AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,353 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an off-topic thread, another poster asked about playing different music in different rooms with these devices. The answer, though it is not obvious, is yes. According to this article, you'll need to move your iTunes library to a network mounted hard drive, make an alias to it on your computers and run iTunes on two or more computers. All the computers will see the same library. Then each computer can run iTunes, select different songs and send them to different Airports. (If this sounds confusing, try reading the original article -- he/she says it better.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,540 Posts
yes, that works but i don't think its possible to have 1 computer running 1 instance of itunes and play differenent songs throughout the house even if you have 5 airport expresses. the only way to achieve this, i believe, is to have 1 computer running itunes for every room you need accompanied by an airport express for each room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Quite possible...


1 Get Parallels or VMWare

2 Setup 2 different XP sessions with iTunes installed on each

3 Run both sessions (each running iTunes)

4 Run iTunes under OS X itself

5 All iTunes point to the same shared drive where the music files are held.


Given a fairly 'beefy Mac' I'm going to say this isn't out of the question... I can't imagine streaming 3 audio sources would put any real stress on todays networks (or macs) and I've had parallels running on my Mac with Safari / WoW and a number of other apps running (all while the XP session was running Office 2k3).


Bang, you'd then have 3 zones all from 1 computer...


Also check this out for some really jazzy stuff...


Link: http://www.tuaw.com/2008/06/13/next-...irtualization/


Clearly not optimal when compared to just having iTunes support streaming different tracks to different AExpresses but when you only have lemons to work with... :lol: Perhaps iTunes 8 will make our ultimate come true.... Yea, I don't think so either but if you don't have hope what do you have?



Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
I haven't done it, but I suspect an AppleTV in each room can attach to the same single instance of iTunes running against a common library. Presently I have 1 ATV attached to my 'server iTunes' that references the same media files (stored on network attached Capsule);


Putting an ATV in each room against 1 iTunes seems like an easy way to do this....


ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenliles /forum/post/14183516


I haven't done it, but I suspect an AppleTV in each room can attach to the same single instance of iTunes running against a common library. Presently I have 1 ATV attached to my 'server iTunes' that references the same media files (stored on network attached Capsule); Putting an ATV in each room against 1 iTunes seems like an easy way to do this.... ken

An idea for sure since it would remove the need for Airport Expresses @ $99.00 each but would increase the overall cost (per zone) of $229 - $99 or an extra $130 per audio zone.


Actually, putting some real thought into it, it's not a heck of a lot more money **and** you get much more bang for the buck and you don't have to mess with trying to kludge together some hack that would allow you to run multiple instances of iTunes.


Finally... using something like Airfoil will make the AppleTVs look like an Airport Expresses w/Airtunes so you'd really have lots of options/combinations/permutations available to you.


Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
The idea of an aTV vs an Airport Express is an interesting one in this context.


The only problem with the aTV is that without a display, it really falls short of its ideal functionality. I wish that there was an easy way to connect an aTV to, say, an 8" touch screen. That would really allow the functionality that I would like.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
You don't even need Airfoil for this -- Apple TV's automatically appear in the list of remote speakers in iTunes -- just like AE's.


This is the easiest solution I'm aware of. I think it'll become even easier with the "rumored" release of the iTunes remote app for iPhone / iPod Touch.


The whole thing is really pretty brilliant. I know some people are going to gripe that $229 for the ATV and $299 for an iPod Touch is too expensive, but, people are paying ten times this for ReQuest / Crestron / AMX equipment and getting less functionality, a clunkier interface and big, heavy touchpanels.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfreq /forum/post/14184487


The whole thing is really pretty brilliant. I know some people are going to gripe that $229 for the ATV and $299 for an iPod Touch is too expensive, but, people are paying ten times this for ReQuest / Crestron / AMX equipment and getting less functionality, a clunkier interface and big, heavy touchpanels.

Absolutely!


If people only knew what kinda prices people are *currently* paying to get this job done... Heck the touch screen controllers alone can run upwards of $499 or more and are much bulkier and far less capable than a iPhone/Touch and thats just the remote control, then you add in the multizone amp and special wiring and speakers.... yea it runs quite a bit of money using 'yesterdays' technologies. Apple (if they can only lick the multi-zone iTunes issues) could totally own this market lock stock and barrel (if they wanted to).


Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Actually, wireless touchpanels are an order of magnitude more expensive than the $499 you quoted. A new AMX MVP-8400 (8.4" wireless touchpanel) has an MSRP of $4999. Crestron's pricing is similar. A four-zone music server capable of four simultaneous audio streams and a 1 TB hard drive is somewhere between $3 - $5k. Add in $2k for programming and some more to install keypads or in-wall touchpanels and you're looking at something like $12-$15k. So, Apple TV's + iPod Touches are quite the bargain.


It seems unlikely that Apple will produce the hardware needed to control TVs, receivers, etc. any time soon. At least not over IR or RS232. Some third party apps will appear on the App Store. Remote control via Apple will really start to look interesting once they launch the iTablet (Macworld in January?). We'll be able to browse movies, music, EPG's, etc. from the touchpanel. This is sort of possible right now, but, for instance, browsing an EPG would be much easier from a 7 - 10" screen, than an iPod Touch. I'd love to see an MBA minus the keyboard, with a touchscreen as the iTablet. All that screen real estate, but less than 3 pounds, thin and sexy.


As more and more CE devices are adding ethernet ports or 802.11x capabilities, I could see Apple adding control for these devices over TCP/IP (Bonjour). I think they actually patented something like this (maybe it's part of the original Bonjour patent?). A CE device could use this protocol to advertise their capabilities once it joins the network, providing auto-configuration. We're probably a couple of years away from this, but I think it's only a matter of time. AMX and Crestron are going to have to re-examine their offerings in order to justify their existence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfreq /forum/post/14185222


Remote control via Apple will really start to look interesting once they launch the iTablet (Macworld in January?). We'll be able to browse movies, music, EPG's, etc. from the touchpanel. This is sort of possible right now, but, for instance, browsing an EPG would be much easier from a 7 - 10" screen, than an iPod Touch. I'd love to see an MBA minus the keyboard, with a touchscreen as the iTablet. All that screen real estate, but less than 3 pounds, thin and sexy.


As more and more CE devices are adding ethernet ports or 802.11x capabilities, I could see Apple adding control for these devices over TCP/IP (Bonjour). I think they actually patented something like this (maybe it's part of the original Bonjour patent?). A CE device could use this protocol to advertise their capabilities once it joins the network, providing auto-configuration. We're probably a couple of years away from this, but I think it's only a matter of time. AMX and Crestron are going to have to re-examine their offerings in order to justify their existence.

dbfreq - I agree with this 100%; I've used Elan , Crestron and other solutions, but have been waiting for this eventual solution as the ultimate. Much more capability and much cheaper to implement and maintain...


ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,540 Posts
if one has 2 atvs and and airport express, can you play different songs while still only running 1 instance of itunes?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,025 Posts

Quote:
I haven't done it, but I suspect an AppleTV in each room can attach to the same single instance of iTunes running against a common library...Putting an ATV in each room against 1 iTunes seems like an easy way to do this....
Quote:
if one has 2 atvs and and airport express, can you play different songs while still only running 1 instance of itunes?

I can't answer your question directly because I don't own any aTVs; however, my guess would be yes.


My main iTunes library is 300GB+ of Apple lossless, it's connected to a Macbook over USB in the living room, I opened iTunes and started playing back something locally. Then I opened iTunes on 3 other Macs around the house, and relying on plain old built-in iTunes sharing, I was able to start playing back different songs in those locations from that Macbook iTunes library--so that's four independent, concurrent streams from the same library. Two Macs were wired, two wireless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
There are a few potential points of confusion here. Yes, multiple instances of iTunes can share a single library through the built-in sharing feature. However, a single instance of iTunes running on a single computer cannot play two or more different tracks simultaneously -- that includes tracks it is sending to ATVs or AEs. And, unless you resort to whacky tricks like fast-user switching or running multiple OS X Servers virtually on a single machine, a single machine can only run a single instance of iTunes. So, one Mac = one stream of music that can be sent to a number of different remote speakers.


Each ATV could be used to select a different track from a shared iTunes library and another Mac running an instance of iTunes could send a third track to the AE. However, a single Mac, running a single instance of iTunes CANNOT send three different tracks to each of the two ATVs + AE, acting as remote speakers.


