Help me order my new APPLE Computer

I have decided to go with an Apple system for my next computer.
I plan on using it for music, connected to my Integrated.

What components should I order to get the best quality audio?
Any of the current Macs work wonderfully as a music server. The form depends more on your wants and needs.

1. Get as much memory as you can afford.
2. Get as much hard-drive space as you can afford.
3. The new OSX Leopard will be available this Friday.
4. Apple Lossless is great for high quality, yet smaller files. Bit For Bit.
5. WAV and AIFF are "true PCM" files. Bit For Bit.
6. Backup Hard Drive. Unless you enjoying ripping your CDs. Seriously, I see this becoming a new "audiophile" hobby. Think about it, "Personal Remastering"?
7. Turn the iTunes volume all the way up. I would like to really know how good or bad the volume control is?

I would very highly recommend the HagUSB from HagTech. For $120.00 bucks it turns a Mac into a fine sounding music machine.

Here are some links that you might like.

The 47 Labs Shigaraki DAC is very, very nice. ;-)

Above all else, make sure you have fun!
The best value option is the new intel based iMac with the 20" screen and 2.4 GHz and 320 GB drive. It runs very quiet compared to previous iMac's and power macs. If you are serious then you probably nead to hook it up to an external RAID drive and this will be the expensive part.

LaCie drives ( a bit noisy )are good and cheap and run on firewire 800 if you don't have much music then get one of these as backup and avoid the cost of an expensive RAID system. You could use two big LaCie drives as a system with bigger storage but as I said - they are click click - it will be nicer if you can live withing the iMac's capabilities and just use the LaCie for backup! Leopard contains new back up software or you can use one of the freeware programs to mirror the drive. Oh, BTW - one important trick...make sure you set the back up drive to private with the control panel "Spotlight" settings - otherwise your Imac will try to crawl and index your backup drive (which is unecessary and noisy if it is for backup).

As you or anyone should be aware - the half life (50% failure rate) of hard drives seems to be around 3 to 5 years (use has a lot to do with it) - so BACK UP is ESSENTIAL. For office files and paperwork stuff....burn a data DVD (or several) every 6 months - then store it in a fire safe or off site.

Some softwares allow you to schedule backups (Leopard should provide this too) - this is best ....simply set up the Imac to wake up once a week at a certain time and have the back up schedules to commence two minutes later....
Leopard will do continual backups (in a very cool way). Whatever flavor Mac you choose, just be sure to get an external drive as suggested. When you plug it in, the computer will ask if you want to use it as a backup. Click 'yes' and you're done.

If you have an Apple store nearby, I'd encourage you to do your shopping tomorrow night when they launch the new OS. They often have discounts at those events.

Also be forewarned that they always announce new models in early January.
If you wanted to buy Mac and use it as dedicated system. First, buy you one with highest memory (minimum 2 Gig) and delete all unwanted application such as word, excel... you don't need these application to play music. they just slow down and waste space of your laptop or desk top. Second HD capacity, some refer high GIG. But me personally I'll choose a Slow speed drive something like 5400 rpm (quiet) with 80 or 100 Gig. Because i will store my selected songs in the external drive, it easier to manage and nothing else in my internal except OS. And remember external drive now day is very cheap compare to the high gig in your laptop or desk top. Do more research on external drive and get you a quiet one. Try buy two 500g instead of 1 Tera itself. Save your money less headache. Have fun! enjoy.
I am an audiophile addict! However, I love iTunes and the ability to instantly access all of my music. Accordingly, I have been playing around with components, software, and disc burning formats in an effort to create a true audiophile sound system that uses a mac mini as the main source component.

I feel that I have finally succeeded in my quest and have put together quite an amazing sounding system based upon the mac mini and iTunes. However, I have only been using the system for a few days now. And, since the new speakers need at least 200 hours to break in and the new DAC needs at least 100 hours of use until it is truly ready, I will not be able to post an in depth review until next month.

In the mean time, here is my setup and a mini review of my observations so far. A more in depth review will follow that will include my reasons for choosing each component of the system:

Computer Hardware:
- Mac Mini 2.0Ghz
- Newertech miniStack V2 500GB
- Drobo 2TB (for Time Machine back up)

Audio Components:
- Red Rose Music (by Mark Levinson) Model Five Integrated Tube Amp
- Benchmark DAC1 USB
- Dynaudio Confidence 1 Speakers
- Sunfire True Subwoofer Super Junior
- Nordost SPM Extruded Silver Interconnects
- Nordost SPM Extruded Silver Speaker Wire

- iTunes - CDs ripped using Apple Lossless
- Indigo Home Automation Software
- iRed IR Remote Automation Software

Initial Thoughts:
WOW!!!!! This is going to work! Already it is musical nirvana and the components haven't even broken in yet. Precise imaging, HUGE soundstage, perfect highs and tight bass, and the tube amp provides a perfectly warm sound that allows the digital source to sound less "sterile" and more musical. When this system blooms later on this month, it should be a jaw dropper :-)
Couple of things: you don't need very much ram to use a Mac running
iTunes. You can't buy a new Mac with less than 1 GB ram, and that's
more than enough. ( I've had music playing from a Mini with 1 GB ram
for now 5 days/nights straight, without a pause or hiccup ).

Mac to DAC via USB to Bel Canto DAC3 sounds every bit as good
as my $2500 Arcam CD player.

The new Mac OS : Leopard, has *really* improved the iTunes 'Front Row' UI.
It's very nice, and worth the $129 upgrade for solely that reason, IMHO.

The Mac DVD player UI is very nice too. And it does a darn good job
at DVD playback. So you have a DVD video and DVD-A player in the deal too.

Not to mention: load your photos into iPhoto, fire up the slide show,
pick the tracks you want to assign to a slide show, and there you go.

It's all kind of a no-brainer for around $700. ( Mac Mini )
I'm into photography too so I do want to max out the RAM anyway.
Can I send the signal from the computer to my integrated amp wirelessly?

I like the looks of your system. I'm leaning towards the Mini Mac for my system also. How are you handling the vidio part of your system. Do you have a monitor set up with your system so you can view what's on the Mini Mac. Why didn't you just go with a MacBook instead of the Mini Mac.

Just trying to learn
wondering if anyone uses a Mac Pro for a media server? what are the advantages/disadvantages vs. Mac mini &/or iMac?