Jeff has an online radio network that he runs on a series of Mac Minis. But he found a bug in the audio that's causing a whine. Leo says that it's likely from the digital-analog converter (DAC) chip that has failed. He recommends getting a USB DAC, rather than just paying to repair it. The quality audio will be better. But if he has Apple Care Plus, Apple will just replace the logic board.
Peter switched from one satellite company to another. On his old satellite receiver, he had an HDMI output he could run to his TV and RCA audio outputs that he could run to his outdoor speaker system. his new unit no longer has the RCA audio output. It has an AV Out, a 1010 round port, and a digital audio out. How can he convert the audio? Leo says he can get a little dongle that could convert either the digital audio out or even from the HDMI out. He would need an adapter that will strip the audio out of it.
John wants to know the best way to play music from his iPad to his older stereo equipment. Leo says that he'll need to convert the digital data to analog before connecting it with a digital to analog converter. There's a dock that Apple makes that connects through the 30 pin connector.
The other option is to get an Apple TV and use AirPlay to do it if his stereo is connected to the TV. But the easiest way is to just use the audio minijack and plug it into an auxiliary input on the stereo.
Joe has several high resolution audio downloads and would like to burn them to CD. He has an SACD player and also a DVD-A player, but he doesn't have a high resolution player like the Pono. Leo says that SACD and DVD audio were two formats created to deliver higher quality than CD. In most cases, it was for surround sound and other features, but it could be higher bit rate. But unless he could make that CD, the fact that he can play it back doesn't really help him here.
Brad has an Apogee duet professional sound card. He'd like to upgrade to a Duet 2, but there's other less expensive options out there. Leo says that professional audio is a very specialized niche market, which makes it hard to offer mainsteam options. He also says that while newer Macs have more speed, Firewire is dead now. Quality audio processing is key, and he recommends looking at a DAC from ApogeeDigital. Low latency is also important.