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post #1 of 7 Old 10-29-2015, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Does this audio streaming solution exist?

Short version:
Kind of a strange ask, but does anyone know of an audio streaming solution that is more analogous to loading CDs in an old school CD changer than setting up playlists?

Long version:
My parents have had multi-room audio since the early 1990s. They built a house, and had speakers put into multiple rooms with a single receiver and push-button speaker selector running the thing. Their preferred methodology is to load up the good old 6 CD changer, hit play, and walk away; it only takes a minute to set up, and gives them variety in a very specific manner. A few years ago, I tried to get them to switch to a streaming setup with an AppleTV when the previous changer died; they didn't like it. While they could pick an album from the iPad, they liked to be able to cue up 6 albums and not mess with it. And they didn't like playlists, because they liked to mix up the albums (but still have them play in album order). Yes, the way they approach this is atypical...but it's what they like.

I've looked at lots of systems, but I've never found one that lets you routinely and easily cue up music this way, at least from what I can tell (admittedly, I haven't been able to play with every system in person). It seems like most solutions, Apple, Sonos, or otherwise, either want you to make playlists or use streaming services.

So, is there a system that, in the software, will let you cue up a series of albums (perhaps from clicking on the album covers), play them through in order, add/remove/clear the list, etc. without having to set up playlists? Specifically one that also has an iOS app to control said functionality?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-29-2015, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dark54555 View Post
Short version:
Kind of a strange ask, but does anyone know of an audio streaming solution that is more analogous to loading CDs in an old school CD changer than setting up playlists?

Long version:
My parents have had multi-room audio since the early 1990s. They built a house, and had speakers put into multiple rooms with a single receiver and push-button speaker selector running the thing. Their preferred methodology is to load up the good old 6 CD changer, hit play, and walk away; it only takes a minute to set up, and gives them variety in a very specific manner. A few years ago, I tried to get them to switch to a streaming setup with an AppleTV when the previous changer died; they didn't like it. While they could pick an album from the iPad, they liked to be able to cue up 6 albums and not mess with it. And they didn't like playlists, because they liked to mix up the albums (but still have them play in album order). Yes, the way they approach this is atypical...but it's what they like.

I've looked at lots of systems, but I've never found one that lets you routinely and easily cue up music this way, at least from what I can tell (admittedly, I haven't been able to play with every system in person). It seems like most solutions, Apple, Sonos, or otherwise, either want you to make playlists or use streaming services.

So, is there a system that, in the software, will let you cue up a series of albums (perhaps from clicking on the album covers), play them through in order, add/remove/clear the list, etc. without having to set up playlists? Specifically one that also has an iOS app to control said functionality?
There might be a LARGE number of solutions to this, but for starters, I subscribe to Rhapsody.

One (of many) rhapsody features is the "queue", which is a essentially a playlist that you build "on the fly"... at the end, you COULD save it as a permanent playlist (if you wanted to), or you can simply delete it and build a new queue without saving it.

So you can very quickly/easily:
1. "Clear Player", so as to have a fresh start.
2. Search by either artist name or album name for the 1st Album that you want to "queue" up. Searching by Artist brings up "All Albums". You can then select the whole album... click on the "three dots", and there's the option to "Add to Queue".
3. Search again, for the second whole album you want to queue up.
4. Rinse. Repeat. Until you've queued up all the albums you want to hear, then click play. Make sure "shuffle" isn't on.



I'd be shocked if this functionality is only available on Rhapsody... Without knowing for certain, I'd be surprised to hear that you couldn't do something similar in Windows Media Player, Google Play Music, iTunes, etc etc etc.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-29-2015, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
There might be a LARGE number of solutions to this, but for starters, I subscribe to Rhapsody.

One (of many) rhapsody features is the "queue", which is a essentially a playlist that you build "on the fly"... at the end, you COULD save it as a permanent playlist (if you wanted to), or you can simply delete it and build a new queue without saving it.

