You don't need to have a monitor connected to Mini in order to use Screen Sharing. The only thing won't work in iTunes is Cover Flow. Everything else works fine.
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Failing this, you could just put iTunes on the laptop, but store the library for it on the Mac Mini and network them. I have I tunes on my Macbook Pro but keep all the music files on a Time Machine. To listen to them on my stereo system, I use an Airport Express. There are lots of ways to solve this problem.
Thanks for the thoughts. I don't want to stream my music files wirelessly. I'm planning on putting the Mini on my equipment rack, with an external Western Digital hard drive connected to it.
I do have iTunes on my MacBook now. I want to keep my MacBook on my lap, since I use it for work. I don't want to use it as my server, or put it on my rack.
Maybe picking up a used iPod Touch would be the best idea. I have a wireless network already and use my MacBook wirelessly.
With Leopard and Snow Leopard you just turn on Screening Sharing in the Sharing section of the System Preferences on the Mac Mini. Then you just connect to the mini in the Finder by clicking on the icon on the left then clicking the Screen Sharing button. you can also use the apple remote control to do simple things or use it with Front Row if you have your mini hooked up to a TV.
I use an ancient iBook (Clamshell...or as I refer to it, the Toilet Seat)laptop as a remote for my MacMini. I use remote accessing software called Timbuktu. The Timbuktu creates a desktop window for the Mini on my laptop. This is a software I've seen IT types use to remotely access other computers. My computer guru can use this remotely to access my system if I run into a problem beyond my scope. I also use this same software to monitor my child's computer activities, and remotely "adjust" things as necessary. I've found it to be seamless. I used this setup with my(now retired) beloved hotrod Blue & White G3....1.6TB (!) memory 4 years ago...as well.
Has anyone noticed a problem with "disappearing" CDs when importing CDs to the MacMini using screen sharing? I'll load a CD into macmini with autoripping set in itunes. The CD loads, shows on the desktop (that I see on my MacBook Pro using screen sharing to MacMini), then the CD "disappears" / unmounts. To continue I have to go into disc utility to mount the CD and then it rips fine. I thought it might be the optical drive etc. However new drive under warranty did not fix intermittent problem.
I recently tried the ripping process without screen sharing, just loading the CD in macmini - haven't had a CD disappear, auto ripping starts just fine on a consistent basis. So I "fixed" the problem but wonder if it is a screen share bug?
you really don't need timbuktu any longer with screen sharing. there are a few issues to think about if you use your mac mini as a server away from your work area/den. when you want to sync up you iphone/ipod/touch for itunes, you can't unless you hook them up to the server with itunes on it. i ended up copying songs to my den imac from the mac mini server so i can sync to my iphone. kind of a pain. same goes for storing pics on the server. i hook up my digital cards to my imac to import them into iphoto, then i have to copy them to the iphoto library on the mac mini. i am going to tackle the again this weekend.
also, there is a feature to wake the mac up from sleep mode thru the network. when i click on the remote icon on the iphone, it will wake the mac up from sleep mode so i can play itunes.