View Full Version : New to MAC

25th December 2013, 07:40 AM
Morning all,

New to MAC latest 27 wow what a great screen, have had phone pad for years.

On the fence sure i will get it with a bit of knowledge from the guy and girls in the know.

1. Have a lot of media on windows PC want to keep it as a server for MAC, Windows 7 and boxebox.
So far i have logged on from my MAC to the PC with IP Finder/GO/connect to server, this is very slow on opening the files and have to logon every time you restart PC or MAC (not hard i know but I am in the NAVY and my partner is not that great with PC let alone MAC's). Is there a better way ?

2. When loading programs VLC or Skipe you get a HDD show up on the side can i install them to the launchpad ?

3. Any NZBS users, what Prog to you use?

4. Is there a way to get apple TV to play MKV?

Thanks for any help.


25th December 2013, 09:47 AM
Welcome to the Macintosh, mate. I gather you mean you have a 27" iMac. Is that right? I just bought a new one a few weeks ago, upgrading from an older model. Love em. Hmm... you don't mind the glossy screen reflections then? They are bit of a pain but avoidable when controlled with no direct lighting.

As for your Mac <-> PC communications.... I've no clues on that. I have a gaming PC but became totally exasperated trying to figure out how to make then talk to each other with file sharing and exchange. They just don't sit well together on the same network, and I am no network guru. Mine's a Mac network and the PC sticks out like an alien sore thumb. Nothing seems to stick on the PC... get it communicating today and it's buggered tomorrow. Might just be me. lol.

One hurdle we have is that the MacOS cannot read the PC's NTFS files system. Something about Microsoft not allowing NTFS compatibility in the Mac OS. It can be done however by installing a piece of 3rd-party software on the Mac. I have forgotten what it is called. The name should be easily found by googling.

The Launchpad? Any app (legally) installed in the Applications folder should automatically get an icon in the Launchpad. The Launchpad shows ONLY your applications and utilities, nothing else.

Your drives, storages and members of the network don't and won't show in Launchpad. Those are Finder items only. Enable the sidebar in Finder windows to access all the drives on your Mac and on the network. You can if you want have them permanently on the desktop as well. Set that in Finder Preferences. In my experience, I can' t do without having my drives and network connections sitting on the desktop. Old habits die hard.

Oh and just a thought. My entertainment server is a very diminutive Mac mini sitting on the TV console and using the TV as its monitor. A very neat solution.

Btw, the content on the Apple TV is American and mostly inaccessible by Australians unless you have an account over there. We are all desperate for some Australian content like iView and so on. My Apple TV is used only for YouTube these days. Luck with that.

Take care and have a good holiday season, Sector 5.


25th December 2013, 10:15 AM
Welcome to Mac.

1. Networking

It can be difficult to wrap your head around. Once you get it sorted, it should pretty much work. There's a few things to get straight though. First up, the computers need to share a common network - if they all share the same Internet connection then you're pretty much good to go on this. Next, they need some common security settings. Security on a computer is mostly down to user permissions. If you use the same username and password on your Mac and your PC they'll most likely figure it out and talk to each other. Finally, they need to know what to share. Be default, Windows has some public folders but you may want to share other folders that contain your media. When you do, be aware that you'll probably need to tell Windows who (which users) can access those shared folders.

That's the basics in a nutshell.

Take your time and build up one bit after the other and you'll probably be OK.

2. Installing Software

A Mac is totally different to Windows when it comes to installing software. In fact, much of the time. There isn't actually an install at all. For example, when you download VLC you'll end up with a .dmg file in your Downloads folder. You can double click that .dmg file and you'll see VLC right there. You can run it right from there too. But you probably want to copy that VLC into your Applications folder so you can easily find it again. Once you've done that, you can eject the VLC "disk". The disk is just an open archive file in reality.

Anything you copy to your Applications folder will automatically appear in Launchpad too.

3. NZB's

There's plenty of choices out there. I leave that task to my Synology NAS but have previously used NZBVortex which is on the Mac App Store (free).

4. Play MKV

The Apple eco-system pretty much revolves around the MP4 format for video. If you're going to want your media on Apple gear (iMac, iPhone, iPad, etc) you'll probably benefit from converting your media to that format. It's just easier that way.

A potential work-around would be to explore using Plex. This is a media server that has clients for various operating systems and there's a way to view Plex content on an AppleTV. The bonus with Plex is that it will transcode as it plays to suit the client it's playing on. This transcode process can suck some performance at the server end so unless you've got a moderately capable Plex server, you'll probably find it better in the long run to move to saving files in MP4 anyway.

Hope that helps.


25th December 2013, 11:24 AM
NZBVortex gets a huge thumbs up from me. It is regularly updated and just works flawlessly. I can't ever recall having problems with mkv files on our ATV (3). Have a look at using Beamer or SilverScreen to play them from your computer to your ATV (or what about just using AirPlay?). :)

25th December 2013, 01:23 PM
Is NZBVortex better than using Unison with its built in nzb recognition? And Dave, you must have been lucky. Its not free now, $10.49 after 50% off for Christmas.

25th December 2013, 04:00 PM
MKV shouldn't actually be a problem as it should play naively on the Apple TV, what happens if you drag the MKV file in to iTunes? Does it get added to the library?

I've put literally hundreds of MKV files in to iTunes over the last year or and had no real issues.

If you are seriously going to use iTunes/Apple TV and add media regularly I'd strongly suggest an application like iFlicks for tagging. Version 2 has just come out so the older 1.2 version is now free from the App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/iflicks/id408937559?mt=12)

25th December 2013, 06:34 PM
Hmm, now you mention it, I may have paid for NZBVortex. Either way, very happy with it's capabilities.


27th December 2013, 08:00 AM
MKV shouldn't actually be a problem as it should play naively on the Apple TV, what happens if you drag the MKV file in to iTunes? Does it get added to the library?

I've put literally hundreds of MKV files in to iTunes over the last year or and had no real issues.

errrr.... are you sure? iTunes/AppleTV plays mp4 and m4v natively but its never responded to mkv for me. Thats why I have retained my AppleTV2, with a jailbreak and ATV Flash (Black)

27th December 2013, 01:32 PM
I use iFlicks to tag the media and leave the input video type set as "iTunes compatible" and have never had an issue when adding mkv files which is why I assume that they just work.

Perhaps iFlicks is doing a bit of trickery in the background, but the file is added almost immediately which makes me things that there is no conversion taking place.

** update ** it does appear that iFlicks does some form of conversion (albeit very very quickly) and since it is free at the moment and tags media wonderfully I'd highly recommend it. Even it the auto tagging doesn't fit your needs the ability to manually tag and add cover art makes it worthwhile.

1st January 2014, 07:07 PM
Network is working well set up 2 NAS today RSS feeding NBZ.S to windows media PC working well can download from my phone now