Want to play my music library on outdoor speakers. Help needed! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-21-2013, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's what I have:
Some outdoor speakers on the patio connected to the 2nd zone of my Marantz SR5005 receiver.
Half a terabyte of high quality mp3s on an external hard drive
A spare computer
An android smartphone (and old iphone)
A baby on the way and not a lot of money to play with (just did a serious upgrade to the 2-channel/HT in the living room)
Time to mess around with wiring and setup

Here's what I want:
To sit on my patio and browse/play my library of mp3s on the outdoor speakers on my patio, preferably using my smartphone or laptop as the "remote"


I'm hoping you music server guys can help me out here. I really have NO clue what I need to accomplish this goal. I have a pretty good understand of home networks and computers if that helps.

Do I have all of the hardware I need? Is there a simple/inexpensive solution to this problem? Any/all help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-21-2013, 07:46 PM
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If you use WinAmp as your music player, there is an android app that will allow you to control the player through WiFi. This is what I use for this exact situation. I have my PC connected to my receiver with a 3.5mm to RCA cable. Simple and didn't cost me anything since I already had the RCA cable.

This is probably not the best solution, but it is certainly inexpensive. I am interested in hearing alternative solutions.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-22-2013, 01:26 AM
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I use unified remote on my phone and google music, or Pandora, or iTunes from my htpc.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-23-2013, 01:58 AM
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There are many solutions. XBMC is popular as a music library server and for playback, and my favorite is foobar2000. There are excellent android apps for both. However, most of the good ones work best if the computer is directly connected to your receiver. If you can use the spare computer as a host then you're golden. You will want to use an analog output from the PC, as only analog inputs are accepted to be played out Zone 2.

The above can be accomplished with what you have, with perhaps a minor expense for a cable. Another excellent option is to look for a used Logitech Squeezebox to stream music from computer to receiver over your LAN, which also has a great android app. But this will force you to drop some coin.

Is the Marantz a networked receiver?

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post #5 of 13 Old 05-23-2013, 04:38 AM
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I have used XBMC in this manner and the android interface is really good for music, IMO. I assume you likely want to run your PC "headless" connected to your receiver, so normally you won't have monitor interface (or mouse/keyboard for that matter) to boot up/ restart, etc. If you have a windows OS, this can sometimes be a pain. A thing to consider is if you plan to leave it on all the time, sleep, or turn off while not using.

OpenELEC is a nice version of XBMC that avoids the OS shell that can complicate booting a headless computer. Press the power button and its ready to go. You can power it off or send it to sleep from the android interface. It can also run off of a usb stick, so you can eliminate hard drive noise.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-23-2013, 10:59 AM
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Hi Dan, are you using the Yatse app? This is the one I use for XBMC, it's very good.

For foobar2000 I suggest foobar2000 controller by Sergi Mola, and the Logitech app for squeezebox. All three are a pleasure to use. I also use Plex Server and mobile app for those times I want to use just my tablet or phone for audio or video.

After finally setting up all of my audio gear for complete remote access (in three zones) I am a happy camper. No longer does ice melt from the gin and tonic, I never have to leave my deck chair. biggrin.gif

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post #7 of 13 Old 05-24-2013, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Is the Marantz a networked receiver?

No, the Marantz is not networked. I can use the spare tower as a music host. It would need a bigger hard drive but that's not really an issue. I could even keep it in a closet and run RCAs and Cat5 to the receiver through the same line I've already used for other audio wiring.

It really as simple as loading all of the music onto the spare PC, installing the necessary software, running the wires and linking my smartphone?

I'd love to purchase something like the squeezebox but it would be difficult to justify.

I'll look into these program suggestions. Thanks all.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-25-2013, 03:44 AM
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Yep, all you need is a music manager/media server like XBMC, foobar2000, Media Monkey... there are tons of them. Since XBMC is easy, can play most audio files, downloads artwork and has a great remote app for smartphone it's the one I would choose. Install it, point it to your folder with music and you're set. You can probably use the external HDD with the tower. Whether this maps as a connected drive or a share in the computer doesn't matter, you can point XBMC to either to create your library.

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post #9 of 13 Old 05-25-2013, 04:09 AM
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JRiver Media Center 18 and the free app Jremote works great on either a iphone or ipad.If you dont have room or dont want a computer hooked up to your Marantz you could buy a cheap media player like the wd live and use it . As long as you have your networking/ sharing set up right your spare computer should work fine.Jriver would cost you 50 bucks if you went that route but its really cool.
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-25-2013, 08:01 AM
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Not sure if it'll help, but I enjoyed reading this guide which uses XBMC:
http://lifehacker.com/5900626/create-a-kickass-seamless-play+everything-media-center-the-complete-guide

I'm actually using foobar at the moment, run on-top of a multi-use Win7 laptop. But if I can stand the fan noise I might try to put an old compaq laptop to work as a dedicated XBMC server with XBMCbuntu.

I too am in the fiddle-with-what-you-have stage, not quite ready to drop coin on new devices.

The jailbroken AppleTV option intrigues me too as I have that hardware already.

And I have heard good things about JRiver too. Sometimes there are just too many options. As long as you stay with freeware, all you'll lose is time though. smile.gif

Good luck!
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-25-2013, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Cubicle. Yeah I've dropped waaaay too much coin over the last 4 or 5 months and while I'm THRILLED with the upgrades, the wife is ready for me to be done smile.gif
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-28-2013, 09:56 PM
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An airport express would do this, assuming use use itunes.
You old iphone could control it via the Remote app.

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post #13 of 13 Old 06-26-2013, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK Doom View Post

An airport express would do this, assuming use use itunes.
You old iphone could control it via the Remote app.

+1 to Airport express. No wiring needed as it is wireless. If you are on a budget, you can find a used Airport express Wireless G version or the Wireless N version for cheap on ebay.

As mentioned, the iphone's remote app can control iTunes.

This is extendable as you can add more AirPlay receivers to your home which itunes can stream to simultaneously for a multi-room audio setup. iTunes can also simultaneously play on the PC where it is running.
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