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Macbook air as music server

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I'm relatively new to CA, but think it's a great site.

I notice on the CASH list that the Macbook air is not listed as a recommended product. Is this strictly because it has no SPDIF audio output, or is there more involved?

I look forward to your responses.
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  1. francisleung's Avatar
    Hi Runrob1258,

    Seeing that no one has provided an answer to your question, let me do it then as I have been using an Air several months after its incarnation. To me your enquiry is a bit open thus I should tackle it generally.

    The Air has severe limitation in storage capacity, even as a music player. It only has 120 GB. Using the 2L DXD albums as a guide, with one album being 8 GB in file size, a handful of them plus a small collection of RR HRx would take up the whole lot. Well if you only play 16/44.1 tracks that are about 1/12 of the file size, the situation is not so problematic. No way can it be called a "server".

    But then it has the advantage of being very light, and enables you to take your favorite tracks to wherever you want, for example, to a dealer or a friend's place. It is extremely quiet (SSD) and your won't notice it is operating even at a close distance whilst other machines with HDD are noisy and worse when the fan is activated.

    The current vintage has 2 USB ports whilst the old version has only one; another major inconvenience.

    I do not think the lack of SPDIF is a factor for ditching it because current vintage DACs are USB async and in any case SPDIF in my own experience is inferior in sound.

    Talking about sound quality, I am not aware of any PC player that sounds better, even fine tuned ones coupled with the best software player amongst the popular ones. For details please refer to my blog here; check out the first few when this "Blog Column" started.