After spending several months ripping my CD collection in AIFF (see my earlier blog), I was finally able to move my Mac Mini into my home theater rack and start enjoying my music!
This is a ton of fun. Ripping all my CD’s was by far the most time consuming part. The good part is: I made my wife very happy by getting the piles and piles of CD cases off my office floor and into the attic!
Here is how I set things up:
1) I took my Mac Mini out of my office and put it into my stack of theater gear
2) Since I have a really good sounding Classé processor, I just connected the Mac Mini directly to my Classé with an HDMI cable that passes both audio and video.
3) I downloaded the free Apple Remote app for my iPad.
4) I downloaded a very cool piece of software called Pure Music. It’s only $125 and makes a big improvement in the audio (I have a future blog coming on Pure Music alone.) Just buy it, you won’t regret it.
5) I linked up the Remote app and iTunes.
What this lets me do is sit in my chair, all of my music in my hand, with a great interface in the form of my iPad. To get started I launch iTunes and Pure Music on the Mac Mini. After that, I control all of the music selections with the iPad, and it is so cool! I actually found myself just going to the artist section of iTunes, doing a fast scroll down, shutting my eyes and clicking the screen for the Leon version of random play!
If you do not have a really great processor (like the Classé), you will want to have a USB DAC in between the computer (in my case, the Mac Mini) and your preamp or receiver. I spent this past weekend comparing a $1000 USB DAC to the Classé direct with HDMI. In this case, the Classé sounded far superior. Luckily, this did not take too long, and I was left with spare time to enjoy music I had not listened to in years.
If you have not made the jump to getting all of your CDs burned, you really should consider it. The ease of use and potential great sound quality cannot be beat! The Audio Advice team can help you get started and has a wide variety of USB DACs, cables, and any other accessories you might need to make the most of it.