Originally Posted by Endorphin Junkie
I think this is likely going to be my only choice. If I can
- find a DLNA player that retains music playlists and play settings, and resumes them automatically on connect
- Create a scene which automatically connects to that DLNA server and outputs only to the bedroom
It's disappointing that the more recent AVRs don't have iPod Classic interfaces included. I imagine they had to pay licensing fees to Apple to do this.
I was in much the same situation as you several years ago. I have about 2000 CDs and wanted to rip them to an all inclusive media library. I had the RX-V663 with 30-pin iPod dock, so it made great sense to use an iPod Classic 120Gb or 160Gb to hold all of it; I got one for a Christmas present. I have about half the CDs ripped to the tune of about 80Gb or more of music, past episodes of This American Life,
and some audiobooks, all kept on hard drive and the iPod Classic.
I tried iTunes for about 20 minutes and put it away in disgust, and bought a full-featured music library app, MediaMonkey
[MM], which syncs to a wide variety of devices (incl. iPods, phones) and gives you far greater control over music, playlists, autoplaylists, automatic library organization, automatic tagging of downloaded podcasts, yada yada yada. Newer versions of MM will do DLNA from the computer it's on. I kept the media library on a dedicated NAS, until that died, and I had to restore it all from the iPod to a new 1.5Tb drive (and MM made quick work of reorganizing tracks copied from the iPod Classic). The music library now resides on this 1.5Tb drive plugged into a Netgear R6700 router that offers sharing of the drive's partitions as multiple Windows shares, as well DLNA sharing, and even access to the drive from the Internet when I'm away from home. If you don't have a home router with this feature, a new router + a flash drive is an affordable solution (Apple has their own flavor of this as well, perhaps still called Time Machine
or something like that). (BTW, if you use iTunes on a Macbook, an Apple router and/or an Apple TV could be your updated way to play your iTunes library on the AVR. Actually, you might not even need the Macbook, if the ATV will play your iTunes library from the cloud. I don't use their ecosystem, so can't speak for it.)
Meanwhile Google's Play Music service [GPM] lets you upload boatloads of your tracks to their service for free, first 10,000 tracks, then 20,000, I think they're up to 50,000. Obviously, they match what you've got in their library already, discard what you upload and grant you access to what's in their library; it usually works out. But easily 1/3 of my library are obscure tracks they don't have, so their offer is especially advantageous for me. I have access to all my digital music from anywhere through the Google Play Music service: car, office, home, etc. GPM lets you stream your own music from their service, and download for offline playback in the app. I have no need to "sync" my music to a phone since it's online 24/7/365 anyway. (For inquiring minds, it took roughly 72 hours to sync my entire library to their service. There were some glitches, but something like 1% of the total.)
My upgrade to an RX-v775 with its SERVER function lets me play music direct from the DLNA share on my router. (And they did away with the proprietary dock.
) At times, it takes many minutes (nearly an hour) to index the 10,000+ tracks on the share, and then let me browse them. But the DLNA share is up all the time, so generally the AVR can browse the music pretty speedily. It's quicker to scroll through 80-90 artist folders using the AV Controller
app for iOS and Android than the web or on-screen interface, and the app lets you jump ahead in the list. I presume that more recent models are faster due to newer processors.
With a Google Chromecast [CC] plugged into the AVR (and the CC is always powered on), I can initiate playback from any tablet or phone, streaming direct from the GPM service. (A CC Audio works too, but won't wake the AVR and TV via HDMI like a CC will.) Unlike Bluetooth solutions, or Airplay, the CC streams the content directly from the internet, not from the phone/device. Generally I use this method since with Google Play Music All-Access, I can also play other music or radio mixes based on my music library and theirs, or just play music from my library (on their service).
My iPod Classic? It sits in a Crossley 30-pin dock plugged into a 2.1 powered speaker system in the bedroom. With a CC Audio I bought cheap this Christmas, I sometimes plug that into the speakers, but it normally stays on the AVR so I can listen to music without the TV screen on.
So there are some options. A DLNA router with a USB 3.0 option to plug a drive into. Or an Apple TV using iTunes library in the cloud. Or use Google's service to stream your music from anywhere.