so I didn't have a local copy of every app. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 24 '10 at 7:10
Do you get re-downloads of iTunes Store purchases though? Don't they limit you to re-downloading them once or something? – Paul D. Waite Aug 24 '10 at 18:45

Some good discussion of Drobo performance considerations here:

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