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I want to be able to manage a single music library from either my living room or bedroom PC with the ability to play the music in either room or both rooms at the same time. Can this be done over a network with software running on the computers? I'd rather not use multi-zone amplifiers because the network is already in place and I don't want to purchase extra hardware or run audio cable between the rooms. I can't imagine I'm the only one who has ever thought of something like this and I have searched and searched but cannot find anything.


Oh, and the ability to control it all from a PDA would be great.
 

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I've not done it, but many folks have commented on the difficulty of synchronized audio playback when managing multiple locations via PCs...


Perhaps you'll have better luck.
 

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I think that the only practical way to do it is to have the playback at the head end and use a matrix switcher, so that you are literally pushing one signal to all the zones that want to hear a particular stream. But of course that does away with the ethernet based distribution.
 

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Ok, I'll chime in. I don't know if this is exactly what your looking to do but I'll tell you what I did and it's relatively inexpensive. First off download the latest itunes from the apple site (it's free). Install it on all computers that you want to control your music from (only need the songs installed on one computer but need the itunes on all of them). Now you have to buy an "AirPort Express Base Station with AirTunes" from apple. It's about $100. The base station allows you to play iTunes music over your wireless network to your home stereo or powered speakers. I actually went ahead and used an existing cat5 cable instead of using it's wireless features. Anyway the base station has many uses but i have it plugged into my stereo that drives my whole house speakers. Itunes takes a little work to get setup but basically you enable sharing of your music data base through itunes and keep itunes running in the system with the music. Then if your on another computer/laptop ect from within itunes you can select the database from the "main" computer. You also must select wether you want itunes to output the audio through the pc's sound card or out to the Airport base station. THis works very well and other than a few cables only costs $100 to achieve provided you have a stereo ect. Hope this helps.

 

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I re-read your post and can't tell if you already have whole house speakers/wires in place or if that is the main quesiton but I'll offer one more solution incase that's what your looking for. I'm actually using this combined with the airtunes I posted above. Just go to http://www.a-bus.com/ and check out their system. They essentially sell a system where you install volume controls in the wall. From there you run speaker wires to the ceiling speakers. From your stereo and their distribution panel you run cat5 cables to each wall plate/volume control. The volume control acts as the amplifier. hope this helps.
 

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


I want to be able to manage a single music library from either my living room or bedroom PC with the ability to play the music in either room or both rooms at the same time. Can this be done over a network with software running on the computers? I'd rather not use multi-zone amplifiers because the network is already in place and I don't want to purchase extra hardware or run audio cable between the rooms. I can't imagine I'm the only one who has ever thought of something like this and I have searched and searched but cannot find anything.


Oh, and the ability to control it all from a PDA would be great.
Slim Devices' has your answer.

You don't really have to purchase a Squeezebox(s), I reccomend it though.

The free SlimServer should meet your needs. It is feature rich and largly platform independent.

There is a Java SoftSqueeze player component that would work from your PCs. (sync'ing the Java player has been an issue in the past).

There are many skins for the server interface but the Nokia 770 skin could meet your PDA control scheme.


Higly reccomend this hardware/software solution.
 

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I'd assume you're looking for the music to be sync'd, or there wouldn't even be a discussion, right? That's not possible without extra equipment.


As for control, you can look into many apps for PPC, such as NetRemote and RemoteAmp.
 

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


I was hoping that going with an Ehternet solution, if there is one, instead of a hardware solution would only take $ instead of $$$.

Well I was specifically speaking about the digilinx system. Very pricey...but then again, most new technology is when it first comes out. Hopefully prices will fall over the long run.
 

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I second the recommendation for Slim Devices Squeezebox and SlimServer.


Outstanding sound quality and functionality, pretty much unrivaled by other solutions. I've also used the Roku Soundbridge, which is a cheap toy by comparison.
 

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


I want to be able to manage a single music library from either my living room or bedroom PC with the ability to play the music in either room or both rooms at the same time. Can this be done over a network with software running on the computers? I'd rather not use multi-zone amplifiers because the network is already in place and I don't want to purchase extra hardware or run audio cable between the rooms. I can't imagine I'm the only one who has ever thought of something like this and I have searched and searched but cannot find anything.


Oh, and the ability to control it all from a PDA would be great.

I can't believe nobody's mentioned this yet, but if you're target playback devices are PCs, then J River Media Center is the way to go.


You just install JRMC on the "server" enable the Library Server option, and then install JRMC on the "clients" and set them to "Search for Media Server".


IMO, it's by far the most powerful/robust/overall best solution for networked music if you're using PCs as the playback devices.
 

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


I second the recommendation for Slim Devices Squeezebox and SlimServer.


Outstanding sound quality and functionality, pretty much unrivaled by other solutions. I've also used the Roku Soundbridge, which is a cheap toy by comparison.

morsel,


What's the difference between them? I'm looking at a network music player, and have gravitated toward those two. What makes the Squeezebox worth ~2x the Soundbridge?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


morsel,


What's the difference between them? I'm looking at a network music player, and have gravitated toward those two. What makes the Squeezebox worth ~2x the Soundbridge?