It would be possible to write a QuickTime app that would do this, however.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,025 Posts
In the above example, I assumed we were talking about the two aTVs pulling from iTunes, not the two aTVs being chosen as remote speakers. Was there some other confusion? Would you agree a user could be sending one stream to an Airport express as a remote speaker, and two aTVs elsewhere in the house could be playing back different songs, all from the same iTunes library?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
I run 1 ATV , 2 MacAirs , and 1 Mac Pro using 1 set of media files on a Capsule. In fact, the 2 Airs don't even use the Shared Library feature - I have them DIRECTLY referencing the files (via setting their iTunes music folder designation in Preferences)


All can concurrently play different songs (or even the same song at the same time); The issue is not software ability IMO; ITunes is clearly a multi-concurrent-user app (as opposed to iPhoto for example). The only issue left is licensing, but ATVs don't count toward the 5 user limit and don't register as an iTunes instance, so they should all run just fine. I'm waiting for the next ATV upgrade (I suspect for this holiday season) and relegate the old one to the Master bedroom, so I won't know for sure until then...


ken


edit: agree with dbfreq above on multiple plays from a single computer - in fact even fast-switching doesn't work as it shuts down the play when switching - picking up again on switch-back; But like Chefklc says, I think we are really talking about multiple ATVs/ against 1 common set of media files...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
I think we're all saying the same thing, basically. The point is, if you want to play more than one track at a time in your home, you can, provided you have one Mac or ATV per stream. Multiple streams from a single Mac is not possible at the moment, whether the streams are being played locally or through remote speakers. (As for the fast user switching caveat, I think it could be done with a Mac Pro, a multi-channel soundcard and something like Sound Flower or Jack OS X).


Conversely, multiple Macs / ATV's can pull from a common library, whether that library is set as the default library for that machine or through sharing.


However, I don't agree that iTunes is a multi-concurrent-user app. That (hyphenated) word, to me, implies that multiple users can use the same instance of the app simultaneously, which is not at all the case. Multiple instances of the app can look at the same files on a disk somewhere on the local network, but that's not the same thing as saying that multiple users can use the same instance of an application simultaneously.


I actually spoke to a group of iTunes developers at WWDC this year about this issue. They acted as though the idea of having multiple streams from a single instance of iTunes was a new and novel idea. I doubt that this hasn't been considered by someone at Apple. Maybe not the people with whom I spoke, but, certainly someone at Apple has seen a ReQuest or a Crestron music server before....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfreq /forum/post/14202488


I actually spoke to a group of iTunes developers at WWDC this year about this issue. They acted as though the idea of having multiple streams from a single instance of iTunes was a new and novel idea. I doubt that this hasn't been considered by someone at Apple. Maybe not the people with whom I spoke, but, certainly someone at Apple has seen a ReQuest or a Crestron music server before....

Playing the roll of an Apple developer working on iTunes who might know about any/all work that has gone on (or been killed for reasons unknown) with regard to multi-zoning iTunes.... What would I say...


1. Yea we've been working on it and... (fruck I just broke my NDA dang!) but thats all I can say on that.. Then word of this quickly leaks to the rumor sites and next we have 'MULTI-ZONE iTunes IS IN THE WORKS!!' headlines and one developer now looking for a new job while facing the prospects of legal action in the not to distant future..


2. Wow that sounds like an interesting feature - great idea... why not send it to [email protected]


Clearly the 2nd response is the way to go. I'm sure all (seasoned or otherwise) Apple developers know how to defuse a potential NDA breaking line of questioning/conversation without screwing things up for themselves. Then again they could have been responding in a totally honest fashion... But, do you **really** think Apple the iTunes team of developers haven't ever brought up the notion of providing multi-zone audio support especially when a complementary Apple product (the Airport Express) practically screams out for it to become an iTunes feature!


Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbfreq /forum/post/14202488


However, I don't agree that iTunes is a multi-concurrent-user app. That (hyphenated) word, to me, implies that multiple users can use the same instance of the app simultaneously, which is not at all the case. Multiple instances of the app can look at the same files on a disk somewhere on the local network, but that's not the same thing as saying that multiple users can use the same instance of an application simultaneously.

yes - thanks db; I shorthanded the term inappropriately; What you took the time to explain, I was too lazy delineate...


