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Hi,

this is probably a simple question for most but: How do you access your headless Mac Mini system or similar WITHOUT relying on WiFi?

To me, this whole thing has been becoming so frustrating that it keeps me from listening to music: Any wireless, remote screen access is so slow or unreliable; skipping songs or browsing takes too long and more often than not my Ipad (or Macbook, Iphone,..I keep rotating) becomes unresponsive. Our internet should be fast and WiFi usually is good (we watch multiple movies at times, no hiccups).

Is there a way to attach an Ipad or similar directly 'by wire'? I tried an app called DUET and it immediately shot IOS functions. Anything else out there? No monitor/keyboard/mouse setup as this is my Audio system...am I ready for a standalone music server?

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6 hours ago, schotter said:

Hi,

this is probably a simple question for most but: How do you access your headless Mac Mini system or similar WITHOUT relying on WiFi?

To me, this whole thing has been becoming so frustrating that it keeps me from listening to music: Any wireless, remote screen access is so slow or unreliable; skipping songs or browsing takes too long and more often than not my Ipad (or Macbook, Iphone,..I keep rotating) becomes unresponsive. Our internet should be fast and WiFi usually is good (we watch multiple movies at times, no hiccups).

Is there a way to attach an Ipad or similar directly 'by wire'? I tried an app called DUET and it immediately shot IOS functions. Anything else out there? No monitor/keyboard/mouse setup as this is my Audio system...am I ready for a standalone music server?

 

I run JRiver Media Center(JRMC) on a headless PC that is attached via ethernet cable to my LAN. I use the JRMC remote app on my iPhone and iPad to remote control the JRMC server app wirelessly. To access my music server to update or change settings I use Microsoft remote desktop procedure software(RDP). This is done over the wired LAN and is solid as a rock. I am sure that the Apple system allows all these same functions. Perhaps something is not set up properly in your system assuming that your cabling and router are OK.

 

Can you provide more details regarding your setup?

 

 

 


"Don't Believe Everything You Think"

System

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Thanks! Things actually seem to improve a lot when using ethernet from the macbook (which I use to share the Mini's screen). But is there a way to wire an Ipad to the Mini?

Streaming is fine and all my own music is stored on the Mac Mini (2012). Which uses apple airport to my phone provider's own router WiFi box. So all pretty basic (and usually dependable). The trouble actually comes from using any WiFi remote. I have totally given up using Audirvana+ remote on the Ipad (it adds it own sluggishness) and mostly access through Splashtop (from my Ipad) and Apple's own screen sharing (from powerbook). 

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What about doing something like Mourip suggested and use a program like JRiver or Roon that come with dedicated IOS apps? I've used JRiver for a number of years and am in the middle of a Roon trial right now. In both cases the apps for both programs work really well across WiFi with no lag.

 

P.S. Sorry for my previous post, I missed that it WAS Duet that you had already tried.

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no worries. A big part of all this is also (but not exclusively) using a streaming service (Apple Music at the moment). This is why I loved the idea of Audirvana with embedded Tidal (and a dedicated remote). But I found it to be very unresponsive at times. Apple Musics remote at the other hand doesn't give you access to the 'browse' function. However, if there's no simple answer (try XY, it's like duet but works...), I will most likely just ethernet both macs (headless and Macbook) to the router and keep using screen sharing. It will be a long cable and somewhat obstructive but I suspect streaming music and at the same time remotely/wirelessly accessing the monitor always leads to hiccups.

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Something like one of these might help:

 

https://www.amazon.com/CompuLab-fit-Headless-Display-Emulator/dp/B00FLZXGJ6

 

https://www.amazon.com/FUERAN-Display-Emulator-HeadlessSupports-1920x1080/dp/B06XT1Z9TF

 

If your mini has nothing hooked up to its HDMI (or any other video/monitor) port, then it won't use graphic acceleration for screen display. That in turn means that when you remote into it, its screen/graphical interface can be quite sluggish and slow down the whole computer.

 

The above-linked items are tiny HDMI plugs that fool the mini into thinking it has an HDMI monitor attached, which will enable the graphic card acceleration and make remote access/screen sharing more usable.

 

This might not be your problem, but based on what you've written, it sounds like it might be, or at least might be a contributing factor.

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Schotter, the HDMI adapter is "Pflicht", you have to do it. It works flawless for me for more than a year now and I use Roon Server installed on the MacMini, which is hooked on to the LAN, that's it. I can control it with any device that uses Roon app. And it is fast.

