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convenience / sound degradation pros/cons of ways to control a mac mini remotely?


audiojim

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So, the purists (and I mean that respectfully, not mockingly) insist that keeping the minimal number of functions , use of usb hubs, use external hard drives, is a key to the purest sound. Well, you have to run the thing somehow. So what is least intrusive way to conveniently run the music but not interfere with sound quality while actually listening..

 

-- connecting the mac mini to a tv monitor, and using a mouse (connected by a wireless usb)...or maybe better to use apple bluetooth mouse

 

-- splashtop control of everything by another pc/mac

 

-- using the apple REMOTE app to run itunes ...plus maybe using the REMOTE OFF app...

 

I am leaning toward using the apple remote app and remote off app, with use of a mouse/monitor when I need to actually load something new, update something, etc.

 

One issue with respect to all of the above, is, when I am just sitting listening to music what is causing possible interference wtih sound. For example, it is said you should cut off the bluetooth stuff, not put more uses into the usb hub...so...i don't know.

 

 

[P.S. I have confidence in my own ears, but I like to know what others have experienced and also what theory says. There is such a thing as educated listening, if nothing else at least making you retest initial impressions. To simply say, "listen and trust your ears" , as if that renders the discussion moot, could be written in response to just about any discussion topic on an audio forum, and seems kind of pointless to me.]

 

mac mini 2011, Transparent audio usb cable, bryston bda-2, hegel h300 integrated amp, audio physic virgo 25 speakers, transparent audio speaker cables interconnects and digital cables.

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I use a combination of things to control my Mac Mini. It is connected via HDMI to my HDTV. For system management and library imports I use the Apple Wireless keyboard and trackpad. I like the trackpad because I find it easier to operate than a mouse with these on a laptop lap table. For general listening I use my iPad with both the Apple Remote app, a VNC app (Screens) and the Off Remote app which allows me to put my system to sleep using the iPad.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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"To simply say, "listen and trust your ears" , as if that renders the discussion moot, could be written in response to just about any discussion topic on an audio forum, and seems kind of pointless to me.]"

 

I agree. In fact, does "trust your ears" make sense, if you can train your ears to hear things you could not hear (perhaps "notice" would be better) before? And if it doesn't, when have you trained them enough that it does.

 

OTOH does it make sense to try to hear/notice things that you can't at the moment, only to find that you now enjoy your mp3's or $1k dac less or not at all?

 

A bit OT, but oh so relevant.

 

-Chris

 

 

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I began with the Apple Remote app but did not like that I could not shut down or put to sleep my Mac Mini. Then I found the Off app and that helped. Later on I discovered the Screens VNC app which does provide broader control but I find somewhat clumsy to use. Sometimes I use the Remote/Off combo and sometimes I use Screens.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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Your experience may vary from mine. :)

 

 

-- connecting the mac mini to a tv monitor, and using a mouse (connected by a wireless usb)...or maybe better to use apple bluetooth mouse

 

Works, but bluetooth pad and keyboard really cause a lot of static with some Macs. New Mac Mini's in particular. Other folks have identified issues with noise from the HDMI connection. All in all, this works, but don't bluetooth anything while listening. :)

 

-- splashtop control of everything by another pc/mac

 

I know other people have had success with this, but Splashtop both screws up my sound, puts up unsolicited messages when the sample rate exceeds 48K, and uses an enormous amount of CPU cycles to act as a remote desktop.

 

Use the built in VNC instead. Slower, but works with less issues.

 

 

-- using the apple REMOTE app to run itunes ...plus maybe using the REMOTE OFF app...

 

This is what I defaulted to here, works with the least impact on the sound. I do use a Mac Laptop to control the Mini when I need to over the network.

 

-Paul

 

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I generally agree with Paul but in the case of using the Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad with a Mac Mini and experiencing noise I disagree. This has not been my experience at all. I have had no problems.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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mwheelerk wrote:

 

"in the case of using the Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad with a Mac Mini and experiencing noise I disagree. This has not been my experience at all. I have had no problems."

 

Same here. Using the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad with a mid-2011 mini, I've never noticed any kind of noise. I actually expected to have more troubles with the Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, but they've been extremely well behaved.

 

--David

 

Listening Room: Mac mini (Roon Core) > iMac (HQP) > exaSound PlayPoint (as NAA) > exaSound e32 > W4S STP-SE > Benchmark AHB2 > Wilson Sophia Series 2 (Details)

Office: Mac Pro >  AudioQuest DragonFly Red > JBL LSR305

Mobile: iPhone 6S > AudioQuest DragonFly Black > JH Audio JH5

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But that monster would hiss like a teakettle with every swipe or keypress...

Actually, come to think of it it, it did break and was replaced by Apple. I don't think I have even tried the replacement unit.

 

-Paul

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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