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iPod and iTunes Hacks by Hadley Stern

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Build a Cheap MacMP3/AACServer

Turn that old Mac gathering dust in the closet into a powerhouse MP3/AAC server.

There is no doubt that the G5 is a fantastic machine—fast as heck, beautiful, and, well, fast as heck. But the G5 form factor has one disadvantage over the G4 and G3 form factors: it is hard to add hard drives. You can purchase an after-market kit (http://www.wiebetech.com/pricing/WebPricing.htm#G5Jam) that lets you put up to four hard drives in your G5, but for a cheap MP3 server in your home nothing beats an older G4 or even G3. They are fast enough to run iTunes and OS X, and big enough inside to put in some serious storage drives.

For this hack, I am going to use an old blue and white G3 I have lying around. You can use the same kind of machine or any kind of G4, up to the latest models. In the past, I have installed four drives (which made for a total of five hard drives) in an old beige G3 and used that as an MP3 server for my house. However, Panther won’t run without using a third-party utility like Xpostfacto [Hack #23] , so a blue and white G3 or G4 is your best bet for this hack.

The first thing you need to do is get hold of some large, cheap hard drives. When the Mac lineup moved over to IDE hard drives from SCSI, suddenly Mac users had access to the same cheap drives that PC users use. This means you can go down to your local Best Buy, Circuit City, or other outlet ...

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