mac mini - just itunes - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 27 Old 01-15-2013, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Was wondering if it would be a worth it to get a cheap used mini for only iTunes. That's really all I am looking for and the goal is sound quality. I'm not real familiar with the mac platform (using/administering) other than the iTouch's I use currently as a remote for iTunes.

My iTunes library (in ALAC format, 2TB) is currently on a NAS (Zyxel 310) running Logitech media server and have been using the iPeng app to stream my lossless music to my Marantz 6006 (hard wired GB). It works, but I would like to eliminate all of the wireless "hops" it takes to convert and then stream etc.. Also, being my set up isn't mac, you have to do soo many things (e.g. hacks) to work with that platform. Really just wanting to keep the format native and use Ethernet as much as possible. My network is pretty solid (new GB router + switches).

I looked on ebay for some older mini's ($150 +/-) and there are plenty, but have no clue what would fit the bill per my initiative?

Other things like:
Remote desktop from Win7 to perform installs/update
Things like keyboard/mouse/monitor - does it have to be mac
Does iTunes version rely on the mac OS and or what happens when I move my iTunes DB to the mini?
Will my existing NAS work with mac
etc..

A lot of questions, but if someone could dumb it down or "generalize" if this solution makes sense or point me in a general direction that would be great!

Thanks
Ratamacue is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 27 Old 01-15-2013, 07:08 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Was wondering if it would be a worth it to get a cheap used mini for only iTunes.

Easy answer, yes, it's very worth it even if only used as an iTunes music player.
Quote:
...the goal is sound quality.

It's wise to want to eliminate wireless as much as possible, a wired system is much more reliable; any older Mini would work much more smoothly for your needs, as long as it has 1) ethernet and 2) optical audio out to connect directly to your Marantz. Essentially that means any Intel Mini. Instead of NAS hacks fudging iTunes functionality you just run an official instance of iTunes on the Mini, point its iTunes Media folder location to the NAS volume, and bask in the "glory" that is iTunes used the way Apple intends. It won't care where your media actually resides. There will be a few things to tweak--do you let the Mini sleep or just keep it running 24/7--and there will be some things you'll have to figure out how to do in OS X, like mounting network volumes and keeping them mounted--but there are plenty of knowledge base articles and iTunes tutorials at sites like Macworld to help with this--all because you're doing the one thing Apple wants you to do--running real iTunes on a computer.

You'll need to connect a display, USB mouse and keyboard, any old brands, to set it up initially but you can run it and manage it headless via screen-sharing without any problem. Many of us have at least one Mac running headless in the house as a media server and they can be easily controlled from a Windows PC or screen-sharing apps on iOS or Android devices, basically anything that can do VNC. You can continue to use your iPod touch as a remote. I have two Mac media servers, a 2011 Mini and a 2005 dual G5 PowerMac, and my personal favorite remote control for them is Screens on an iPad, because there's always an iPad lying around our house and the display is big enough to do real things, like change settings, move media around, set recordings, etc. (Before the iPad was released, so from 2004 to 2010 or so, I kept a dedicated 12" Powerbook to control everything else in the house remotely.)

Problem is, older Minis w/ built-in optical drives often retain absurd value even though they cannot be upgraded to the more modern OS X versions of Lion or Mountain Lion. If you can get an older Intel Mini for $150 or so grab it and test things out, because playing music isn't processor intensive at all and the OS it can run, Snow Leopard, is still a very solid, excellent performer and will run a modern enough version of iTunes for your needs. In case you're tempted, even a PPC Mac Mini running Leopard can run a version of iTunes which still supports fun things like iTunes home sharing and Airplay, but you'd lose the optical out port.
chefklc is offline  
post #3 of 27 Old 01-15-2013, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

Easy answer, yes, it's very worth it even if only used as an iTunes music player.
It's wise to want to eliminate wireless as much as possible, a wired system is much more reliable; any older Mini would work much more smoothly for your needs, as long as it has 1) ethernet and 2) optical audio out to connect directly to your Marantz. Essentially that means any Intel Mini. Instead of NAS hacks fudging iTunes functionality you just run an official instance of iTunes on the Mini, point its iTunes Media folder location to the NAS volume, and bask in the "glory" that is iTunes used the way Apple intends. It won't care where your media actually resides. There will be a few things to tweak--do you let the Mini sleep or just keep it running 24/7--and there will be some things you'll have to figure out how to do in OS X, like mounting network volumes and keeping them mounted--but there are plenty of knowledge base articles and iTunes tutorials at sites like Macworld to help with this--all because you're doing the one thing Apple wants you to do--running real iTunes on a computer.

You'll need to connect a display, USB mouse and keyboard, any old brands, to set it up initially but you can run it and manage it headless via screen-sharing without any problem. Many of us have at least one Mac running headless in the house as a media server and they can be easily controlled from a Windows PC or screen-sharing apps on iOS or Android devices, basically anything that can do VNC. You can continue to use your iPod touch as a remote. I have two Mac media servers, a 2011 Mini and a 2005 dual G5 PowerMac, and my personal favorite remote control for them is Screens on an iPad, because there's always an iPad lying around our house and the display is big enough to do real things, like change settings, move media around, set recordings, etc. (Before the iPad was released, so from 2004 to 2010 or so, I kept a dedicated 12" Powerbook to control everything else in the house remotely.)

Problem is, older Minis w/ built-in optical drives often retain absurd value even though they cannot be upgraded to the more modern OS X versions of Lion or Mountain Lion. If you can get an older Intel Mini for $150 or so grab it and test things out, because playing music isn't processor intensive at all and the OS it can run, Snow Leopard, is still a very solid, excellent performer and will run a modern enough version of iTunes for your needs. In case you're tempted, even a PPC Mac Mini running Leopard can run a version of iTunes which still supports fun things like iTunes home sharing and Airplay, but you'd lose the optical out port.

