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View Full Version : Before I Switch to Mac...What Should I Know?



ezkcdude
2008-09-02, 05:51
After 4 years of dutiful service, my PC seems to have hit the end of the road - most likely due to a virus of some sort. I've been considering getting an iMac for some time now (I have a 24" iMac at work and use a Powerbook G4 regularly). This seems like as good a time as any therefore. Before I do this, I have some questions:

1) Will I be able to stream/play FLAC files throught the SqueezeCenter interface to my SB3 and Duet players?

2) Is there an equivalent to EAC now for the Mac?

3) Is there a good FLAC encoder for the Mac?

4) Does MusicIP work just as well on Mac as on XP?

5) Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks, for any and all suggestions/advice!

pippin
2008-09-02, 07:29
5) Is there anything else I should be aware of?


No, except for things you probably know if you've used Macs before: Most of the lyrics around why Mac is better than the PC is not really true: it's less stable than XP, it's not particularly good at doing graphics (if you don't buy photoshop for the price of two Macs) and video (if you don't limit yourself to Quicktime) and the keyboard is a mess.
On the other hand: the negative side is also not true: I find the Mac to be actually cheaper over the long term than a PC because you have a lot of free stuff from the ix world for things where you would have to buy software on a PC.

SC runs better on the Mac than on XP because Mac has better scheduling.
MusicIP works fine, but I cannot compare to XP since I have never used it there. There is an issue about startup order, though, that I don't have since I only rarely use MIP on the Mac.

ezkcdude
2008-09-02, 07:55
Thanks. As far as playing FLAC - it should be fine, right? Also, I'm looking at the different ripping programs and came across one called "Max". It seems pretty good. Do you have a preference for one of these programs (something similar to EAC)?

exile
2008-09-02, 08:57
for flac encoding on mac:
i use max and it works quite well. i also use switch to convert files.



4) Does MusicIP work just as well on Mac as on XP?

don't know how well it works on XP but my MusicIP works flawlessly on my mac. and the startup order for the two programs can be easily dealt with by setting the two programs to start up whenever you login/power up your computer. you can set programs to start by going into system preferences and going into your accounts settings.


good luck

ezkcdude
2008-09-02, 09:43
Well, I just bit the bullet and purchased an iMac. Hopefully, it all works out.

igroucho
2008-09-02, 10:27
No, except for things you probably know if you've used Macs before: Most of the lyrics around why Mac is better than the PC is not really true: it's less stable than XP, it's not particularly good at doing graphics (if you don't buy photoshop for the price of two Macs) and video (if you don't limit yourself to Quicktime) and the keyboard is a mess.
Which is not true either. Gross oversimplification!

ezkcdude
2008-09-02, 10:34
In terms of stability (i.e. not crashing the entire system) I find OS X much better. I also like the Mac keyboard very much, especially the convenient USB ports. Also, the graphics on my iMac at work are fine - especially since I don't play games. The only reason I hesitate to get a Mac at home is because I don't have experience running SqueezeCenter on OS X or ripping/compression with the Mac toolset. Other than that, I really prefer Mac to PC by a wide margin.

andynormancx
2008-09-02, 10:43
2) Is there an equivalent to EAC now for the Mac?

As far as I am aware there isn't anything on the Mac that uses AccurateRip the way EAC/dBPowerAmp can to check your rips against other people's rips.

Goodsounds
2008-09-02, 10:51
In terms of stability (i.e. not crashing the entire system) I find OS X much better. I also like the Mac keyboard very much, especially the convenient USB ports. Also, the graphics on my iMac at work are fine - especially since I don't play games. The only reason I hesitate to get a Mac at home is because I don't have experience running SqueezeCenter on OS X or ripping/compression with the Mac toolset. Other than that, I really prefer Mac to PC by a wide margin.

My teenage son got a Macbook two years ago. I've spent maybe a total of 15 minutes using it - and over this time, I've crashed it 4 times!! Two of those times were simply trying to use the home network printer. Can't say I've crashed a PC more than a time or two in the last 10 years.

Apple consistently produces more "cool" products and features than any other consumer products company, and I admire them for that. I find their arrogance a deal closer, however, and so I avoid their products. Just a personal thing.

But I'm sure you'll have fun and good luck with your new purchase.

ezkcdude
2008-09-02, 10:51
As far as I am aware there isn't anything on the Mac that uses AccurateRip the way EAC/dBPowerAmp can to check your rips against other people's rips.

Practically speaking, I'd say 95% of the CDs I purchase aren't accurately ripped according to AccurateRip. So, that feature was never really too useful for me.

igroucho
2008-09-02, 11:28
My teenage son got a Macbook two years ago. I've spent maybe a total of 15 minutes using it - and over this time, I've crashed it 4 times!! Two of those times were simply trying to use the home network printer. Can't say I've crashed a PC more than a time or two in the last 10 years. ....
But I'm sure you'll have fun and good luck with your new purchase.
I'm sure all of us can contribute with anecdotes about windoze or macs for that part, which has no bearing at all in this context. I've used XP fairly much and I haven't had it crash once! I've crashed my macs numerous times and I've used bad language more than once, still I like macos vastly more for many reasons.

pippin
2008-09-02, 13:10
Which is not true either. Gross oversimplification!

