Multiple zone touchscreen jukebox - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-10-2012, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm wanting to set up a "Jukebox" in my house but with a twist. I'd like to be able to control zones with it. As it is right now, I have a Denon 3311 in a rack in the basement along with a NAS with music on it. I have 2 zones. I have a set of speakers going in the garage, and another set outside by my pool. I use a app on my iPhone right now to control the denon, so if I am out by the pool, I can turn on my pool zone and then select the source to play..(tuner, or Pandora radio or Music from my NAS) The same goes for my Garage Zone. What I would like to do, is to set up a touch screen jukebox instead.

I've got a ELO 0700L touch screen monitor along with a rackmount 1U server running windows 7 that I built awhile back and never used. The touch screen monitor is a 7" LCD. I'd love to mount one in the Garage, and a second by the door going out to the pool and connect it to my server in my rack and purchase some sort of jukebox software to run on the server for the front end. From there I'm guessing the audio outputs on the PC would need to connect to some sort of multi zone Amplifier that would feed out to the speakers for however many zones I wanted.

Is there any jukebox software that will handle controlling multiple zones?

I know there it proprietary hardware out there that will do all this but I'd love to make use of my hardware (monitors, and server running my software of choice). I guess the only thing I would need now is the multi zone amp assuming this is possible?


Ideas? suggestions?

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I created a build thread HERE, but I don't think I ever finished updating it.

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post #2 of 23 Old 05-10-2012, 05:29 PM
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You've got a very capable touchscreen with the iPhone running the remote app....IF....you use iTunes. I have seven zones of audio and video using an iPhone, an iPad2 and an iTouch as remote interfaces. For media, I built a basic PC with 4TB of storage running just iTunes and a few other apps as well as ripping and encoding software. For two of the zones, I use Audiosource amps with signal sensin
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post #3 of 23 Old 05-10-2012, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

You've got a very capable touchscreen with the iPhone running the remote app....IF....you use iTunes. I have seven zones of audio and video using an iPhone, an iPad2 and an iTouch as remote interfaces. For media, I built a basic PC with 4TB of storage running just iTunes and a few other apps as well as ripping and encoding software. For two of the zones, I use Audiosource amps with signal sensin

I use a AudioSource AMP-100 to power my 2 zones as well, but I dont see anyway for a windows 7 computer to tell the audiosource amp to turn on, and go to the pool zone or garage zone whenever I want to play something.

What remote app are you using on your iphone and ipad?

Right now on the iphone I use a app call DeRemote to control the Denon and turn zones on or off and it works well. I guess I'm just looking for something with a better User Interface. Something that I could flush mount in the wall that would pull song information and album art down like most of the Jukebox software thats out there. I just havent been able to find any that will handle zones. That seems to be my only hurdle at the moment.

In a perfect world, The juke box software would have a nice interface (most of all of them do that ive seen anyway) and when you start the software up, you could press on the screen to select your zone....ie "Garage Zone" or "All Zones", and then press the source that you want those zones to play and then it ( "it" being the windows PC) would tell your multizone amp which zone outputs should be turned on and you pick your song and off you play.

I've found a lot of Jukebox apps that do just that, except they only play to one single zone. Actually I take that back. I did find one piece of software that allowed you to select your zone..I dont rememeber the name of it at the moment. I got excited when I found it and started reading more about it. The problem is, for it to work properly, you've got to purchase their $500 dollar front end jukebox application, and then also buy their $2,000 dollar NAS and 6 zone amplifier. I've already got a 10TB NAS, and I'm not totally against paying a decent amount for software that works like it should, but 2,000 dollars is way more than I want to pay to implement a whole home audio installation when I've already got the the PC, the Storage, and speakers..

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I created a build thread HERE, but I don't think I ever finished updating it.

See my album for finished pictures.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-11-2012, 12:55 AM
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My amps are connected to Airport Expresses. When I start the remote app on my iPad/phone/touch, the AirPlay Icon appears and when tapped, a pop box opens showing all the available zones which are named.....yard front/yard back/ media room/bedroom/home theater/living room. What's also on the screen is my entire iTunes library of music,movies, etc. All titles have complete cover art and everything is searchable by title, artist, genre,etc. when I select a zone connected to the Audiosource amps, the amps remote turn on senses the I put signal and...turns on. After no music for about 5 mins or so...they simply turn off.

