The way I do this is, as you say, to have all the videos on an external drive, placed there using SynchTwoFolders:
Then place an alias of each video in your iMovie or iTunes folder so that you can play them any time via DVD Player or VLC (as long, of course, as your external drive is connected to your Mac!).
Now you can delete the originals from your internal hard drive, which means that they will no longer be backed up by Time Machine - which leaves you with one copy only, so you should consider a second (third?) external hard drive where you can keep an extra copy of movies, photos and music, kept up to date with SynchTwoFolders.
Thanks, klaus1! I looked briefly at the SyncTwoFolders link you posted, and it definitely sounds like something I could use.
A couple follow-ups just to make sure I'm following correctly:
- would SyncTwoFolders be needed only for the initial duplication, or would I need to keep using it? If the former, what's the difference between doing this and doing a straight copy?
- would I set my internal drive "videos" folder as the source, and the external drive "videos" folder as the target? And would that then trigger SyncTwoFolders to start copying the files to the external drive?
- after the above, I should now have two identical "videos" folders, right? I don't think I need to do the aliasing as these videos are my raw AVCHD videos that aren't referenced anywhere, and I can't play or do anything with them except to be imported into iMovie. So when I delete the originals, the target copy (on the external drive) becomes my only copy.
- when I then start Time Machine backups on the external drive, does it know not to back those videos up? And when I add new videos, those will backed up by Time Machine as usual?
Thanks very much for your help!
The folders don't have to have identical names. I use SynchTwoFolders once or twice a week to update, for example, my photos (16,000+ of them, going back to 1850) to two different external hard drives. Only takes a minute or so for it to update the folders as it doesn't do a fresh copy every time. Ditto with home movies.
BTW, I do not use Time Machine.
About once a fortnight I use SuperDuper to clone my entire hard drive to different partitions on those two external hard drives.
As far as I aware, if you have deleted files on your internal drive, time machine will not (cannot!) copy those, so they are not backed up by that means.