Great info thank you, I appreciate it. I have experience with servers, SQL etc.. but on the windows front, but I think I can muddle my way through the mac stuff.

I looked through ebay and this looks to be the cheapest buy it now as an example. Would this be sufficient?. It looks to be upgraded with the latest OS as well. This user has two for sale
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-Mini-Intel-1-5Ghz-512MB-60GB-DVD-CDRW-Combo-Wireless-Bluetooth-/261151100048?pt=Apple_Desktops&hash=item3ccdd18c90

- The digital out is a "headphone jack" on mini's, correct? I thought it would be the toslink type or whatever. So I assume I would need to buy a stereo to toslink or something?

- Something of this age, I'm wondering if the HD are ready to fail and if the HD goes go, how does one restore everything => I'm assuming most used system aren't going to include any OS CD's per se. Can you purchase a standard SATA drive put it in and load the OS again (would need to purchase the OS though)?

- in the ebay example above, I would assume the iTunes version loaded is 9, 10, or 11.x My current version of iTunes (on Win7) is 10.? Everything is pointed to the NAS (music files and database) Will there be any issues with pointing a mini to this existing DB without losing all the tags, artwork pointers etc..? I don't know much about moving/sharing iTunes with multiple computers. In other words will the iTunes version on the mini "matter" to what my existing version is on the PC/NAS? Ultimately I would remove the PC itunes out of the equation (I think)

- To add new music, would I use (have to use) the mini to rip from CD into iTunes?

Thanks again.
Ratamacue is offline  
post #4 of 27 Old 01-16-2013, 10:40 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
The digital out is a "headphone jack" on mini's, correct? I thought it would be the toslink type or whatever. So I assume I would need to buy a stereo to toslink or something?

Right, the digital out is a combo analog/optical port, most of us use a regular optical cable with a mini adapter tip like this:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042301&p_id=2671&seq=1&format=2
Quote:
Something of this age, I'm wondering if the HD are ready to fail and if the HD goes go, how does one restore everything => I'm assuming most used system aren't going to include any OS CD's per se. Can you purchase a standard SATA drive put it in and load the OS again (would need to purchase the OS though)?

Definitely something to factor in with the purchase of an old Mac...ease of replacing/upgrading the hard drive and your comfort level doing so in that particular model. Six months ago I picked up a used 2008 15" MBP from Craigslist and first thing I did was put a 128GB Samsung 830 series SSD in there that I had lying around, now it's like a brand new machine. You can often get the original Apple install disks when buying used, the Apple hardware test is on them, but it's not really that necessary with something so old.

For backup protection, there's a free OS X app called SuperDuper which will allow you to create an exact bootable clone of your internal drive, that's what I use for backup and it's been an essential tool for many years. If your internal drive fails, you can boot right up from that clone and/or install it in the Mini and not lose a beat. Given your plans, consider replacing the hard drive of whatever older Mac you buy with a small SSD, it'll help keep your Mac music player more quiet, cool and nimble. (Yes, an SSD even in an old Mac that only supports SATA I will make a very noticeable difference.)
Quote:
Will there be any issues with pointing a mini to this existing DB without losing all the tags, artwork pointers etc..? I don't know much about moving/sharing iTunes with multiple computers. In other words will the iTunes version on the mini "matter" to what my existing version is on the PC/NAS?

There's a certain amount of iTunes voodoo involved, but you should be able to keep all your iTunes settings, metadata, art and playlists and such by moving the Windows iTunes equivalents of your iTunes folder and the com.apple.itunes.plist file to iTunes on your new Mac. There's definitely a right way to do it, though, so research and find out how to do it before you just follow your instinct. It has been discussed extensively online, you should have no trouble finding out:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1391

http://support.apple.com/kb/PH12165

http://www.macworld.com/article/1163242/organize_and_play_your_media_from_a_nas.html

http://www.macworld.com/article/1168301/prevent_itunes_from_switching_library_locations.html

You'll need to find the ones that apply to your given OS and iTunes versions. The Windows to Mac OS X migration has also been covered extensively but I've never had to do that.
Quote:
To add new music, would I use (have to use) the mini to rip from CD into iTunes?

Up to you. You could import from the Mini drive or any optical drive on your home network, or simply drag and drop already ripped files/albums into iTunes (as long as you "keep iTunes media folder organized" checked on the Mini that is.) You don't even need iTunes to do the ripping, you can rip or convert with anything you want, XLD, dBpowerAMP, whatever.
Quote:
I looked through ebay and this looks to be the cheapest buy it now as an example. Would this be sufficient?

well, that is the oldest and least capable Intel Mini and it only has 512 RAM, and with whatever Mac you buy you'll need to go to 2GB just to run the OS properly so factor that in:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/5300DDR2S2GP/

That brings you to about $210 and frankly I wouldn't jump at a core solo for that price, if I were in your shoes I'd start my search with Core 2 Duo models. You should be able to find a 2007 1.83 C2D Mini with 2GB of RAM for right around that same price point. (A C2D keeps your upgrade options intact if down the road you ever wanted, or needed, to go to Lion for some reason.) Another option, and don't laugh, plastic C2D MacBooks from that era would do a great job as a networked music player for you, they are very plentiful used these days and fairly affordable (since you don't necessarily have to care about the condition of the battery or screen.) MacBooks share many of the same advantages of a Mini, they're quiet, cool, have optical out; additionally they run well with the lid closed and retain one big plus over the Mini: it's extremely easy to upgrade RAM and swap hard drives in and out of a Macbook, pop the battery, three tiny screws, and you're there. I've owned several white C2D Macbooks over the years, running them closed lid basically 24/7 in a home theater context, and it is really nice being able to get at its drive so easily.
chefklc is offline  
post #5 of 27 Old 01-16-2013, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

Right, the digital out is a combo analog/optical port, most of us use a regular optical cable with a mini adapter tip like this:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10423&cs_id=1042301&p_id=2671&seq=1&format=2
Definitely something to factor in with the purchase of an old Mac...ease of replacing/upgrading the hard drive and your comfort level doing so in that particular model. Six months ago I picked up a used 2008 15" MBP from Craigslist and first thing I did was put a 128GB Samsung 830 series SSD in there that I had lying around, now it's like a brand new machine. You can often get the original Apple install disks when buying used, the Apple hardware test is on them, but it's not really that necessary with something so old.

