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About Timinla

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  1. 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
  2. I am setting up a Synology NAS to store music files. It will be accessed by my Mac Mini. Any suggestions on set up? I'll be using itunes and probably Jriver and Roon.
  3. All, Thank you for the great information supplied in the responses above. I am looking forward to putting this information into practice tonight after I get home from work. Just to be clear, Spotify is my first project because I was a subscriber to the service before I bought the Mini. My goal is to be able to control the Mini from my iPad when running Jriver, Roon and maybe even iTunes. Thanks again, Tim
  4. I don't need the "sharing" section to control the Mini with my iPad? I have the Mini set up OK as it sounds quite good. But I am controlling it with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse. I want to play Spotify with the iPad but have the signal created by the Mini.
  5. I posed this question to a salesperson at an Apple Store and to a salesperson at an independent Apple dealer. Neither had any idea what I was talking about. So, I thought I would check with the real experts. I just bought my first Mac, a Mini. I have had an iPhone and an iPad for a while so I sort of understand the Apple operating system. My goal, based on what I have read here as possible, is to run my Mini "headless", that is without a monitor, keyboard or mouse, for running Spotify, Roon, JRiver, maybe even iTunes. I want to do all of the controlling on my iPad but have the Mini do the work of processing the stream and sending it to the analog components. I understand that I need to have the usual keyboard and mouse available for system maintenance, etc. The Mac Mini will plug into my Marantz AV8801 via HDMI. D/A will occur on the AV8801. So, on my Mini, under System, there is a place with a bunch of options, called Sharing. Looking at the options, it seems I am in the right place to configure my system. But being very new to Macs, I don't really understand all of the options. May I ask the help of the Mac computer audiophiles that frequent this forum? Thanks in advance. Tim
  6. Thanks for all the good ideas and counsel. Now, if I might, may I ask for a translation? I know what PCM and DSD are, but what is DoP? Tim
  7. Thank you to those who have replied to my posting. I am surprised however at how few responses I have received. Is the Mac Mini not a popular solution for streaming and playing digital files? I see lots of posts on Windows boxes with, frankly, somewhat obscure versions of Windows that would require endless tweaking. But I am a veteran of wrestling with Windows in an office environment and would prefer to just enjoy music. But given all the discernible variations in hardware I have read about for Windows machines, I can't believe I can buy just any Mac Mini and it will sound the same as any other Mac Mini. I understand and that the more RAM the better. But do I need an ssd? I question this because the music will either be streaming over tcp/ip or played as a file from an NAS. And how much processing power do I need if fairly simple and inexpensive devices sound pretty good? thanks again for the help. Tim
  8. My goal is to stream music via Tidal, Pandora and Spotify as well as play tracks from an NAS. Also, given the problems I have been having with Apple TV and Airplay of late (it just doesn't work anymore), I might use the Mac to stream video from non-mainstream sources. An example would be to watch the new Funny or Die movie about Donald Trump. Netflix and HBO Go work pretty well via Apple TV. I have read a bunch of strings regarding PC/Mac vs dedicated appliance and have decided to go the route of a Mac Mini. So, how should I configure the Mini? How much RAM? Do I need an SSD? Is processor speed an issue? The easy answer would be to buy what is most expensive. But the budget is not unlimited, of course. And with computers, I have found, buying more that you need is the same as throwing money away. Tim
  9. All, Your comments have been very helpful. But as the discussion gets more detailed, I get more confused. How does UPnP/DLNA work? Does it run (unlikely) on the Marantz? The NAS? And, Android? This is not a PC based OS. I'm also confused by the notion that a Windows based PC would run audio better than a Mac. How would you control the Win machine? Can one run Jriver on a Win machine and control it with an iPad? I have not witnessed this sort of compatibility.
  10. Kal, Thanks very much for your help. I think I am on the right road now. Use a computer as opposed to an appliance and use the DACs in the Marantz unit. I am interested, however, in your issues with a Mac vs a PC for high quality sound. Have you written about the issues in Stereophile or elsewhere? My own experience is that the PC was always finding a way to reject an outboard DAC. It just didn't want to use anything other than was on the motherboard. This experience was under XP, however.
  11. Kal, I read your column in Stereophile regularly. I am honored to have you respond to my post. The 8801 documentation has me connecting a computer via Ethernet. I am confident I can figure out how to connect a computer via HDMI. (Your advice would be greatly appreciated, however.) Your post implies, however, that you replaced the Mac Mini with a PC. Can you elaborate on that? Tim
  12. I bought my first high end products - a NAD receiver, turntable and wonderful speakers from a company whose name I do not recall -- in 1980. I have owned good stuff ever since. I bought the good stuff to enjoy even more the passion of my life -- music. I bought my first computer, an Osborne 1, about the same time. Back then, computers were for spreadsheets and wordprocessing. The Osborne and its PC successors have been used a lot for that. I installed one of the first Novell networks in 1987 in my small CPA office betting the farm that the increased efficiency would justify the cost. My bet paid off big time. Finally, I built a music computer in the early nineties using the highest rated sound card at the time (and again its name has been forgotten). I ripped my CD collection to wav files and used iTunes to play them. (Unfortunately, a crash disconnected the files from the metadata in iTunes and the files were pretty much lost. But that's another story.) The point of the foregoing is to establish that I know a little bit about both high end audio and computers. I got a divorce a few years ago and pretty much lost all of my equipment. I am only now getting back on my proverbial feet. I am installing a TV system in my house that I will hopefully also be able to listen to music on. I want to be able to play ripped CDs from an NAS as well as stream music. I am currently using Spotify which is OK. I hope to try out Apple Music and Tidal in the near future. Based on what I have read, I see Tidal as my future streaming service. My new system will be centered around a Marantz AV8801 processor/preamp. My question is what additional hardware I need to play files and stream music. I have spent a fair amount of time on the Internet and particularly on this site to answer this question. But I must say that I am overwhelmed by all of the technologies discussed in this forum. I know that one way to go would be to buy a Mac Mini and a DAC and plug the analog outputs of the DAC into the Marantz unit. It also appears that I could plug the Mac Mini directly into the Marantz and use its internal DAC. Finally, the AV8801's documentation says that I can stream using the unit by using a router that supports audio streaming. But I have no idea what that means. My reading seems to say that while a computer and a DAC will work fine, an "appliance" might sound a lot better and would cost about the same. I wouldn't be using the Mac for anything other that serving as a music server. My budget for this project is $100k. Just kidding. Actually, if I could start off kind of inexpensively and then build more quality and capability into the system over the next year or two, that would be great. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Happy New Year! Tim
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