How about a Sapphire Edge mini PC?
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1
Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
Think you need to try one before condemning it. It's not a cr*ppy PC. The fan on my wife's Windows 7 laptop is almost permanently on, unless it's basically doing nothing. Even browsing webpages is stressful enough for it to start making a whirring-noise loud enough to frighten the Hoover. In comparison I've never heard the fan on my Mac Mini ever, not in nearly two years of using one as a media sever. My watch ticks louder. Same goes for my i7 iMac. Totally quiet, nearly always.
I'm sorry to sound all high and mighty, but a Mac is just a completely different proposition to some cheap nasty PC cobbled together and thrown-out ten a penny for the masses. You can't condemn a Mac based on your worst experience from some Godamn-awful noisy PC. Of course I'm sure there are good, quiet, well-built PCs as well. Can't say I've ever owned one though, and I've had plenty.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • MS 10i speakers [borrowed]
In storage: Thorens TD160 (no cart) • Cyrus 2 & PSX • Cyrus tuner • Technics SL-P777 • Nakamichi DR-1
Or an Xtreamer mini PC.
Point I was making, is not all computers are built equally, and certainly compared to some PCs, the Mac Mini is all-but silent. So it's wrong to dismiss it just because it has a fan. If the fan on my Mini has ever been on in two years, then I haven't heard it, and my hearing is good enough for me to want to take an axe to my wife's noisy HP Win7 cr-ptop. Remarkably, she's oblivious to it.
If its anything like my old Macmini, its because the fan doesn't work
Conversely I have an HP laptop that is silent, unless its transcoding HD video, and even then the fan is just audible
Oh agreed. It's just that you shouldn't baseline everything on the cr*pest denominator. I did finish by saying there must be some good, quiet, well built PCs, just that I haven't owned one. It's not about PC vs Mac, it's about rubbish computers vs a good one, in terms of being suitable as an AV streamer. And a Mac Mini is a good one by default (well it's quiet anyway).
Apple are no doubt good but in UK overpriced, about same in £s as USA price in $s but less options. Also extras like RAM are so much more like £160 v £20 for PC. My PC was £900 for a Mac with similar but lower spec would have been over £2,000.
I'm currently trying to persuade my girlfriend that we need an iMac in the living room, but she's not having it. Looks like we'll be getting a Mac Mini instead. I'm happy with either of those as my main music device, based purely on the UI/experience.
I'm not really a fan of much media player software. A lot of the popular ones aren't very polished. I actually *gasp* prefer iTunes.
I don't know where you buy your RAM, but it should cost the same for either platform.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Before forking out for a Mac mini, what do you want to get out of it? I'm only asking, as to buy a Mac is a bit overkill for music playback only.
That was on the Mac site and came with the computer v the PC I bought, it is the upgrade RAM price.
I use a bitfenix prodigy case ITX system build, I love listening to music with my PC as I use foobar2000 and I couldn't live without it. So many ways to listen to my library and it's all there ready at a click. Filters are awesome, filtering by year, genre, play count, rating or combining them for example "%date% GREATER 1989 AND %date% LESS 2000 AND %rating% GREATER 3" get me all my favourite 90s music. It's fully customizable too, here is my layout I've made and currently using.
Also with external DACs you can get that hifi source, although I've done tests and DACs all sound the same unless coloured. My £400 DacMagic Plus soudned the same as my onboard audio, I did an A/B test using foobar to change source and my amp, it was instant a/b and no diffrence at all, that was with Mpnitor Audio RX1 speakers and Sennhieser HD650 headphones.
This is my first post, so I hope not to offend anyone.
I am in the early stages of trying something similar (but not the same), to enhance my smart TV use. Myself and a few colleagues were frustrated because some of the apps on our smart TVs, are not all that smart. By this I mean that apps for browsers, skype etc etc were cut down versions of the PC based apps, and were slow to use, when you have to type in search words or web addresses, digit by digit using a TV remote.
So we are experimenting with using the following Android based smart PC,
Once a wired or wireless keyboard is added, the dongle plugs into the TV HDMI port, and you use the TV as the monitor. An external drive can be linked in to the dongle via USB.
The aspect that relates this experiment to this forum post, is that I am beginning to consider whether I can use the dongle as a music streamer, and plug it into a HDMI port of an AV receiver - in order to get good audio quality. The dongle cooling is passive, so no issues re fan noise, and the power use is minimal, plus the dongle does not have a large ugly form factor to worry about.
The biggest unknown for me is the quality of Android streaming apps - are there any with the same functionality and ease of use, as those available for Apple and Pc. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Lounge - Arcam Solo Neo, Partington Super Dreadnought, Monitor Audio Silver RX1, Panasonic DMP-BDT310, Samsung UE46D6530, Yamaha RX-A1020
Legacy - Rotel-RA820, Wharfedale Diamond 1, Philips CD104, Akai HX-R44, Sony ST-313L
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