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Question re Mac Mini and set up


nantucket66
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Hi,

 

My music is currently stored on a NAS drive, I use itunes (for iPods) and Sonos. The Sonos is connected to my DAC/hi-fi system.

 

I am thinking about ditching the Sonos and buying a Mac Mini and an iPod touch to control it.

 

When I do this do I need a screen to set up the mac mini or can I do it using the iPod touch? - I will be using it for nothing other than itunes.

 

All my NAS stored music is Apple Lossless and was ripped on my laptop (not a mac), will the mac mini see it ok or will I need to rerip. I presume the mac mini will see the NAS on the network and that's it or is there more to it than that?

 

I hope it's the former as I have over 1000 CD's!

 

Thanks

 

D

 

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1 - Will you need a screen to set up your mac mini:

Yes, also a mouse and keyboard. The screen could be a tv set or computer monitor (but check what connectors you need), and any usb keyboard and mouse will do. Some characters (eg the @ symbol) can be difficult to locate when using a pc keyboard on a mac, but it's no big deal to work around. Once the setup is done, you can disconnect mouse, keyboard and monitor, you won't need them except maybe for troubleshooting or installing new software.

 

As you probably already know, itunes can be set up to automatically rip and eject cds, so there's no need for a monitor to do that. Managing your ipod/s probably does require a monitor and keyboard, however.

 

2 - Seeing your NAS from your mac:

I very much doubt if you will need to re-rip, similarly I am sure it will be possible to connect to your NAS from your mac. However, networking can on occasion be a bit fiddly to get set up, so your NAS / router manuals may come in handy, as is internet access so you can google any problems.

 

If you do take the plunge and are able to do a side by side comparison, please let us know what you think about the mini/itouch combination compared to the sonos. I have mini/itouch, but the sonos setup looks very nice too.

 

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what file structure did you use to set up your nas? I dont think apple will read the hdd if its setup for ntsf (windows). I set up my nas with fat32 for this very reason as it would work with apple and windows.

 

let me know what you have...

 

JR

 

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could read an NTFS volume, but couldn't write to it. This wouldn't cause a pain when playing, or would it? If the song was in ALAC it would just go to temporary memory and iTunes would "unzip" the ALAC file and play it. I would agree if you want to write from either platform, FAT32 is the way to go.

Some NAS has a file structure all by themselves comlicating the issue, the Netgear SC101 comes to mind. It must do some translation.

 

AS Profile Equipment List        Say NO to MQA

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You're trying to confuse matters ...

A Mac won't write to an NTFS volume on a USB or FireWire attached drive (or an internal drive for that matter).

 

Some NAS drives can be a pain to talk to with a Mac ... if the NAS only supports SMB - a Microsoft file sharing protocol - then access to the NAS can be problematic. Its best to ensure any NAS used with the Mac supports AFP - Apple Filing Protocol.

 

Hope I haven't confused you further.

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Many thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

 

My Buffalo NAS has been configured for NTFS.

 

How about this for a solution - buy a new NAS which is ok with a MAC and transfer the files over across the network?

 

If this will work I don't mind buying another NAS, I could give my current drive to my dad as he was on about getting one anyway.

 

My current drive is just a single drive and I would like something with some redundancy built in, something with 4 bays ideally, just so I am futureproof and safe - any recommendations would be welcome!

 

If transferring the files this way is problematic is there another way I could do it without having to rip again? If doing it again is the only option so be but it will be so soul destroying to have to do it all again.

 

Would a 32GB USB memory stick be any good for this or am I barking up the wrong tree.

 

Thanks again

 

 

 

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Audio ELF is right, NTFS is not a problem over a network. I think you should try this before doing anything else and see how you get on.

 

Just FYI, it's also possible to get OSX to write to a local NTFS drive as well, but you need to install some stuff (umm, don't remember exactly what, but it's googlable).

