Transcend JetDrive Lite for rMBP?
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  1. #1
    Tech Student
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Transcend JetDrive Lite for rMBP?

    I have a 2012 15" rMBP with a 256gb internal drive. im trying to rationalize other options than buying a $350 upgrade for a 480gb solidstate drive and instead buy a 128gb Jetdrive Lite to store my music library on. Is this a bad idea? i know read and write speeds are significantly lowered than compared to a solid state drive. but will it really make a difference in traktor? like as long as i analyze files on my ssd and then move to my sd card, will performance in traktor be worse when loading a track in traktor>? any other ideas/ suggestions?

    ps, i noticed at a festival a month back that Z-Trip had what looked like an external harddrive attached to the back of his macbook. does anyone else do this to store their music library?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Polygon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    A salt mine in Michigan


    A lot of DJs use external hard drivers.
    According to Transcend's website, the jetdrive has a theoretical write speed of 60mbps, which means about 40 in the real world.
    Read speed should be around the 100s, close to an actual HDD.
    Still, the drive, especially if a 7200rpm one, should be more responsive than the SD card.
    Quote Originally Posted by donstone View Post
    I only use VINYL flooring. Rugs are for cheaters.
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    If you can't find an Abba song that you like, you are a liar of the highest order.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    If your library is currently on an SSD you'll notice a big difference in loading times if you move to an SD card for storage.

    Those Transcend ones aren't especially fast, either.

    I'd second what Polygon said; you'll get great performance from a USB 3.0 external drive (even better if you can manage a Thunderbolt one), and a much better price per GB.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default external hard drives - sleep - keep drive spinning (mac osx)

    Hi, I know this is a bit old now but i found it when searching for info on the Jetdrive.
    I have a little bit to add about the use of external hard drives.

    I have used a variety of external drives on different operating systems and had mixed results.

    Using windows XP and a mains powered Seagate drive I had some problems.
    I had to manually tell Windows to rebuild the file index several times as I was searching for files I KNOW were on the drive and windows wouldn't find them. I don't know what was causing the index to be lost but rebuilding it was the only way i could search for tracks. The drive was also very noisy and when the disc was spinning up i had a high pitched whining noise coming through the speakers. No amount of magnets on cables and lifting the earth power supplies made a difference.

    On a different laptop using windows 7 I decided to go with an internal drive. I bought a 1tb hybrid drive with some solid state memory built in. The firmware managed the ssd part so frequently used programs including traktor opened faster. Loading music from the drive was pretty much instant. Never had any problems and I would recommend (on windows laptops) using a large internal over an external.

    Then onto my first OSX machine, Macbook pro 15" retina with 256gb SSD. No chance of fitting my music on the internal so external was my only option. There was no way I am going to start opening this thing up and messing with it. I bought a Transcend rugged 1TB USB3.0 drive. It's a nice drive, well built and apparently tested to take a good beating. I found though that music was taking a few seconds to appear on the Traktor decks... At first i thought it was analysing but there was no progress bar to indicate this. On occasion I would see the 'spinning rainbow' (mac version of an egg timer). I quite often change the track I'm about to play within the last 10 seconds of the current track... so this was no good at all!

    I checked all the settings on the mac and the one that stops hard drives sleeping was already ticked.
    After some research I found that a lot of USB powered drives have firmware on board that will override any power settings on the computer. My Transcend drive stops spinning after 30 seconds on inactivity.
    I believe that Traktor loads the entire track into RAM. Th drive waits 30 seconds then stops spinning and then has to spin up again before loading the next track. USB 3.0 speed means nothing when the drive is not in a 'ready' state.

    Solution!!!! Installed an app called 'keep Drive Spinning'. It places a small file on the drive and you set a time interval for the computer to access the file, therefore keeping the drive awake.
    It works flawlessly and I can scroll though my library whilst hammering the 'load A' and 'load B' buttons and it always keeps up. Anybody DJing from an external drive should consider having this app installed : )

    PS - I will NEVER EVER again use a USB 2.0 powered drive that has the mini type plug. They are VERY fragile and in most cases quite a loose fit. On a mains powered drive if you temporarily loose USB connection it wont usually cause a problem because the drive is still powered and keeps spinning. I have tested this a lot and on mains powered drives i can pull the USB out and plug it back in quickly and the music doesn't even glitch!

    The mini USB plugs sometimes only need to be touched or moved a tiny bit and the drive is disconnected, and it takes much longer to reconnect as the drive will have already started to spin down and will need to get back up to speed before the data can be transferred again.

    If the drive is relying on a single plug for data and power it needs to be secure. Either put your own drive in a caddy that uses a full size USB plug, or use a USB 3.0 drive as the plug is a far better design.

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