The MacBook Air does not have an optical digital output from its mini jack. However, I do use a 2011 MacBook Air with an external USB to SPDIF converter (Audiophilleo2) and it works great. The built in SSD on the Macbook Air makes it a great transport for HD Audio. I use an external Firewire drive connected using Apple's Thunderbolt to Firewire adaptor.
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