For backup protection, there's a free OS X app called SuperDuper which will allow you to create an exact bootable clone of your internal drive, that's what I use for backup and it's been an essential tool for many years. If your internal drive fails, you can boot right up from that clone and/or install it in the Mini and not lose a beat. Given your plans, consider replacing the hard drive of whatever older Mac you buy with a small SSD, it'll help keep your Mac music player more quiet, cool and nimble. (Yes, an SSD even in an old Mac that only supports SATA I will make a very noticeable difference.)
There's a certain amount of iTunes voodoo involved, but you should be able to keep all your iTunes settings, metadata, art and playlists and such by moving the Windows iTunes equivalents of your iTunes folder and the com.apple.itunes.plist file to iTunes on your new Mac. There's definitely a right way to do it, though, so research and find out how to do it before you just follow your instinct. It has been discussed extensively online, you should have no trouble finding out:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4527

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1449

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1391

http://support.apple.com/kb/PH12165

http://www.macworld.com/article/1163242/organize_and_play_your_media_from_a_nas.html

http://www.macworld.com/article/1168301/prevent_itunes_from_switching_library_locations.html

You'll need to find the ones that apply to your given OS and iTunes versions. The Windows to Mac OS X migration has also been covered extensively but I've never had to do that.
Up to you. You could import from the Mini drive or any optical drive on your home network, or simply drag and drop already ripped files/albums into iTunes (as long as you "keep iTunes media folder organized" checked on the Mini that is.) You don't even need iTunes to do the ripping, you can rip or convert with anything you want, XLD, dBpowerAMP, whatever.
well, that is the oldest and least capable Intel Mini and it only has 512 RAM, and with whatever Mac you buy you'll need to go to 2GB just to run the OS properly so factor that in:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/5300DDR2S2GP/

That brings you to about $210 and frankly I wouldn't jump at a core solo for that price, if I were in your shoes I'd start my search with Core 2 Duo models. You should be able to find a 2007 1.83 C2D Mini with 2GB of RAM for right around that same price point. (A C2D keeps your upgrade options intact if down the road you ever wanted, or needed, to go to Lion for some reason.) Another option, and don't laugh, plastic C2D MacBooks from that era would do a great job as a networked music player for you, they are very plentiful used these days and fairly affordable (since you don't necessarily have to care about the condition of the battery or screen.) MacBooks share many of the same advantages of a Mini, they're quiet, cool, have optical out; additionally they run well with the lid closed and retain one big plus over the Mini: it's extremely easy to upgrade RAM and swap hard drives in and out of a Macbook, pop the battery, three tiny screws, and you're there. I've owned several white C2D Macbooks over the years, running them closed lid basically 24/7 in a home theater context, and it is really nice being able to get at its drive so easily.

Fantastic, you provided a great deal of info here and things are much clearer. Thank you.

So based on all this, it looks like a 2007 vintage is around $250. I'll purchase a new drive and "image" it as you suggested and leave it at that. Thanks again for you assistance.
Ratamacue is offline  
post #6 of 27 Old 02-06-2013, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
chefklc - again thanks for the info. I did get a C2D and has a fresh install of 10.7 Lion installed (model A1176) and should be here tomorrow.

Anyways, per you suggestion on replacing the HD with a SSD, can you (or anyone interested) recommend a decent/basic SSD (min 80GB?) that will be adequate (nothing fancy). I'm sure its pretty straightforward, but only ask as I am new to mac hardware and there are a million choices and just don't want to be disappointed / get the wrong one.

Thanks.
Ratamacue is offline  
post #7 of 27 Old 02-06-2013, 01:25 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
I only have experience with two SSDs, the Crucial m4 and the Samsung 830, but can recommend them highly. Started with 128GB and then added 256GB versions of each. They've worked perfectly with all my Macs, even my oldest ones, a 2005 G5 PowerMac, a 2007 2.0 C2D Macbook and a 2007 2.2 C2D MBP.
chefklc is offline  
post #8 of 27 Old 02-06-2013, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

I only have experience with two SSDs, the Crucial m4 and the Samsung 830, but can recommend them highly. Started with 128GB and then added 256GB versions of each. They've worked perfectly with all my Macs, even my oldest ones, a 2005 G5 PowerMac, a 2007 2.0 C2D Macbook and a 2007 2.2 C2D MBP.

Cool thanks. I did see those Crucial ones but wasn't sure.....Another question as far as cloning the current HD and getting it to the SSD via SuperDuper => would something like this be a good (convenient) option (not sure about the vendor):

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/YSSDMP120/

Just thought I could put the SSD into the (bundled) enclosure, SuperDuper the HD that's currently in the Mac to this connected external enclosure that has the SSD. After SuperDuper is finished, remove the HD and put the SSD in and I'm good to go? I don't have any ext drives at the moment (at least free'd up for this).
Ratamacue is offline  
post #9 of 27 Old 02-07-2013, 10:22 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Just thought I could put the SSD into the (bundled) enclosure, SuperDuper the HD that's currently in the Mac to this connected external enclosure that has the SSD. After SuperDuper is finished, remove the HD and put the SSD in and I'm good to go?