Which one?

pippin
2008-09-02, 13:18
In terms of stability (i.e. not crashing the entire system) I find OS X much better. I also like the Mac keyboard very much, especially the convenient USB ports. Also, the graphics on my iMac at work are fine - especially since I don't play games. The only reason I hesitate to get a Mac at home is because I don't have experience running SqueezeCenter on OS X or ripping/compression with the Mac toolset. Other than that, I really prefer Mac to PC by a wide margin.

With Graphics I mean graphics programs. I still didn't succeed in finding one that comes close to Xara and has a decent price. And I didn't find one that comes close to Photoshop and has a decent price. Plenty of both on PCs
Video: Lot of codecs don't work well on Mac.

Stability: That one I really cannot support. I used to boot my old Dell Laptop every few month, I'm booting my Mac at least once a week.
I had all kind of system crashes, including kernel panic, but most of this seems to have to do with the Bluetooth stack, got better since I ceased using this.
Biggest issue is parts of the UI hanging and forcing a reboot (touchpad not accepting multitouches anymore, menu bar hanging) or orphaned processes that I cannot kill blocking access to some hardware or other resource.

I DO like the Mac better than XP and I use it a lot more than Windows these days but it's definitely less stable.

Oh, and keyboard: I'm talking about the built-in Notebook keyboard. It's missing some essential keys (like "del") and especially the German keyboard layout makes it almost unusable for programmers since some common shortcuts are on keys that don't exist, like CMD+[. And that's cross applications. A mess from a UI standpoint.

andynormancx
2008-09-02, 13:28
Practically speaking, I'd say 95% of the CDs I purchase aren't accurately ripped according to AccurateRip. So, that feature was never really too useful for me.
Thankfully with the CDs I rip it tends to me close to 95% of CDs that are in AccurateRip. Or did you mean that the CDs were in AccurateRip but that EAC was failing to rip them accurately ?

Goodsounds
2008-09-02, 13:50
I'm sure all of us can contribute with anecdotes ..... which has no bearing at all in this context.

Well, I'm not sure what to say. The context was the OP's citation of stability - in that context, I simply said my experience (admitedly a very limited one) had been different.

sebp
2008-09-02, 16:37
I don't like MacOS and Apple marketing for numerous reasons, and I don't like Windows and Microsoft marketing for others. I'm a Linux zealot, you see.

That being said, I bought a Mac Mini to replace my previous HTPC (running Linux), and I must admit Apple designs great machines (this one, at least).
I've been a Windows user for years (and still am when I'm at work), and am a MacOS user at home.

On one hand, MacOS comes with most software people are using in their day to day life (oh my! there's even a decent text editor bundled), but they are ... well ... Apple software : a bit proprietary (think no flac possibly playing through iTunes/Quicktime ...).
On the other hand, Windows comes with virtually no software (given the price MS asks for it, it's a shame), but has more free and powerful software available.

I've been told : "Look! How fast is MacOS at booting.".
True. Until I had installed some more software I needed.

I've been told : "Look! How powerful Windows can be."
True. Until I had installed all that anti virus/spyware/bloatware needed to keep the system safe.

Now, I've tried running SqueezeCenter and MusicIP on both systems, and never felt one was doing better than the other.
These systems both have their advantages and drawbacks.

Whatever the system, I really miss my great KDE apps a lot.
I wish I can get those super design Apple wireless (crazy) keyboard and (dirty catcher) mouse working correctly with Linux one day ...

konut
2008-09-02, 17:00
Apple software : a bit proprietary (think no flac possibly playing through iTunes/Quicktime ...).


I don't use this so I cant vouch for it but,.....Fluke is a small utility for Mac OS written in AppleScript that lets you play your FLACs natively in iTunes.

http://cubicfruit.com/fluke/

Please let us know what you think if you try it.

igroucho
2008-09-03, 07:18
To return from anecdotes to the original qs:
1) Will I be able to stream/play FLAC files throught the SqueezeCenter interface to my SB3 and Duet players? -- Yes, no problemo. I do it wireless from a PM G5 via Airport Extreme/AP Express to my Transporter on my lower floor. Rock stable and since 7.2 VERY responsive. In fact I don't have any complaints as of now. However flac is not supported by apple. ALAC will do the job (and work on ur ipod) and is natively supported being apples own lossless compression format.

2) Is there an equivalent to EAC now for the Mac? -- I'd say Max will do the job and the differences to EAC will not be audible - if any.

3) Is there a good FLAC encoder for the Mac? -- again: Max!

4) Does MusicIP work just as well on Mac as on XP? -- Can't say as I'm not dwelved into that area.

5) Is there anything else I should be aware of? -- Not that I can think of in this context and that has not been dealt with in this thread. Macs will connect to any pc-disks you might have as backups. If the need is dire for using windoze you can install it on a mac provided it's an intel-ditto either run it via boot camp or virtually like I do using VM-Ware and it runs GREAT, even better than on dedicated pc-ware. If you are going to throw away ur pc u can save ur win os to install on the mac instead?

Thanks, for any and all suggestions/advice!
UR welcome!

Nikhil
2008-09-19, 10:26
2) Is there an equivalent to EAC now for the Mac?




Have you tried XLD? http://tmkk.hp.infoseek.co.jp/xld/index_e.html It seems to be the closest thing to EAC for the Mac (including having a zillion parameters that can be adjusted such as offset correction, etc), and is the only Mac ripper that can use the AccurateRip DB. I have used it a couple of times and it seems pretty nice. It seems to be the preferred Mac ripping tool among the online communities. This picture shows a comparison of XLD with Max and xACT
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3112/2863092204_7e8baa6424_o.jpg