Now there's a few things this system can't do, and that's choose multiple sources for playback in select zones. Some examples
Let's say you want to listen to Pink Floyd in the back yard. You simply select the zone and the album, set the volume and enjoy. Now if I want to go to the front yard as a separate zone, I can turn that zone on and listen to the same source in both zones or turn off the back yard and listen only in the front. What I can't do is listen to pink Floyd in the front and Led Zeppelin in the back. Inside the house, things are a bit more flexible as most of those zones use Apple TV's. Those zones CAN be used just like the Airport zones using the iDevice and the remote AirPlay app, going from room to room to listen to music OR the Apple TVs can access content directly via their remotes and the on- screen menu of their connected displays. In this case, different source material can be played in those zones, independent of what's in the AirPlay zones. I might add that all zones will also accept direct Airplay streams from Apps like Pandora, LastFM, Spotify, etc.

The multi source,multi zone touchscreen system you mention is obviously available, but very expensive and rightfully so. There's quite a few systems to choose from from some top names in custom audio installations,....Crestron, Niles, etc. you COULD set one up DIY but for the most part, it's all hardwiring with multi zone amps, triggers and source switching. If you really need that level of performance, go for it. For me, the Apple/AirPlay network hasn't left me wanting yet.
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-11-2012, 07:41 AM
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Have you looked into Sonos? I have a 4 zone setup and when I first got it I was amazed how easy it was to setup and how well it works with no hiccups. It's incredibly reliable and you can have music playing in sync in all zones or each zone can independently play their own music.

All music is controlled by their iOS/Android app (love the iPad app) and you can stream local music stored on a NAS or connect to most streaming services (Spotify, Pandora, MOG, Sirius, Rdio, Rhapsody, etc )
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-11-2012, 01:09 PM
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Forgot about Sonos.......another great alternative

Hey Greg.....that'll playback from a NAS as well so the PC doesn't need to be on?
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-11-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

Forgot about Sonos.......another great alternative

Hey Greg.....that'll playback from a NAS as well so the PC doesn't need to be on?

Exactly, you don't need to have a dedicated PC to be on all the time if you have already have a NAS. I currently have a WHS v1 in my basement that Sonos connects to for local content plus I use Spotify. The wife loves it. Going to be adding another zone soon for the bathroom. That's another thing with Sonos is that you can add future zones down the road so its not too much of a financial hit when you first setup.
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-11-2012, 03:12 PM
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Not sure how much work you want to have to put into the set up on this but there is some interesting stuff you can do with Xlobby. It is an older product now but you can still use the free version and accomplish this type of set up.

See this for link for an explanation of how this user created 7 zones in his house using two 7 channel audio cards and a couple 6 ch amps. It is all controlled through an xlobby front end.

http://sites.google.com/site/maycreates/music-server
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-11-2012, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I have looked at Sonos briefly and I was kind of turned off at the fact that I had to add a ZP90 to each room that I wanted a zone in and I mooved on and started looking at other stuff.

With that said I think I'm leaning more to one (that I mentioned being so expensive in my previous post) called CasaTunes and instead of purchasing their amp/controller, I've found a 4 zone amp made by Russound that casatunes list as being a compatible amp with their software. The only thing I would need to buy would be the software and their proprietary PCI card that would go in the windows server and it has 6 outputs on it for each zone. (http://www.casatunes.com/media/catal...ToolsXLi_2.jpg)

I'm still undecided though. I found a multi zone Russound amp for about $350 dollars but the expensive stuff is the software ($500) and the PCI express card which goes for a whopping $750!!!! I'm still looking for other options, but it does do everything I want like the ability to use a LCD touch screen to control each zone in the house which would be great to mount in the kitchen or living room and it has a iphone and ipad app, or you can use the decora keypads and put a keypad in each room with a zone to control that zone.

Anyone have any experience with Casatunes or messed around with it?

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I created a build thread HERE, but I don't think I ever finished updating it.

See my album for finished pictures.
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-11-2012, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhcf23 View Post

Not sure how much work you want to have to put into the set up on this but there is some interesting stuff you can do with Xlobby. It is an older product now but you can still use the free version and accomplish this type of set up.

