Since my Mac Mini is now pretty much configured and working well, perhaps I should put in a few notes about things I learned on the way.
In no particular order, as they say:
Apple's screen sharing works really well. It needs to be configured individually for each user account that you want to connect to/as (not just once and for all for the whole machine). One thing that surprised me is that you can see the machine boot via screen sharing, and even do minor OS updates without having to use a proper screen or keyboard, which is very handy.
I set up a standard, non-admin account to run music services. The machine is configured to automatically log into that account after power-up; the music services -- Roon in my case -- are then started automatically as user-specified log-in items. All very straightforward.
AIR is configured to start when the machine boots, and to stream automatically to my D440 Pro "when it appears on the network". There were a couple of hiccups when I first set that up: firstly, it's important to quit and re-start AIR after changing that option (to make it "stick"), and secondly what it really means is that AIR connects when the amp has its Ethernet (or wi-fi) input selected (i.e. not when it powers up, as I'd expected). That aside, this seems to work well.
As I mentioned in my system thread, the Mac has a local copy of my music library which is stored on an Apple Time Capsule (NAS). It does a one-way sync from the Time Capsule to its internal SSD early in the morning, using Destek's Folder Sync
. Roon sees only the local copy of the music library, so plays from the SSD with no network traffic.
For back-up I'm using a combination of Time Machine, Haystack Software's Arq
and (fairly infrequent) manual disk clones to a bootable USB drive using Shirt Pocket's Super Duper!
To avoid the potential for Time Capsule back-ups to get in the way of playing music, I've used Time Machine Editor
to schedule them to happen daily, early in the morning. Arq is also scheduled to do daily back-ups to Amazon S3/Glacier around the same time.
One thing that I haven't got working as planned: I'd wanted the Mini to put itself to sleep when it was idle. That worked OK for everything except Roon. Unfortunately Roon doesn't send any wake-on-LAN packets when the remote talks to the core, so if the Mini is asleep Roon remote can't connect to the core without some other means of waking up the Mini. There's a thread about this on the Roon forum
, but it looks as though it's not high-enough priority for Roon to sort out in the short term. For the time being, I've just configured the Mini not to go to sleep when idle. It runs very cool anyway so I'm not too upset.
That's about it for now; I'll add more notes as and when they occur to me. Hope this has been helpful.