...otherwise it was a waste of an iMac...
We still have an iMac 20" (the very last iteration of the white Intel Core 2 Duo series) with 3GB RAM and 320GB HD upgraded to Snow Leopard recently. Snow Leopard made possible the latest iTunes version with AirPlay.
Now, I have have been having a great timerecently with AirPlay on my 32GB iPhone 4 (iPlayer Radio, internet radio iTunes etc.) and the new Marantz. But, up until now, my iTunes has been about 70 percent documentary, history, comedy, speech, drama material* and all ripped at 256K AAC VBR and hosted on my home working (Dell laptop based) system for convenience, due to it all being in the same room as the hifi. (Historical reasons based on USB DAC connection to the hifi until I got the Marantz and 'cut the cord' with AirPlay.)
So today (when backing up the iMac) I thought of those 302 unused Gigabytes sitting around doing nothing on a machine that only gets used occasionally and has an empty iTunes. (Daughters use their iTunes on laptop and Dell tower system upstairs.)
So I have decided to remove the 30 percent of my current iTunes - that is music content - off my laptop and free up space for more speech based stuff. (Laptop is 160GB and 71 percent unused, but I prefer to keep it 'light' for work applications to run fast.)
I have started ripping my music CDs (in Apple lossless) onto the iMac today and usedthe Apple Remote app on my iPhone to control it from the next room wirelessly. (The iMac and it's desk have to stay in a different room to the hifi for reasons of space, so the Apple Remote app is ideal.)
I am feeling very organised now. Ripping in Apple Lossless is (so far) getting almost 3 albums into each Gigabyte and so I shouldn't need more than about 70 GB (out of the spare 302GB) to get all my music CD content loaded and it leaves plenty spare. I won't use quite that much because I don't intend to slavishly rip complete albums (except classical and some Jazz).
I will keep all the speech based content hosted on the laptop (and sync'ed to the iPhone) in 256k AAC VBR. I still have about 20GB left on the iPhone for a lot more.
Sorry if all this sounds obvious but, since shedding the Naim seperates and DAC, a lot more flexibility has become possible (with less boxes and cables) and I have been on a steep learning curve since March.
To all intents and purposes the iMac is an 'invisible' hifi source (the best kind) being in the next room and masquerading as the spare computer it has been for the last 4 years.
I guess I got a bit carried away with the iPhone 4 recently and forgot the potential of the somewhat forgotten computer next door. Now it's all integrated wirelessly, controlled by an iPhone, and I have a lot of ripping to do! (Just over 200 CDs left to go.)