 

1000 cds ripped to lossless is going to be what, 300GB or more? That's ten laps with your memory stick, probably not much fun. Ditto if your network is wireless. Best bet would be if you can connect both the old and new NAS drives directly to your computer to transfer your music. Wired network would also be ok.

 

Check out this guide (on this very website, no less!) on pain free ways to move your library:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/How-Move-iTunes-Library-Music-One-Computer-Another-Part-I

 

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Music is just under 420gb as things stand at the moment, but it is growing all the time.

 

My network is fully wired (thank god I had the vision to do this before the house was redone).

 

Connecting up new (set up as FAT32 I presume) and current NAS drives and transferring files over would be easy enough.

 

Just need to decide on a new NAS (I want one anyway for reasons mentioned above).

 

Worst case scenario would be the USB key, painful but less painful than re-ripping.

 

Thanks

 

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I wish I'd had your foresight and wired up my place!

 

I'm not sure about FAT32 though - I've always found it very slow to read/write from a mac. However, this may not be relevant since the built in OS on your NAS will be doing the actual read/writes. Back in the days of Mac System 8/9 a Windows NT box serving an NTFS formatted drive was a very fast option and often used in preference to Apple's own servers.

 

How about I change my advice and instead suggest you first try copying your files across the network, using whatever disk format your new NAS recommends. It'll probably take a few hours, but if it starts looking like it's going to be days instead of hours, then have a rethink.

 

This is what I used to get OSX to write to NTFS:

http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/

(There are other options, but this one's free)

 

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Was thinking something like this with 4 x 1TB drives, the model below comes without any drives as standard so I can pick my own.

 

http://www.netgear.com/Products/Storage/ReadyNASNVPlus/RND4000.aspx?detail=Specifications

 

It lists AFP in the specifications, would it be ok or can someone recommend something better or simply different?

 

Thanks again

 

 

 

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I think you are mixing up in your mind filing systems and network protocols.

 

FAT32, NTFS, HFS: are all filing systems. These are relevant when a disc is connected directly to your computer, either internally to SATA / IDE or externally as a USB or FireWire drive. FAT32 and NTFS are Microsoft filing systems. HFS is what is used on a Mac. Mac will read and write to FAT32 and will read NTFS out the box, and can be set up to allow writing to NTFS with extra patches. Microsoft / Windows will not read HFS unless extra software is used. FAT32 is more of a legacy system from DOS and Windows 95/98 days and is replaced in later versions by NTFS which has many advantages. With your NAS, internally the operating system of the device will use one of these, or more likely something like EXT3 with a Linux based OS, but this is completely transparent to your computer and to you - it's unlikely you will have any choice on how the discs are formatted.

 

SMB, AFP, FTP: are all network protocols. When using a NAS your computer needs to talk across the network using one of these. FTP is designed to move a single file (or small number of files) across a network or the internet reliably but is not used between a NAS and a computer generally. SMB is Microsoft's method of sharing files and printers, etc. It is supported by the Mac but can be unreliable. Ideally your new NAS needs to support AFP (Apple Filing Protocol). AFP also has the advantage that most devices supporting AFP also support Bonjour which is Apple's system for allowing you to connect to devices using their name rather than their IP address.

 

You should be able to connect both your new and old NAS to a network hub along with your MacMini, then mount both new and old on your computer to transfer the files between them.

 

The Netgear looks to be a suitable device ... the devices that are mostly recommended here and on other Audio forums tend to be the Thecus and QNAP ranges.

 

Hope I've helped and not added to the confusion.

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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The thing is I use both at the same time and take it for granted. I have the network side that is the server to laptop via wireless router and the usb side laptop to nas. I like it this way, because I speed up the transfer to the nas for downloads and so on.

 

FYI I desided to hardwire the server to router, laptop to router and nas to router (still pending), due to drop out in the wireless during streaming. The laptop is pretty far away and the poor signal strength is messing things up. What a pain to wire in an attic in florida....yuck!

 

JR

 

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