U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Consumer Electronics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 10-06-2008, 06:34 PM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 7,918,416 times
Reputation: 2364

Advertisements

I need a new music system. Well, something like a squeezebox. Or an mp3 server. Or a home theater PC. Or maybe a music robot. I think. I'm not sure. Maybe someone here can help.

Here's what I want to do:

1. Play mp3s downstairs on the stereo. We could also use a new stereo, if that helps.
2. Be able to browse those mp3s by name/genre (hard to do on a squeezebox)
3. Have something that stores and organizes those mp3s
4. Not have to have my computer upstairs on all of the time in order to play mp3s downstairs.
5. Not have to bring a device (e.g. ipod) upstairs to a computer and back down each time I buy new music
6. Be able to access the mp3s from any computer in the house

It'd also be nice to play cds from this hypothetical music robot.

Oh right, and I don't want to spend a lot of money. Yeah. Right.

I have maybe 12 GB of music. I thought about just using an old mac laptop to do this. Except it would have to be "awake" all of the time in order for us to access its' mp3s upstairs using iTunes.

So if anyone has any solutions, let me know. Thnx in advance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-06-2008, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,499,742 times
Reputation: 8052
We have a home theater PC running Vista Ultimate. You seem averse to leaving a PC on full time, so it may not be the solution for you, but I'll throw in my two bits anyway.

The Media Center application ties in with Windows Media Player for its music and video library. It also records TV on a schedule, just like Tivo. I never watch anything live anymore, except news. That way I can skip all the commercials.

It organizes the music by artist, album, genre, etc. I have all my CDs ripped in a lossless format, so there's no difference in quality, and the CDs can safely collect dust in their jewel cases on the shelf.

It also has access to my digital photo library, so I can view them on demand or as a slideshow, screensaver or while music is playing. When a SD/CF card is inserted into the reader, it automatically asks if you want to view the media on the card.

It also has built-in access to tons of online content (mostly from NBC, due to their ties with Microsoft). There's 3rd party plugins for it, however, that give you access to just about anything out there - YouTube, Netflix (queue management and downloadable movies), podcasts, etc.

There's a very popular addon called MyMovies, with which you can catalog your DVD collection, and if you choose to rip them and put them on your hard drive, gives you instant access to watch any of them.

The drawback to using it is that you have to leave your PC on full time, or know how to set it up properly to sleep when it doesn't need to be doing anything and wake up for recordings and such. If you let it sleep, though, you won't have access to the content from another system.

You can get "extenders", which give you access to your content (TV, music, pictures, etc) remotely via the network, even from a regular TV. There's also 3rd party addons that let you access your content across the Internet.

AFAIK, it doesn't integrate with iTunes. It's possible that there's an addon for that, but I don't use iTunes, so I've never looked for one.

Anyway, food for thought. Good luck, whichever solution you end up with.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2008, 10:39 AM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 7,918,416 times
Reputation: 2364
Thanks for the reply. That sounds close. You can also hack a Tivo to do this too. We're leaning towards just connecting a pc to our tv monitor. I'm mostly opposed to a computer that's on all the time if 1) has a noisy fan (like a lot of Dells) or 2) sucks up a lot of energy. If we could find a compact, energy efficient pc, that'd still let us access the mp3s from other computers when its in sleep mode, that would be ideal.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2008, 10:42 AM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 7,918,416 times
Reputation: 2364
Also, how does the keyboard/remote situation work? Is there a remote for it or do you use a seperate wireless mouse+ keyboard?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2008, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,499,742 times
Reputation: 8052
If all you need is storage, you should look at network attached storage (NAS) devices. A NAS basically an external hard drive with an embedded version of linux built into it, and you set up/manage it via a simple web interface. Much more energy friendly than a full-blown PC and quieter, too. You can get a plug-n-play device, or you can get an enclosure and add your own hard drives, allowing you to set your own capacity and upgrade as needed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2008, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,499,742 times
Reputation: 8052
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
Also, how does the keyboard/remote situation work? Is there a remote for it or do you use a seperate wireless mouse+ keyboard?
The Media Center uses a remote control that looks like any other A/V system remote. I don't have a keyboard or mouse attached to mine - I remote into it using VNC or Remote Desktop when necessary. On those very rare occasions where I actually need a keyboard or mouse plugged in, I have a wireless KB/mouse on another PC that I just move to that one temporarily.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-07-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 7,918,416 times
Reputation: 2364
I think we were thinking about getting a blu-ray anyways, so just getting a home theater pc would make more sense than getting a squeezebox+separate blu-ray. Thanks for the info.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Consumer Electronics
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:01 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top