Centralized multiple zones from a PC

tknx

Member
2019-05-04 11:22 am
My current setup is as follows:

ThinkPad to 3x Startech 7.1 USB cards that feed 12 zones (mostly stereo, a few mono).

Running MS4L, which is an LMS/SS-Lite based setup. It lets you do the following:

1. Separate out USB sound cards into whatever mix of channels you want. You can take each 7.1 card and have 8 mono channels, 4 stereo channels, or a mix of both (e.g., 6 stereo and 2 mono).
2. You can have zones that overlap in inputs, so you could have a 1st floor zone and a living room zone.
3. LMS plugin support for Airplay, Spotify, etc.

But....

It is a pain to setup. When you have multiple USB interfaces, they are assigned to channels in order of boot and can end up mixed if you accidentally pull a cable. You have to walk through and figure out which channel is which manually which is tedious as hell. Etc.

So before I bang my head against the wall setting it up again, I want to see if there is something better.

Key requirements:

1. Let me split soundcards in the same way into multiple zones
2. Spotify support is absolutely required
3. Interrupts for doorbell and other alerts (mp3 or other)

Nice to haves:

1. On the fly synced grouping
2. An easier install
3. Room correction for each zone
4. Headless operation
5. Airplay and UPnP support

I looked, and most of them are RaspPi based (e.g., Moode, Volumio, Max2Play). I could do this, but 12+ Raspberry Pis isn't that cheap either and it feels a bit silly to have a bunch racked up instead of one more powerful system.
 
It is a pain to setup. When you have multiple USB interfaces, they are assigned to channels in order of boot and can end up mixed if you accidentally pull a cable. You have to walk through and figure out which channel is which manually which is tedious as hell.

In linux the solution is binding USB port to alsa card ID in udev, e.g. Home * dh1tw/remoteAudio Wiki * GitHub)