two computers, one set of speakers


Last year I got myself a third monitor and a Mac mini. Up until then i’d been selling the idea dual monitors. Is two enough? It depends what you’re doing. All i can say is that i make use of all 3 monitors and two computers. Yesterday i reinstalled windows and today i made some more tweaks to my workflow…

Two computers, one set of speakers. Help.

I’ve noticed that i play more and more youtube videos these days. I now use youtube to listen to music more so than grooveshark or my own offline library. This time last year, broadband speeds were unstable so the idea of using youtube as a music service just wouldn’t have crossed my mind.

However it’s legal, it’s constantly updated and you get the benefit of video. I’ve always wondered why Google / Youtube didn’t become a music service and compete with iTunes and if i were to bet on it, i’d say they will in time. Streaming music is where it’s at mainly because people are lazy and don’t like copying /pasting / downloading constantly. That’s the main reason why music streaming services will work, in time. Laziness. Music takes time to download & organise. On the internet, all of that is done for you.

Day 041/365 - The Second Circle of Hell: SlothCreative Commons License photo credit: Great Beyond

I have a google account so i’m signed in to youtube if i’m signed in to google. It’s easy to create playlists and browse new music so it’s the perfect music streaming service even though that’s not what it’s supposed to be.

Anyway, typically i’ll have a youtube window open somewhere (for the purpose of playing music). That will be open on one of my two PC monitors. It’s a distraction and it’s a waste of resources (i admit) but the only reason i have it open on my PC and not my Mac Mini is because the Mac Mini isn’t hooked up to my speakers, or wasn’t until today.

My Mac Mini usually has Tweetdeck open and Google Chrome for random research / exploring links in twitter. Any ‘work’ or ‘creating’ is all done on my PC. Editing photos, designing, uploading videos / photos / blogging etc… is all done on my PC. I still consider my PC ‘home’ although if i had to bank on one system working smoothly day after day, it would be the Mac.

It’s easier to just let you see all this for yourself, so i recorded some video of 3 youtube videos playing simultaneously all in full screen and all audio coming through my single surround sound system.

In order to achieve this, i needed to connect this audio jack;

audio jack

To here on the mac mini (headphone jack);

3.5mm jack

And here on my PC’s soundcard (line in);

3.5mm jack

Simple as that. Well, not quite (things are never as simple as that!)… Out of the box, that didn’t work and i had to install some drivers for my soundcard, but after a bit of tweaking, audio now sounds better than ever so my Mac Mini is officially my music player device (running youtube playlists constantly).  It means my PC is clutter free and distraction free. Twitter, Facebook & Youtube are distractions but they’ll now all be running in the background on the Mac which allows me to focus / work more.

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