Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Timinla

Mac Mini issues

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

There are articles online and in print that discuss the joys of using a Mac Mini as a music server. Just plug it in, the articles say. I am here to tell you that it is substantially more difficult than it sounds. My aim is to run the Mini "headless" and control it with an Ipad. I thought I would share a few issues that I have encountered with you and get the thoughts of the learned many who read these forums.

 

Wake up. My Mini is part of a TV and music system that is controlled by the RTI system. It's easy enough to have the RTI bring up the Mini. But at that point, the Mini is asleep. It only needs a mouse click or a carriage return to wake it up but how do you do that? Right now, there is a mouse on my coffee table but that just doesn't seem right. I know this is not an RTI forum but does anyone have any ideas?

 

Audio connection. As I said, I am trying to run headless. But sometimes you need a screen, especially when you are getting things up and running. The screen in this case is the TV for the system but perhaps in the future it would be a small monitor. The problem is, how do you run separate video and audio signals from the Mini? If you use HDMI for audio, which works great, by the way, then the tv has to be on. If you turn off the TV, then the audio goes away. Can I use the Thunderbolt port for video? Would I be happy with using the mini Toslink port for audio?

 

That's it for right now. Any input will be greatly appreciated.

 

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wake up. My Mini is part of a TV and music system that is controlled by the RTI system. It's easy enough to have the RTI bring up the Mini. But at that point, the Mini is asleep.

 

Have you ensured 'Wake for network access' is enabled in Energy Saver panel of System Preferences on the Mac?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Audio connection. As I said, I am trying to run headless. But sometimes you need a screen, especially when you are getting things up and running. The screen in this case is the TV for the system but perhaps in the future it would be a small monitor. The problem is, how do you run separate video and audio signals from the Mini? If you use HDMI for audio, which works great, by the way, then the tv has to be on. If you turn off the TV, then the audio goes away.

 

There are HDMI splitter devices which may help you. For example:

 

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahdmi%20splitter

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ahdmi%20audio%20video%20splitter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem is, how do you run separate video and audio signals from the Mini? If you use HDMI for audio, which works great, by the way, then the tv has to be on. If you turn off the TV, then the audio goes away. Can I use the Thunderbolt port for video? Would I be happy with using the mini Toslink port for audio?

 

I guess you're using HDMI for audio because you're doing 5.1 (or greater)?

 

I do HDMI out of my mini for video and have (until recently) used USB or FireWire for audio with no issues, but that's 2-channel only.

 

IAC, the good news is that you can use Thunderbolt for video; you just need the right adapter and/or dock. See, e.g.,

 

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Mini-DisplayPort-Thunderbolt-Adapter/dp/B00NH13K8S

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Elgato/10024020/

 

--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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just leave mine awake. They are quite energy-efficient, and I am a bit of an energy-conservasion obsessive.

 

I have HDMI out to my TV. I use USB, toslink or USB/Coax audio out. All of these work well, and with a player (like Audirvana Plus) that allows you to select your audio output device, you can watch a movie on TV with sound simultaneously.

 

I use Apple's built-in screen-sharing primarily if I need a screen; there are third-party VNC-type apps for iOS devices that allow you to do that, too.

 

I still think the set up is very simple.

 

More notes here: Absolute beginner's guide to using Apple's OS X for computer audio, the easy way - Blogs - Computer Audiophile


--

Do facts matter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also leave mine running continuously. I have it set to re-boot if the power goes off. I also use screen sharing - my main computer (also a mini) is in my office and the music server mini is two rooms away. The only problem with screen sharing is that the remote (headless) computer is very slugish. This is because without a monitor, the remote computer's graphic card doesn't turn on. There is a fix for this — it's a small device that plugs in and turns on the graphic card. There are several of them — they run between $10-15 — I got a CompuLab Display Emulator from Amazon. As far as audio out, don't forget that the headphone jack is also a SPDIF optical jack. I successfully got audio on that and HDMI. I use the music server only for FLAC files, therefore I don't need video or multi-channel (like 5.1) output, so I use USB, with a decent cable to a DAC and then decent RCA interconnects to the AV receiver. Control is iPad through Apple Remote. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've heard that, but never experienced it. I leave the HDMI cable plugged into my TV. Even with the TV off, this seems to avoid the problem, and keeps the resolution of the "virtual display" at 1080p. (If I plug the HDMI into my receiver and then turn it off, it loses the 1080p resolution setting.)


--

Do facts matter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right. As far as the Mac Mini is concerned, you have a monitor (the TV). So, the graphics card is "turned on".

On a headless machine with out a video output (TV or monitor) it will be sluggish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right. As far as the Mac Mini is concerned, you have a monitor (the TV). So, the graphics card is "turned on".

On a headless machine with out a video output (TV or monitor) it will be sluggish.

 

You can also buy video plugs for less than $20 [Edit - less than $25 - here's a link to one I like.] that will make the hardware think a display is connected, though that has become far less of a problem with the past few OS X releases.

 

It is involved with how modern devices (like TVs, AVRs, etc.) sense what video source is active and automatically switch to it, or shut themselves off. HDMI is still a little bit of a tricky interface as there are a whole lot of competing vendors who do not like to talk to each other. The Mac's interface is fairly generic and usually compatible with most video sources at HDMI 1.3 or above.

 

-Paul


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

Robert A. Heinlein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...