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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i did a bit of searching around here but couldnt really get a clear answer.


I want my Mac to control audio throughout my entire home. I want to be able to control the music playing from any room that it is playing in. (access my iTunes from anywhere in the house - possibly with remote or touchscreens?)


also control which "zones" in the house are playing?


Is this possible? Anyone have this type of setup? What do I need to do to be able to do this.


Windoze is not an option for me!!



Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated....
 

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Sounds like you are looking for a lot, but here's a shot, with some experiences I have had.


The Apple Airport Express will stream both via ethernet and wireless G, and can be controlled from the main computer. I am not sure if you can direct multiple zones from the main Mac, but I would have to think it's possible. I beieve it is less convenient because my computer is well away from the stereo. I prefer to control my music at the stereo point, not the computer point.


I have a Roku Soundbridge hooked up to my main stereo and control the music on the main floor (I have 3 zones operated from the receiver), but can only pull 1 music signal at a time from the Roku. If you wanted different tunes in different rooms, you could conceivably use 3 Soundbridge's intot he receiver and direct each output via a multiroom system, is my guess. I stream via ethernet to avoid dropouts and respooling. The wireless B is too unreliable, in my experience.


You can run multiple Roku's in one house, ie a separate one for each stereo/room you want music in, assuming you have an audio system in each room.


I run all my music using the Firefly software, which is pretty solid and you don't need to have iTunes open. It accesses your iTunes music and playists as a plugin to the OS, not as a full App. Saves RAM usage when you are using the computer for other stuff. The computer storing the music does need to be on tho.


Let me know if you need any more. Hope this has been a help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, your response was helpful. I was considering using the Roku, but I actually won't have actual stereo receivers in each of the rooms that I wanted music in. I was planning on having a central amp/receiver system and then running in-wall speakers to each of the rooms i wanted the music to be in.


I am not concerned about running different music in different rooms. What I really am looking to do is just control the music source from any room without having to go back to the main room to change the song, etc.


Curious if there is any software out there for Apple that would allow for multiple remote control to the machine (either through a remote with a few simple buttons or multiple touch-screen monitors that could all access the mac)


I like the idea of having a touch screen monitor in the wall in each room that all just give you direct access to the desktop of my mac - not sure if that is possible and/or cost effective.
 

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If you don't mind the same music in all the rooms and don't want separate amplifiers, then, it seems to me, the only question is control. I don't think remote controls would be too practical, especially if they have no display of the playlist. It seems to me you would need some way of building monitors into each room, possibly with some kind of wireless ability.


In order to get more information on this, you might look for automobile installations of Macs since virtually all of them use touch screens. I think you should be able to do what you want, but it may take a little work. Good luck!
 

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You could put a 17" iMac in each room's wall, and share the iTunes from your main. What the heck, just have the same iTunes library in each iMac. Then you have independent tunes in every location!



I use AirportExpresses and the AirClick remote... no view into which tune is playing, but effective control of volume, play/pause, tune skip/advance/replay. It's great for listening to playlists (e.g., Classical-Baroque, Folk-Balkan, Rock-60's, etc.).
 

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Right, my guess is you're thinking a little ahead of what a single Mac and OS X-based solution can provide right now without a LOT of extra effort and expense.


I have a feeling once the iPhone minus the Phone part--the Wi-fi and BT touchscreen iPod--is released, you'll see some quick creative movement in this area, but right now those of us with a bunch of Macs in the house, all on a network, and doing whole house audio are probably using VNC and an Airport express or two to accomplish it: control either via one of the other Macs on the network, say a old Powerbook or iBook in the bedroom, could even be done with a PDA (I've done it with a Tungsten C) keep it laying around to control that main Mac and iTunes library--so several devices could be employed to change songs and playlists from another room. iTunes itself shares effortlessly, with Airtunes it's easy to select other zones/Airport expresses for simultaneous playback, if you eventually went that route. Powered speakers in the Express work very well. You can employ the switch to a different user account trick on that machine to stream something different simultaneously (not that you said you were interested in that.) We've held onto two Al PBs just for this purpose--one sits in each listening/viewing area--when we want to listen to music and not turn on a display, we just pop open a laptop, connect with VNC, open iTunes and go.


But that's a little different than what you're ultimately seeking: you want but the one Mac with your iTunes library connected to the one AVR feeding a bunch of speakers/zones off that AVR--so you'll also really need tighter integration and remote control of that AVR and the Mac and Mac software can't quite do that. At least I don't know how it can...) Sure you can raise and lower the volume via VNC within an application but that's not recommended, especially if you're using iTunes and going out digitally. iTunes only works well with digital out when you have iTunes app volume at 100%.
 

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With one computer, you're only going to be able to get one stream of music (won't be able to stream multiple tracks to different zones simultaneously bc you've only got one audio output on that computer). You could distribute this output to multiple zones using a switching preamplifier, like an AutoPatch, then to a multi-zone amplifier, like the ATI 1260 (there are plenty of choices for both, just giving some examples).


