To slightly rephrase the question, should it be necessary to disable HD sleep in the Energy Saver pane as a means to maintain a live wi-fi connection as the computer becomes idle and enters sleep?
Here's what prompts the question: I am attempting to make use of the open-source "Hermes" and the App Store "HD Radio for Pandora" to stream music. Everything is fine until I walk away from the computer. Shortly thereafter, usually about 7-12 minutes later, the Pandora app will get through the last song in the buffer and cease playback. When I return to the MacBook the System reports that the app has crashed. Each of the stand-alone Pandora apps I've tried has produced the same crashlog results. The log cites the main apple thread, another containing the words "Audio toolbox" and a remote/sharing process.
I have reinstalled El Cap over the existing install after a lot of effort to troubleshoot, including renewing the DHCP lease, uninstalling my antivirus protection, trashing Power Management, Bluetooth, sharing, wi-fi and system config prefs, turning off file sharing, etc. Despite reinstalling the OS, the problem remains.
I don't have issues staying connected to wi-fi as a rule, and another Mac on the same network runs these same apps under Snow Leopard and El Capitan, respectively, with no issues streaming audio while idle/sleeping. The disconnect/crash problem occurs consistently, however, on my mid-2012 MacBook Pro whether on a wired (ethernet) connection or wi-fi. I'm not sure what other troubleshooting steps to take to enable either one of these Pandora apps to work. Any pointers will be much appreciated!