I've been trying to figure out how to run a "poor man's" multi zone audio system and I think I've got a pretty good solution.
Edit (24-Jun-12): I just re-installed everything on a new PC and following these instructions was not clear. I've updated them so hopefully it'll be easier. PM me with any questions.
- Speakers in each zone with wiring to central location.
- PC with a soundcard for each zone (or a soundcard like this that supports multiple "virtual" soundcard outputs). The PC needs to be located where ever your zones' speaker wire terminates.
- Amp(s) with as many channels as speakers. For pairs of in-ceiling speakers, I recommend the AudioSource AMP-100.
- Wi-Fi network
- iPhone/Android tablet for control
Software (all free):
- I'm using Windows but Squeezebox/Softsqueeze is java based so platform independent.
- Squeezebox server
- Softsqueeze player
- Java JDK
- Android app (there's an iOS app as well but a regular web browser works too)
Description of final setup:
- The amp for each audio zone is connected to a different soundcard.
- Multiple instances of Softsqueeze software are used to play audio in each zone. Each instance controls a different soundcard.
- The Squeezebox server software acts like iTunes to manage you music collection and to control each Softsqueeze instance / zone. You can also sync all zones, play different music in each, play internet radio and much more.
- Control is via dedicated phone/tablet app or webbrowser (default address for Squeezebox server is http://localhost:9000 for the local Softsqueeze instances or the PC's IP address followed by :9000 from another browser on the network).
Edited by ljo000 - 6/23/12 at 10:09pm