For remotes, you might look at the Tuneview from Keyspan, or, the Salling Clicker. Nettunes ( http://www.shirt-pocket.com/netTunes...scription.html ) is a great option if you're using a Mac to control iTunes on another Mac.


To do what you want to do properly at this point, I'd recommend an AudioReQuest box ( www.request.com ). Their v.3 software is due to be released any day now and will sync with iTunes, while giving you up to 4 simultaneous streams of music. They also have a multi-zone audio product (iQ) and have recently lowered their prices.
 

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I don't know if this is quite the solution you're looking for, but here's what I do. I have a Mac in my living room that is hooked directly to an AVR there. I have Airport Express stations in my bedroom and my rec room feeding into AVRs. The Mac sends the music wirelessly to the base stations.


I control iTunes on the Mac via WiFi with my Palm T/X using 2 pieces of software. One is Salling Clicker, which comes with some basic iTunes control components (play/pause, next, back, rate song, etc). The other is PalmVNC, which allows full control of the Mac.


I use PalmVNC to choose specific songs or playlists. Once that's up and running, it's easy to use Salling Clicker to do the rest.


You may also want to check out Tunes Explorer ( http://www.hercules.com/read.php?swcty=UK&id=724 ).


Good luck!
 

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Immaculate Grand Phoobah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greguva /forum/post/0


I don't know if this is quite the solution you're looking for, but here's what I do. I have a Mac in my living room that is hooked directly to an AVR there. I have Airport Express stations in my bedroom and my rec room feeding into AVRs. The Mac sends the music wirelessly to the base stations.


I control iTunes on the Mac via WiFi with my Palm T/X using 2 pieces of software. One is Salling Clicker, which comes with some basic iTunes control components (play/pause, next, back, rate song, etc). The other is PalmVNC, which allows full control of the Mac.


I use PalmVNC to choose specific songs or playlists. Once that's up and running, it's easy to use Salling Clicker to do the rest.


You may also want to check out Tunes Explorer ( http://www.hercules.com/read.php?swcty=UK&id=724 ).


Good luck!

This is why I read these threads every day! I have never heard of Tunes Explorer before. I don't know if it'll help iluvthsgam, but it will improve my situation for a minimal outlay of $ (Amazon.com has it rather cheap!). I will now be able to see what's playing! Thanks very much!
 

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re. controlng roku -

I like the idea of my macbook directly controling what'ts playing on the roku-system via itunes (or other software) . Can I do this or does the computer have to be 'passive' and the control for song selection etc. have to be via the Roku and it's remote ?


The roku 500b is on sale for $99 till the end of the month by the way. - on the Roku site with a coupon number to enter.

- bd
 

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Immaculate Grand Phoobah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grubavs /forum/post/0


This is why I read these threads every day! I have never heard of Tunes Explorer before. I don't know if it'll help iluvthsgam, but it will improve my situation for a minimal outlay of $ (Amazon.com has it rather cheap!). I will now be able to see what's playing! Thanks very much!

So, got it. As long as it's connected, it works as advertized. Trouble is, even though it's RF, damn thing doesn't work if it's 10-feet from the dongle
Also, it needs to re-engage if the computer is restarted, and it needs to be wihin 3-inches of the dongle to re-engage
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by grubavs /forum/post/0


Originally Posted by grubavs

This is why I read these threads every day! I have never heard of Tunes Explorer before. I don't know if it'll help iluvthsgam, but it will improve my situation for a minimal outlay of $ (Amazon.com has it rather cheap!). I will now be able to see what's playing! Thanks very much!
Quote:
Originally Posted by grubavs /forum/post/0


So, got it. As long as it's connected, it works as advertized. Trouble is, even though it's RF, damn thing doesn't work if it's 10-feet from the dongle
Also, it needs to re-engage if the computer is restarted, and it needs to be wihin 3-inches of the dongle to re-engage
Quote:
Originally Posted by grubavs /forum/post/0


After RTFIing
the manual says it should work up to 90-feet. Since it arrived in a rather used condition and didn't work as advertized
I am replacing it via Amazon's very efficient and courteous customer service
The replacement will be here tomorrow!
I hope it works... especially for the price of $39.00


(did I mention I like those silly smileyfaces...)

So... the new one will work for me, though not 90-feet by any means, and I still have to re-connect every restart. However, it is very handy to have a iTunes remote with readout. I can do all normal remote control functions plus switch playlists, change functions such as shuffle, and so on.


Well, the first one I got from Amazon was used, and did not work at all. The replacement was new and worked intermittantly, so I was ready to give up when I checked Hercules' website, downloaded the software update, and voila! it works. Still only about 10ft range when through walls, but it does show what's playing, and gives full access to my iTunes upstairs from my Mac mini. This is a fine piece of equipment. And Amazoin's price (and return policy) hits the spot!!!
 
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