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View Full Version : Mac Mini - the SB Killer



SoundBoy
2006-06-10, 07:28
I just made a little comparison:

MacMini:
- runs Windows, Unix, MacOS
- has a CD drive and HD, rip your music
- has Wireless and Bluetooth and IR remote
- very small footprint
- very low to non-existent noise level
- has a digital out/in, DVI out
- comes for 600 bucks
- no need for any other device to stream music from your collection
- no need for any connection (wired/wireless) if collection is stored on it
- many remote options

SB:
- has wireless and IR remote
- has a digital out
- comes for 300 bucks
- nightmare to hook up wireless (just read all the messages here!!)

Any more comment needed folks? SlimDevices.. as much as I enjoy your little SB3 I think its about time for you guys to become creative once again. Others were catching up and now its on you to close the gap. I think currently the SB3 is way overpriced - not enough bangs for the bucks anymore... Was good enough 2 years ago - but not today - back to the drawing board please.. The SB community is waiting..

Cheers

chiphart
2006-06-10, 07:54
SoundBoy wrote:
> I just made a little comparison:

And missed the boat.

> SB:
> - has wireless and IR remote
> - has a digital out
> - comes for 300 bucks

...and HAS A DISPLAY.

I have a fleet of Mac Mini's available to me. Laptops of all
flavors. But to use them as my music server would require
*having a computer in our living room*. That means finding the
space for a monitor (and meeting the expense).

Obviously if you're willing to have a computer near your stereo,
a slimserver is redundant.

There are many other differences between ANY of the small form
factor machines - you can pick up a shuttle pc for less than a
mac mini at Best Buy - and the slimserver as well.


--
Chip Hart - Pediatric Solutions * Physician's Computer Company
chip @ pcc.com * 1 Main St. #7, Winooski, VT 05404
800-722-7708 * http://www.pcc.com/~chip
f.802-846-8178 * Pediatric Software Just Got Smarter.
Your Practice Just Got Healthier.

radish
2006-06-10, 07:59
So it costs twice as much, has worse sound quality, is larger, noisier, has no display and no remote (as standard) and yet is somehow better?

azinck3
2006-06-10, 08:07
I just made a little comparison:

MacMini:
- runs Windows, Unix, MacOS
- has a CD drive and HD, rip your music
- has Wireless and Bluetooth and IR remote
- very small footprint
- very low to non-existent noise level
- has a digital out/in, DVI out
- comes for 600 bucks
- no need for any other device to stream music from your collection
- no need for any connection (wired/wireless) if collection is stored on it
- many remote options

SB:
- has wireless and IR remote
- has a digital out
- comes for 300 bucks
- nightmare to hook up wireless (just read all the messages here!!)

Any more comment needed folks? SlimDevices.. as much as I enjoy your little SB3 I think its about time for you guys to become creative once again. Others were catching up and now its on you to close the gap. I think currently the SB3 is way overpriced - not enough bangs for the bucks anymore... Was good enough 2 years ago - but not today - back to the drawing board please.. The SB community is waiting..

Cheers


Some people will no doubt prefer the mac mini. The squeezebox is not for everyone. But you're ignoring a few things:

- 300 bucks is already a stretch for many of us, so $600 per location is a lot more (many of us are already running servers so the cost of the server shouldn't be factored into it)

- the mac mini, while small, is not as small as a squeezebox. In/on wall installations certainly aren't possible with the mini.

- the mini has no display. And that's simply a deal-killer for me. So now you have to buy a computer display for every room? Or turn on the tv to control your music? I don't want a big display in every room. Or you're forced to use a laptop for control or a PDA or something like that? There's no comparison to the directness and simplicity of the squeezebox's display and IR remote. I have a perfectly functional desktop computer in my bedroom--I've even hooked it up to work with a remote control. But I still use a squeezebox in there because it's simply the easiest way to access my music collection. And I can have it's simple, bright display right on my nightstand.

