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denorm

Need an alternative to iPad Remote with Apple Mini setup.

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Hi all,

 

Thanks for all your help with my earlier thread linked here As I posted on that thread today, I'm finally getting wonderful sound out of my Mini setup.

 

Now I need your suggestions for an elegant way to browse and control the library.

 

At first, iPad Remote seemed like the ideal solution. I like to listen to music while talking/drinking with friends, and it was great to be able to just hand someone the iPad to select music. But after months of using it to access the iTunes library on the Mini I'm giving up. I'm listing the reasons below along with screenshots.

 

I'm just not sure how to replace my iPad with iTunes Remote. I need a simple solution that anyone can use. At this point it seems my only option is to hook up a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to the Mini. But this sucks! I don't want to have to get up and use a computer every time I put on an album.

 

The only other alternative I know of is Apple TV. It would be nice to use a TV interface. But I'm afraid the interface might be cumbersome for browsing through hundreds of albums, and I'm not sure if the Apple TV interface supports playlists? And I don't wish to route the music through the Apple TV at the cost of sound quality. And I use Pure Music- will the music streamed out of the mini to the Apple TV still go through Pure Music?

 

Does anyone have any ideas?

 

Thanks!

 

Derek

 

 

Why do I find iTunes Remote unusable? First of all, I have over a thousand albums (mostly classical) to which I have spent a lot of time adding metadata and scanning/downloading album covers. The covers are an important way for me to search for the album I want to hear. For instance, when I am looking for a particular recording of Horowitz playing Rachmaninov it's frustrating only to have the album names- they are all pretty much the same. But when presented with a list of album covers I can pick out the right one immediately.

 

Unfortunately, iTunes Remote on iPad doesn't cache album covers. So each time I want to browse the albums I have to wait for each album cover to download. It takes a while, even on a fast wireless network. So I spend a lot of time just waiting for the covers to load. As you can see in the image below, the remaining five album covers haven't loaded yet. It's frustrating!

 

IMG_0036.jpg

 

A while ago when switching to iTunes I decided to put the Composer in the Artist field for all of my albums. I know some of you might be against adapting metadata for a particular software program, but I liked the ability to just click on "Artists" in iTunes and see a neat list of composers rather than a haphazard long list of a bunch of performers/ensembles/etc. Unfortunately the Artists tab in iTunes Remote doesn't have the pure Album view I prefer, rather a list of album covers with each title in the album. And once again, the album covers must reload each time!

 

IMG_0038.jpg

 

Finally, I've found that iTunes smart playlists are a wonderful way to browse albums on the mini or my macbook pro. They allow you to select the view type, which I invariably set to Album. However, the playlist view in iTunes Remote ONLY has a list view, which is hopelessly unusable for a large number of classical tracks. It takes forever to scroll down and find the right album, if you can find the album at all. And of course there are no album covers shown:

 

IMG_0042.jpg

IMG_0037.jpg

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I share some of your frustrations with the limitations of the remote app, especially with regards to classical music, and hope it will eventually improve.

 

In the meantime, two suggestions come to mind, both with their one limitations.

 

1) try a screen sharing app like Splashtop and control ITunes directly

 

2) give JRiver for Mac a try. I'm not a big fan of the app itself, still preferring ITunes overall, however, JRemote has some more flexibility options that the ITunes remote doesn't offer.

 

Or join us in praying that Damien, the developer of Audirvana, eventually publishes it's own remote app (it is currently in development).

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A while ago when switching to iTunes I decided to put the Composer in the Artist field for all of my albums. I know some of you might be against adapting metadata for a particular software program, but I liked the ability to just click on "Artists" in iTunes and see a neat list of composers rather than a haphazard long list of a bunch of performers/ensembles/etc.

 

A scheme I adopted from another classical music listener:

 

1. Use the Artist field for the performers, not the composer.

 

2. To facilitate display of composer in the Apple Remote app, insert a composer prefix at the beginning of the album name. For example, all Beethoven albums begin BE—, Brahms BR—, Mahler MH—, Mozart MZ—, Schubert SBT—, Schumann Schm—, etc.

 

3. Use the Album field to represent the name of the composition, not the entire CD. If I want to search for a particular Schubert sonata, I don't care which other sonata happens to be on the same CD. With downloadable classical music, the traditional concept of an album is obsolete, except for collections of short works by multiple composers. I store a reference to the physical album in the Grouping field, since that field has no other purpose I can think of.

 

4. Use the Date field for the original performance date. If the original recording was analog, include the date of the digital transfer in the Grouping field (along with other physical album info per the last sentence of paragraph 2).


Mac Mini (2012 i7) > HQPlayer or Audirvana > exaSound e32 > Parasound JC-1 > Thiel 3.7

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If you are connected to HDTV, track pad is very practical solution.


 


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