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm late to the party here but have a similar situation.  I also run a Mac mini headless via an iPad.  My Audirvana app works flawlessly, but when using Splashtop for screen sharing to adjust settings and rip CD's....it is extremely buggy and slow.  I hadn't heard about the HDMI trick so I will give it a try.  One thing I just changed was to add a wired network connection to the mini...this way I now store my music on a NAS and do all my ripping and music management at my main workstation via my iMac.  Now I have little need for Splashtop which has been great.  

 

One thing you can do if you have a hard wired network connection to your mini, is set up splashtop to work over the  network cable rather than wifi.  This has seemed to help some.

 

 

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Was considering a new mac mini after mine went dead (after 5 years), but bugs like this really make me reconsider.  How long has Apple ignored this hdmi problem?  It reminds me of serious flaws in itunes that can wreck your tagging metadata.  Apple is great for folks who don't care about music quality, but for power CA users it has been a hard slog.  Maybe now the situation is better than when I last tweaked my digital chain.  I want to use Roon and HQPlayer, as I haven't had computer playback for months now.  Roon would only be for playback and playlist construction, where HQP is simply a nightmare.  I like the simple operation and general ruggedness of Apple's machines (considering a new MB Pro now), but it's a hard choice.  

Mac Mini 2012 with 2.3 GHz i5 CPU and 16GB RAM running newest OS10.9x and Signalyst HQ Player software (occasionally JRMC), ethernet to Cisco SG100-08 GigE switch, ethernet to SOtM SMS100 Miniserver in audio room, sending via short 1/2 meter AQ Cinnamon USB to Oppo 105D, feeding balanced outputs to 2x Bel Canto S300 amps which vertically biamp ATC SCM20SL speakers, 2x Velodyne DD12+ subs. Each side is mounted vertically on 3-tiered Sound Anchor ADJ2 stands: ATC (top), amp (middle), sub (bottom), Mogami, Koala, Nordost, Mosaic cables, split at the preamp outputs with splitters. All transducers are thoroughly and lovingly time aligned for the listening position.

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With a simple HDMI adapter there is no Apple HDMI issue. My MacMini does not at all interfere with my wish to hear quality music and I have yet to be offered with a better solution for the money. Roon works flawless, also with HQP integrated, no issue at all. But in my setup I do not need HQP anymore, Lyngdorf does the trick and prefers a non upsampled or tweaked signal for producing the best quality output. 

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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On 7/5/2017 at 10:38 AM, Sam Lord said:

Was considering a new mac mini after mine went dead (after 5 years), but bugs like this really make me reconsider.  How long has Apple ignored this hdmi problem? 

 

It's not a "bug", the graphics processor isn't active when there's no screen attached - however, it's rather useful for rendering the display with a remote desktop session. Hence, an adapter to emulate a display and thus enable the graphics processor. It really makes a huge difference. I use a Thunderbolt/HDMI-Adapter for the Headless-Display-Emulator, and connect the TV to the in-build HDMI port. It's no big deal. The Mac Mini is a wonderful machine!

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I love the Mac Mini, but am concerned that Apple has not updated the machine in eons. The last update also removed the quad-core i7 option. I hope that Apple does not kill the Mac Mini line, for it makes for a great headless computer music server/player.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

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On 13.7.2017 at 8:07 PM, foodfiend said:

I love the Mac Mini, but am concerned that Apple has not updated the machine in eons. The last update also removed the quad-core i7 option. I hope that Apple does not kill the Mac Mini line, for it makes for a great headless computer music server/player.

 

True. But for the music server application it does not require to be updated. Roon flawless, Integration flawless, music from an internal SSD, NAS, OS X on SD card or secondary SSD drive, all in all enough options.

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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1 hour ago, HardrockInMiniMac said:

 

True. But for the music server application it does not require to be updated. Roon flawless, Integration flawless, music from an internal SSD, NAS, OS X on SD card or secondary SSD drive, all in all enough options.

Yup, but what happens when the hardware eventually fails? If Apple kills the Mac Mini line, does that mean you will end up with an iMac or MacBook Pro as your music server? Not quite headless anymore. Then, I fear I may be forced down the road of using a NUC or something similar.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

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Hmm - never happened to me (complete hardware failure) but lets assume the unthinkable:

 

Apple stops the MacMini, mine fails, there are no spare parts, no second hand MacMini available (how many million did they sell?) or whatever happens. Well, then I will be using what sounded even better anyways which is my old Macbook Air 2011 or any newer version of that. It will allow me the same remote control, however, you cannot keep it running when closed and that is the only reason I got me a Mini... 

