I don't actually use the TV for browsing, but just use screen share to control the Mac mini for music playback. TV comes on for DVD playback. The Mac running iTunes is also remotely controlled with an iPhone/iPad.
Desktop Airplay is something I'll have to look at, an ATV or AEX was going to be added for a bit of flexibility later. That's the beauty of the options open with Apple products. Something for everyone.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Overdose, will all respect in what sense of the word is a "Mac mini a premium product", it isn't, not in the slightest. It's a mediocre pc which is dire as a music player - and no the argument isn't about noise or jitter, it's the quality of the components used. It is built to a price to seve as a PC, pure and simple. It's usage as an audi player stems purely from integration convenience for those where integration is more important than sound quality. Yes, you can add an off-board DAC (I've heard it with several before spending £20K+ on my Linn Akurate system) but unless you already have it, it's pretty pointless as it still won't match a high cd player or indeed, when combined with something like an M1DAC, even something as mundane as the MF's combined pre amp/dac/streamer CLIC.
Linn Akurate DS, Akurate 2200, Akurate Control, Akurate 242 (Passive), QNAP TS-419P II
Overdose, will all respect in what sense of the word is a "Mac mini a premium product",
To be fair, Overdose said the Mac Mini is premium product. He never said it was a premium media server, that was Joe's words. It's just a (very) nice little computer. Lets not put words in each others mouths huh?
Paul's BR/805 system thread
(where the photos live) Paul's Flickr page
It's a medicore spec'd computer in a shiny box, with a premium price tag. Mine was appallingly unreliable too, pleased i got shot of it.
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Well I would call it an acceptably speced PC in a very tiny box. The i7 server is ace, find me something smaller without an external PSU. If you had a lemon, that sucks. They are usually pretty bomb proof.
This is why this site is hacking me off more and more.
You ask a viable question about a product and people see it as an excuse to argue about whose is bigger and better! I wasnt asking for a P****ng match about whether a £500 product is better than or can match a £20,000 system asthetically or sonically.
I wasnt asking about whether a NAS is better than a PC or vice versa.
Yet time and time again these threads are taken off course and hijacked by people who seem to think their system is the best or the be all and end all. Some of us dont want to use a NAS or have a roomfull of boxes for one reason or another.
The macmini s more than likely going to sit as an aesthetically pleasing small system, connected only to a DAC and Headphone Amp. Does that mean that this system will be rubbish and not worthy to play music or in fact listen to music??
For those of you who answered my original query with regards to the MacMini how to connect it to a DAC and whether it can be purely controlled with an iPad.......thankyou.
For those who just see it as an excuse to argue and bicker......Get a Bloody life!!
No wonder we have lost so many knowleadgable individuals of this site!!
Main System: Laptop > Schiit Modi DAC & Schiit Magni HP Amp > Headphones
Portable: Rockboxed & Modded iPod (128Gb CF Card) / iPad4 / iPhone 4S / ALO National Amp / ALO Rx Mk3-B Amp / AlgoRhythm Solo DAC
Headphones: Sennheiser HD650 / Beyerdynamic T70p / Heir Audio A.4i IEM / Aurisonics ASG 1.2 / Sennheiser IE6 IEM
Very well put Jason and I couldn't agree with you more.
I shouldn't worry about it too much if I were you. I'd be more concerned though, if I'd spent thousands on a system component that does nothing more than a Mc mini (arguably less).
The Mac will be fine for your purposes and when used in the right context, really is superb. Connection is better via optical rather than USB, as this removes the potential for any ground loop hum.
Software to search out when setting up are, XLD, a ripper and audio file bulk converter, Fluke, an iTunes FLAC importer and obviously iTunes remote. Depending on other Apple devices, you could also setup the Mac mini for screen share and control it this way. As mentioned before, the best models are the ones with the optical drives, as they give you the option of playing physical discs as well as streaming and stored music. Install a large HDD, probably 1TB, but this will be determined by your music collection size.
If you are happy listening to more compressed files (I find 256 VBR indistinguishable from lossless), the you might want to consider an SSD of around 256GB. The 500GB of lossless files that I have, take up around 155GB as 256 Kbps, so would equate to around 2000 albums at a rough guess. Obviously if you want to store high res files and video, then large HDD is the way to go.