SuperDuper, and exactly how I do it, it's an essential app for me. I don't have any 2.5" USB only enclosures because, basically, most of them are cheap crap and are unreliable over bus power with Macs. If you're gonna get an enclosure, get a "combo" 2.5" enclosure that has firewire ports in addition to USB. I picked one of these up when the price dropped to $49, it has USB 3 in addition to FW 800 and has enough room inside for the "taller/fatter" 2.5" drives:

http://www.amazon.com/MiniPro-FireWire-External-Enclosure-Silver/dp/B00655YT9C/ref=pd_cp_pc_1

I've used it a lot in the past couple of months and highly recommend it. Firewire is rock solid when it comes to bus power and Macs. OWC sells 2.5" enclosures similar to this, for $67 I think; yes, the minute you add firewire to a product it increases its cost significantly. I also have two Macally 2.5" firewire enclosures, paid $28 for the USB 2 & FW 400 model and $37 for the USB 2, FW 400 & FW 800 model. They've both been very good.

I'm often popping a 2.5" drive in and out of a bag to travel with, so those portable enclosures are important to me, if you don't envision yourself doing that too often, perhaps you should just get a simple, inexpensive USB drive dock like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Sata-HDD-Docking-Station/dp/B0012Z3MKW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360252642&sr=8-2&keywords=blacx

which can take 2.5" or 3.5" drives, my bet is you'll find it more useful down the road. I've gotten a couple of those over time and don't think I've ever paid more than $20 for one
chefklc is offline  
post #10 of 27 Old 02-09-2013, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

SuperDuper, and exactly how I do it, it's an essential app for me. I don't have any 2.5" USB only enclosures because, basically, most of them are cheap crap and are unreliable over bus power with Macs. If you're gonna get an enclosure, get a "combo" 2.5" enclosure that has firewire ports in addition to USB. I picked one of these up when the price dropped to $49, it has USB 3 in addition to FW 800 and has enough room inside for the "taller/fatter" 2.5" drives:

http://www.amazon.com/MiniPro-FireWire-External-Enclosure-Silver/dp/B00655YT9C/ref=pd_cp_pc_1

I've used it a lot in the past couple of months and highly recommend it. Firewire is rock solid when it comes to bus power and Macs. OWC sells 2.5" enclosures similar to this, for $67 I think; yes, the minute you add firewire to a product it increases its cost significantly. I also have two Macally 2.5" firewire enclosures, paid $28 for the USB 2 & FW 400 model and $37 for the USB 2, FW 400 & FW 800 model. They've both been very good.

I'm often popping a 2.5" drive in and out of a bag to travel with, so those portable enclosures are important to me, if you don't envision yourself doing that too often, perhaps you should just get a simple, inexpensive USB drive dock like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Sata-HDD-Docking-Station/dp/B0012Z3MKW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360252642&sr=8-2&keywords=blacx

which can take 2.5" or 3.5" drives, my bet is you'll find it more useful down the road. I've gotten a couple of those over time and don't think I've ever paid more than $20 for one

Great thanks again. The SSD, docking station, toslink etc.. are ordered and should be here in a few days. Got the mini up and running, pretty cool actually. I haven't used a mac for, well, ever really.

It's such a different animal than Win7 though. I'm surprised how much admin stuff I was able to figure out. The VNC stuff seems to be flakey but was able to find some command line snippets to refresh kickstart remote services etc.. Still figuring this out. seems to be working but would just freeze at the login screen initially using VNC viewer and mac screen sharing.

Some mac questions if I may bother you some more:
- Auto login and if so, under admin or standard user? (to avoid having to hook up a display especially if vnc doest work after a reboot, crash etc)

- Per the above, should the mini + iTunes run under admin or standard user.. I want to make sure I set iTunes up under the right profile once as I assume profiles (users) are not all inclusive and settings don't carry over (like windows)

- I enabled osx firewall but are there any virus/firewall apps that should be installed (like Windows). I don't know if its a myth or reality that macs really don't need any of that stuff? Just want to make sure its secure.

- When I move (add) the mini's iTunes config to the NAS, will it "convert" all of the iTunes database stuff (iTunes Library.itl, xml etc..) to Mac osx version and therefore won't be accessible from Win7 iTunes anymore (don't want to corrupt going back and fourth betwenn Win+osx)? You provided great info on moving the library, just looking for any gotchas. Also, when I need to add music to my iPod, it was created from the Win7 version and I believe a windows formatted/setup ipod isn't compatible with the osx version (cant plug in an ipad to the mac if it was created with windows) so I assume I will continue to manage my ipod from Win7 itunes? Or is it recomended to wipe it, re-add everything to the ipod and to manage the ipod from the mini via vnc?

- Maybe I'll just switch to mac all together eventually, lol.

Thanks!
Ratamacue is offline  
post #11 of 27 Old 02-09-2013, 09:23 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
I only use my Minis as HTPCs, they're always connected to HDTVs and they're only set up with the one admin user. I do have them automatically mount a bunch of network volumes, though, and that's added in System Preferences > Users > Login items. I have wake for network access, restart and startup automatically checked in System Preferences > Energy Saver as well. But I also run a headless G5 PowerMac as a media server with sharing turned on and I've never had a problem reconnecting to it or restarting it, Apple's built-in network discovery is pretty good. You shouldn't have a problem screen sharing once you get it set up that first time, though granted I'm only using Macs and iOS devices in our house, unlike you.
Quote:
are there any virus/firewall apps that should be installed (like Windows). I don't know if its a myth or reality that macs really don't need any of that stuff?

