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Synchronised playback/Multi-room

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

First post!


Been a lurker on this forum for a couple of years now and you guys have been my AV bible! Figured it was time I posted...


The girlfriend and I are moving into our new place soon and I've traded any stake I had in decoration choice for the sole responsibility of the tech in the house - a fair trade if you ask me.


I've been planning our network and, most importantly for her, our media options. Having been an avid user of XBMC for the last year, I've been trying to plan the whole system around both it and the DLNA standard as a whole. Here's where I've come unstuck:


I want to be able to choose a track (stored on a media server/NAS box, depending on what I decide to go with) from my phone and have it play in every room.


The plan so far is this:


A few Rasperry Pi clients running RaspBMC (used purely as DLNA renderers). These will be connected to either the NAS or an XBMC server, which will always be on. As it stands, I know this will enable me to pick a song/playlist/movie from my phone (using Yatse for Android as the remote) and select which room I want to play it in (via well-named clients).


Problem is that when it comes to wanting to play a single track across all of the clients, it simply won't be possible with this set up.


So here's my question - how can I achieve synchronised playback across the multiple clients without losing the functionality to cherry-pick clients should I wish to?


A couple of things:

I'm not made of money, so Sonos Multi-room set-ups aren't viable unfortunately.

I'm not against leaving XBMC - I love the interface and the customisation options but it's not the be all and end all for me. Functionality > Aesthetics for the moment. I'm a skilled themer, so I'll probably be able to make it look okay anyway.

I'm not particularly attached to DLNA either, so if there's another protocol that would serve me better (no pun intended) then I'm happy to experiment. I've only stuck with DLNA because, until now, it's not given me any hiccups. It's an okay protocol, but the implementation can be shoddy at best!


Current equipment:

A semi-decent media server with enough storage for what I need

Girlfriend loves her iTunes, but I'd rather not go down the Apple route unless absolutely necessary.

Decent switches and router


Any advice/tips would be great. I'm not looking to spend a fortune because, quite frankly, I can't - but I'm also not expecting there to be a cheap £100 fix either.


Thanks in advance,



post #2 of 6
from what I understand I think jriver offers synchronizing of zones. but dont take my word for it and double check
post #3 of 6
For audio, Logitech Media Server (LMS)+ your Rpis running piCoreplayer (or Squeezelite on Raspbian) . LMS supports sync- this isn't sonos sync but it works pretty damn well. Squeezebox system supports players and controllers on pretty much any platform, so you will be able to reuse hardware you have on hand for players and controllers.

Wide array of plugins and music services, for example SmartMix has been a huge addition for me.

LMS will run happily on modest hardware, I have mine on a 1.3ghz dual core AMD and runs perfectly.
Edited by djgallaw - 11/12/13 at 5:23pm
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies! Looks like I'll be doing some research into LMS and piCoreplayer then!


Out of piCoreplayer and Squeezelite, which would you say in your experience is the most versatile. Will this let me stream movies too? I'm not overly bothered if the movies can't be synchronised (eventually I'll put the money into a Sonos set up - but we don't own this house, we're renting her parents second house, so I don't want to put too much money into it for now).

post #5 of 6
Mighty Racoon, picoreplayer is a micro embedded Linux, it only does audio. I have heard you can install Squeezelite on Raspbmc and thus you could do audio via LMS and have video playback. I personally have not done this so I can't speak to it personally.

I don't know of anything that will play sync'd movies.
Edited by djgallaw - 11/13/13 at 4:42pm
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ah, good to know.


Thanks for the info

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