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Advice sought - Mac Mini config ++++


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Hi to all!

 

So I have limited tech know how and would greatly appreciate some advice on my current situation.

 

We have a new iMac, a Mini, an iPad/iPhones and a couple of Apple TVs.

We also have an Airport Extreme, an Airport Express and two 2tb hard drives.

The hard drives are currently sat next to the AExtreme and computers are connected via a wireless network.

The hard drives both have a full copy of my 1tb iTunes library. one of the hard drives has movies also.

My plan was either to use one of them for iMac/movies/Airvideo/appletvs and one for Macmini/music or to network them both.

 

We have the AVI ADM 9T as our music system.

 

My aim would be to have a headless Mini that works seamlessly using iTunes via the remote application. At the moment the remote app is very slow, painfully so.

 

The simple route seems to be connecting a 2tb directly to the Mini but tbh I am a bit

 

lost with all of the options...

Can anyone advise the most effective solution using this hardware?

Thanks

Gareth

 

PS I had originally wanted to get a proper nas drive on the extreme but you cannot use an iTunes library on two machines at once.

 

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Hi,

 

Not quite sure specifically what your goals are.

 

I would connect your hard drives directly to your computers.

 

Direct connect from computer (I assume the Mini) to the ADM is best, but going from Airport Express or ATV to ADM should also sound good (though there may be issues playing hi-res).

 

Maybe you could share what exactly you have in mind (music in different rooms, movies in one room, etc.)

 

Rascal

 

A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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Hi Rascal

Thanks for the reply!

 

Obviously my confusion is clear........lol

 

So basically I want to have a music system that is built for the best sound quality and convenience.

I want to watch movies from files stored in one place on two different TVs both using apple tv.

I want the access to movies or music file (iTunes or other) to be fast with no clunky connections slowing things down.

I would like ultimately to use a NAS for all of the above but I don't know how to integrate all of the hardware.

 

I had originally thought I could have one hd attached to the aebs and access everything from one point.

Right now I have the music system with mac mini wired to avi speakers and served wirlessly by 1 iTunes library from hard drive A connected to the aebs.

I have Movies streaming to two apple TVs controlled by iTunes which is on the iMac which in turn is fed by hard drive B/aebs.

 

The problem with this is iTunes will only let you use a single library at one location.

Hence the need to access the library from two drives.

 

Does this make any sense at all?

 

 

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You want to have one person in room A (where your ADM sits) watching a movie or listening to music & another person in room B watching a different movie? Am I getting that right?

 

One thing I can say is that you should connect your hard drive directly to your Mini. Better SQ & response. You can then send music wirelessly to your Express or ATV. (Probably the same is true for movies to ATV, but I haven't done this.)

 

What do you mean when you say that Remote is slow? There will be some lag time when Remote connects to iTunes and/or when your hard drive spins up.

 

Rascal

 

A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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Regarding home sharing....will this not degrade the sound quality of the music system?

I use pure music and strive to have as little as possible running on the mac mini, if it is sharing a library will this not work against me?

 

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I would like each system to be able to work independently.

The kids maybe watching apple tv in one room whilst there is music or movies in the other room also.

 

Ok so let's say I take hard drive A and connect via USB to the mini, i see how this should speed things up ..this is good, I know this works fine as this is what I had before;)

 

So if I now download any music etc and add to the library on hard drive A the other library will be different. Is there a system that would allow me to back up the library automatically as I go, perhaps time machine, can you have time machine on a nas?

 

I have the funds to purchase hardware Should I need it but don't want to make any mistakes.

 

 

 

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You can see and stream files from remote libraries, but I do not think you can share the same library on a shared drive, home sharing on or not. :)

 

This is something a lot of people would like I think, but it would require using a SQL or other multi-user database for the iTunes library.

 

You can share the media files without any trouble, so long as you only have zero or one machines updating or rearranging the files.

 

-Paul

 

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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Use an Apple TV for the second system, or even for both systems.

 

They will operate as independent "zones" and play different material simultaneously. You can still control both of them with an iPhone, iPod, or an iPad.

 

-Paul

 

 

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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Hi and thanks for the replies.

 

With regards to apple TV for both systems I see how this could work but there are issues of sound quality, resolution and accessability via remote. I know the remote can be used as I use it to great effect when using apple tv but only with the tv screen in the mix.

 

I have spoken to Apple who has suggested the Airport Extreme be used to connect to the router and be the wireless network rather than join the existing wireless network. This was what I had originally thought would be the set up but the first lady who helped me on the apple care line seemed dead set on just joining the existing network.

 

Anyhoo the new guy thinks that using the AEBS in this way will reduce the time it takes to perform commands...great I am all for it. Just as we were about to look at this the line went dead and I am now waiting for a call back.

 

So it seems that this will be the new system...

Mac Mini with attached hard rive containing itunes lib.

Imac sharing itunes

Apple TVs sharing Itunes

AEBS with hard drive attached to back up the drive attached to the mini.

This seems to be a most effective and simple way to do what I need.

 

I get a library that I can update at will and it will all be saved to the time machine drive.

 

The only question that remains (apart from how to set up the AEBS as a stand alone router) is if the sharing of the lib from the mini will degrade the sound quality and how pure music will effect the whole deal...

more confusion aargghh!

 

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PM will work fine as long as you're not streaming to AE or ATV. It's really a single-system solution. For me, that's kind of limiting, since I have two AE's, and iTunes does this effortlessly. If I'm stationed in my living room, then it's fine.

 

Also it sounds like you already had a router before you bought the Extreme? I assume you are going to ditch the other router & just use the Extreme? It would seem to simplify things to just have one router. (Setting it up is easy, don't sweat it.)

 

Also, what "remote" are you referring to? I assumed you meant the iPhone app.

 

Finally, I would be cautious in setting your up iTunes library/hard drive as shareable. (Actually I'm skeptical that you can have two computers reading from the library at the same time, but there's plenty I don't know.) You might want to try some tests to confirm the SQ isn't compromised on your Mini when the other computer is sharing the library.

 

Rascal

 

A: Mac Mini => Peachtree Nova => LFD Integrated Zero Mk.III => Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 | Musical Fidelity X-CAN V-8 => AKG K 701

B: Airport Express = > Benchmark DAC1 => Rega Brio-R => B&W DM 601 S2

C: Airport Express => AudioEngine A2

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Which remote are you talking about using, the infra-red thin remote, or a copy of the Free REMOTE progam on an iPhone/iPod/iPad?

 

If the IR remote, then yes, you need a TV attached. If you are using the REMOTE program (recommended!) then you do not need a TV attached. The REMOTE program allows you to select and control the ATV units, as well as the Mac Mini, without being in line of sight.

 

Where exactly are you getting "slow" performance or response?

 

I can see no case at all where you should create a second network; rather I think you should most definitely EXTEND your network.

 

One other point is that if you are not backing up multiple computers, a disk attached directly to the Mini can be used as a Time Capsule backup disk, and that will work much faster than if connected through a AEBS.

 

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

Robert A. Heinlein

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