trying to idiot-proof my MacMini music server setup

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by RShackleford, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    Well, my Mini seems to be behaving itself quite nicely the last few days; that business I reported back in post #91 seems to have been transient. If things keep stable for a few more days, I may cross my fingers and add BitPerfect back into the mix.

    I really can't win for losing though. Got my Emotiva DAC back - had this weird but apparently known problem where you have to turn it on, back off, and back on, in order to get sound - and it's still got the problem. Meanwhile, a member of my household hung a picture behind the A/V area, not knowing the proper way to hang a picture, and it fell, ripped the 1/8" phono plug out of the back of my almost new TV, and the jack is ruined. Which is kinda ok, I can use the optical audio output to the Emotiva. Except the TV's sound volume control inexplicably does not modulate the digital output (but does the now-broken analog output). So can no longer use the TV's remote to control volume, having to use the Emotiva's instead. And when I send the Emotiva for re-repair, well, you can see where this is going ...
     

     

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  2. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    Re. your experience with ethernet'd components and wifi ... my wifi performance is inexplicably bad. Measures 20+Mbps, but doesn't feel much better than when I had 3Mbps DSL before I graduated to 200Mbps cable; the difference between wifi and my ethernet'd Mac Pro is now astounding. So I'm curious about your experience. But I'm seeing the lousy wifi performance even when nothing is happening with the hardwired devices (Mac Pro is sleeping, A/V components aren't being used).
     
  3. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    What's your MBP showing for WiFi TX? Press "Option" key while clicking on WiFi icon in Menu Bar at top right of your display (if you haven't moved it).

    Mine runs between 350 and 450 Mbps on a 50/5Mbps AT&T U-verse setup.

    Sorry to hear about the new electronics problems. Hey, at least all your cars run good...
     
  4. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    In the neighborhood of 250-300Mbps; what does that mean exactly, why is it so high (way higher than your link's BW in your case) ?

    I believe my basic problem is that I need to be running a 5GHz wifi radio in the same room as my wireless clients (the living room, where the A/V also is). Things are much better. I screwed up by running Spectrum's coax to my study, with an Export Extreme there feeding an ethernet cable to the living room; there I had a switch, with cables to A/V components (ATV, Sony TV, Mac Mini). So wireless was coming from study. Replacing A/V area switch with an ASUS router, and using its 5Ghz radio, I get 70Mbps or so on wifi. Might be worth reconfiguring things, so Spectrum coax goes to A/V area, with Airport Extreme there, and the same cross-house ethernet cable feeds the switch back in the study (and return the ASUS router).
     
  5. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    That's the speed at which my gizmo talks to its current WAP: Apple Time Capsule for my MBP on the main floor, another Time Capsule on the lower level, and an AirPort Extreme for pool/deck duty outside. The TX speed gives you a good idea of how solid your WiFi connection is to access your network resources (NAS, printers, file servers, iTunes music servers, hardwired ATVs and AirPort Expresses, etc.). I use Ookla or the like for clocking internet up/download speeds as well as access (ping) time.

    Not quite getting your setup. Any chance you could draw up a quick network map and post it? Just leave out any personal identifying info if you have one already drawn up to post.
     
  6. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    257
    Sure. Both Airport Extreme and ASUS are creating 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless LANs. Cable from study to living room is about 50ft; actual separation is about 20ft and 3 sheetrock walls.

    I'm thinking I should put Spectrum modem in living room (and run their coax to there) instead; otherwise leave drawing exactly as shown, except maybe move Airport Extreme into living room, return ASUS, and use simple switch in study. I don't much care about wifi performance in study, and it's silly to have two wifi routers. Alternatively, tell Spectrum I want to sign up for their wifi service, with gateway in living room, so I can complain to them about poor performance; and I can pay for first year of their wifi service with monet from returning ASUS.
     

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  7. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    Sorry, I'm still confused. What exactly connect by WiFi? From what I see, everything is hardwired Ethernet.
     
  8. RTally

    RTally Speaker addict Subscriber

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    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Your second router, the ASUS, is it connected as a router with NAT or do you have it bridged or are you using it as a simple switch?

