Avatron's Air Display is one piece of software that I just know has a few good uses in a computer audiophile's audio system. I can't seem to put my finger on more than a couple of these uses. Air Display requires the purchase of a $9.99 iPhone/iPad app from Apple and installation of a small piece of software on a Mac or Windows computer. Once installed an iPad or iPhone or even another computer can be used as a second display over a wireless network. No cables needed. The most generic idea is to use this on an iPad as a second display right next to one's main computer. While cool this idea pretty ordinary. I've been thinking about placing my iPad somewhere near my audio system as a display of what music is currently playing. When using my MacBook or Mac Pro it's easy to move iTunes over to the iPad as the computer's seconds display. This is similar to how Resolution Audio's Jeff Kalt used a Mimo display connected to a Mac Mini via USB at CES 2010. Another idea I have is to use an Ipad running Air Display as a touch screen monitor controlling J River Media Center while in Theater view. This is just an idea right now as I'm not sure if the response will be quick enough.
I'm excited to hear what ideas the Computer Audiophile readers have for using Air Display. The app seems too cool to not have a valid use in our music systems.
In July 2010 I wrote a music server enhancement article that mentioned the HyperMac batteries. These batteries can extend the life of a battery power MacBook up to 45 hours. Using a MacBook in combination with a HyperJuice battery as a music server is a great solution to remove the noisy switching computer power supply from one's audio system and any noise the computer may dump back into the power line. There are four models of HyperJuice batteries ranging from the $170 60Wh version to the $450 222Wh version.
Since that original article there has been a legal dispute between Apple and HyperMac's parent company the Sanho Corporation. The main issue was HyperMac's use of the MagSafe connector used on Apple laptops. This is the connector that uses a magnetic connection between the power cable and the laptop. Anyone who has accidentally kicked the power cable of a MacBook with a MagSafe connector knows how valuable this technology is to Apple and its customers.
There are a couple workarounds HyperJuice has come up with to enable its batteries to work with MacBooks from Apple. The first and easiest in my opinion is compatibility with Apple's $49 MagSafe Airline Adapter. The HyperJuice battery cable contains an industry standard non-patented DC power port. This power port connects easily with the Apple MagSafe Airline adapter. Sure this requires an extra $49 purchase from Apple, but it works straight out of the box. The other option according to HyperJuice is to use its own HyperJuice Magic Box MagSafe modification kit. The instructions in the $49 Magic Box user manual (PDF 7.6MB) clearly state this box requires irreversibly modifying a $79 Apple MacBook power adapter. The procedure requires cutting the cable and wiring it through the Magic Box. It looks like a lot more work and expense than simply using a MagSafe Airline adapter.