A Mac makes a great LMS / Squeezebox server. It's easy to install and maintain the software, and in a well-ventilated location the hardware will run 24/7 without complaint. This whole project should take no more than about 20 minutes if you know your way around a Mac, a bit longer if you're a Mac newbie, but this project definitely qualifies as "easy".

Choose your Mac

Just about any Mac can be used as a music server, but two common choices are Mini and Macbook. 

  • A Mac Mini, new or old, is a good choice, as it is small, quiet and relatively energy efficient. Once everything is set up you can hide it away somewhere and run it headless, that is, without any screen, keyboard or mouse attached. Then you can position it almost anywhere, providing it can be connected to your LAN. 
  • A Macbook or Macbook Pro also works well. It can be positioned in your listening space without the clutter of a separate screen, keyboard or mouse, and has more than enough power to run a server without stress.

Prepare your Mac

  1. If you are building a server that will be your primary source of music, running 24/7, you might want to give it a static IP address. This will make it easy to find it for remote access through the web interface. (Players can find the server even with a dynamic address!) You can set up a static IP in System Preferences / Network / Advanced: change the Configure box to manual and enter an IP address in the range your router uses. Alternatively you can set your browser to give it a 'forever' lease.
  2. Also set the sleep settings to whatever is appropriate for the way you plan to use the server. If you want it to be up and running 24 hours, then go to System Preference / Energy Saving and set Computer Sleep to 'Never'. If you want to save some energy you can let it go to sleep, but be sure to set the switch 'Wake for Network Access'. 
  3. Decide where you're going to store your music. Your library can be located on the server's internal hard drive, or, if you need more space, on a connected USB drive. (In theory you could even use a network drive, but this would effectively double the traffic across your network, which might not be a good idea.) Create your empty music folders now. If you like you can copy all of your old library into those folders now, so that the server can start indexing them immediately it's up and running.
  4. If you plan to run the server headless, or even if you just plan to do all your ripping on a different machine, then set up your music library folder(s) as shared folders so you can copy new music files from another machine. Do this in System Preferences / Sharing.
  5. We recommend a wired connection for your Squeezebox server, rather than wireless, but wireless can sometimes work just fine too, providing you don't overload it. If you do want to use wireless, test it in your proposed location before making a final decision. 

Install the server software.

The following installation notes apply to LMS Version 7.9.0. installed on El Capitan. 7.9.0 should also work on earlier versions of OS/X but older hardware/software combinations may not work so well, so you may have to experiment with an earlier version. Version 7.7.5 is the latest available on the Logitech website and it is reported to be stable on all OS/X versions from 10.5 to 10.11.

The process for installation is pretty much the same for all recent versions. This entire installation process should take less than 15 minutes.

  1. Go to http://www.mysqueezebox.com/download for the most recent Logitech version. Or to http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/ for more recent community versions. Click the appropriate file to download it. 
  2. When the download is complete, find the .dmg you just downloaded, and double click on it.
  3. Double click on the .pkg file to start the installation process. Follow the instructions, it's a standard install process. 
  4. When the installation is finished you will see the Logitech Media Server System control panel. The server will start automatically.
  5. There - it's up and running. That was easy! But there's more to do ... 
  6. For more information about the control panel, which is now available as an icon in your Mac's System Preferences, see Note (2) below. Using the LMS control panel, you can carry out the initial setup, as follows ... 
  7. If this is a dedicated machine that will run the server all the time, then in the Status tab, choose "Automatically start server when system boots".
  8. Now move to the Library tab, and tell the server where to find the music you want to use. The server will already have chose some defaults which may work for you, otherwise use the +/- button to add and delete locations as needed.
  9. Also in the Library tab, you can change the Library Name to something recognizable, and change the location for storing playlists if the default isn't what you want.
  10. The Account tab is where you enter your MySqueezebox.com credentials. 
  11. The Advanced tab is where you control scanning and rescanning. If you have made changes to your library location and the server was partway through a scan, then you should select "Clear library and rescan everything" to make a fresh start. 
  12. That's it. Your new server is up and running on the network, it knows what music you want to serve, and your players can access it. You can safely close the control panel and LMS will continue to run in background until you choose to stop it, which you can do from the Status tab in the control panel.
  13. You don't need to use the control panel. If you prefer you can control and manage the server from any machine on the LAN through a web browser interface: just navigate to the server's IP address, port :9000.

Note (1) 

If the current version doesn't work on your older Mac and you want to find an older version of the software then check the release notesOlder versions can be downloaded at slimdevices.com

Note (2)

The LMS control panel is accessed via an icon in your Mac's System Preferences. You can get to it any time my clicking on the Apple icon / System Preferences / Logitech Media Server. As with any instance of LMS, you can reach the web interface control panel across the LAN using your browser. Use the IP address of the Mac, plus port :9000. For example http://192.168.123.123:9000.


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