New user -- Mac Mini issues[Solved-ish]

After reading a lot about Roon in the audio press and on websites, I downloaded the product onto my new Mac Mini. Then I downloaded the app for my ipad so that I could control the Mac Mini with the iPad. I don’t have many tracks on hard disk yet so I signed up for Tidal at the same time I installed Roon.

And everything worked! I love the interface and I love the sound from Tidal. However, it doesn’t work anymore and I cannot figure out why. It is true that I am not that familiar with Macs but I have been using PC computers since the dawn of the computer age.

Here is what I am doing. I am using the Mac Mini as a music server in a home theatre system. The plan is to run Roon (with Tidal) on the Mini. The output from the Mini is HDMI to a Marantz pre/pro.

Here are the specs:

Mac Mini. Just purchased. 2.6 ghz dual core i5. 16 gb RAM. 256 gb SSD.

Roon. Version 1.2 Build 142. I have been using Roon Server on the Mini and controlling it with the iPad.

Pre/Pro. Marantz AV8801.

So this is what is happening. I load Roon Server on the Mini. I bring up the iPad app. The app sees Roon Server. I try to play an album from Tidal. I get the big play button, press it but hear nothing. The tune seems to be playing based on the screen at the bottom of the iPad. I am using System Output.

Any ideas how I can hear music again?



On the iPad app, System Output usually refers to the tablet itself, which in the case of IOS can’t be an audio endpoint. Try going to settings, choose audio setting and select/enable one of the outputs on the Core (aka Mac Mini for you). You should see the Marantz/HDMI option under the Core section.


Thanks for the response. I tried what you suggested without success. I must have done something wrong.

I went to settings on the iPad app. There I disabled System Output, Built-in Output and HDMI.

I don’t see any settings on Roon Server. I understand that if I am running Roon Server, I don’t run Roon on the Mac Mini as well.

Thanks again. Hopefully you can show me the error of my ways.


Timothy you can run Roon and RoonServer on the Mac if you like. RoonServer is headless and runs the core. Roon would then run as a ‘control’- ie the GUI or remote or whatever term you prefer.

But you don’t need to - audio settings on the iPad (or any remote) allow you to configure everything. There’s pretty much nothing you can’t do from an iPad.

You want to enable at least one output on the core - I presume it’s the hdmi one for you. Give it a name then configure it in the general and playback tabs.

You should now see the output device you just named in the bottom right. If not, click on the active one and select the one you just named. Now when you press play it should go to your AV receiver.

Hi Tim,

Have a read through this material, if that doesn’t solve the problem then we can ask Support devs to look into it.

Thanks for all of the help so far. I still can’t get Roon to work. But since it ran just fine before, I am optimistic that with the help of the nice people here, I can get it to run just fine again.

The information that Roon Server runs the core is very helpful. I was worried that loading both Roon and Roon Server on the Mac Mini would cause problems.

Speaking of problems, after a good period without issues, I cannot get my iPad to connect with Roon Server on the Mini. The screen on the iPad asks me:

  1. To check that the iPad is connected to the network. It is.
  2. To check that the “other device” – presumably the Roon Server – is powered on and connected to the network. Yes, to both.
  3. To check that Roon is running on the other device. Roon Server is, but not Roon itself.
  4. To check that “Roon on the other device (Server?) is configured to accept Remote Connections”. I can’t figure out how to configure Roon Server. It is running, according to the icon in the upper right part of the screen but I don’t know how to get to any configuration screens. Sigh.

But of course my main problem is getting the audio to work. Because I can’t get the iPad to connect, I started Roon on the Mini. As I said before, Roon Server is already running. I go to preferences, Audio and am presented with three items that are “Connected to this Mac”. System Output, which has the zone name System Output. Built In output that has the zone name Main and HDMI that does not have a zone name, it is “unnamed”. I enable all three of the items, using Coreaudio in each case. Still no sound. I disable all but HDMI. Still no sound.

The interesting thing is that if I go to Safari and bring up You Tube, the video and audio from that source work just fine. So it’s not the connection between the Mac Mini and my Marantz.

Sorry to be a pest. I would rather be listening to music than bothering y’all. Nonetheless, thanks in advance for the help.


Hi Tim,
I also run Roon on a MacMini. Have you checked System Preferences for Sound on the mini to see that HDMI is still selected. I have tried to start a song on Roon got no sound and found that Sound option had apparently defaulted to another output when I left Roon.
Good luck, Steve


Thanks for the suggestion. I checked system preferences and HDMI was checked. Still no sound.


Let’s drop flags for @mike and @vova to investigate.

I appreciate your concern for my issues. I should be at one on Tuesday and reachable all day should you wish to PM or call me.


Hi @Timothy_Good – sorry for the trouble here. Reading your post above, I’d just like to to confirm a few things:

  • When you play using System Output, you see the time ticking as if audio was playing, but you hear nothing? And playback continues until the song finishes (meaning, it doesn’t play for a second or two and then stop on its own)?

  • In this configuration, you can hear other sources on the Mac Mini (like YouTube), but not Roon? Can you confirm that the volume is up in Roon?

  • Are you seeing the same symptoms playing via the HDMI out? I assume you’ve named the zone, and switched to it?

  • For the HDMI zone, can you post some screenshots of your audio settings, like the ones shown here?

With regards to the iPad issues, I would look at the OSX firewall first – you can try temporarily turning the firewall off to confirm whether this is the issue.

Let me know how it goes Tim and we’ll figure this out. Thanks!


Thanks for getting involved with my problem.

Because of my experience with PCs, I rebooted the Mac Mini today and now Roon is working. I will answer your questions just the same in order to learn more about Roon.

When I tried to play music (when things weren’t working), the time did tick.

You Tube worked just great, picture and sound, at the same time I couldn’t get anything out of Roon.

I am currently playing Roon using the HDMI out. I don’t really understand the difference between System Out, Built-in Output and HDMI. I am using Coreaudio on all of them. HDMI does not have private zone checked, Volume control is CoreAudio mixer and no Resync delay has been specified.

Regarding the iPad, it too, started to work again. But I spent a bunch of time looking for a Firewall under Settings without seeing a thing.

Finally, I am running Roon and Roon Server using my administrator login on the Mac Mini. Any advice on running the software under a guest login that has no security? It seems the way to make the system as accessible as possible. After all, there is no password on the cable box.

Thanks so much for the help.