Mac Audio - my Hackintosh based Music Player

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Dec 15, 2011
i5-2500K, i3-3225, i7-3770S
HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000
  1. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Here is my current project: A new music player for the living room. I want to replace my ATV 1 with a device, which is able to play ALAC 24/96 files directly out of iTunes.

First concept study:
Mac Audio Concept.jpg

This is the BOM:
- Same case as the Amplifier:
- 19V / 90W PSU:
-i3 3225
-CPU-Cooler Noctua NH-L9i
-128GB SSD
-2x4GB RAM Corsair Vengeance CMSX8GX3M2A1600C9 1600 1.5V
-Apple Infrared Sensor 820-2155-A
-Apple IR remote
-Apple A1181 Bluetooth Module
-3D CAD, a milling machine and a lathe
-...and my wife's old iPod Touch 32GB ;)


The finished Audio System for comparison:
Mac Audio finished with Amp.jpg

Mac Audio Hackintosh.jpg

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Some more infos about this project:

Before I decided to start this new project, I've tried to hack the ATV1. I wanted to add some Tiger 10.4.9 files to allow the adjustment of the audio settings.

Before the hack - System Preferences is empty:

After the hack - System Preferences shows the settings:

Unfortunately the settings do not work... :banghead: I gave up then and started this project.

The next step was to check, if it is possible to rotate the iPod's display to landscape format. Yes, it is. I use the App "SBRotator 6" from the "Alternative App Store". This allows to integrate the iPod into in the front plate and to display the OS X desktop via the App "Pocket Cloud"

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Thanks Rick

Yes, the word with "C". I don't know if it's allowed to use this bad word here. :silent:

Hi MacTester

The case really looks the business, in fact would probably be my choice now if I was starting again. Building stuff from scratch takes time. The only question I have on the case is cooling. I have to assume you are going to have to do quite a lot of drilling of small holes to let air in and out of the case and still keep it looking good.

Can you need to explain the usage (and the software implementation) slightly better. I get that the iPod Touch will be a remote control device for the desktop, you mention to control iTunes. The iPod touch already has iTunes, so what additional software do you want to run on OSX. XBMC ?

Also the connection between the two devices will be WIFI/Network, which once set-up should work fine. My concern is if something fails in OSX boot up, and remote control doesn't work, it will make recovery difficult.

I will mount the mobo "upside down" into the case. This allows the Noctua Fan to intake cool air directly thru drilled holes in the bottom. There will be a sealing between the fans edges and the bottom plate, so only the cool air, which comes thru the holes can be sucked in. This produces a slight overpressure in the case and the warm air flows out thru holes in the backplate and if necessary in the bottom plate.

The iPod is only a nice gadget, its internal music player will not being used. If necessary, the OS X desktop can be displayed via VNC. The remotes for iTunes (on OS X) are our iPhones and the iPad via the App "Apple Remote".

If something bigger fails or for system maintenance, I could use the TV via HDMI. An additional possibility is the VNC connection to my G5 or G4 Cube.

Some updates:

Yesterday, I've replaced the ATV with my G4 Cube Hack to do some more tests according to the operating concept. Everything seems to work fine and the ALAC 24/96 files sound fantastic in combination with my DIY amp and the Sony SS-R70 speakers! :D

Almost all small parts from Ebay are ordered now.

Tonight, I've continued with the CAD concept.
-Added the intake grid in the bottom plate (will come from an old Silverstone HTPC case)
-Added the output holes for the warm air in the back plate
-Added the foam sealing between the Noctua fan and the intake grid
-Added front USB & a HDD led on the right front side

Mac Audio Concept 3.jpg

Mac Audio Concept 2.jpg

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