Firewall in OS X:

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH11309

I don't have any third party virus or firewall apps installed, though if you want to go beyond the built-in OS X firewall and keep a closer eye on your network activity, an app many Mac users recommend is Little Snitch. Here's an article about it written by Glenn Fleishman, a very smart guy when it comes to this sort of thing:

https://www.macworld.com/article/2017161/mac-gems-little-snitch-snitches-on-misbehaving-apps.html

You're on your own with the dual OS X & Windows iTunes NAS migration thing, I'm afraid. I've no recent experience with Windows nor ever owned a true NAS. Five years ago I moved my iTunes library to an external drive and that was the most tricky iTunes thing I've ever had to do, just followed the Knowledge base article and it went perfectly. Good luck, I suspect you'll have to navigate several much trickier things than I ever had to.
chefklc is offline  
post #12 of 27 Old 02-09-2013, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

I only use my Minis as HTPCs, they're always connected to HDTVs and they're only set up with the one admin user. I do have them automatically mount a bunch of network volumes, though, and that's added in System Preferences > Users > Login items. I have wake for network access, restart and startup automatically checked in System Preferences > Energy Saver as well. But I also run a headless G5 PowerMac as a media server with sharing turned on and I've never had a problem reconnecting to it or restarting it, Apple's built-in network discovery is pretty good. You shouldn't have a problem screen sharing once you get it set up that first time, though granted I'm only using Macs and iOS devices in our house, unlike you.
Firewall in OS X:

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH11309

I don't have any third party virus or firewall apps installed, though if you want to go beyond the built-in OS X firewall and keep a closer eye on your network activity, an app many Mac users recommend is Little Snitch. Here's an article about it written by Glenn Fleishman, a very smart guy when it comes to this sort of thing:

https://www.macworld.com/article/2017161/mac-gems-little-snitch-snitches-on-misbehaving-apps.html

You're on your own with the dual OS X & Windows iTunes NAS migration thing, I'm afraid. I've no recent experience with Windows nor ever owned a true NAS. Five years ago I moved my iTunes library to an external drive and that was the most tricky iTunes thing I've ever had to do, just followed the Knowledge base article and it went perfectly. Good luck, I suspect you'll have to navigate several much trickier things than I ever had to.

Cool. Thanks again for all of your assistance, much appreciated smile.gif
Ratamacue is offline  
post #13 of 27 Old 02-14-2013, 05:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Brian Hampton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 6,936
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked: 92
Great thread,

I have a Mac mini for only iTunes. I've got a lot of it figured out but I'm still lost about some things.

Before, I used a MacBook with some hardware problems but none if its problems mattered when used as a music server.

The Mac mini I got was free and not working 2010 model I think. After taking it apart twice it started working again. It should be better than the old MacBook.

I'm have problems with it though. The home sharing doesn't always work right. About 31 of my 200 CDs show up. If I log out of home sharing in my ipad or iPhone and log back in it works but I have to do that often. frown.gif

I would like tips on installing a minimal OS. I think I use snow leopard. Maybe there is not much to it,... Anyways.

-Brian
Brian Hampton is offline  
post #14 of 27 Old 02-16-2013, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Ratamacue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 63
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

Great thread,

I have a Mac mini for only iTunes. I've got a lot of it figured out but I'm still lost about some things.

Before, I used a MacBook with some hardware problems but none if its problems mattered when used as a music server.

The Mac mini I got was free and not working 2010 model I think. After taking it apart twice it started working again. It should be better than the old MacBook.

I'm have problems with it though. The home sharing doesn't always work right. About 31 of my 200 CDs show up. If I log out of home sharing in my ipad or iPhone and log back in it works but I have to do that often. frown.gif

I would like tips on installing a minimal OS. I think I use snow leopard. Maybe there is not much to it,... Anyways.

-Brian

I cant help much with the home sharing as I am just familiarizing myself with iTunes + mac stuff (coming from Win7). There is a significant amount of info / reading on iTunes itself and how it works in a shared environment / network environment / multiple users / how to setup maintain the library / where and how to store the library etc.. lol. But the links that chefklc provided are worth the read.

In any event you should be able to restore leopard with the CD's if you have them?
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3910?viewlocale=en_US

Otherwise there is a way (I believe) for you to boot up the mini (with the option key) and basically connect to the Apple server and restore OS X Lion
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4718
Or
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4904

Sorry I'm not much help here but hope you get it figured out.
Ratamacue is offline  
post #15 of 27 Old 11-08-2014, 09:50 AM
Member
 
spyrelx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Great thread. I'm hoping I can get some help with a set up question.

I currently have all my music in iTunes in my macbook pro and its taking up too much space. I've also got airport express and apple tv and that's how I play music from my macbook through my stereo. I'd like to move the music out of my macbook pro and would also rather not use airplay to play music on my stereo but instead have a wired connection.

For these and other reasons I'm thinking of getting a mini as a dedicated media server, moving my iTunes library off of my macbook pro and onto the mini, and connecting the mini by wire to my receiver.

Once the mini is set up, with its iTunes library stocked with my music, I want to run it "headless" -- i.e., no screen or keyboard. I understand from the above posts and other reading that I can play iTunes using an apple remote on my iPhone or iPad. So far so good.

Here's my question. I'm going to want to continue to rip cds and put them in my mini's iTunes library. I'm also going to want to continue to create and revise playlists, etc. But of course the mini will be headless and I don't want to connect keyboards, screen and cd drive to it just to do those tasks. Can I do this somehow with my macbook pro? I.e., can I rip from the pro and transfer to the mini's iTunes library? And can I rearrange playlists, etc. from the pro? If there is a way to do this, is it operationally clunky/quirky, or is it a pretty easy and streamlined experience?

