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Computer as home stereo - software help?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Short Cut, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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    Since getting an iPod all of my music is on the computer. Playing music from the computer is imo a lot more convenient than playing CDs from a stereo.

    Now I'm looking for a program that will allow me to play music in several different rooms in the house. I'd like to have seperate volume adjustments for each room so one room can play at level 3 while another plays at level 5, for example. If I could play differnt play lists in different rooms simultaneously that would be great.

    Any recommendations for software than can manage this task?
     
  2. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    i may be mistaken, but it seems to me you would need multiple sound cards to do that (i.e. one per room).

    Then you could run multiple programs, each one outputting to a different card.

    i've never tried this, just my thoughts on it.
     

  3. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    I don't think a purely software solution is practical. You COULD do it with multiple sound cards (USB would work fine) and WinAmp can run in several instances, each linked to a different output device. I'm sure there's some Linux gizmo that can put this together, but that's out of my comfort zone.

    The easiest way, IMO, would be something like this. Just add a set of PC speakers and you're done. Your PC is a file server instead of actually decoding and playing the music. I'm not sure how well any but the most powerful computers would handle running multiple mp3 streams simultaneously. Plus, it'd all have to be managed from the PC, rather than where the listener is.

    Trouble is, that box is most of a c-note. Putting them all over the house get expensive very quickly. Other network product makers have various "entertainment" type devices like this. Some may support multiple stations like the Netgear, but some definitely do not. Oh, and if you're trying to play music you downloaded from the iTMS, you're probably screwed, none I've seen support their .AAC format. Only thing I know that does is an iPod and the iTunes application.
     
  4. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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    Playing different lists simultaneously would be nice, but it sounds like that's the most difficult thing to do. I'd happily settle with being able to play the same list at differnt locations simultaneously, but it would be really useful to be able to adjust the volume for the different rooms independently.

    I'd likely be using the same type of speakers in the different rooms, but room size and ambient noise differences would make the independent volume adjustments most useful.
     
  5. Glock Bob

    Glock Bob Snack Attack!!!

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    They make volume knobs that can go in ordinary juction boxes. In fact, a light dimmer might work. You could wire all of your speakers into their own dimmer switch and adjust them in their respective rooms.
     
  6. grokdesigns

    grokdesigns

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    That would solve the volume issue. To play different music in different rooms, you'd need something like the netgear equipment already listed. To play the same thing in many locations, you'll need a Multi-Zone Audio Distributor. Be warned that this can be expensive.

    Check this out:
    http://www.wireless-experts.com/pragmatc/pads.htm

    The PADS Bronze package is exactly what you want, even includes volume controls for each set of speakers. Step up to the Silver package, add a USB IR receiver to your computer, and you could even control the music from whatever room you were in. The Gold package allows you to do all of the above and also gives you the ability to have multiple input sources and to switch between those sources from the room you are in. All of the PADS solutions provide the same audio to every room.