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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imagine a day in the not too distant future where you no longer have to sort through hundreds or thousands of cd cases to find the track you are looking for.
The iPod has proven this dream a reality, but how do you do this with an old mac you have lying around collecting a little dust?

Answer: With iTunes and any older G3 or newer powemac or powerbook with an external firewire drive it is possible to completely move all of your music collection to a mac with the iTunes application. This we also know as fact.

My question is, how can you remote control a computer running iTunes with a hand held device like the one we use for our televisions or stereos? Or connect the video output of the computer to your TV so that you can see the iTunes app and watch the visual plugins or just see which track is playing.
Is there an inexpensive solution for converting that old mac into your home jukebox or is this a silly little dream?
 

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It could easily be done. As far as what needs to be purchased, it depends which mac you have.

One remote you could use..
http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/remote/

If you have a tower, you can add a PCI card with SVideo out
http://www.atitech.com/products/radeon7000/radeon7000me/index.html

If you have an iMac or something that doesn't have PCI slots
http://www.adstech.com/products/TVEliteXGA/intro/XGA128intro.asp?pid=XGA-128
or
http://www.focusinfo.com/products/itview_mac/itview_mac.htm

If you have a powerbook with SVideo already, it is even easier.

Have fun :D
 

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I've been planning something like this for my iBook for some time now. Too bad I can;t afford a new machine so I can actually do it.

--PB
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A G4 Cube would look really cool sitting in my living room with an 80 meg hard drive installed with my entire music collection loaded inside. But that would be a waste of a lot of CPU power. But if money was no object it would be a nice little juke box. Gotta get that wekend job.
 

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I've been thinking about doing this with my G3 "Pismo" Powerbook when I retire it in favor of a G4 Powerbook. The Pismo even has a built-in S-video port, so it should make the job even easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm thinking that the cheapest way to do this is to get my hands on an old iBook that will run OS X (although OS X is not imparitive) that has firewire and S-Video output. That takes care of the problem of having a keyboard and mouse looking messy beside the TV and stereo. Besides the iBook I would just have to get a nice big fire wire drive for my audio library. And of couse the Keyspan remote control for switching tracks on iTunes without moving my ass off the couch.
 

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... and once you have your "jukebox" set up you can get one of these little beauties :

Squeezebox

to deliver the music wirelessly to another stereo system anywhere in your house !

Mike McHugh
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
By the time you add up the amount of money you would have to spend on the 8100s, you would be better off buying something a little more up to date.

I have an 8100 as well. It only has a 9 gig drive. It will not run iTunes unless a G3 card is added and that would be a waste of money. And then I would have to find a 36 or 72 gig SCSI drive used somewhere to put all the mp3 files on and then the issue of getting the video to output to a TV. Even then the graphics would be so sllooowww that it would look awful.

I just looked on ebay Canada, and there are lots of 500 to 600 mHz iBooks selling around 500 to 700 CDN range. All I would then need is an 80 gig fire wire drive and I will have that mac juke box. Ultimately I would love to find an iBook with 32 meg VRAM so that it will run OS X better than the older iBooks.
 

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Not easily. 8100's don't have PCI so you can't add a USB card. Most of the remotes are USB.

You could use it to output to your TV if you buy a VGA to NTSC converter. Hard drive's are expensive for these systems so if you wanted to load it up with tons of MP3's, it would cost you.

I think the best systems would be an early iBook, Pizmo,
iMac DV or a B&W with a nice 15" LCD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you really wanted to use your old 8100 without upgrading the CPU, it is still possible.

Load in OS 8.6 or 9.0.4 and run Macast. Macast is an older MP3 player for the Apple Classic operating system. I actually ran it successfully on my 8100 for a few years.

Don't bother trying to rip MP3 files with the 8100. A single cd can take as long as 30 minutes. Instead rip them on your G3 or newer mac and burn the files to cd and move them over to the 8100. My 9 gig internal drive on the 8100 held a lot of music at 128 bit rate. Although the audio quality is not that great.

I don't think you can remotely control Macast on the 8100, but you can create many playlists and load up with hours worth of tracks in the lists and then have them play normally or randomly.

As for getting the video to output to your TV. You could try and use the inline convertor on the mac monitor out cable and just not hook up a monitor to the mac. Essentially the TV would be the monitor.

Not a very pretty mac juke box, but it should work. The 8100 tower would have to be spray painted or hidden away for me to even think of putting that big old box in my living room. And then there is the fan noise issue...ah, I need a cube or iBook for my tastes. :D

Or better yet. Get rid of my TV and get a 23" cinema display for my living room connected to an early G4 that's nice and quiet, less fan noise than the later G4's. And get a PCI card that allows cable input to the mac and just use that as my entertainment center. Watch TV, DVD's or listen to my MP3 collection, all in one very, very expensive setup.
 
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