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How do I turn off services on my MacBook?


nemick

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I am using an Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook of 2008 vintage (250Gig HDD and 4 Gig of RAM) for the storage and replay of my iTunes library. All files (rips and downloads) are in the Apple Lossless format). I have read elsewhere that I might improve the sound of my humble system by turning off some of the unnecessary functions on my MacBook. Can anyone explain to me how I can go about this and which things can be safely turned off?

 

I am running the signal from MacBook via USB to a V-DAC II, into a Pioneer AVR and then out to a pair of Linn Ninka speakers. For a Low end system, it sounds pretty good for casual listening, but I would like to maximize what I already have, if possible.

 

Thanks in advance for any input.

 

Neil M.

 

CA System 2013 i7 Mac Mini, JRiver, AQ Cinnamon, MF V Link 192, Teradak PS, DACiT, W4S STI 1000, Linn Ninka's

Main System (Analogue) LP12, Ittock, Klyde, Lingo 2, Kairn, Wavelength Duetto, AvanteGarde Uno's

Main System (Digital) CEC TL51, dCS Elgar, dCS Purcell, Wavelength Duetto, AvanteGarde Uno's

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nemick wrote:

 

"I have read elsewhere that I might improve the sound of my humble system by turning off some of the unnecessary functions on my MacBook. Can anyone explain to me how I can go about this and which things can be safely turned off?"

 

There are different ways to go about this, but just using the interface that Apple provides, here are some items (but not an exhaustive list):

 

  • Turn off the IR receiver if you're not using it. System Preferences -> Security -> General -> Check "Disable remote control infrared receiver"
     
  • Turn off Bluetooth if you're not using it. System Prefs -> Bluetooth -> Uncheck "On"
     
  • Turn off WiFi if you're not using it. Use the AirPort widget in the menubar, or System Prefs -> Network -> AirPort -> Click "Turn AirPort Off"
     
  • Stop Spotlight from indexing. System Prefs -> Spotlight -> "Privacy" tab -> Add the volumes you don't want to be indexed to the list
     
     
    (You can also turn off Spotlight completely, but that's outside the scope of the syllabus.)

 

Also ...

 

  • Don't run other software while you're listening. Web browsers, in particular (especially when Flash is running), are huge memory hogs.
     
  • Enable "hog mode" in your playback software.
     
  • Several utilities (I use Cocktail) are available that will let you turn on a "Quit" item in the Finder's File menu so you can ... wait for it ... quit the Finder. I do this sometimes, but the Finder doesn't seem to use up a lot of system resources when it's not doing anything, so I'm not sure it's worth it.

 

You can do a lot of this stuff via the command line and some of it via AppleScript, but I tend not to bother. Also, some stuff you do via the command line can lead to issues when it comes time to do a system update.

 

I'll probably think of several more things right after I post this.

 

--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

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I am trying to think what I can and cannot do with the suggestions. I already have put my music library and back up HDD in Privacy for Spot Light. My back ups via Time Machine are turned off ( I do them manually at one week intervals). I need Blue Tooth for the wireless keyboard and trackpad that I use during imports/downloads to my library. The WiFi would be used for getting album info for imports (though I suppose I could turn it off otherwise). What is the IR used for other than the little Apple remote? If that is all I could turn that off. I think I need the WiFi on to use my iPad with the Remote app to control playback like I am now.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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@ wheelerk

 

The Bluetooth/WiFi thing is kind of a dilemma. I use a Bluetooth keyboard and trackpad, too, and I also use WiFi for file transfers to the Mini. My best solution is to use only Bluetooth for control; that way I can keep WiFi turned off when listening. In your case (since the Remote app works via WiFi), I'd suggest keeping Bluetooth turned off when not needed, except I know it can be a hassle if/when you need to re-pair with the with the control devices.

 

If you're not using the IR Apple remote, you can at least turn IR off.

 

Another common-wisdom tweak I forgot to mention is turning off the screensaver (System Prefs -> Desktop & Screensaver -> Screensaver tab -> Move the "Start screensaver" slider to never.

 

Personally, knowing that a really simple screensaver module doesn't use much CPU juice or memory, I just use a screensaver module that turns the screen black. (You can find one on Google.)

 

I don't think any of these things by themselves make a huge difference. I fancy I can hear a very subtle difference for the better when WiFi is turned off, but this could easily be imagined. I need to wait for an appropriately OCD friend to come over to do a little blind testing.

 

For me, the two things I did to the mini that have made the most noticeable differences in sound quality are:

 

-- Using Pure Music rather than iTunes. (I tried a bunch of playback apps, and PM sounded best to me on my system, though I also like Fidelia Advanced and may revisit it after my new DAC arrives.)

 

-- Putting the mini and the external hard drive up on Vibrapod cones and feet. (I know this sounds questionable, but it really did yield a noticeable improvement to my ears.)

 

--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

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...has preference checkboxes that will turn off Mac services for you for best sound quality while Audirvana is running, and will turn them back on when Audirvana is off.

 

Besides those services I also like turning off Airport by right-clicking its little icon at the top right of the Mac's desktop.

 

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Apollon Audio 1ET400A Mini (Purifi based) -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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At this point I think I would only be willing to turn off the IR as I rarely use that little remote.

 

I am not opposed to these things and I have used Vibrapods, cones and other devices like those in the past to limited effect for my ears.

 

I have used PM for about a year now.

 

"A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open."
Frank Zappa
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but you might like to play with it:

 

http://www.ultrafi.biz/ Click: Optimization Guide for Apple OS X

 

Tells how to turn off all sorts of things via command line, that you can't control via preferences. I tried them all and can't say I heard a difference. I believe some or all of these reset themselves when you reboot, so perhaps one could have them in a script which runs on startup.

 

[i believe this was written by a member here, so um - you know, no disrespect or nuthin. I respect your thoroughness. I just couldn't hear a difference.]

 

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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