how to turn a late '09 mini on the cheap into some

I have a late '09 mini with 2 GB of RAM which I currently use in my living room with a wireless keyboard and trackpad. Plan to move it to my bedroom where my system is using a 10 meter DVI-HDMI cable to connect it to my TV in the living room (got such a cable laying around). Can use my trackpad/keyboard in my living room to control the mini for normal computer duties.

Since my budget is 500 hundred dollars max I would appreciate any suggestions.

Believe I need an internal SSD, external HD, a cheap USB-SPDIF converter and music software (PM and almarra too expensive I think) and finally something to control it, maybe an old IPAD 1.

Not sure all this can be had for 500 bucks though.

Would appreciate any inputs.

What's your DAC? Although a USB-SPDIF converter may give you the best results. you can start with TOSLINK directly out of the Mini, but get a good glass cable.

You can skip the SSD, which will save you a bunch. If your Mini will support it, suggest you add RAM.

BitPerfect is a very inexpensive playback software program that will get you started and you can get free trials of Audirvana, Pure Music and Amarra to play with.

iPad is great for controlling, but a cheaper solution could be a used iPod Touch.
Thanks Drubin. Maybe I skip the SSD until finances improve. A friend suggested to use Audirvana which to his ears sounds better than PM and is cheaper too. Will start to download the trial version.
He is selling his Hiface 1 Jkenny modded with external battery and charger for 200 bucks. This is a good starting point I guess. (don't have a USB DAC)
My mini accepts 4 GB max and this is the recommended size by Audirvana so I will add 2 GB.
Now I have to look for a used IPOD touch.
You can buy a Solid state Hybrid drive, its a big step over the conventional hard drives. It's not expensive.