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Old 18th January 2010, 02:52 AM   #1
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Default Question about distributing audio

Ok, I have all my music in my PC, it can be accessed from any computer in my house and I can play any song, anywhere, at any time. But I can't seem to do one important thing and that is play the same song on two different PCs in synch. Is there an app that will stream from one computer to all the others allowing me to play one song from one PC on all the other PCs?

I'm talking about using my home giga-bit local ethernet of course. I shoudn't have to add a single piece of hardware, only software.

Last edited by gedlee; 18th January 2010 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 18th January 2010, 03:40 AM   #2
jleaman is offline jleaman  Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gedlee View Post
Ok, I have all my music in my PC, it can be accessed from any computer in my house and I can play any song, anywhere, at any time. But I can't seem to do one important thing and that is play the same song on two different PCs in synch. Is there an app that will stream from one computer to all the others allowing me to play one song from one PC on all the other PCs?

I'm talking about using my home giga-bit local ethernet of course. I shoudn't have to add a single piece of hardware, only software.
good luck, OH btw, gigabit doesn't really have any thing to do with it unless you are running cat6 shielded cable throw that word down the toilet
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Old 18th January 2010, 05:31 AM   #3
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Default streaming media systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by gedlee View Post
Ok, I have all my music in my PC, it can be accessed from any computer in my house and I can play any song, anywhere, at any time. But I can't seem to do one important thing and that is play the same song on two different PCs in synch. Is there an app that will stream from one computer to all the others allowing me to play one song from one PC on all the other PCs?

I'm talking about using my home giga-bit local ethernet of course. I shoudn't have to add a single piece of hardware, only software.
Do not worry too much about bandwidth unless you plan to host your music to the world, then bandwidth is the least of your issues. Licensing is the one to worry about in this day and age. Now, let's move onto the answer since one of my pet peeves is to respond with information that has nothing to do with the original question!

You have many choices and each one is platform specific, so my first question is what operating system do you own? When you are looking at sharing music, the term is called "streaming". You can stream several types of media, Wikipedia can help you understand the theory: Streaming media - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here is a list of streaming media systems: List of streaming media systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I suspect you have Windows, so an "open source" streaming media server that is free and well known is Icecast at Icecast.org

Reply back with what operating system you are using and exactly what type of files (.mp3, .wav, .xi, .ra, etc.) you want to share or stream and I will make a better recommendation bases on your needs.
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Old 18th January 2010, 01:12 PM   #4
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Originally Posted by xerocomm View Post
I suspect you have Windows, so an "open source" streaming media server that is free and well known is Icecast at Icecast.org

Reply back with what operating system you are using and exactly what type of files (.mp3, .wav, .xi, .ra, etc.) you want to share or stream and I will make a better recommendation bases on your needs.
Thanks for the help.

I only mentioned the bandwidth so that people would understand that I don't think that I would be bandwidth limited in my system.

I use Windows, yes. Several Win 7, others XP Pro. I'd like to upgrade everything to Win 7 64-bit because it seems to run well - although its backward compatibility has been an issue.

I am quite savy with PCs and networking and even thought of writting an app myself, but not being a "pro" I figured I'd see what was available. Syncronizing all of the PCs would seem to me to be the hardest thing since ethernet is not a synchronous system and the PCs do not necessarily have identical clocks. The latency in all this is not clear to me, nor is level that would be apparent as one went from room to room. Complex topic that!

I have all my music in WMA - lossless. Its on various PCs, but all of the Win Media players share the same songs. Its not critical that I use Media player, but it is critical that I use WMA lossless because thats what everything is in and there are over 700 titles.
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Old 18th January 2010, 01:35 PM   #5
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Not an elegant solution, but setting up a Squeezebox server and then using Softsqueeze / Sqeezeplay / Squeezeslave on the clients will allow you to sync two players easily, and more if you use Squeezeslave's ability to pretend to be a hardware squeezebox.

Simple streaming won't work, the initial buffering will throw it all out of sync.

(Oh, I also believe there's a windows version of Pulseaudio available, which is a network aware sound daemon. Might be another way to approach your problem)
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Old 18th January 2010, 02:10 PM   #6
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Originally Posted by TheSeekerr View Post
Not an elegant solution, but setting up a Squeezebox server and then using Softsqueeze / Sqeezeplay / Squeezeslave on the clients will allow you to sync two players easily, and more if you use Squeezeslave's ability to pretend to be a hardware squeezebox.

Simple streaming won't work, the initial buffering will throw it all out of sync.

(Oh, I also believe there's a windows version of Pulseaudio available, which is a network aware sound daemon. Might be another way to approach your problem)
That sounds like a hardware intensive solution - i.e. buy my box and everything will work fine.

Streaming would work if the source acknowledged the buffer is full and sent a "play" signal back to the server. Of course you could only add new devices at the start of a song, but I don't see that as a problem.