See this for link for an explanation of how this user created 7 zones in his house using two 7 channel audio cards and a couple 6 ch amps. It is all controlled through an xlobby front end.

http://sites.google.com/site/maycreates/music-server






Awesome...this looks very promising. I will give this a read when I get home from work in just a bit!!!!!!

Thanks!

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I created a build thread HERE, but I don't think I ever finished updating it.

See my album for finished pictures.
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-01-2012, 12:00 PM
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mayhem13,
you mentioned Pandora, LastFM, Spotify to each zone,

-do this also include rhapsody?
-are you using an app or the website for each of these services?
-how do you select music to the zones for the above services.....the itunes remote lets you choose which expresses / ATV's to play to, from within the app, how does this compare to using these services

thanks

Capall
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-01-2012, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capaill View Post

mayhem13,
you mentioned Pandora, LastFM, Spotify to each zone,

-do this also include rhapsody?
-are you using an app or the website for each of these services?
-how do you select music to the zones for the above services.....the itunes remote lets you choose which expresses / ATV's to play to, from within the app, how does this compare to using these services

thanks

Rhapsody is also an available App. I use the appropriate App which are available for the iPad,Phone and Touch. When you select the AirPlay Icon, all of the available playback devices or zones appear. Each is name able....I use the room or application each is in.....Theater, Bedroom, Living, Yard, etc. You can't listen to different content in different zones, but ATV zones can playback from iTunes library independent of the other zones.
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-04-2012, 11:38 AM
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Hi mayhem13, if I understand correctly the rhapsody app you're referring to is a "remote for rhapsody" app, to control the rhapsody client on the PC, correct?, and has airplay integrated into it, just like the "remote for itunes" apps?

I just did a search for the app and can't seem to find it. Their website seems to only show apps that will stream to your phone

thanks

Capall
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post #14 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 05:16 PM
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Hi Zac851,

Just to let you know our CasaTunes XLi comes with the software, you do not have to buy it seperately from the card. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Wade
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-07-2012, 05:41 PM
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Q for casa, are you able to link/sync 2 XLI PCI cards together to extend more than 6 zones?

Capall
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post #16 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 11:26 AM
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One way to get over 6 zones would be to upgrade to an XLe. If you already have an XLi we can do some sort of a discount on the XLe. Just shoot us an e-mail or a call and we can help you out with this. Another way will be in our next software release. Soon you will be able to add more zones via Airplay speakers such as Apple TV's, Airport Expresses, AVR's integrated with AirPlay and speakers that are built with AirPlay technology. You will also be able to push apps(Pandora,MOG, iHeart radio, etc...) via airplay from any iOS device to any wired or wireless room(or multiple rooms) in your house. We will basically work as an airplay switch, all seamlessly in our software.

Let me know if you need anything else,
Wade
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post #17 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 12:10 PM
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the airplay integration that sounds great, and will you have apps for iphones/ipads that will be able to control the zones?

Capall
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post #18 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 01:59 PM
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The apps we already have will work with the extra zones!
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post #19 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 02:23 PM
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I'm referring to airplay zones, from with the app

Capall
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post #20 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 04:10 PM
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Yes, the airplay zones will show up in our app and be controllable just like the wired zones. As for an app like pandora you will be able to push it to any of our zones on our system and control the volume through pandoras app as wll as our own.
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post #21 of 23 Old 06-08-2012, 04:54 PM
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sounds great, can you explain briefly whats the reason for the big increase in cost between the Xli (6 zones) and the XLe (for 12 zones), it looks like there's 2 XLi cards in the XLe box, but the price is just over 3x higher
thanks

Capall
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post #22 of 23 Old 06-09-2012, 09:42 AM
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Autonomic Controls MMS music servers are wonderful and without all of the tinkering... just enjoy the music anywhere and any time ;-). I love my MMS-2
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post #23 of 23 Old 06-11-2012, 10:27 AM
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Here are a few reason why the XLe costs more than the XLi: It is expandable to up to 48 rooms, has trigger outputs and inputs, works with some paging and muting systems and is able to use up to 9 sources of music for playback compared to 5 on the XLi. One other reason is that manufacturing costs are quite a bit greater due to the exterior chassis and its components. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Thank you,
Wade
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