    If you have both routers (the Apple AE and the ASUS) set up as NAT routers, then you are using a double NAT. Generally, double NAT is to be avoided unless you have a specific technical reason to use it.

    A common configuration for home use is to have one router and then use switches to increase the number of ports. If you want to expand your WiFi, you would set up a second WiFi device (such as a router) as an access point (no DHCP server, no WAN connection).
     
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  9. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    Sorry, I only showed hardwired stuff. Wireless clients include: my Macbook Air, my Android phone, wife's work Windows machine, wife's iPad, wife's iPhone.
    Sorry, I am clueless about this stuff. I simply plugged the ethernet connection, which leads into living room from Airport Extreme in study (see drawing in post #106), into the WAN port on the ASUS router. That's it, did no setup or nothing. The issue you bring up is reinforcing my growing conviction that I should just have one wifi network and locate it in the living room. The question is how best to do that: locate Spectrum modem in living room with Airport Extreme (or ASUS) connected to it, and let that cross-house ethernet cable just feed a switch in the study ?
     
  10. RTally

    RTally Speaker addict Subscriber

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    All you need to do is reconfigure your ASUS router. You want to set it up to extend your wired network. That way every device can access every other device. You cannot do that with a double NAT like you have currently.

    I suggest Googling how to set up ASUS router to extend a wired network. In short, you will not use the WAN connection on the ASUS and you will have to change the settings in the ASUS. It may take a while to figure it out, but it will work. I have an ASUS router connected to my Comcast connection with a Apple AE hardwired to extend my network to the living room. Works very well with a WiFi at each end of the house.

    An easier answer is to get a second Airport Express and plug it in. There is an option in the initial setup screen to extend a network. That is basically what I did to extend my ASUS router/WiFi. Or you could just swap your ASUS and Apple routers. The Apple Airport Express is simpler to set up than the ASUS.
     
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  11. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    Is this what you mean ? It's from the manual; it doesn't say anything about not using the WAN port though.

    I think you're right though: just put the ASUS in the study, connected to the cable modem. Set the AIrport Extreme in the living room A/V area as the secondary router. For one thing, the AE looks a lot better (ASUS has 4 antennae sticking out) and let Airport Utility worry about how to set it up properly.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018

     

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  12. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    I've done this and it seems to work pretty well. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
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  13. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    How's your battling going? Haven't seen much from you lately (am assuming that's a GOOD thing...).
     
  14. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    Well, I was out of town for 10 days. But when I got back, the Mini happily played music, accessing it via FSSS (Finder-sidebar screen-sharing) from my Macbook, not iOS iTunes remote (but I haven't even tried the latter yet). So I'm feeling pretty good, might even enable BitPerfect soon. Thanks for asking.
     
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  15. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    How do you rip new material into your library? Through the (remotely controlled) MM or directly via MB or even through a networked PC? I'm thinking of doing something similar to your MM setup once I get a better read (if ever) on where Apple's going with FLAC support.
     
  16. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    Yes, on the MacMini, controlling it using FSSS from my Macbook. I think that makes the most sense for me ...
     

     

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  17. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    So MacMini has an embedded optical drive? Or is your Macbook providing its drive as a remote to the Mini as well as providing the remote control via FSSS? Not quite getting how you move a CD's contents to iTunes library on the server's hard drive.
     
  18. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    Yes, the Mini has an internal SuperDrive (CD/DVD). I bought the mid-2010 model for this very reason: it's the only one of the newer "unibody" type that also has an optical drive. My Macbook is actually an Air as has no optical drive (available in eBay for $200 or so). The other choice was to continue to keep the master copy of my iTunes library on the Mac Pro (tower) in the study and periodically move it to the Mini.
     
  19. RShackleford

    RShackleford Active Member

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    ACCIDENTAL DOUBLE-POST, WHY CAN'T I JUST DELETE ?!?
     
  20. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    Do you TimeMachine your Mini, Book, and Pro to a Time Capsule or the like for backup/restore purposes or are you riding bare-assed?
     

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