Finally, if I want to sync my iPhone with my mini's iTunes (and with that sync change what files are being copied to the iPhone, etc.), will I need a keyboard & screen, or can I again somehow do it with/through my macbook pro?

Your thoughts welcome. Thanks.

.
spyrelx is offline  
post #16 of 27 Old 11-08-2014, 03:40 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Can I do this somehow with my macbook pro? I.e., can I rip from the pro and transfer to the mini's iTunes library?
Sure, easy, just screen share into the Mini to do any work within its iTunes library. Even though it technically will not have a display attached you can still screen share and see its desktop on your laptop. Sometimes it can be tricky to run a Mini completely headless, most of us here have our Minis connected to HDTVs or displays, so be prepared you may have to fool your Mini into thinking it is connected to a display even when it is not. But assuming you have given yourself admin privileges on the Mini and set up the Mini for remote management, once you screen share in you can do anything on the Mini as if you had a mouse and keyboard attached to the Mini.

If you want to move files over from your laptop to the Mini just mount the Mini on your laptop and drag over whatever you want. What I usually do is add the media to iTunes on my laptop...correct all the metadata, get the artwork just right...and then go into the iTunes media folder, find the album folder, and then drag that over to the Mini. At that point all you have to do is drop it in iTunes and bingo, it's already perfectly formatted.

I sync my iOS devices to my MBP and not the Minis we use as media servers, but there is no reason why you couldn't sync to the Mini, it's your choice.
chefklc is offline  
post #17 of 27 Old 11-08-2014, 08:26 PM
Member
 
spyrelx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks, very helpful. I have a few follow ups.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
But assuming you have given yourself admin privileges on the Mini and set up the Mini for remote management, once you screen share in you can do anything on the Mini as if you had a mouse and keyboard attached to the Mini.
Giving myself admin privileges and remote management is all part of what's available in the MAC OS and does not require a 3rd party app like logmein, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
If you want to move files over from your laptop to the Mini just mount the Mini on your laptop and drag over whatever you want.
Another dumb question, I'm sure, but I don't know what "mount the mini on the laptop" means. How would I do that - I wouldn't want a wired connection between the machines and so hopefully could do it wirelessly through my network.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
I usually do is add the media to iTunes on my laptop...correct all the metadata, get the artwork just right...and then go into the iTunes media folder, find the album folder, and then drag that over to the Mini. At that point all you have to do is drop it in iTunes and bingo, it's already perfectly formatted.
That sounds perfect. Just so I'm clear, one I've "mounted the mini on my laptop", I can see the Mini's files, and so I find the new ripped album folder in my MBP's iTunes library folder and drag it over and put it into the mini's iTunes library folder. That's what you mean by "drop it in iTunes". Once I drop it in the mac mini iTunes library folder, it shows up as an album in the mini's iTunes interface. Correct?

What if I wanted to rip songs using my MBP but rip them directly into either an existing playlist that sat in the mac mini's iTunes, or (ii) rip songs directly into a new playlist and then transfer that playlist to the mac mini. Is there a way to do either? Or do I have to first rip the songs, then move the album folder over to mini, then have the songs show up in the mini's iTunes interface, and then (using remote management) move those songs into a new or existing mac mini playlist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
I sync my iOS devices to my MBP and not the Minis we use as media servers, but there is no reason why you couldn't sync to the Mini, it's your choice.
Could I plug the iPhone into the MBP and then (i guess remotely viewing the mini's iTunes) sync to the mini's iTunes? Or would I have to do a wireless sync?

Thanks.
spyrelx is offline  
post #18 of 27 Old 11-09-2014, 07:35 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Giving myself admin privileges and remote management is all part of what's available in the MAC OS and does not require a 3rd party app like logmein, right?
yes

Quote:
but I don't know what "mount the mini on the laptop" means.
this is more basic OS X sharing stuff...with a Finder window open look in the left hand column for Devices and Shared, when you're on the same network, wired or wireless, the Mini will show up, just double click on it to mount, all the external drives connected to the Mini should also show up, double click on whatever you want to see...drag and drop anything from your laptop into any folder. They'll be a little "Share screen" box in the upper right hand corner, just double click that and it'll let you share the Mini screen, assuming you have allowed remote management in the Mini system preferences.

Quote:
Just so I'm clear, one I've "mounted the mini on my laptop", I can see the Mini's files, and so I find the new ripped album folder in my MBP's iTunes library folder and drag it over and put it into the mini's iTunes library folder. That's what you mean by "drop it in iTunes".
You can do that, I usually put all the music I may want to import into the Mini iTunes into a folder that I label "new music" and then, while I'm screen sharing into the Mini, and with its iTunes open, I drop the folders into iTunes so I can see them being added and can check them right away. Like if I'm adding a new version of a Beethoven symphony by Furtwangler, I'll have my smart playlist of Furtwangler and Beethoven open in iTunes...then drop that new album in and watch it appear in that smart playlist, I'll double check that everything got in, then move on...then I'll delete it from "new music" and move the next one.