Just do a quick Google on the Roku and SlimDevices. You will find support docs from Roku that tell you get better codec (and I believe product and server) support from SlimDevice's Slimserver. I believe the answer is better hardware and flexible feature set.
 

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I posted something similar to this on the JRMC forums, but I'll post a more generic version here.


I came across this tread because (after seeing a good price on the M1001 in an add last week) I've had renewed interest in DMRs. Some useless background:


I use SageTV for all my video needs, it streams recordings, DVDs, etc to my two TVs (HTPC driving my HT system and MVP/Extender driving my "normal" HDTV). I love it, can't imagine living without it.


Similarly for music, I run J River Media Center, I have it's Media Server running on my server and I use JRMC "clients" on my HTPC, desktop, and stream music to work (on the fly transcoding is sweet!). For a long time I thought I wanted JRMC integrated into SageTV (my two favorite media apps in one, what could be better). But after actually thinking about how I listen to music and such, I came to the realization that I use them very differently, if I've got a TV on, I'm watching video of some sort (not music). And if I'm listenning to music, I don't have a TV on (thus no way to browse music via Sage or a Sage-like interface).


What I really need is a DMR or two (or three). Something I can just have hooked up to speakers so I can listen to music either in places without a TV, or without the TV/display on.


OK, useless background out of the way, I need to pick a DMR. Like I said, I love JRMC and am completely addicted to it's smartlist feature. For those who don't know, Smartlists appear in JRMC just like a normal playlist, however unlike normal playlists, with a static list of tracks, you define a Smartlist by criteria (eg Genre, Rating, last played, etc, etc). Then when you select a Smartlist, JRMC automatically generates a playlist based on the Smartlist's criteria.


While I don't have a huge collection, I don't like having to pick individual tracks (though I like the ability to), nor do I like picking playlists, 99% of the time, I use the Smartlist. I've got them setup for my favorite genres, stuff I haven't heard in a long time, etc.


That brings me to my requirements for a DMR:


1) Needs to integrate with JRMC: JRMC supports UPnP serving, and presents smartlists to the UPnP client.


2) Needs to support lossless audio: My entire collection is lossless, WMAL at the moment, but I'm not married to it. Unfortunately JRMC can't transcode to PCM/WAV so I need a DMR that supports lossless codecs (other than WAV) natively.


3) I'd also like an alarm function, so that I can use it as an alarm clock radio.


FWIW, I really don't like the Slimserver/player interface, or more correctly, it appears to have nothing like Smartlists, and I just can't live without something like that. Maybe I'm missing something though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


But after actually thinking about how I listen to music and such, I came to the realization that I use them very differently, if I've got a TV on, I'm watching video of some sort (not music). And if I'm listenning to music, I don't have a TV on (thus no way to browse music via Sage or a Sage-like interface).
Me too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


What I really need is a DMR or two (or three). Something I can just have hooked up to speakers so I can listen to music either in places without a TV, or without the TV/display on.
Or have all your Squeezeboxes sync'd together playing the same thing, or have them all playing seperate tracks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


Like I said, I love JRMC and am completely addicted to it's smartlist feature. For those who don't know, Smartlists appear in JRMC just like a normal playlist, however unlike normal playlists, with a static list of tracks, you define a Smartlist by criteria (eg Genre, Rating, last played, etc, etc). Then when you select a Smartlist, JRMC automatically generates a playlist based on the Smartlist's criteria.
Playlists can be created by a variety of methods on the fly and updated to add tracks. Music can be sorted by grenre, artist, alblum, etc...

This can all be modified as well with plug-ins .


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


That brings me to my requirements for a DMR:


1) Needs to integrate with JRMC: JRMC supports UPnP serving, and presents smartlists to the UPnP client.
No sure

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


2) Needs to support lossless audio: My entire collection is lossless, WMAL at the moment, but I'm not married to it. Unfortunately JRMC can't transcode to PCM/WAV so I need a DMR that supports lossless codecs (other than WAV) natively.
Supports multiple codecs (i.e. flac).

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


3) I'd also like an alarm function, so that I can use it as an alarm clock radio.
Slimserver alarm rocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 /forum/post/0


FWIW, I really don't like the Slimserver/player interface, or more correctly, it appears to have nothing like Smartlists, and I just can't live without something like that. Maybe I'm missing something though.
See answer above. Sorry you don't like the interface it is fast and flexible.
 

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

Playlists can be created by a variety of methods on the fly and updated to add tracks. Music can be sorted by grenre, artist, alblum, etc...

Yeah, but that's not enough, everything can do that. But...

Quote:
This can all be modified as well with plug-ins .

The SQL Playlist plugin looks like exactly what I'm looking for, playlists dynamically created based on multiple criteria.



Thanks for the link, I'll have to play with it some more (via softsqueeze) before I decide.

Quote:
See answer above. Sorry you don't like the interface it is fast and flexible.

I shouldn't say I don't like the "inteface", that's not really correct, it was/is more of a case of it lacking some functionality that I would really miss, but I think SQL Playlist will fill that gap.
 
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