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Ask Max: iMac As A Music Server?

Asked on 10/01/2008:

I am glad to see you are taking questions again. I thank you for the tip on using "CMD-F" at startup to use my 2nd Mac as a FW HD. I did not know that was possible.

I have 2 questions for you:
I am thinking of using my iMac as a music server. I want to connect it via Toslink to a DAC. I was told that both the audio input and output (headphone) ports on iMacs double as a mini Toslink connections. Is that true? Looking at my ports I'd say no, but others insist it is true.

I inherited a G4 iMac and connected it to my G4 533 and activated the Networking Preferences. I got it working but I could never get the G4 533's HD to show up on the iMac. All I ever would see would be the User folders. Yet, the G4533 allowed me to see the iMac HD. The G4 533 is running 10.4.1 and the iMac is using 10.4.11. I made changes to the "Sharing" pref's on both but no go. That is when I went to the FW at startup you mentioned. I tried everything but could not ever get complete access of the G4 533's HD via a network connection.

What am I missing?


It is true that many new Macs have an optical audio in/out port. This is activated by the use of a special cable that has a plastic headphone jack on one end and a Toslink connector on the other end. It's called a Mini to Optical Toslink cable.

You can tell if you have this feature by looking in your System Profiler utility. In the audio section look for a S/P-DIF in and out notation. If you have that, then you can use the above cable.

As for file sharing to the whole hard drive, you need to make sure that you are logging in as an Administrator on the box you are connecting to or you can use a utility to give full access to any user account on the system. The application is called SharePoints.

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