So, the transmogrification of the MacMini (the "Femputer," as it's more familiarly known) into the digital audio stronghold for Beadboard Manor has officially begun. I've decided to go with the Apple Lossless Encoder for the import - about five times the size of even the largest MP3, but still half the size of a CD and apparently, you know, lossless. Because I paid thousands of dollars over the years for all that CD quality audio, and just because the current paradigm is for crappy MP3 audio, doesn't mean I don't want to get my money's worth.
This may cause some problems with the iPod - I'm not sure if iTunes does or doesn't automatically make things into AAC or MP3 when you put them on the iPod, but I strongly doubt it. Which means that the iPod could hold maybe four hours of music, rather than twenty, unless we go through the trouble of converting before moving.
Anyway, the whole reason for importing is to get the CD collection out of the living room - and presumably into a nice storage box, somewhere - without losing CD quality audio, so the functionality of the iPod is just a bridge that will have to be crossed when we get to it... that is, unless I'm somehow burning that bridge as we speak.
Next up, when all this importing is done, will be some kind of wired/wireless connection from the Femputer to the living room stereo, and the smallest and cheapest monitor I can find to run it. Or, perhaps I'll run it remotely from the laptop?
This is a long-term project, so don't expect any brilliant answers from me until 2009 or so. Perhaps by that time I'll have a big ass flat panel TV that I'll hook up to the Femputer through Apple TV, or something, so the whole issue of a monitor will be moot.
I hereby solicit opinions on how badly I'm messing this up...