I simply don't see why it would be such a tough app to do. If the connection were fast enough the timing problems should be minimal.

I have a sling-box, but that seems like a lot of overhead for just audio. But I suppose it would work.
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Old 18th January 2010, 04:04 PM   #7
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Post How to stream your music to any PC - Orb Solution

The path of least resistance is to leave your music library in its current home: your home PC. Because there's nothing to upload, you can start streaming almost instantly. You just need to choose an application/service that satisfies your needs.

There is a really cool Jukebox but is difficult to setup: the internet-jukebox program Jinzora. It's a killer solution, but perhaps a bit complex and time-consuming for most users, what with all the PHP script editing and MySQL databases. Thankfully, there are easier, faster options.

One of them is Avvenu, which can stream your music from other PCs or to a Windows Mobile 5 Smartphone. However, it was recently discontinued, so if your found a copy of the source code you may be on your own, and has library limitations.

Your best bet: Orb. It's easy to set up, chock full of great features and, best of all, free. Alas, the desktop software requires Windows (though it can stream to Macs—and even select PDAs and phones). Mac users seeking a similar solution may want to try the iTunes-over-Hamachi approach. Reply if this interests anyone and I will give deatils about this solution.

Orb is actually designed to provide remote access to all kinds of media: music, photos, videos, documents, even live and recorded TV. For our purposes, however, we'll stick to the music side of things. Start by downloading and running the Orb software. During the installation process you'll be prompted to create an account. You'll then be asked to choose what kinds of media you want to access remotely. Deselect everything except audio (unless, of course, you want to stream other stuff).

The final step is to point Orb to the folder(s) containing your music, which you can do by clicking the green Orb icon in your System Tray and choosing Configure. When that's done, fire up any browser on any PC and head to mycast.orb.com. Click Open Application and select Audio. Presto: Your music library awaits!

This web-based jukebox interface packs in the features. You can sort your library by all kinds of criteria (just by clicking the column headers); drag and drop songs to create playlists; listen to (and even record) Internet radio; and share songs via a public Orb page, MySpace page, e-mail, SMS, RSS and so on. My only complaint is that the interface can be sluggish, especially when you're trying to resize panes. What's more, Orb can't stream DRM-protected tracks. But other than that, the service rocks.

Hosting online

If there's a downside to using a service like Orb, it's that you need to leave your PC running 24/7 (though if you configure your standby mode correctly, you may be able to work around that). What's more, it consumes system resources and more than a little of your available bandwidth (what with all that outbound streaming) when you use the Orb service outside of the local LAN.

Consider, then, a service that hosts your music online, thus taking the load off your PC and network. I looked at three: MediaMaster, MediaMax and MP3tunes. If any of these interest someone, let me know and I will post more details.

That is it for now, Xerocomm Audio
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Old 18th January 2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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Thanks, Orb looks like what I wanted to do without buying anything.

As for Earl's latency/clock issues, I don't see a solution for the fact that the 96kHz clocks in two different computers could slowly drift apart with time.
Correct me if I'm wrong but you want to open three separate instances of a listener on three separate computers in your house and be able to walk around without any wierd flanging/comb-filtering artifacts.
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Last edited by scott wurcer; 18th January 2010 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 18th January 2010, 05:11 PM   #9
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
Thanks, Orb looks like what I wanted to do without buying anything.

As for Earl's latency/clock issues, I don't see a solution for the fact that the 96kHz clocks in two different computers could slowly drift apart with time.
Correct me if I'm wrong but you want to open three separate instances of a listener on three separate computers in your house and be able to walk around without any wierd flanging/comb-filtering artifacts.
Yes, basically thats correct. I believe that the clock difference issue gets better if each song terminates and then start again for the next song. That way any drift would be kept as short as possible. You could just add a sample or take one away to always keep within one sample of delay. Seems that could get tricky.

Question for xerocomm: Would three computers running the same web page stay synchronous? Seems that could get to be far more than just a sample or two. If it does and its truely free then it works for me.
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Old 18th January 2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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Default latency/clock issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
Thanks, Orb looks like what I wanted to do without buying anything.

As for Earl's latency/clock issues, I don't see a solution for the fact that the 96kHz clocks in two different computers could slowly drift apart with time.
Correct me if I'm wrong but you want to open three separate instances of a listener on three separate computers in your house and be able to walk around without any wierd flanging/comb-filtering artifacts.
Correct, you will be able to "open three separate instances of a listener on three separate computers in your house and be able to walk around without any wierd flanging/comb-filtering artifacts".

If you run into any trouble, I would be happy to help you. Please post any issues to this thread. If I can not answer them, we can create a secure Crossloop session to your PC and fix the issue via remote.

Keep me posted with the results.
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