I've searched google and the forums here and have yet to see a consistent answer / how to; I'm hoping you guys may be able to finally put this question to bed for me.
What I'd like to do:
1. Have a single library of music on a server (this can be a simple CIFS / NFS share or iTunes)
2. Stream music to multiple zones from the server
2b. Stream the same song to multiple zones (in sync)
2c. stream different songs to different zones at the same time.
3. Have everything controllable / selectable via iPhone / iPad without having to VNC into the server or walk over to the server
Currently the "server" is a mac mini with external RAID attached (this is powered on at all times (although i'd prefer to get wake on lan working correctly)). This mac also streams MKV's to the home theatre running Boxee.
Video is currently setup and working fine. The audio distribution is where i need help.
I was originally thinking that I would run an Airport Expresses or AppleTV as the endpoint for each audio zone. I'd hook each one up to an audiosource amp to power 2 in ceiling speakers per zone.
What isn't clear to me is if i have 3 appleTVs connected to a single mac mini if i can accomplish 2c above.
I also can't find an answer to 3. Once the ATVs are setup, can i not have any video output connected and still be able to select content using the remote app on an iphone?
Is there another way to do this? Basically i just want to use an iOS device to select music off of a server and decide where in the house it will be played (including different songs simultaneously in different rooms). I looked at Sonos, but really don't want to have to do $500 / zone since i want to use my own speakers. With simple 2 channel amps in the $50-100 range and ATVs at $99 each, $200 / zone is much more attractive.
Networking wise, everything is wireable, so i don't need to worry much about saturating the wifi network.
Thanks in advance for the help guys.