Yes, you can add an off-board DAC (I've heard it with several before spending £20K+ on my Linn Akurate system) but unless you already have it, it's pretty pointless as it still won't match a high cd player or indeed, when combined with something like an M1DAC, even something as mundane as the MF's combined pre amp/dac/streamer CLIC.
As long as you're happy, that's the main thing. Luckily for me, I didn't need to spend £20K+ to get enjoyment from my music. I can now put the remaining £19K+, to other uses, like buying more music, that's what it's about after all, not the kit (something lost on some people).
MacMini + DAC £1000
DS212J + Sonus BU250 (Zoneplayer 90, 120 + Controller) £830
Stick an HD in the DS and you're golden.
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I'm not really sure what point you're trying to make. The list above does not include HDDs for the DS for starters and you still can't play physical discs such as CDs or DVDs. You can therefore, not rip music or convert music file formats, you can do no web browsing or any of the other useful things that a computer can do either.
Whilst I would agree that the Sonos is an elegant streaming solution, it only streams music, so in that context, doesn't really seem like good value for money, nor would any other streaming solution for that matter, when compared to the Mac. Of course, other mini ATX form factor Pcs exist, but they won't usually integrate as well with other devices. They can come with Blu-Ray drives though and are generally more powerful in terms of CPU and GPU, so they do have the technological edge, particularly when dealing with video or used for games, but all that really matters is that the device is good enough when it comes to being a music center.
If you really want to pare down the costs, then source a Squeezebox Touch and much cheaper NAS, but that's not what the OP appears to want as a solution.
As I said, apples to pears and this discussion is going round in circles. I think the OP has all the information he needs to make an informed decision from hereon in.
You cant play cds/dvd on a macmini either - where are u going to stick 'em?
You use a netbook/laptop to rip music onto the NAS - the same way you would with the mini.
Add in £65 for a 2TB HD and is still £100 cheaper - and 1.25TB more stoage, and you've got a complete 2 room streaming solution with dedicated touch remote, and good SQ.
I think youve missed the point entirly. My post was merely to comment upon anyone calling a MAc Mini a premium product. it isn't. Never was, never will be. It is rubbish as a music server regardless of price of a DAC used with it...it is too bady compromised by using average quality components. As I said, the MF CHIC which is infinitely better, with the benefit of a dac and a preamp, and by the time you bundled in a DAC with the MAC MINi, ta similar price. No one who cares about music would ever use a MAc Mini.
As for your comment about spending £19k on music, I have 25,000 cds....
Agree totally on the 'keep to the question' point.
And with what most people have said about the Mac Mini - it will work well. Although mine (2010 version) is connected via USB to my Arcam rDAC and I don't get any problems with ground loop hum at all; in fact it sounds superb.
One suggestion; try one of the add on programmes like Pure Music, Amarra etc. I use Pure Music as it made quite a difference in my view; certainly worth the cost and it uses iTunes so ou keep the nice interface. Unless things have changed it should be easy to decide for yourself as they usually offer a free trial period that, if you plan things properly, is more than enough to do a proper evaluation.
Enjoy the music, whilst others bicker!
Edit for Pitcairn. Pompous, pretentious....you get the drift (hee hee)
I don't think there's anything pompous about being proud of what you own. It wasn't as though he was dismissing all 'average' cost hi-fi equipment as he was prasing the CLiC. Besides, he is entirely correct about the Mini. It is poor as a music source, and really when you think about it, it's bound to be as it's intended as a pc and to do all the things a pc does. In no way can it compete with proper hi-fi equipment. I used to use one with different Audiolab and Arcam DACS, and for what it is, it's ok but you'd be better off buying a decent cd player and you can buy some great ones around the £1000 mark. As a dedicated source plus DAC, the Mini is not cheap, and I really don't understand why anyone would buy one purely for music. But if using a computer for what it is intended to do plus adding a DAC for improved sound, then perfectly logical and reasonable but people need to forget the idea it can compete with proper hi-fi. I replaced my Mini with a Marants Pearl Lite (not hugely expensive and now retails about the same price as a Mini without an external DAC) and NA 7004, and the result is miles better. Really, there is no comparison. And I got both for not much more than a £1000.
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