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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nice big plasma that is very nice for movies and video, but I'm very hesitant to leave it on while listening to music. I have concerns about image retention, and it is just a waste of power. I have been trying to think of a good way to control it, but options seem scarce.


- Streaming music TO the HTPC requires having or having access to my library on another computer. It also requires using another computer.


- A smartphone app might work, but I don't have nor want a smartphone


- A second monitor in the form of a touchscreen could work, but I don't think WMC really supports dual monitor so I'd need to use screen duplication, which limits my resolution to the lesser device. So I would have to run my TV at some crappy resolution, or buy a big 'ol 20 inch or bigger touchscreen that supports 1080p.



Do folks have any good ideas? How have other people solved this in the past? I have a bunch of crummy ways to do it, and it would be a little easier if DLNA streaming to my receiver wasn't 90% broken, but I want a nice "appliancy" way to do it. Don't want to have to bust out a laptop to play music.
 

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I use foobar2000 and a Google Nexus 7. But if you don't want a smartphone then I suppose the idea of a tablet may make your head explode :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm, tablet might actually work out. I don't want a smartphone because I don't want the internet in my pocket and I don't want to PAY for internet in my pocket. Tablet doesn't come w/ a contract though...
 

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You can get a wifi-only Nexus. You don't need a contract, mine is used only in my home. Just about everything in my HT is controlled by it, I love it.
 

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I went through the same issue a few years ago, at the time I was using WMC/MB as my video player/front end and foobar for music. I started using foobar with the remote plugin for my iPod and iPad but the issue I had was if I left foobar open, it would take exclusive access to the audio device if using WASAPI and WMC couldn't playback video until I closed foobar, not a very graceful solution.

I ended up switching to XBMC, it supports WASAPI as well as the audio formats that WMC doesn't (multichannel flac for me was too important). I use XBMC commander as a remote control app on my iPad and it's flawless.
 

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^ditto the XBMC for music. I ran a headless setup with an OpenELEC box connected to my AVR. Its a really nice web interfaces as well as tablet apps for music. Great selection views, playlist features, etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan  /t/1468326/controlling-htpc-for-music-without-the-tv#post_23205977


^ditto the XBMC for music. I ran a headless setup with an OpenELEC box connected to my AVR. Its a really nice web interfaces as well as tablet apps for music. Great selection views, playlist features, etc.

I'm just getting my feet wet with openELEC but definitely like the XBMC control. I use it on my phone and Kindle fire.


I am coming from JRiver MC. I can highly recommend this (though it is a paid app rather than open source). The free jriver Gizmo app works extremely well for controlling jriver instance running on my main PC. Added bonus is that within Gizmo I can see as DLNA instances my 2 XBMC openELEC boxes as well as my Sonos and can send music via gizmo to them, control my main PC or use the phone or Kindle to hear what I wish.


Gizmo also runs as a web page within jriver so can be pulled up on a browser on any network connected PC.


A 7" tablet, even a generic one that you could find for less than $100 should open up most of the options suggested here. OP, you said you didn't want a smart phone, but I bet you could find a used android phone on craigslist or the like for next to nothing. It wouldn't make calls but it would make for a nice touchscreen remote for the uses suggested here. When I upgraded my phone i made my old one a dedicated remote and music player for my system.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanPackMan  /t/1468326/controlling-htpc-for-music-without-the-tv/0_50#post_23205977


^ditto the XBMC for music. I ran a headless setup with an OpenELEC box connected to my AVR. Its a really nice web interfaces as well as tablet apps for music. Great selection views, playlist features, etc.

+whatever number we're up to for XBMC


Default web interface should serve your needs on whatever device you wish LINK . Just navigate to the music section and place bookmark in whatever device you want to use (can send to homescreen in tablets or leave in browser bookmarks as well)


The aforementioned Commander app in iOS is very nice. For Android, there is the Official XBMC remote as well as the (preferred by me) Yatse control app. Both will pull in all the associated data upon your request (thumbnails or banners for Movies, TV, and/or Music) letting you browse a slick looking gallery and initiate playback with your Plasma turned on/off.