I only do smart playlists, so all this just happens. I don't think I have a single static playlist. YMMV

Quote:
Could I plug the iPhone into the MBP and then (i guess remotely viewing the mini's iTunes) sync to the mini's iTunes? Or would I have to do a wireless sync?
no that's not how it works, if you want to sync to the instance of iTunes running on the Mini you'd physically have to connect the phone to the Mini. But once the phone were physically connected to the Mini, yes, you could screen share in from the laptop to control what happens by using the keyboard and trackpad on the laptop. This is a little too convoluted for me and why I just sync to the instance of iTunes running on my laptop. Not that I sync and backup very much these days over a wire, I've been doing the iCloud backup thing for a long time, but it still is nice to know you have a complete hard backup to restore from on your Mac.
chefklc is offline  
post #19 of 27 Old 11-09-2014, 07:57 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
What if I wanted to rip songs using my MBP but rip them directly into either an existing playlist that sat in the mac mini's iTunes, or (ii) rip songs directly into a new playlist and then transfer that playlist to the mac mini. Is there a way to do either?
Some very smart people have been figuring out ways to overcome what they feel are inherent limitations in iTunes for a very long time...automating, scripts, syncing, there are now iTunes centric apps like Tunespan which open up a lot of doors. I would not be surprised if what you ask is possible but I do not know how to script either of those actions. There are people, it seems, whose mission in life is not to use iTunes the way Apple wants them to...and as a result you now have more choices than ever for playing music, there are a plethora of alternative music players in OS X, most have pretensions of audiophila but a couple are quite nice for the price.

I'm all for others stretching boundaries, for me, I tend to keep things as simple as possible, and usually don't ask iTunes to do something it wasn't intended to do. I've always been happy with it, with AirTunes and AirPlay, with Home Sharing, it's always just worked for me. In a typical week I may have 2-3 new cds to add to the library, and I do use Tunespan, a great app, for certain things, but generally I'm a model citizen when it comes to using iTunes the way Apple wants me to.

This guy writes intelligently and well about all things iTunes:

http://www.macworld.com/column/itunes-guy/

http://www.mcelhearn.com

Last edited by chefklc; 11-09-2014 at 08:05 AM. Reason: added link to Kirk
chefklc is offline  
post #20 of 27 Old 11-10-2014, 07:25 AM
Member
 
spyrelx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
Some very smart people have been figuring out ways to overcome what they feel are inherent limitations in iTunes for a very long time...automating, scripts, syncing, there are now iTunes centric apps like Tunespan which open up a lot of doors. I would not be surprised if what you ask is possible but I do not know how to script either of those actions. There are people, it seems, whose mission in life is not to use iTunes the way Apple wants them to...and as a result you now have more choices than ever for playing music, there are a plethora of alternative music players in OS X, most have pretensions of audiophila but a couple are quite nice for the price.

I'm all for others stretching boundaries, for me, I tend to keep things as simple as possible, and usually don't ask iTunes to do something it wasn't intended to do. I've always been happy with it, with AirTunes and AirPlay, with Home Sharing, it's always just worked for me. In a typical week I may have 2-3 new cds to add to the library, and I do use Tunespan, a great app, for certain things, but generally I'm a model citizen when it comes to using iTunes the way Apple wants me to.

This guy writes intelligently and well about all things iTunes:

http://www.macworld.com/column/itunes-guy/

http://www.mcelhearn.com
chefklc,

Thanks so much for your help on this. I'm probably still a month away from getting the mini but this convinced me to do it and will be invaluable once I do. (While I'm sure an older model would suit, I'm debating between a 2014 or a 2012 refurb if and when they ever go back on sale.) Thanks again.
spyrelx is offline  
post #21 of 27 Old 11-11-2014, 03:56 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
I'm probably still a month away from getting the mini...I'm debating between a 2014 or a 2012 refurb if and when they ever go back on sale.)
In a month all the official Apple 2012 refurbs w/ full warranty may be gone...elsewhere used & resale values of the 2012s seem to be going up, not down.

Every few days since the 2014 Minis were unveiled an assortment of 2012 refurbs pop back up in the store but you have to act very quickly. You almost have to scheme, for about 10 days I've been trying to nab a 2012 2.3 GHz quad-core i7 at $589, I already have a 2011 w/ the AMD Radeon HD 6630M and wanted the cheapest 2012 quad core that I could upgrade myself, even had one in my cart a few times but was never fast enough to complete check out. Today at around 9:13 West coast time, so about 12:13 here on the East coast, about 7 or 8 different 2012 configurations popped up.

Setting up the Refurb.Me notification is not enough for this model, seemingly it sells out within a minute, faster than you can act after receiving the notification. An additional trick that finally put me over the top today was to enable express checkout in my account settings. If you're already logged in to the store it's one click to "buy it now," you're checked out in a matter of seconds.

Already got the shipping confirmation, it'll arrive Friday.

So, Refurb.Me and enabling express checkout gives you a fighting chance.
chefklc is offline  
post #22 of 27 Old 11-12-2014, 07:35 AM
Senior Member
 
Pvr4Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Near Toronto, Canada
Posts: 327
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
...Setting up the Refurb.Me notification is not enough for this model, seemingly it sells out within a minute, faster than you can act after receiving the notification. ...
I hope that someone at Apple is reporting up the chain on the demand for these units. Maybe, just maybe, that might influence their plans for the next version of the Mini. (ie "money talks").

Craig
Pvr4Craig is online now  
post #23 of 27 Old 11-18-2014, 07:47 AM
Member
 
spyrelx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
I've been trying to nab a 2012 2.3 GHz quad-core i7 at $589, I already have a 2011 w/ the AMD Radeon HD 6630M and wanted the cheapest 2012 quad core that I could upgrade myself, even had one in my cart a few times but was never fast enough to complete check out.
Hey chefklc,

I know the quads are coveted for lots of reasons but is the quad-core needed (or preferred) for a media server? I envision using it to play my lossless iTunes and the occasional iTunes movie, etc. through my pre/processor, and assumed dual core i5 would be fine for that purpose. (All things being equal, I'd probably go for i7 just because - but the refurb dual cores that have shown up are all i5s. In any event, I can't see why the i5 wouldn't be adequate for my purposes.).

