I am moving into a new home and am looking to create a new setup to stream audio (and video, if possible) to 2 locations in my house (can be wired or wirless):
a) a Home Theater setup in the basement. My current receiver is not networkable. Not averse to getting a new one.
b) a receiver on the first floor which is hardwired to speakers in the ceiling of every room of the house. There are volume switches on the wall in each room (and on the back deck).
I currently have a ReadyNAS Duo with 2-1TB drives and all my music (and videos and documents) on it. Playlists are not currently backed up there. I like the Duo but am not adverse to getting a new NAS if it will make this easier. I've never had any luck with the iTunes server option - computers take too long to read the library (I have something like 30,000 music files).
I'm willing to get new receivers (DNLA/UPnP compatible or whatever) or a new TV if that will make this easier.
I'm also open to standalone boxes which you hook up the receiver (like Sonos, I think?).
I'd prefer not to go bankrupt, but getting a system that is intuitive for myself (and my wife!) to use is necessary. I'll spend what I have to.
Here are my requirements:
1) Select and play music from anywhere in the house (over WiFi or 3G, I don't care) using an iPhone or Android device. I don't want to have to use a special, separately-purchased remote or a program running on a PC or Mac just to play music.
2) I do NOT want to have a PC on at all times to stream content (it looks like Synology's Audio Station requires this, but I'm not sure). This should all be done directly from the NAS.
3) Good UI. Being able to select a playlist and shuffle it from my phone is key. It would also be nice to be able to easily search for a song and play it at a moment's notice (I've heard some devices have terrible UIs which make searching really difficult).
4) Creation of playlists. I currently have playlists on my PC which I'd like to be able to access from anywhere. It's OK if I have to move (or even recreate) these playlists onto my NAS, though a simple export option would be nice. Still, I'm probably going to modify playlists on my PC at some point, so then I would need some kind of solution to sync playlists between the two. In other words, if I add a song to a playlist on my PC, I would like that somehow reflected on the NAS playlist without a lot of extra effort.
5) Just a note, I currently have my music files manually organized into folders. I'm moving towards using the "comment" field to sort files into playlists, so if I have to modify my folder structure (like iTunes' stupid "keep my music organized" option), that's OK. Smart playlists (i.e., a playlist that automatically includes any file with the words "[top][classic rock]" in the comment field) would be perfect.
Any recommendations would really be appreciated! I've looked at Synology devices, Sonos and a couple others and just don't know if I'll be able to do what I'm looking for.
Thanks very much!