- The squeezebox interface is powerful, customizable, and simple. And does the mini have an elegant web interface for control of media from anywhere? Does it allow synchronization of audio between minis? Does it natively support things like a CLI or xPL, or so many other things that allow the squeezebox to be integrated into a home automation system? Can the media software you're running (Front-Row?) support plug-ins to extend its functionality?

- To have a mini at every location where you want to play back music means that you now have a small army of computers to maintain, troubleshoot, etc. With the squeezebox you just have to maintain a single server (which, as I said, many of us are already doing anyways).

- the squeezebox has a quality analog output that makes it conducive for small installations while retaining good sound quality.

And really, if all I wanted to do is add audio capabilities to a room in my house, *why* would I spend $600 on a full computer that I'll never use for anything but audio when I could get a squeezebox for $300?

I could certainly see how maybe having *one* mini in, maybe the living room near a tv could be useful. Then you could use that as a server for squeezeboxes in other zones.

But you have to admit that the squeezebox and the mini are not directly comparable. They will each cater to different needs/desires, and to intimate the Slim is somehow "behind" and needs to catch up is just mistaken.

Particularly curious is that you never offer any suggestions about functionality that you'd like to see the squeezebox have. Nothing to suggest that it's "behind" except, apparently, what you consider to be too high a pricetag.

davidcotton
2006-06-10, 08:28
Not only that, depending on size of cd collection you have to factor in extra hard drive storage space as well.

Ali-M
2006-06-10, 14:25
Worst comparison ever. For music purpose I prefer my SB3 over the Mini ANYDAY...And I'm a Mac Mini owner...

nelamvr6
2006-06-10, 15:44
And everyone seems to have forgotten one very important thing...SOUND!

The SB has an audiophile grade Burr-Brown 24 bit DAC. the MacMini?

The SB3 simply cannot be beat for $300.

NWP
2006-06-11, 01:24
why is this an SB killer? It looks like it could be a great little machine to run slimserver. Is it possible to up the hard drive?

funkstar
2006-06-11, 05:24
why is this an SB killer? It looks like it could be a great little machine to run slimserver. Is it possible to up the hard drive?
They are great for running slimserver many people do this

the original post was all about not using a SB at all and just having the Mac Mini play the music straight to your stereo. this is why there are several replies to the thread saying there is comparison at all.

SoundBoy
2006-06-11, 08:36
Some people will no doubt prefer the mac mini. The squeezebox is not for everyone. But you're ignoring a few things:

Particularly curious is that you never offer any suggestions about functionality that you'd like to see the squeezebox have. Nothing to suggest that it's "behind" except, apparently, what you consider to be too high a pricetag.

All well made points, most of the granted - sure Front Row is in its infancy - but come on guys - SlimServer is OK - but if is far from being fun and freezes a heck lot on my SB streaming from the Internet - sometimes the volume randomly fades in and out.. It works.. but well..

My point was not that the SB3 is lacking features - it does what it is supposed to do, stream and play music - my point is that today it is way overprized for doing just that.

Cheers

funkstar
2006-06-11, 09:45
My point was not that the SB3 is lacking features - it does what it is supposed to do, stream and play music - my point is that today it is way overprized for doing just that.
in your opinion, others disagree. If they didn't they wouldn't have bought one :)

Everyones setup is different i can't say i get the same problems as you with internet streaming.

SoundBoy
2006-06-11, 11:19
in your opinion, others disagree. If they didn't they wouldn't have bought one :)

Everyones setup is different i can't say i get the same problems as you with internet streaming.

I own one too as you can guess from my posts and most of the time I am happy with it.. Keep my fingers crossed that yours keeps going working just fine.

Cheers

nelamvr6
2006-06-11, 16:21
I own one too as you can guess from my posts and most of the time I am happy with it.. Keep my fingers crossed that yours keeps going working just fine.

Cheers

If yours' is malfunctioning I'm sure the guys at SlimDevices will do their best to get it working again.

I haven't had any problems with mine. Of course there are times when my Radio Paradise stream freezes, but that I blame on Internet weather. The Squeezebox can't guarantee that your stream won't occasionally freeze, no device could guarantee that, not even the MacMini.

rudholm
2006-06-12, 00:49
I've a wireless SB3 and a wired SB2 in my house, never had any networking problems with them *at all*.

