Hi, I'm glad you are enjoying Diretta, and I too am interested in the Mac mini target. What do I have to press on the keyboard to boot with the target USB plugged in, I have never booted Linux on a Mac. Please let me know.
Please follow the steps & screenshots below -
i) First, normally boot into your mac mini and make sure your bluetooth wireless Apple magic keyboard is connected to the mac mini's bluetooth as shown in the screenshots below. Make sure your keyboard is charged sufficiently and switched on. This will ensure that your Mac mini remembers connecting to this keyboard upon its next boot. You may skip this step if you are using a wired USB Windows keyboard
ii) now, shutdown your mac mini
iii) plug in your Diretta target USB to any one of the USB ports at the back of your mac mini. If you are using a wired USB Windows keyboard instead of an Apple Magic Keyboard, plug that in as well. Ensure nothing else is plugged into the USB port other than these two items
iv) now, press & release the power button of your mac mini to power it on and then immediately (within 1-2 seconds) press & hold the “option” key on the wireless Apple Magic keyboard or the “Alt” key on your wired Windows keyboard. You may hear the Apple startup sound (chime) as soon as the mac mini is powered on but never mind, just keep holding on to the “option” or “Alt” key until you see the startup manager screen with these two drives “Macintosh HD” & “EFI Boot” on your screen. A boot indicator “arrow” (pointing upwards) below “Macintosh HD” indicates it is the default boot drive for the mac mini. Refer the screenshots below.
v) “Macintosh HD” is your mac mini’s internal hard drive and it is setup as the default boot drive. Which means the mac mini will always boot straight into it when powered on or restarted unless manually changed (steps ahead)
vi) “EFI Boot” is your Diretta target USB drive. Use the right arrow key on your keyboard to select this drive. You will see that the boot indicator "arrow" has now jumped to this drive indicating it is now selected. Now press the “return” key on the Apple keyboard or “enter” on your Windows keyboard to boot your mac mini as Diretta Target. Refer to the screenshots below
vii) to shutdown - press and hold the power button for 5-10 seconds
To permanently enable mac mini to boot as Diretta target when powered on (for headless / keyboard less operation) follow the steps below -
i) follow the first 4 steps above to get onto the startup manager screen where you can see “Macintosh HD” and “EFI Boot” drives
ii) if you see the default boot indicator “arrow” is below “Macintosh HD”, then follow the next steps. (It is highly unlikely that you will find the “arrow” below “EFI Boot” because it needs to be manually setup as explained in the steps ahead. But if somehow see it below “EFI Boot” then your mac mini is already set up to boot straight from the USB drive and you don’t have to follow the steps ahead)
iii) now, in order to make the “EFI Boot” as the default boot drive, the boot indicator “arrow” must be permanently moved under it. While on the startup manager screen, press & hold the “control” key on your Apple Keyboard or “Ctrl” key on your wired Windows keyboard. It will change the shape of the “arrow” from straight (pointing upwards) to circular (pointing right) as you can see in the screenshots below
While holding the “control” or “Ctrl” key, use the arrow key on your keyboard to select the “EFI Boot” drive
The circular shaped “arrow” should now move under “EFI Boot” as below
Now release the “control” or “Ctrl” key and you will notice the that “arrow” now regain’s its original shape (pointing upwards)
The “EBI Boot” is now permanently setup as a default drive for your mac mini. Now press the “return” or “enter” key on your keyboard to boot the mac mini as Diretta target
Caution: powering on mac mini without the USB drive will reset the USB boot preference back to its default internal drive "Macintosh HD". You will have to repeat the steps again to make “EFI Boot” drive as default boot drive. Best is to leave the Diretta target USB drive permanently plugged in to the mac mini.
Please let me know if you encounter any issue. Diretta target boots within seconds when powered on for a headless / keyboard less operation.
Hope this helps!
Just wanted to state that I am extremely delighted with Diretta. Thank you Yasuhito san!
It has been in use very reliably over the last 5 months without a single click or pop or dropout. It is extremely easy to start & is ready to play very quickly. It is also immune to network or DAC/USB-bridge outages which means I never have to restart Diretta Target or Host if my network switch or the USB bridge is restarted. Extremely easy to update through the ALSA driver.
Needless to say how it sounds :-). One hint - with Diretta even Spotify now sounds better than how Qobuz / Tidal (through Audirvana) sounded without it. It's a very serious revelation, not anecdotal as I have done countless A-B auditions to say this publicly! My setup has transformed into a full scale orchestra because it plays like one now!
The current setup (both Host & Target sit headless in the system) -
1. Host is Intel NUC Windows 10 > Tenda 5 port switch with Cat 7 ethernet cable (about 60 cm long). Further improvement was heard when I replaced Tenda's basic power supply with a better quality PS. Players are - Audirvana & Roon Core (Local flies, Tidal & Qobuz). Spotify with VB Audio ASIO Bridge. ASIO bridge must be quit to release Diretta ALSA for Audirvana or Roon
2. Target is a Mac Mini late 2012 with Toshiba SLC external USB drive (overkill) > Tenda 5 port switch with Cat 7 ethernet cable (60cm long). Mac Mini has Uptone Audio mac mini conversion kit and powered by an external high quality LPS
The boot sequence in Mac Mini is defaulted to the external USB hence powering ON boots it straight into Diretta Target. I always wait a minute after powering on the rest of the system (primarily the USB bridge). Shutting down is either by pressing & holding the power button for a few seconds or even directly switching off the mac mini's LPS. The USB drive or the Target software hasn't crashed yet!
So far - not one problem whatsoever. In the last 4-5 years of using all kinds of PC based transports, Diretta has turned out to be the most reliable & stable of them all. Totally uninterrupted music and no longer bothered about any more improvement.
Those who use Gentooplayer as Target (either running on a RPi or any mac / PC in UEFI mode), I must add that the stability of Diretta Target solely relies on the USB Bridge / DAC's own driver stability. I understand that support for Linux environment is also quite limited at this stage but you don't really need it if you use one of the latest USB Bridge / USB DAC. My old Gustard U12 and Matrix SPDIF 2 works flawlessly but it did not with my custom Tube based USB Bridge which uses a troublesome driver if not obsolete. Thankfully it has acclimatised with my mac mini.
Sound (my subjective experience) - when using Intel NUC or RPi as Diretta Target, the musicality is quite high but the bass feels a bit rounded. With mac mini the presentation is more deeper though it isn't as musical as the NUC. Its like splitting hair really.
Fun fact- you can connect multiple USB Bridges / DACs to a single Diretta Target machine and select them in the ALSA. This is useful if you have a two or three different systems in one place for different moods / genre!
Get Diretta and start listening to music finally!
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