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  1. #1
    Senior Member rick's cafe's Avatar
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    New to Mac and Itunes - slimserver & library help

    Ive always been a pc user but recently switched to a mac ... various reasons for this but the question is ... what do people typically do with itunes and their music set up for slimserver

    itunes does seem easy to use and manage and very easy to manipulate tags and add artwork.. but not being a preverbial 'machead' i am not sure whether i should take the bold step to move all of my music (about 200gb of mp3) into use by itunes and more over whether I should allow itunes to manage my library.

    I will continue to use my sb3 for listening on stereo etc.. but just wanted to get a feel from other mac users on how they integrate their itunes and music libraries

    views comments and advice welcomed

    thanks

    ps - my use of itunes for ipod purposes is not huge as i only got a 4gb nano for use by itunes

  2. #2
    Senior Member thesil's Avatar
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    Hi, I just recently moved from PC to MAC as well. I started out with some trepidation, but after awhile I became a little comfortable and moved my entire collection to MAC and let iTunes manage it. I Think it is actually a lot better running SS snd SBv3 with MAC than it was with PC. Cooincidentally, I just refromatted my iPod for MAC and I like the interface much better than with Windows. I also bought a 320 gig external HD to back up those valuable tunes.

    Anyway, go ahead and do it; you wont be sorry.
    Good luck
    GS

  3. #3
    Senior Member Eric Seaberg's Avatar
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    I've been a Mac user for 20 years and have had SS setup on a Mac MINI since October. I'll help in anyway I can.

    How did you rip your tunes originally? What bit-rate/encode scheme?
    Eric Seaberg - San Diego
    A.E.S., I.E.E.E., S.M.P.T.E., S.P.A.R.S.
    eric@seaberg.com

  4. #4
    I've found SS and iTunes integrate pretty nicely together. iTunes generally orders things by Artist->Album but once you're comfortable with that it becomes quite natural to use and you'll very rarely take notice of the files anymore. I find it very easy to use as a tag manager and have become very at home with the iTunes interface. Artwork can be an issue as Apple recently changed the way iTunes stores artwork and this means it wont often show-up via SS. There are scripts out there that you can run to rectify this. Only things it doesn't like format-wise are OGG and FLAC (although I believe there is a codec for OGG, and FLAC files can be converted on OSX to AIFF pretty easily). For lossless stick with AIFF or Apple Lossless.

    But in general, for importing, converting and managing music files, iTunes is a top class app. SS will pick up new additions automatically although if I'm in a hurry to listen to something I'll do a quick re-scan of new items and it takes only a short while to get updated on the server-side. I've also found all the plugins I use (AlienBBC, XMRadio, LastFM, and Song Scanner) all work flawlessly. Good luck!

  5. #5
    I run an old g4 emac with an external 320g usb drive. I let itunes rip cds into aiff, 16 bit, 44.1khz. On average an album takes about 2 minutes to rip. As mentioned, if you're in a hurry, do a manual rescan using the Slim Server program to update quickly. I use an identical usb drive to backup the drive with the music. I have no sound quality issues with the above method and my sb3 is connected to a fairly decent hi-fi system.
    Keith
    Last edited by KeithL; 2007-02-05 at 23:33.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Eric Seaberg's Avatar
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    I rip my tunes via iTunes as Apple Lossless. It is lossless as compared to a raw AIF file, but half the size (or 60%).

    Once I've confirmed I like the tag info in iTunes, I let SS re-scan, preferring NOT to run the iTunes side of SS.

    If I want to put songs into the iPod I use an iTunes plugin called MultiTunes (found at http://porkrind.org/multitunes/) which really allows multiple libraries at different locations and on different drives! I open the ALAC files and transcode to 192k AAC for the iPod. Works great.
    Eric Seaberg - San Diego
    A.E.S., I.E.E.E., S.M.P.T.E., S.P.A.R.S.
    eric@seaberg.com

  7. #7
    Using Macs since... 1988 or so.

    I do not use the slimserver with iTunes librarys, just as a stand alone DB.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    In the new version of itunes there is the ability to backup your itunes library to dvd/cd disk, very useful if you are being ultra careful.
    Although it may take a lot of disks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rick's cafe's Avatar
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    thanks for all the responses... still getting used to mac and its OS... still still not even installed SS yet.. but from the sounds of it I shall take the plunge...

    My entire library is on an external 400gig HD and I intend to leave it this way.. presumable if I change the location of itunes library to that on my HD then I will avoid any duplication of my music in itunes...

    Most of my music is ripped (via various methods) at about 192kbs and I will in future use itunes to rip into lossless (i think)

    No doubt as I migrate to Itunes I will post again with some issue or another.. thanks all

    richard

  10. #10
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    Careful with MP3 tags

    Your set-up sounds like it will be very easy to manage. I use a mac to manage my itunes library, which actually resides on a shared drive on a PC. It would be a lot easier if it was all just on a mac, but my macs are laptops. iTunes has its issues but unless you're doing something incredibly specific, it is capable and seamless.

    Only difficulty I had was that MP3s of various historical provenance caused all kinds of problems in slimserver. If you read the forums, you'll mostly discover that this occurs because there are mixed MP3 tags. Fixing them in iTunes won't necessarily fix the problem.

    This was a HUGE pain. In the end, I found the AAC format kept tags intact. Since I was ripping/re-ripping music anyway, I frankly found it easier to get everything out of MP3 format. YMMV.

    One other issue I had was that Slimserver doesn't necessarily like files with foreign characters - it just doesn't "see" them. I don't know if this is a windows or mac and windows version, but necessitated renaming a lot of stuff to be able to play them on squeezebox. This is for me a major problem (and will be hard to retransition back in future), since I have a lot of foreign music.

    And if you're ripping anything new/re-ripping old stuff, I have only one hint: re-rip at the highest possible bitrate/lowest compression you can conceivably live with. If lossless, all the better - hard drive space is a lot cheaper now.

    Good luck.

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