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View Full Version : Q on capabilities of MBA and networking




stewie1
Feb 23, 2010, 02:43 PM
Hi all. I'm hoping some of you here may have had enough experience with this machine to help me out and decide if it can handle what i need it for.

Here are my 2 questions:

1 - iTunes. My library is huge (bigger than the current largest SSD). Can I keep the library on my iMac, and manage it via the MBA? That is, can I treat it just as if it resided on my MBA hard drive, as long as I'm on the home network? Can I listen to music, edit songs, and sync my iPod on the MBA?

2 - Video. How is the MBA at streaming video over wireless? Would it be prone to overheating? Are you able to view up to 1080p on it without any huge hiccups (minor ones are tolerable).

Appreciate your time.
thanks.



bucci96
Mar 14, 2010, 06:14 AM
Hi all. I'm hoping some of you here may have had enough experience with this machine to help me out and decide if it can handle what i need it for.

Here are my 2 questions:

1 - iTunes. My library is huge (bigger than the current largest SSD). Can I keep the library on my iMac, and manage it via the MBA? That is, can I treat it just as if it resided on my MBA hard drive, as long as I'm on the home network? Can I listen to music, edit songs, and sync my iPod on the MBA?

2 - Video. How is the MBA at streaming video over wireless? Would it be prone to overheating? Are you able to view up to 1080p on it without any huge hiccups (minor ones are tolerable).

Appreciate your time.
thanks.

I have MBA, it's a great computer... two years old by now. I run a home media center with my computer full time. Heat is my biggest problem, I run a small after market computer fan (Fry's). I keep my temps around 150s' F degrees when down loading from the internet.... any higher and it slows down. The computer is elevated with lots of air space around it "not" sitting on a couch or other air blocking surfaces.

Btw... 64 SSD is way different than standard hard drives...

DoFoT9
Mar 14, 2010, 06:58 AM
first of all, welcome to the forums :)


1 - iTunes. My library is huge (bigger than the current largest SSD). Can I keep the library on my iMac, and manage it via the MBA? That is, can I treat it just as if it resided on my MBA hard drive, as long as I'm on the home network? Can I listen to music, edit songs, and sync my iPod on the MBA?
you sure can do that. hold down the :option: key when you open up iTunes on your MBA, and it will allow you to "find" an iTunes library. go through your network and find your iMac->Users->yourusername->Music->iTunes then open up the library. it will open as if its on your local computer!

2 - Video. How is the MBA at streaming video over wireless? Would it be prone to overheating? Are you able to view up to 1080p on it without any huge hiccups (minor ones are tolerable).

Appreciate your time.
thanks.
no idea about how it plays back or overheats as i dont have one. but i can vouch for wireless playback.

please use Plex (http://www.plexapp.com/) as your media player if possible, its the best written app out there!

over 802.11g, you wont be able to stream 1080p movies. compressed 1080p movies are around >3MB/s, and thats the upper limits of 802.11g (if you're lucky!).
over 802.11n, you will be fine! even @2.4GHz, 802.11n can hit around 20MB/s, which is more then enough for even uncompressed BD movies (5MB/s).

stoconnell
Mar 14, 2010, 12:08 PM
The Air will heat up esp for flash video (no hardware acceleration), so it depends on the codec, etc. The screen on the Air is 1280x800, so 1080p is not going to really work unless you are pushing to an external monitor capable of running 1920x1080. The answer somewhat depends on the ambient temps that you are running the machine in since the Air is so thin, it is more sensitive to that.

Scottsdale
Mar 14, 2010, 01:12 PM
The Air will heat up esp for flash video (no hardware acceleration), so it depends on the codec, etc. The screen on the Air is 1280x800, so 1080p is not going to really work unless you are pushing to an external monitor capable of running 1920x1080. The answer somewhat depends on the ambient temps that you are running the machine in since the Air is so thin, it is more sensitive to that.

The funny thing is that the MBA has extremely capable hardware, the problems are in the OS and lack of great third-party apps due to Apple's unwillingness to share APIs with sensed threats like Adobe. Apple wants to ensure it controls the whole experience so it can slant the results in its favor.

When I boot into Windows 7, I get amazing results with Flash, video playback, and etc. Adobe has offered Apple the same exact Flash results in OS X as Windows users experience, but Apple doesn't want its customers to have a good experience with Flash. Apple feels threatened by Flash because it offers technologies for streaming videos on sites like Hulu.com. Those sites provide video streaming for free, via paid advertising, while Apple wants to charge a fee for the same content downloaded and played via iTunes. Apple's whole content generating revenue stream is at stake, and Apple wants to protect it at all costs. It is truly AMAZING, that with Windows 7 and Flash, the MBA is a real performer. Even an original MBA can perform much much better with Windows running.

Video playback performance via stand alone applications is also much better within the Windows OS platform. Let's all face it, "it just works" comes at a high cost hit from performance. OS X is a compromise whether we like it or not. Apple Mac computers provide better entertainment performance within Windows than Apple's OS X can provide on the same Apple Mac computers. Apple even tries to impede Windows 7 progress by providing terribly inferior drivers for 7. Apple definitely doesn't want its users to realize that Windows is better for entertainment whether it be playing a video game, surfing media rich web content (Flash), or watching HD videos via a stand alone application.