Any advice on using a Mac Mini (w/no display) as a music server?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by CoffeeMonkey, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. CoffeeMonkey macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2003
    My primary goal is to use a Mac Mini without a display as a music server - directly connected to a DAC - in one room. My secondary goal is to use it to stream to ATV in another room in the event that my primary computer is unavailable. Having a backup of my iTunes library would also be nice.

    I'll be using screen sharing with my main computer to manage the Mini as needed (like when there is a software update), but I really want it to be as low-maintenance as possible. Things that I've already figured out that I should do:

    1) Auto login to the account that is running iTunes
    2) Auto-start iTunes upon startup
    3) Anything else?

    My questions:

    1) If the Mini is only used as an iTunes server (no email or web browsing), and if the Airport network is secure, are there any security concerns if I am not using a password on the Mini?

    2) Is there a way that I could use an iOS device to monitor the status of the Mini - i.e. make sure iTunes is still running if I am having a hard time connecting?

    3) Is there an easy way to automatically synch the iTunes libraries between the Mini and my main computer? I'm slowly re-ripping my cd collection to ALAC, and it would be nice for my new lossless files to show up on the Mini without having to manually add them.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. DustinT macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2011
    You've got the basic idea right. I've got the exact setup you mention and it works fine. Regarding the risks you mention, I am not to concerned. I've taken some reasonable security precautions and that's about all I can do. You can get a VNC app for your iOS devices that will allow you remote into your Mini from home or over the internet. I haven't bothered to do so since I haven't had many problems with mine. But, there's certainly times when you'd want to and its pretty easy to setup.

    I haven't found a good answer to the iTunes library syncing you are talking about. My solution is to segregate all my video directly to the Mini and the Audio I pretty much just worry about on my MBP which syncs to my iPhone. Any iTunes purchases show up on both places automatically which is nice. All I do it just copy my library from the MBP to the Mini from time to time. That's enough for me. If you wanted more, just place whatever you are adding to your iTunes into a playlist and use home sharing to allow simple drag and drop copies.

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