trying to idiot-proof my MacMini music server setup

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by RShackleford, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. Texun1

    Texun1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    978
    Location:
    Texas
    I did this to my Ipod Classic. I use it docked to a Pure I20 which bypasses the DAC in the Ipod and uses a better DAC contained in the dock itself. I went from an 80 GB HD to 256 GB SD card. So far I have about 6000 titles on it in lossless format and room to go. I call it my lazy player, and it sounds pretty darned good for easy listening. I turned it on yesterday morning selected random shuffle and never touched it the rest of the day. Easy project and very small cost.
     
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  2. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    803
    Quick question: how much storage is your 6ksong library taking up out of your 256GB card? I'm trying to get a feel for the total storage capacity I should make provision for. (I'll stay lossless like you for ripped CD material, not sure what I'll do about hi-res if and when it ever comes to iTunes.)

    Two things to add for lurkers:

    1) Best Buy is selling Pixtor (made by SanDisk just for BB) microSD cards in WRONG!!! [256GB] WRONG!!! with SD adaptor for $19.99. [Update: 64GB microSD cards on sale - sorry for misinfo]

    2) iFlash (the outfit that markets the SD/SSD carriers that replace the iPods' hard disks) has a 4-slot microSD unit out (currently backordered, alas) for those seeking some SERIOUS storage expandability.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  3. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

    Messages:
    237
    Argh, I think I figured something out, hopefully of use to people in the future ... I had a vanilla iTunes installation working quite well apparently, including iTunes remote (even after long inactivity, power-cycling reboots, etc). So I added BitPerfect. Then got the behavior where iTunes plays the first few seconds of a song, repeatedly. Disabled (didn't quit) BitPerfect and problem went away. So I quit iTunes and started it from within BitPerfect (the BP dropdown has an option to "Launch iTunes"). Still works. So I removed iTunes from my "login items" (in System Prefs) so the only thing there now is BitPerfect. Seems to work well with restarts, power cycling, iTunes remote. Evidently BP will start iTunes automatically if it's not running. And apparently that's the way to do it. So stay tuned. The acid test is what happens tomorrow morning.
     
  4. gguillot

    gguillot AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,655
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN

    Sure wish I could find where BB is selling 256GB microSD cards for $19.99......
     
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  5. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    803
    I'm TERRIBLY sorry. I meant to write 64GB microSD cards. My bad. Corrected above.
     
  6. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    803
    There ya go! Nice work. Say, I'm having this intermittent problem with my car...
     
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  7. Texun1

    Texun1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    978
    Location:
    Texas
    I will look when I get home this evening. From what I recall it is about 160 GB so far. I added another 175 cd's a week or so ago.
     
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  8. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

    Messages:
    237
    BTW, found this alluded to at BitPerfect's blog: http://bitperfectsound.blogspot.com/2013/08/new-itunes-problem.html but it's 5 years old; so obviously not solved for good. I hope there's still someone listening there and not just collecting their $9.99 per ...
     
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  9. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    803
    I saw that earlier, but I thought I saw an update where the problem had either been fixed or was going to be in short order (years ago). 3rd party stuff—hardware or software—scares me to death...
     

     

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  10. gguillot

    gguillot AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    No problem - I just thought you had found the deal of a lifetime. I was going to buy a case and make a small fortune on ebay :rflmao:
     
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  11. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

    Messages:
    237
    Nope, never mind. Still getting "iTunes quit unexpectedly". So I search around a little more and find this gem at BitPerfect's blog: http://bitperfectsound.blogspot.com/2017/10/avoid-high-sierra.html

    So I wipe my disk AGAIN, do a clean install of El Capitan, without adding in BitPerfect to the mix, and now ... things are worse than ever. First thing in the AM, I try to play from the iPad, and it appears to play, but no sound. So I get on the Mini and go to SystemPrefs->Sound, and ... it hangs. Spinning wheel of death. Hard reboot it all that fixes. And this behavior is repeatable.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that I must have some faulty hardware here. Any thoughts on whether it's more likely the HDD (so could try to install on an external HD) or the CPU ? Oh, I also tried resetting the SMC and NVRAM. Also tried to run hardware diagnostics, but after a phone call with Apple, it turns out you can no longer run hardware diagnostics on this machine.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  12. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    803
    Jeez, this stuff is gonna send you around the bend!

    Do you have any other Apple hardware on which to stand up an iTunes/BitPerfect setup (under whichever OSX version you wish)? If so, I'd switch away from the MacMini and see if the behavior is repeatable across platforms. If not, you need to induce the MacMini to fail with some way to track its cause. If you can't discover what's causing the hang-up using system logs or some other diagnostic utility, then I'd suggest "torture testing" the MacMini's subsystems to see which is the problem child. Another avenue you could pursue would be to replicate the failure sequence you've already identified, but change the MacMini's operating environment to see if it no longer fails (i.e. blow a fan on the unit while inducing the spinning "beachball" of death and see if a different thermal environment helps, hurts, or makes no difference.)

    Keep grinding, you're making progress.
     
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  13. mgosdin

    mgosdin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    769
    To repeat a quote I posted in the VLC thread.

    A wise man once said, "With Apple Products making something work is either very easy or impossible."

    Mark Gosdin
     
  14. prisoners

    prisoners AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,423
    Location:
    Addison, Il
    Directed at the OP: I’ve also experienced your troubles with music on my Mac mini and got fed up. Here’s how I solved EVERY problem with one purchase:

    No more reboots.
    No WiFi dropouts.
    Secure data storage with a backup.
    Absolutely fantastic sound quality.
    Simple operation that anyone can use.

    Sound good? You want a Sony HAP-Z1ES
     
  15. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

    Messages:
    237
    Ok, next time I have $2000 burning a hole in my pocket :)
     
  16. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

    Messages:
    237
    Good one ! It's quite pathetic. I also bought an Apple TV 4K. Works good most of the time. Except, almost every time after being inactive overnight, it does this thing where the display flashes on and off, about every second or so. Uplugging and re-plugging the power cord fixes it every time ! Ridiculous.
     
  17. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    803
    Is the ATV WiFi or hardwired to the internet?
     

     

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  18. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    I’ll bet WiFi.
     
  19. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

    Messages:
    237
    Hardwired (ethernet cable to Airport Extreme via an ethernet switch). Friend said try a soft reset by simultaneously pushing "menu" and "home" buttons on remote.
     
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  20. awillia6

    awillia6 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    803
    Weird! That oughta be rock solid. My setup is quite similar to yours and I never have problems...anymore. But I used to. Don't know whether this is germane in any way, but when I first switched from DirecTV (which runs its AV signals and control over RG cable) to AT&T U-verse, I put all my STBs on hardwired Gigabit Ethernet. BAD MISTAKE! All that high priority video flying around my network (DVR recording, playback, realtime viewing, etc.) brought my WiFi to its knees. Huh? Yup. Even though all the video was hardwired Ethernet, all the traffic caused my Apple routers (Time Capsules and Extremes) to drop the lower priority WiFi comms, thus killing my laptop, my wife's iPod, our phones, etc. One quick call to AT&T and some quick RJ to RG swapping and my network was cleared of all that video traffic, allowing the Apple routers to respond to and keep open all our WiFi comms. Sorry for the shaggy dog story, but maybe it'll give you some ideas.

    Now you got me thinking more about just what I can (and can't) do with my system. Gimme some time to play around some and I'll get back with you on whether I can find any glitches (hopefully not as many or serious ones as you "enjoy").
     

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