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Old Jan 31, 2013, 07:52 PM   #1
erikrocks
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Another Mac-Mini Media Center question...

Hi there. I'm finally looking to buy a MacMini and set up a media center, but i have a few questions.

First, here's what my wife and I currently own:
-my 2012 MacBook Air
-my iPhone
-her 2009 MacBook
-A Harmony remote
-ATV 3 connected to HDTV & theater system
-Airport Extreme
-3 external HDD "hubbed" to the Airport Extreme. One has my entire iTunes library and the others hold pictures and video.
-Music only stereo connected to Airport Express

Here's what we'd like to do:
-use Plex to control our media
-watch Hulu+, Netflix, and Amazon
-watch online programming not offered on those sites
-keep our iTunes libraries separate, but on the same HDD (~230 GB total)
-keep our iPhoto libraries separate, but on the same HDD (~150 GB total)
-begin ripping our DVDs to a HDD and watch through the MacMini
-back up our computers and our media files to external HDDs regularly using either SuperDuper or ChronoSync

First question:
Apple is currently offering a refurbished Mac mini 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with 2 GB RAM and a 500 GB HDD. Would this machine be sufficient for what we want to do?

Second question:
Which files would you put on the MacMini directly and which would you put on an external HDD hubbed to the Mini?

I'm sure I'll have more questions, but I'd be super grateful if people could offer some insight at this point. THanks tons.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:25 PM   #2
COrocket
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Join Date: Dec 2012
For media streaming, the 2011 mini will be fine. The second question might be a little harder. Since you already have 380GB of music/photos, and would like to start adding movies, it sounds like the 500GB HDD that comes with the mini won't hold everything. I've seen a few people drag their user folder (containing music, photos, videos...) to external disks, and leave the operating system, applications, and everything else internal. You would just have to make sure that your backup disk also backs up the media filled external drive.

If you are tech-savvy enough to take apart your computer, you can also upgrade the internal hard drive. The mini uses 2.5" form factor HDD's and those are now available up to 2TB.
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