Multi-room Mac Mini setup?

I’ll start with this: I have been playing my digital music with iTunes (now Music in OS X Catalina), in this way:

I have a Mac Mini hooked up to my (mostly vintage '70s) audio equipment in the living room (through a Schiit Modi Multibit DAC). The Mac Mini is “headless,” so I control it with my MacBook Air or iPad over AirPort Extreme wi-fi, using screen sharing.

My music files (broken into three distinct libraries: pop-rock, jazz-blues, and classical) are on a 20TB USB 3 external hard drive hooked up to another Mac Mini (also running Catalina) in my office.

So, my questions are:

Which Mac Mini should be my “Core”? What should I run on the other Mac Mini and my MacBook Air? Roon Server? Roon Bridge? Roon Remote?

How do I maintain my three separate music libraries with Roon? Should I pretend to be three different users according to whether I want to listen to rock, jazz, or classical?

Thanks in advance. It’s been a loooooooong day and my head hurts.

Hi Jim,

Welcome. I’m sure you’ll get lots of help from the users on the forum.

A couple of questions. Controlling Roon via MacBook or iPad using wifi is fine, however, how are your two Mac Mini’s connected to the network? Ethernet is better.

Are the Mini’s the same specs? Could you list the specs?

Here’s a possibility:

Core using Mini in the office. Install Roon Server software and also Roon as a Remote to control Roon when in the office. That way, you don’t need the GUI open on the core all the time.

Mini in the living room. Running Roon Bridge. You won’t need screen sharing for playing Roon.

Roon on the iPad and MacBook to control.

Music storage. Add three separate Storage locations. That way you can Focus and bookmark each location. You can name the Bookmarks pop-rock, Jazz-blues and classical.

I’m sure others will have suggestions as well.

Cheers, Greg

Thanks much. I’ll give that a try. The Mini in the office (with the external USB hard drive containing the music files) is connected directly to the AirPort Express via ethernet, while the one in the living room runs on wi-fi.

The office Mini is a Late 2012 model (2.5 GHz Dual-Core i5) running OS 10.15.3.

Living room Mini: 2018 model (3 GHz 6-Core i5) running OS 10.15.2.

Thanks again!

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