I play unconverted FLAC files and my slimserver is in a commercial datacenter so everything I listen to on the SBs comes in over my cable modem and I almost never have any problems (and the problems I have seen were because my cable service was being flaky).

I really don't see the marketplace overlap between a SB and a MacMini (or laptop).

If one simply wants to say they think the wireless SB3 is too expensive, well they can certainly say that, but to say "it's too expensive and the fact that a Mac Mini is only 2x as much money evidences the fact that it's too expensive" is specious at best.

Compared to a bespoke Armani suit, or dinner at Melisse, a wireless SB3 is downright cheap!

tyler_durden
2006-06-12, 14:11
My point was not that the SB3 is lacking features - it does what it is supposed to do, stream and play music - my point is that today it is way overprized for doing just that.


Let's see, $600 for a Mac mini to play audio isn't overpriced, but $300 for a squeezebox is? Interesting math. Did you ever work for Enron?

Regarding the "nightmare" that it is to set up wireless networking with the SB as evidenced by the posts here, I think it is safe to say that the majority of people don't experience any problems and those who post here are having some difficulty beyond normal wireless networking issues (and there are plenty of those with Macs, too).

TD

Simon Still
2006-06-12, 23:49
On 6/12/06, tyler_durden <
tyler_durden.29b5ez1150146901 (AT) no-mx (DOT) forums.slimdevices.com> wrote:
>
> Regarding the "nightmare" that it is to set up wireless networking with
> the SB as evidenced by the posts here, I think it is safe to say that
> the majority of people don't experience any problems and those who post
> here are having some difficulty beyond normal wireless networking issues
> (and there are plenty of those with Macs, too).


Another person here who's never had the slightest issue with either my wired
or wirelss SB2's. My Win XP laptop on the other hand is forever dropping
it's wireless connection and reconnecting (when used at a desk it sits
1.5mto the right of the wireless SB2).

I still haven't managed to get my HTC cellphone to connect (doesnt like my
security setup in some way). The advantage of an SB is that it's a SLIM
device - low power, small phyiscal footprint, zero noise. There are
situations where a mac mini would be more useful but it's not an equivalent
device. This is a really pointless thread. No idea why i posted on it.

notanatheist
2006-06-13, 00:44
Ah, headless linux fileserver out in the garage with half a terabyte of failsafe storage - Priceless!

My Mac Mini with a tiny laptop hard drive - sitting in my desk drawer collecting dust.

My SB2 and SB3 - used DAILY.

Oh, and why not mention the POS Roku HD1001 I had before a Squeezebox since it's so much cheaper than a SB. It SUCKED!! Slower than molasses in Canada.

Good job trolling. When the VFD is ready for the Mac let me know.

thepainter
2006-06-13, 06:47
Hey notanathiest do you want to get rid of your mac mini since it's gathering dust?

notanatheist
2006-06-13, 10:58
Check your PM "thepainter".

SoundBoy
2006-06-19, 12:46
Let's see, $600 for a Mac mini to play audio isn't overpriced, but $300 for a squeezebox is? Interesting math. Did you ever work for Enron?

Regarding the "nightmare" that it is to set up wireless networking with the SB as evidenced by the posts here, I think it is safe to say that the majority of people don't experience any problems and those who post here are having some difficulty beyond normal wireless networking issues (and there are plenty of those with Macs, too).

TD

Hi everybody and thanks to all the the high quality responses, especially the ones that got personal - smile - no dude I did not work for Enron and I hope neither did you or invested in it. This is an open forum where we can post news & ideas & statements.. right, no need to agree. If you don't feel like reading it - let it be, if you don't feel like answering - let it be, if you think this is a worthless thread - move on without making noise. The beautiy of the internet community is that we are all entitled to have our own ideas and opinion. I was interested in hearing yours - once again thanks for all of you that took this serious. I was interested in your counter arguments and not in bashing.

Cheers