Thanks
spyrelx is offline  
post #24 of 27 Old 11-18-2014, 10:33 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
I envision using it to play my lossless iTunes and the occasional iTunes movie...
Then a 2012 quad core won't give you any real performance advantage, for that any 2011 through 2014 Mini would be fine, and actually, many folks use even older Minis for that since lossless audio and playing back iTunes purchased/rented video is not very challenging CPU or graphics-wise.

The tipping point for me was the 2011 model Minis, that's because the entry level 2011 2.3GHz dual-core i5 Mini was the first Mini that I felt could easily play back a full size MakeMKV blu ray rip, and that meant it could play anything you threw at it in an HTPC context. That didn't stop lots of us from trying to play back blu ray rips on older Minis, but it took some finagling to pull that off, by 2011 the Mini could just handle it w/ some room to spare.

That's a roundabout way of saying that yes, the 2012 base model dual-core i5 for $419 in the refurb store will do all you need to do. A quad-core would only really come into play when you're using a program that can take advantage of multiple cores, in an HTPC sense that would mean something like Handbrake for instance, when transcoding video. I you planned to use your Mini to run all your blu-ray mkvs through Handbrake and then drop into iTunes, then a quad core is a must. Short of that, any dual core i5 would do fine.

There still is much to like about the 2014 Mini, top of the list being a 2nd Thunderbolt2 port, but one thing from an audio perspective that I don't think we've mentioned is the 2014 Mini no longer has the built-in combo audio out w/ optical and analog audio...that was always something I appreciated having in a Mini, there were times that sending audio over HDMI proved prickly depending on what other equipment one might have...having optical out isn't something I'd want to lose, hence another reason why I went with a 2012 and not a 2014.
chefklc is offline  
post #25 of 27 Old 11-18-2014, 02:31 PM
Member
 
spyrelx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I think the 2014 mini's headphone out is optical. The product page is here:

http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/mac-mini

it says "Audio line out/headphone minijack (digital/analog)".

According to a recent review of the 2014 mini and other things I've been able to piece together, the 2014 mini support 4K screens at up to 30Hz but not 60Hz. This is a limitation of the chip or cpu but not the TB2, which could support 60hz. Conceivably 4K capability could become important as 4K video becomes more prevalent but if it does we are likely going to want a machine that can do 60Hz. So I'm not sure how much 4K capability matters (to me, probably not at all).


The article also says that the 2014 also has different chips which perhaps improve video performance (I don’t fully understand that either and suspect it might be more helpful in gaming).

The article is here:
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2014/11...mini-reviewed/

The 2014 also has better wifi, but again, I'm not sure that matters a whole lot from a HTPC perspective.


This is all a long winded way of saying I've convinced myself to go with a 2012 refurb. It comes with a 500 gig hard drive which is fine to start. I'm just debating between adding an 8 or 16 gig RAM upgrade. What do you think?
spyrelx is offline  
post #26 of 27 Old 11-18-2014, 03:37 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
chefklc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 2,994
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
it says "Audio line out/headphone minijack (digital/analog)".
thank you for finding that...I could have sworn when it was first released the "digital" part of that was missing. Perhaps I read too quickly, perhaps it was clarified later...but that's good news.

I do think the 2014 base model would serve you fine, and it will certainly be officially supported by Apple OS upgrades a little longer than the 2012, but perhaps not much longer to make any real difference. If you go 2014 you have to pay Apple to go to 8GB at purchase.

If you do go 2012, you can take your time with the RAM and add it anytime, wait for a really good sale. 8 GB of Crucial RAM at Amazon for the 2012 is like $68 at the moment, I paid less than that for 16GB the last time I bought RAM for my 2011 and 2012 Minis. But 8GB is all you need for your purposes, and I suspect even with its stock 4GB you will be able to do everything you ask of it. That 500GB drive, though, is slow, after you've lived with it for a while try booting off an SSD.

I think the Ars review was essentially fair... the comments thread after it is a great read as well. Until a 2014 base model with 8GB of RAM shows up as a refurb, I still recommend the 2012 simply because it's the better value at $419 which can continue to be upgraded and configured by the user as needs evolve...and that means it'll retain more resale value.
chefklc is offline  
post #27 of 27 Old 11-18-2014, 04:55 PM
Member
 
spyrelx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 68
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
thank you for finding that...I could have sworn when it was first released the "digital" part of that was missing. Perhaps I read too quickly, perhaps it was clarified later...but that's good news.

I do think the 2014 base model would serve you fine, and it will certainly be officially supported by Apple OS upgrades a little longer than the 2012, but perhaps not much longer to make any real difference. If you go 2014 you have to pay Apple to go to 8GB at purchase.

If you do go 2012, you can take your time with the RAM and add it anytime, wait for a really good sale. 8 GB of Crucial RAM at Amazon for the 2012 is like $68 at the moment, I paid less than that for 16GB the last time I bought RAM for my 2011 and 2012 Minis. But 8GB is all you need for your purposes, and I suspect even with its stock 4GB you will be able to do everything you ask of it. That 500GB drive, though, is slow, after you've lived with it for a while try booting off an SSD.

I think the Ars review was essentially fair... the comments thread after it is a great read as well. Until a 2014 base model with 8GB of RAM shows up as a refurb, I still recommend the 2012 simply because it's the better value at $419 which can continue to be upgraded and configured by the user as needs evolve...and that means it'll retain more resale value.
Good advice all around. As always, thanks for your thoughts on this. I've scored a 2012 refurb. I'll let you know how I make out on the "remote management of iTunes" stuff we talked about above.
spyrelx is offline  
Reply HTPC - Mac Chat

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off