Please help: streaming music through the house
I’m trying to do something that I think is fairly easy, but I can’t find good solutions, and I feel like I’m taking crazy pills at times. Sorry in advance for the length.
I have all my music stored on my PC. I normally use iTunes to organize/listen, but I’m open to using another program if it would help. I have two Apple Airport Expresses in two different rooms. One is connected to my entertainment center soundbar (via RCA I think), the other is connected to a mini amp which is then connected to two floor speaker. I use AirPlay to stream music from iTunes to one or both of these (or neither if I’m just using my PC speakers or headphones). This seems like a good setup except the AirPorts will often just go missing and the process to get them completely re-setup is painful. It’s also a product Apple isn’t really developing, and the Airport Utility app for Windows is painful (not surprising). I’m not looking to stream any internet music, don’t need/want any voice controlled devices, and I already use Plex to get my movies and shows from my PC to my TV. I would love to be able to use an app on my iPhone to control things (which I can usually do with iTunes).
So, now I need a new method to get music from my PC to these two rooms. Here’s what I have so far for options:
1: run wires from my PC to these two rooms. I’ve read that I can’t just run super long aux cables from PC output as it will introduce a lot of noise. What are some other cable options and what would I need to convert everything properly? I really want some kind of switch at my computer so that I can pick A and/or B and/or C (PC, soundbar, floor speakers) depending on which places I want the music to play.
2: some kind of wireless device. I’m thinking 2 ChromeCasts based on price, and then trying to figure out which app/program I would need to use to send music two them. Can’t afford Sonos speakers around the house (and I don’t think they have anything that can “add” Sonos to my speakers). Any other devices?
3: running Ethernet to the two rooms is an option (soundbar is right next to my cable modem and network switch, and I can find a way to run it the other room with my mini amp/floor speakers). Don’t know if there’s even any device that would work with Ethernet, but it’s an option nonetheless.
I keep ending up with schematics of an HDMI cable, running to a splitter, running to 2 HDMI switches, running to an HDMI to RCA adapter, etc. etc. etc. which seem way too complicated.
I hope I’m overlooking an easy and elegant solution. Thanks so much!