Author Topic: Low-cost home music library solution  (Read 4074 times)

laughing_paddler

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Age: 37
  • Location: MN
Low-cost home music library solution
« on: August 08, 2015, 08:24:58 AM »
MMM Hive-

I'm stuck on what to do for my home music library set-up and I figure many of you have grappled with this and come up with serviceable and hopefully low-cost solutions.

What I want:
I would like to be able to both access my mp3 library (I have maybe 20 GB) and stream web-based music (I have been using Amazon Prime lately, both for streaming past purchases and adding free streaming albums, but I've used Pandora in the past too).

I have:
- 1 airport express (free from a friend) but if possible I would like to stay away from committing fully to the "apple ecosystem" due to price.
- 2009 macbook pro which functions as main home computer, but doesn't have complete mp3 library on it
- 2 small radios with aux inputs (kitchen, bedroom)
- 1 big old heavy stereo with wired speakers and aux input (living room)
- mobile phones running android (ideally used as remote controls for the system)
- wi-fi router (with USB port)

I am only moderately computer skilled (so setting up a Linux-based streaming home server may be out of my depth) and honestly need DW (less confident with computer skills) to be able to use it too, so it can't be too complicated.

What should I try?

Khaetra

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 08:55:59 AM »
I use an iPod touch for all of my music needs.  It's portable, easy to use, can hold up to 32 GB, streams music and the sound is good to boot.  Mine is first-gen so I've had it for quite awhile and it's still going strong.

JustGettingStarted1980

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 377
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 09:48:45 AM »
Buy a Sonos Play:1
-this is a mobile wireless speaker that you can stream Pandora onto, as well as most any radio station in the country, as well as your MP3 libray, with EXCELLENT sound.
-cost: about $200, and worth every penny.

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2010
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 10:29:03 AM »
One option would be to use Bluetooth adaptors on the stereos, store all the MP3s on Google Music (or another cloud service), and stream from the smartphones.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 10:49:58 AM »

I am only moderately computer skilled (so setting up a Linux-based streaming home server may be out of my depth) and honestly need DW (less confident with computer skills) to be able to use it too, so it can't be too complicated.


I could probably provide input if you wanted to go the linux route....  I've had something like that for 15+ years.  It'd run on a 20 year old computer (because mine used to... and it hasn't changed much.)  Control via a web page, so using it is simple.  Once you have a stream set up, anything that can play an mp3 stream can be used as a receiver (android, ipad, laptop, tivo, etc.).

One thing to think about:  Are you going to some day want to do video as well?  (For me the answer is no... but I don't seem to be normal.)  If so, you might attack that first.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5634
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2015, 01:16:57 PM »
The easiest solution would likely be to upload all your music to Google/Amazon and stream via aux port to stereo (using a phone or computer).

Plex is pretty cool, but you probably don't want to set up a dedicated media server.

laughing_paddler

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Age: 37
  • Location: MN
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 08:04:01 AM »
One option would be to use Bluetooth adaptors on the stereos, store all the MP3s on Google Music (or another cloud service), and stream from the smartphones.

Thanks for the ideas everyone- I think I'm going to try the cloud storage and stream via bluetooth adapters.

Upon further poking around the forum, I came upon the thread on Sonos alternatives (I had searched for "home music library", it's all in what your search terms are, right?)- don't think I'll be going the chromecast dongle plus adapter with audio splitter route...
Anyway, I saw elsewhere some comments on battery use for bluetooth and will be sure to get a 4.0 receiver.

Someday it would be fun to go the raspberry pi route and store the music locally too, I'll add it to the project list!

pk_aeryn

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 03:47:48 PM »
I have my computer plugged into the TV speaker receiver, and just play through those speakers.  I can also plug my iPhone into it.

CCCA

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 565
  • Location: Bay Area, California
  • born before the 80's
    • FI programming
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 04:03:38 PM »
I have my computer plugged into the TV speaker receiver, and just play through those speakers.  I can also plug my iPhone into it.
do you have to turn your TV on to get it to play?


Since you have the airport express, you can hook any set of computer speakers to it and airplay from your mac or any iOS devices through it.  I think there are ways to do android to airplay as well.

pyyj

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 05:18:19 PM »
The best home music solution I've come across is the simplest: a small FM transmitter.

http://www.ccrane.com/!FXdBmTG9XZhvHYfK9-XDow!/transmitter#.T5qq38RWopg

Just plug it into whatever device is creating your music, and every radio in your house now plays glorious, completely synchronized music. Inside, on the patio, from your super-deluxe stereo system and your $5 transistor radio. With the Crane you have to open it up when you get it and turn the transmit power up to the (not completely legal) maximum and then you're good to go.

pk_aeryn

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 129
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 05:44:26 PM »
I have my computer plugged into the TV speaker receiver, and just play through those speakers.  I can also plug my iPhone into it.
do you have to turn your TV on to get it to play?

No just the receiver has to be on (but set to the correct output) so less power or screen burn in than with the TV on.

laughing_paddler

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
  • Age: 37
  • Location: MN
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 07:08:13 PM »
The best home music solution I've come across is the simplest: a small FM transmitter.

http://www.ccrane.com/!FXdBmTG9XZhvHYfK9-XDow!/transmitter#.T5qq38RWopg

Just plug it into whatever device is creating your music, and every radio in your house now plays glorious, completely synchronized music. Inside, on the patio, from your super-deluxe stereo system and your $5 transistor radio. With the Crane you have to open it up when you get it and turn the transmit power up to the (not completely legal) maximum and then you're good to go.

Wow Pyyj- that's a great alternative to the bluetooth receivers idea... anyone have a reason why this ain't the winner?

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5634
Re: Low-cost home music library solution
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 10:02:37 PM »
The best home music solution I've come across is the simplest: a small FM transmitter.

http://www.ccrane.com/!FXdBmTG9XZhvHYfK9-XDow!/transmitter#.T5qq38RWopg

Just plug it into whatever device is creating your music, and every radio in your house now plays glorious, completely synchronized music. Inside, on the patio, from your super-deluxe stereo system and your $5 transistor radio. With the Crane you have to open it up when you get it and turn the transmit power up to the (not completely legal) maximum and then you're good to go.
Wow Pyyj- that's a great alternative to the bluetooth receivers idea... anyone have a reason why this ain't the winner?

If you are fussy like me, it's because you get FM-quality music instead of lossless audio. I often listen to FLAC:

Quote
FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec, an audio format similar to MP3, but lossless, meaning that audio is compressed in FLAC without any loss in quality.
FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec - Xiph.org

Without really good speakers or headphones, the difference is likely not noticeable.  If you are perfectly happy playing music via YouTube, an FM transmitter will likely do you just fine. :)