In a slightly related story - for those looking at using your old iPhone for a remote (after upgrading to the 3G version); It looks like you can de-activate and use as a WiFi Touch no problem - but install the new 2.0 software before you do...
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ifi_ipods.html


I think the ATV in each room with a Touch remote would be a great way to go....


ken
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,025 Posts

Quote:
But, do you **really** think Apple the iTunes team of developers haven't ever brought up the notion of providing multi-zone audio support especially when a complementary Apple product (the Airport Express) practically screams out for it to become an iTunes feature!

The thing is, though, that it doesn't...scream out for it to become an iTunes feature...that is. Sure it would be nice, but I'm sorry, it's probably extremely low on the low-priority list to try to serve what might be termed the "cheapskate whole house audio only" crowd, or rather perhaps more accurately the "cheapskate whole house audio only crowd with a little attitude and misplaced sense of entitlement." You know, that target demographic that actually writes things like:

Quote:
if you want to play 1 song in the kitchen, a different one in the bedroom, you need more than 1 computer to do this. stupid, but thats apple for you.
Quote:
Clearly not optimal when compared to just having iTunes support streaming different tracks to different AExpresses but when you only have lemons to work with...
Quote:
perhaps this silly limitation will go away in a future version of iTunes or perhaps some smart folks will find a way around this silly little issue

stupid...silly...lemons...


That vast niche defined by:


1) ONLY having a single Mac in the house;

2) ONLY wants to buy Airport expresses;

3) ONLY is interested in whole house audio and not video;

4) and is mainly interested in sending independent simultaneous streams to those Expresses in multiple zones.


This isn't the customer Apple targets. Apple cuts broad swaths when it acts, which in turn lead to increased spending and purchasing additional Apple devices--their customers upgrade, they have several Macs, they add iPods, Time Capsules, aTVs, iPhones, churning through them fairly regularly, etc. I really don't think their focus is on leveraging the Express any further--look how long it took for an "n" Express to be released.


I'm sorry, but as dbfreq has clearly explained, the custom whole house audio thing is a very, very expensive proposition, even proprietary out of the box solutions like Sonos are very expensive...and, it's both an elite and very small segment, even if you added up ALL the people trying to do it. The much, much larger market that Apple serves are folks who just now are getting used to having their music on a hard drive--"you mean I don't have to play cds anymore in the living room?"--and they're wondering how to play music back in one location.


And yet here is Apple, right now, with Leopard, built-in screen sharing, and one basic iLife app, fully and relatively easily enabling whole house audio and video for anyone willing to add a new Mac, or pick up a second or third used Mac, or add an aTV or two to their lineup, with practically ALL of it remotely controllable via wireless touchpad (iPhone/Touch) or Leopard screen sharing or via the Apple remote itself (if that's all you happen to have in that location.)


Do you have any perspective just how special this is, right now?


Not to mention that the stubborn cheapskate niche, those with but a single Mac and a bunch of Expresses, have already been able to stream to those multiple Expresses and play back locally with everything in sync since January 2006. Do you realize how special THAT was? That means a large part of this very small niche, those who mainly want to stream the same thing everywhere--a la a big party at the house--are actually very satisfied that they've had this capability for so long.


Crunch the numbers for

1) a few used Macs (+/- $300) or refurb aTVs ($199) and

2) an iPod Touch (only if your main Mac is not a laptop) and

3) realize we're talking independent simultaneous audio AND video to multiple locations


and I think you'll very quickly find out that relying on that stupid, silly, citrussy Apple/iTunes/Front Row solution right now is really quite nice, very adaptable based on personal needs and a darn good value.

Quote:
I think the ATV in each room with a Touch remote would be a great way to go....

Me, too. Add that second or third Mac, buy that aTV instead of the Express, and you won't be fretting about one instance of iTunes not being able serve up multiple independent streams. Everyone in the house will be too busy enjoying all that they have at their disposal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts

Quote:
chefklc wrote: "cheapskate whole house audio only" crowd, or rather perhaps more accurately the "cheapskate whole house audio only crowd with a little attitude and misplaced sense of entitlement."

Digs specifically at me (a fellow AVS forum member) are not appreciated nor warranted. (your post was reported)


Frankly it diminishes the rest of your otherwise well though out post to a great degree. I didn't make a single attack against you (or anyone for that matter) - the next time please treat me as I treat you.


Thanks in advance


D
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top