Mac mini setup

I have a Mac mini 1.1 hooked up to my Sprout 100 using the usb input. I wanted to know if you have any suggestions on software needed to improve sound output from iTunes? I am running Snow Leopard OS 10.6.8 and iTunes 11.4. Bitperfect says they don’t support this setup anymore. Any tweaks I can use? The setup sounds great right now but it seems after watching a few of your Youtube videos on this subject you talk about the Mac messing with the pure digital recording.

Larry Loyd

Check out Audirvana.

Yes, unfortunately, the Apple (and Windows) computers run everything through their audio engines and muck up the sound. Bit Perfect used to work until Apple decided to make things even worse. Sigh.

Give up on iTunes and switch to Audirvana.

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I just wish wish AmazonHD would play nice with Audirvana the way QoBuz does (Bitperfect). More than a year later, and still no support. Not looking forward to moving all the family profiles yet to another Streaming platform. First Spotify, then Amazon HD, and now QoBuz (on another free trial period). I refuse to get Roon merely for the cost.

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first thing i thought of with iTunes was that I used to use it with 128/256K mp3/AAC files, which are far below CD quality.

So, I guess i’d ask what kind of files you’re playing, too.

Of all the dollars i’ve thrown at music, electronics, cables, sound treatments, $500 for Roon is some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I use it all the time. (Yeah, I have vinyl records, but Roon coordinates all my digital music – streaming and ripped CDs – and i think does an amazing job. It’s completely transformed my listening experience.)


Locally, my NAS, has CD, DSD, & hi res PCM files on it. I also spin SACD discs on the Sony via HDMI to I2S adapter boards feeding both DSD and PCM I2S signals.

I don’t do Vinyl anymore.

Ah, you have a NAS. Have you explored using server software on that? I’d very strongly recommend MinimServer; I’ve been using it for 7 years on a Synology DS412+. You would need to buy an ethernet-to-SPDIF converter (renderer) to stream music from the NAS to your Sprout. There are many on the market, most support UPnP for play and have appropriate control apps. These apps could run on the Mac mini, a tablet or a smart phone. You would then only need to use iTunes for curating the music library on the NAS.

Unfortunately you need Qobuz and Tidal. It seems one or the other has time periods where licensing with artists goes away or is non existent. Roon makes it easy to get the music on the platform that has the license quickly. I am glad I bit the bullet for lifetime license before option became unavailable.

Not to get too deep in the weeds on Roon, as it’s not the topic of the thread… but you still can get a Lifetime subscription for $699 (up from $499 a year or so ago). They ARE debating removing that option, but as of this moment, it’s still available.

(Or maybe I’m reading your post wrong, and you’re just saying you’re glad you did it before it eventually becomes unavailable.)

I thought they had discontinued option. Its been a year and half stating lifetime will be no more. I guess it was just the marketing ploy to get people signed on for greater cost.

I am using the files as AIFF audio files under 1536 kbps. Any thoughts?

Larry Loyd

well, that’s good. AIFF is uncompressed, yada yada. So you’re good there, I reckon.

Others say Audirvana is worth a shot, but I haven’t tried it, as I’ve been really happy with Roon.

I own both. Audirvana is an inferior product compared to Roon. But $75 vs $700 is nothing to sneeze at.

Inferior in SQ too? I tried both and Audirvana sounded better than Roon in my system. Of course Roon is much better in music management.

Audirvana is US$96.00.

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I looked at the website for Audirvana and found out that my mac mini is unsupported. Also checked to see if I can upgrade to Catalina but unfortunately my mac mini is also too old to convert. So far the sound coming out of the Sprout 100 is really nice so I am a happy customer. Just was wondering if there was anything I need to do. Thanks to everyone for the help. I am cool using my vintage mac.

Larry Loyd

I’ve found that Audirvana is a bit brighter. It can sound better than Roon unless Roon is utilized in a 2 box setup. Running Roon entirely on a computer doesn’t sound great. And in every other regard I find Roon superior.

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LMS is free, works well, and now integrates with Qobuz. there may even be amazon hd support now (goes to check ):slight_smile:

Edit, alas it seems not, though airplay from an apple device would get you there (via an old apple TV optical out or a Pi with Shairplay) (but I’m sure you know this stuff :slight_smile: )

Try update of OS X to El Capitan 11.11 or High Serra


Or Roon. I have 2 Mac Minis driving 2 of my systems. I had previously been using iTunes and Bit Perfect before switching to Roon. Not only was Roon far more stable, it sounds better. I love the Roon interface. I can’t comment on the relative merits between Roon and Audirvana, but Roon definitely gets two snaps up in a circle.