I’m about to purchase my Bridge II and need the community’s best advice on how to setup and use it in my system. A brief description is in order so there is no confusion.
I use a late 2012 Mac Mini with the latest (10.10.5) version of Yosemite. My router is an older Apple Airport Extreme connected to my Mac via Ethernet. (The Airport Extreme has given me ZERO problems in the eight years I’ve used it.) This router also provides wireless to assorted devices in my house via an Airport Express repeater. Both the Extreme and Express have the latest firmware updates from Apple.
I currently use my DS DAC via USB from my Mac Mini for streaming my library via iTunes. I’ve been less than happy with this solution because my inexpensive – read, “cheap” – active Tripp-Lite 15-footer doesn’t seem to like certain high-res files and causes sound chaos trying to pass these bits to my DS DAC. My other two-channel system streaming sources are an Oppo BDP-105, combined with an AppleTV and Roku 3 that are connected via a passive HDMI switch to the Oppo. (The AppleTV and Roku are never used for music other than Pandora, and sundry radio apps.) Each of these devices is connected to my network via a four-port 10/100 switch fed by Ethernet cable from my Apple Airport Extreme router. I have the one remaining Ethernet cable in the switch allocated for the Bridge.
My goal with this purchase is simple: eliminate USB and go straight through my network, hard-wired, to the DS DAC. My questions are:
(1) Do I need to use a 1-gigabit switch instead of a 10/100? If push comes to shove I have one Ethernet port left on the router. I can run a 20-foot Ethernet cable from to the DS DAC and bypass the switch completely.
(2) Are there any peculiarities unique to using a Mac that I need to concern myself with once the Bridge is in and working?
(3) What music library software do you guys recommended for an iTunes replacement on the Mac? I just want to use it for music files. After using it for 10 years plus I’m really beginning to dislike it: it has become useless salesware/bloatware.
(4) Talk to me about the advantages of having the DS DAC with Bridge II on my network. The other potential music devices in the house connected to this network will be my living room AppleTV, living room Roku 3, an Oppo BDP-93 (that’s a little long-in-the-tooth), an iPhone, an iPad, a Windows Phone, a Windows 7 workstation and a Windows 10 laptop.
That is all for now. As always, thanks for your advice.
(P.S., Yale Final rocks!)