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Mac Mini Music Server

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Been using Raspberry Pi with assorted DAC's as my music servers for a couple years now.  That kind of drove me to the Logitechmediaserver and Squeezelite world which is great but in my opinion dying a slow death.  

 

Seems no matter how happy I was with the music delivery and source component there was always a noise or two in the Raspberry Pi that drove me nuts.  Yesterday i finally abandoned (well not completely, keeping one system and one laptop configured with LMS) the platform. 

 

I purchased a Mac Mini 2.5 GHz and I wish I'd have done it ages ago.  In my entertainment center I have a tube stereo, a tube headphone amp, and audio out from the TV to my main stereo preamp.  3 DAC's.  The VERY BEST FEATURE here is with the Mac Mini I can just hold the option key on the volume control and just select the output DAC I want to use.  I literally replaced 3 raspberry pi's with one small form factor computer.

 

I'm running it headless although I will probably add a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse and HDMI over to the TV and could use it as a computer if my MacBookAir ever craps out.   The screen sharing app works elegantly and I have an app called VNC Viewer on my iPad and it controls the headless Mac perfectly as well.  Way less lag than you would expect from a screen sharing app.   Well done Apple. 

 

Sounds great too. Using Bit Perfect with iTunes and Clementine for my FLAC library on an external hard drive. 

 

I see some web pages where the chasers of the perfect sound have you disabling processes and swapping power supplies and such.  While I might agree there could be some improvements there I'm not that guy.  This is good enough and I consider myself very finicky.  I love the sound I'm getting better than the Raspberry Pi and I loved it. 

 

I have a Linux Laptop similarly configured and either the laptop or Mac Mini would have similar results I would imagine but the screen sharing thing seals the deal for me.   i'm currently NOT running LogitechMediaServer and using the Spotify app, an app called Muse which is a wrapper for Pandora (opens it like an app and not a web page) and listening to TuneIn Radio via web browser.  Those are the biggies for me.  I also have my iTunes Library and Apple Radio and my FLAC collection ripped and listening via Clementine (hopefully in a bit perfect fashion).  I can also control Clementine from my Android phone which is cool.  Don't even need the screen sharing.

 

I love it.  This is everything I have wanted to do for years wrapped up in one package.   I'm really happy with this setup.  I also have a couple old and newer Airport Expresses I can use to stream stuff too I think.  If I can stream everything via Airport Express I can repurpose these Raspberry Pi's and do some serious mad scientist stuff.

post #2 of 3

in terms of using it headless - a quick tip: you might want to install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension. makes it very easy to get to the desktop of the Mini from any chrome browser (mobile included)

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by inertianinja View Post
 

in terms of using it headless - a quick tip: you might want to install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension. makes it very easy to get to the desktop of the Mini from any chrome browser (mobile included)

Thanks.  And interesting.  That would net me better access to some of my favorite radio streams as well.  I use an extension in Chrome called Radio Player Live.

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