So you can very quickly/easily:
1. "Clear Player", so as to have a fresh start.
2. Search by either artist name or album name for the 1st Album that you want to "queue" up. Searching by Artist brings up "All Albums". You can then select the whole album... click on the "three dots", and there's the option to "Add to Queue".
3. Search again, for the second whole album you want to queue up.
4. Rinse. Repeat. Until you've queued up all the albums you want to hear, then click play. Make sure "shuffle" isn't on.



I'd be shocked if this functionality is only available on Rhapsody... Without knowing for certain, I'd be surprised to hear that you couldn't do something similar in Windows Media Player, Google Play Music, iTunes, etc etc etc.
Sorry, I should have mentioned, I'm really looking for a local solution for their library rather than a cloud or streaming centric one. Their CD library is already mostly on a local PC (in iTunes, but could certainly start running any number of other server systems). I've played around with Rhapsody before, and it kind of does what I'm looking for, but they don't need the content, just a means to utilize it.

Honestly, I could see a pretty straightforward UI for this; panel with album covers takes up 75% of the screen, cued up albums on 25% of the screen. click to add or drag and drop or whatever. That would really be all they need.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-29-2015, 03:38 PM
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Kodi can do what you're asking, but the user needs to be at least a little tech savvy...are they?
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-29-2015, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dark54555 View Post
Sorry, I should have mentioned, I'm really looking for a local solution for their library rather than a cloud or streaming centric one. Their CD library is already mostly on a local PC (in iTunes, but could certainly start running any number of other server systems). I've played around with Rhapsody before, and it kind of does what I'm looking for, but they don't need the content, just a means to utilize it.

Honestly, I could see a pretty straightforward UI for this; panel with album covers takes up 75% of the screen, cued up albums on 25% of the screen. click to add or drag and drop or whatever. That would really be all they need.
I'm 99% sure you can do the very same thing in Windows Media Player. Assuming their "local library" is already ripped and in digital form. You can "clear the queue", and assuming their files have all their MP3tag's right, sort/search by album, and add the whole album to the queue... I can't be 100% sure, because I'm not in front of WMP right now.

And I'd be shocked if the same isn't true for iTunes or Google Play Music, too.


If you actually want a great big multi-disc-changer, I'm not sure if they sell giant CD changers like that anymore... I know Kaleidescope has (legally) been forced into this from a BluRay perspective, but I'm sure that's well beyond the price point you were looking to hit... it'd be cheaper to pay a 14 year old a "fair day's wage" to rip their library to MP3 for them, and get them all set up in WMP / Google Play Music / iTunes.

With that set up, it's not difficult (or expensive) to get that content to a set of speakers... there's a variety of solutions available for that. Lot of flexability, too.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-29-2015, 03:47 PM
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Sonos also uses a queue system, so you can add albums to the queue, or clear the queue. Sonos will also allow you play from network attached storage.

If the house is already wired for audio though, they probably wouldn't want to invest in the Sonos system.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-30-2015, 03:30 AM
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iTunes will cue albums or tracks or both. In the "My Music" view, scroll through any list (Albums, for example) drag/drop the album title to the Player window (top/center) and the entire album is loaded and cued. Do that with another album, it's cued to play after the first. You can drag/drop songs, playlists, artists, anything. On the right side of the player window is a menu you can drop to see all cued tracks. You can clear an album, song, etc., or move it to the play next position.

iTunes has a "Remote" iOS app that can control iTunes running on a computer. It can also play to any AirPay device, which includes AirPort Express, Apple TV, many AVRs, and other devices.

iTunes, of course, exists on both the PC and Mac platforms, and integrates directly with iOS devices via synch.

"A film in which the speech and sound effects are perfectly synchronised and coincide with their visual image on the screen is absolutely contrary to the aims of cinema. It is a degenerate and misguided attempt to destroy the real use of the film and cannot be accepted as coming within the true boundaries of the cinema." - Film Critic Paul Rutha, 1930
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