Quick Set Up Guide For Mac Os X And Itunes

If you've just bought a Mac but don't know how to get started, here is a very quick guide to essential settings for ripping CDs and changing the system audio output.

Setting up iTunes for CD ripping:

Open up iTunes. Go into the Preferences (in the iTunes menu). In the Import Settings you want to select either Apple Lossless Encoder or AIFF (the former has smaller file sizes but no loss of music data) and, most importantly, check the box for error correction.


Connecting your DAC:

As for connecting your DAC, you can use USB if available or you can use a Toslink to mini-optical cable from the headphone port of the MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini or Mac Pro.  

Selecting audio output and sampling rate:

If you are using optical, it will already be set to use optical as the output by default when a mini-Toslink cable is plugged in. For selecting the sound output with USB devices, double-click on your hard disk icon, then on Applications and inside that Utilities. Open up Audio Midi Set-Up and select that as the audio output.  For switching around outputs quickly, I recommend using SoundSource, which adds a system-wide menu allowing you to quickly select the audio input and output.
About author
I started with headphone hi-fi back in the early '90s when my father got sick of hearing the modern pop music I liked through my hi-fi system. In 2007, when the earpads on my headphones became too flat, I joined Head-Fi where I began the search for a good pair of headphones, then a good system to enjoy music with.


Yoga Flame

500+ Head-Fier
To quickly select the audio output, you can also hold down the option button while clicking on the volume icon in the menu bar.


Headphoneus Supremus
You can easily set up named shortcuts for your DACs:
1. After plugging in your USB device, open Audio MIDI Setup
2. Click the + button at lower left below the menu of inputs and outputs. This will create a generic (+) icon named "Aggregate Device"
3. Give the aggregate device a memorable name (name of your DAC, "home" or "office", etc.)
4. Select the DAC's device name from the list of checkboxes in the right pane (eg, "USB Audio Device")
(see screenshot 1)
From now own, you'll be able to select the device directly from Sound system prefs or by option-clicking on the volume icon in the menu bar.
(see screenshot 2: Sound system preference pane)
(see screenshot 3: Option-clicking menu bar volume control)


100+ Head-Fier
Didn't know about SoundSource. Thanks.