Apple quietly released a revision to the Mac Mini this morning while updating the online store. The new version features a new unibody Aluminum enclosure for the Mac Mini, a slimmed profile, and best of all HDMI — making it the first Mac with a native HDMI port.
I had been contemplating getting a Mac Mini to replace my aging Apple TV at home and to offer us the capability of watching NetFlix or Hulu directly on our TV. I had found dongle cables to offer video and audio to HDMI on the last revision of Mac Mini and was just waiting primarily on our house build to get going to see how our money looked as we were finishing the project. I have been trying to be very good about my technology purchases – since I felt like we had higher priorities.
And today, I am glad we waited. I hope to add a new Mac Mini to our collection at home soon as our media Mac – our home base for iTunes content and photos. I still feel like I need to wait, but my wishlist of Apple products keeps growing… An iPad, a new iPhone 4 and now add a Mac Mini. I also want to replace my aging iMac with a new version for video editing…
The biggest issue with the Mac Mini media “server” I see going forward is software, given today’s hardware revision. I had blogged before (here and here) about wanting some of the iTunes capabilities brought over to iPhoto – to be able to setup a library and have all my photos automatically push up to it and to be able to pull down photos easily in iPhoto from a central library.
I’ve mentioned my friend before with the agency, and good photo management is a problem that they have in their all Mac environment. They currently have their photos on a file share, but iPhoto is much better solution since you could add keywords and ratings and all the other metadata that iPhoto allows. But this same need applies to the multi-Mac home.