The easiest way for all of this to function is through an always on HTPC. WOL apps are available if you really want to dig. You may already be leaving your HTPC on 24/7 anyway


Also, for such purposes the 8GB Nexus 7 seems just perfect. Even an older iPad should suffice for a decent price (check for commander iOS version compatibility first)


Don't see a lot of deals for 8GB N7 anymore, but this one's pretty decent for 16GB http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-Google-Nexus-7-16GB-Wi-Fi-7in-Brown-Color-Bluetooth-Webcam-Android-4-1-/281053622251?pt=US_Tablets&hash=item417019efeb
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer  /t/1468326/controlling-htpc-for-music-without-the-tv#post_23206901


+whatever number we're up to for XBMC


Also, for such purposes the 8GB Nexus 7 seems just perfect. Even an older iPad should suffice for a decent price (check for commander iOS version compatibility first)
I'm not sure about Commander, but I run Constellation (which from your description seems simialr to Commander, I really like it) on an iPad 2. An iPad 2 is still a pretty nice device that can be had for a relatively (we are talking about an Apple product!) good price if you would like to try out iOS rather an Android.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by undermined  /t/1468326/controlling-htpc-for-music-without-the-tv#post_23204706


Remote desktop access from another desktop or laptop would be the most straight forward way I can think of.
Remote desktop really don't play nice with wmc but assuming the op is willing to use another media player it wont be a problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer  /t/1468326/controlling-htpc-for-music-without-the-tv#post_23206901


+whatever number we're up to for XBMC


Default web interface should serve your needs on whatever device you wish LINK . Just navigate to the music section and place bookmark in whatever device you want to use (can send to homescreen in tablets or leave in browser bookmarks as well)


The aforementioned Commander app in iOS is very nice. For Android, there is the Official XBMC remote as well as the (preferred by me) Yatse control app. Both will pull in all the associated data upon your request (thumbnails or banners for Movies, TV, and/or Music) letting you browse a slick looking gallery and initiate playback with your Plasma turned on/off.


The easiest way for all of this to function is through an always on HTPC. WOL apps are available if you really want to dig. You may already be leaving your HTPC on 24/7 anyway


Also, for such purposes the 8GB Nexus 7 seems just perfect. Even an older iPad should suffice for a decent price (check for commander iOS version compatibility first)


Don't see a lot of deals for 8GB N7 anymore, but this one's pretty decent for 16GB http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-Google-Nexus-7-16GB-Wi-Fi-7in-Brown-Color-Bluetooth-Webcam-Android-4-1-/281053622251?pt=US_Tablets&hash=item417019efeb

add another vote for XBMC


I use Unified remote which allows you to view your library on a smartphone or tablet. No tv needed.
 

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I believe the 8GB Nexus 7 is no more. Google replaced it with the 16GB for the same price. Can't beat it for $200.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sliverstorm  /t/1468326/controlling-htpc-for-music-without-the-tv#post_23204713


Hmm, tablet might actually work out. I don't want a smartphone because I don't want the internet in my pocket and I don't want to PAY for internet in my pocket. Tablet doesn't come w/ a contract though...

Have you considered buying a no contract phone and just not activating it to use for wifi only? Best Buy has some no contract android phones from around $50 and I'm sure you could find decent ones even cheaper if you bought them used or refurbished. If all you want is a controller seems a lot more reasonable (and portable) than $150-200 for a 7" tablet.


I have a Sonos and control it through my crappy little android phone and it works just fine. No idea how the XBMC controller for android compares to Sonos but I'd think it would work just fine.
 

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Tablet/smartphone will only work if you can lock the device so that it can only be used as a remote. Otherwise the person using it has to understand the whole system. So no good for families etc.. For example on the tablet/phone there will be some way of exiting the program. Once this happens various other irrelevant information will be displayed and the user will not be able to play music unless he knows what program to run.


I do agree that the concept of a remote which displays information would be the best solution but the software has to be locked down.


In absence of this, a dedicated device such as a Squeezebox may be the next best alternative.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSMR  /t/1468326/controlling-htpc-for-music-without-the-tv#post_23219207


Tablet/smartphone will only work if you can lock the device so that it can only be used as a remote. Otherwise the person using it has to understand the whole system. So no good for families etc.. For example on the tablet/phone there will be some way of exiting the program. Once this happens various other irrelevant information will be displayed and the user will not be able to play music unless he knows what program to run.


I do agree that the concept of a remote which displays information would be the best solution but the software has to be locked down.


In absence of this, a dedicated device such as a Squeezebox may be the next best alternative.

Really? Help me understand this since I'm considering buying a tablet myself and have never had one before. If I buy one w/wifi only and no service contract and then download the Sonos controller app for android (or XBMC controller, etc) why wouldn't I be able to just leave it anywhere in the house for my wife or whoever else to pick it up and control what music they want to play, and why would that preclude me from using it for any other purpose that one would normally use a tablet? If you dont' put a password on it why should it require anything more involved than turning it on and hitting the icon to open the controller app?
 
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