 

But that scenario is so far out, there will be other stuff available to buy by then...

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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33 minutes ago, HardrockInMiniMac said:

Hmm - never happened to me (complete hardware failure) but lets assume the unthinkable:

 

Apple stops the MacMini, mine fails, there are no spare parts, no second hand MacMini available (how many million did they sell?) or whatever happens. Well, then I will be using what sounded even better anyways which is my old Macbook Air 2011 or any newer version of that. It will allow me the same remote control, however, you cannot keep it running when closed and that is the only reason I got me a Mini... 

 

But that scenario is so far out, there will be other stuff available to buy by then...

Interesting perspective! So, you would really scavenge for spares and second hand Mac Mini's. I guess with the number of units sold across the world, there shouldn't be a problem looking for spares, especially since you would only need to look at older units for the motherboards, for example. RAM, SSD or HDD can easily be purchased elsewhere.

 

Anyway, I am still hoping for a Mac Mini refresh soon...

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

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50 minutes ago, HardrockInMiniMac said:

Hmm - never happened to me (complete hardware failure) but lets assume the unthinkable:

 

Apple stops the MacMini, mine fails, there are no spare parts, no second hand MacMini available (how many million did they sell?) or whatever happens. Well, then I will be using what sounded even better anyways which is my old Macbook Air 2011 or any newer version of that. It will allow me the same remote control, however, you cannot keep it running when closed and that is the only reason I got me a Mini... 

 

But that scenario is so far out, there will be other stuff available to buy by then...

 

This happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

 

My 2011 Mac Mini gave up the ghost and all of the current options are actually less capable than my 2011  :/  so I didn't want to spend $1,000+ for a replacement.

 

Right now, I'm using an old Windows laptop I had lying about (ugh), but unless Apple comes out with an updated Mini, looks like I'm going to have to migrate to a NUC-based option - which I hate, because macOS is my operating system of choice.

John Walker - IT Executive

Headphone - SonicTransporter i9 running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable Ethernet > mRendu Roon endpoint > Topping D90 > Topping A90d > Dan Clark Expanse / HiFiMan H6SE v2 / HiFiman Arya Stealth

Home Theater / Music -SonicTransporter i9 running Roon Server > Netgear Orbi > Blue Jeans Cable HDMI > Denon X3700h > Anthem Amp for front channels > Revel F208-based 5.2.4 Atmos speaker system

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2 hours ago, foodfiend said:

Interesting perspective! So, you would really scavenge for spares and second hand Mac Mini's. I guess with the number of units sold across the world, there shouldn't be a problem looking for spares, especially since you would only need to look at older units for the motherboards, for example. RAM, SSD or HDD can easily be purchased elsewhere.

 

Anyway, I am still hoping for a Mac Mini refresh soon...

 

You are turning around the discussion a little bit: You made up a case in which a Mini fails and asked me "what then"? RAM cannot be changed out, motherboards can be toasted by overheating. But well, what can go wrong? I applied the MMK so I would be able to change the hard drive. If the mainboards stopped working I would just buy a new one or a second hand. There a many out there. 

 

But actually I personally do not care anyways: The current i7 3.0Ghz 16GB RAM with standard hard drive - which I do not need - is only 1600,-€ right now. Compared to what I have spend and would spend on HIFI i would rather call that a bargain and I am sure second hand or last stock items will then be around 1000,-€ if Apple really takes it off the market. I still would not put one on the shelf as I am not dependent on the MacMini - I am sure there will be other solutions as long as there is a market. 

 

They will take it off the market for sure cause I cannot see a good reason or a good market for it in the future.

 

Chris

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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2 hours ago, jhwalker said:

 

This happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

 

My 2011 Mac Mini gave up the ghost and all of the current options are actually less capable than my 2011  :/  so I didn't want to spend $1,000+ for a replacement.

 

Right now, I'm using an old Windows laptop I had lying about (ugh), but unless Apple comes out with an updated Mini, looks like I'm going to have to migrate to a NUC-based option - which I hate, because macOS is my operating system of choice.

 

The difference between the 2011 and the latest model does not play a role in my chain. My Lyngdorf TDAI and room correction make it all sound near perfect if not perfect. 

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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Actually, just looked it up:

 

Apple Mac Mini (MGEN2D/A) CTO BTO Intel Core i7-4578U 3.0GHz Dual-Core, 16GB RAM, 1000GB HDD, Iris Grafik

 

1.269 € right now. This has come down a lot recently. 

 

i7 - 3Ghgz + 16GB should be good enough for a very long time.

Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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