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My name is Meredith, and I hope to start full-blown experimenting with computer audiophilia about September 2011.

I currently own a MacBook Pro with OSX 10.6.7 (Snow Leopard). I plan to purchase a Mac Mini (500 GB) late August or early September and get started with this hobby full steam.

Though I really love Chris' 9 minute YouTube video on how to get HDTracks 24/96 downloads into a Mac/iTunes using Max and, I think, XLD (it's a simple, concise, and to-the-point presentation), I still have many questions about this hobby and will need to ask questions ever so often.

So I hope that you guys can help with my first adventures into this.

In the meantime, I think I want to use my MacBook Pro for a single experiment to tide me over till September. I would like to download (from HDTracks) Steely Dan's "Gaucho" 24/96 FLAC file and then port it into my iTunes. Before I buy and download "Gaucho", do I need to download BOTH Max and XLD into my MacBook Pro, or do I just need either Max or XLD (not both)? If I need Max, which one do I download (stable or unstable, as well as either Max-0.9.1.tar.bz2 or Max-r1438.tar.bz2)? It sounds quite confusing!!

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please welcome me to the forum.






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First, you may be completely happy using your MacBook Pro for your music server. So unless you want to completely dedicate one computer as a music server (perfectly reasonable), you may get on quite well with just your laptop.


I generally just use Max for converting, but you don't need both XLD and Max. Of course you may want to experiment with both options. So far as I know, either works fine.


Should you find that you don't need to invest in a second computer, that would be nice as you could put that money into an external DAC. That will make a (hugely) significant difference over just taking the signal from the Mac's built-in sound card.


Since you are planning to use MacOS, there are several EXCELLENT music players including Pure Music, Fidelia, Decibel, Amarra. All of these make demos available and they offer a big improvement over iTunes by itself.


If you aren't already set up to do backup this is a good time to get started. As you develop a large music library, you don't want to lose it outright to disk failure. And disk failure will happen to all of us at some point.


Glad to have you onboard.


2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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