Since most of my favourite CDs/tracks are now digitsed on my PC and phone, my hifi has been sitting there feeling a little out of the loop. Last year I bought an Apple Airport Express, which allowed WinAmp to stream to my hifi over the wireless LAN. That’s been OK, but means the PC needed to be on, with WinAmp configured to send to remote speakers, to listen to any of it. Too much faff plus another A-D-A conversion in the path.
I went looking for other solutions, and really – they’re all too expensive for what they do – so I’ve put a simple ‘media server’ solution together for under £400.
ASUS eeeBox (B202) / 160 Gig HD (a very quiet mini server) – £200
AlbumPlayer – touchscreen optimised player/library £30
Installed, this sits on my hifi rack for touchsceen use.
Album player is designed for touchscreen use – there’s even an on screen keyboard.
My master store of mp3s and FLACs are on the main PC – I simply copy the files / folders I want over the wifi to the Asus. Album player discovers them in a ‘Picasa’ sort of way and off you go. Can create playlists and custom libraries (very different ones for me and Zarina for instance!). Only glitch so far is that the album covers aren’t all being automatically sourced from the album folders.
No specific remote yet – waiting on an iPhone for that 8^).
Now I only have the problem of finding time to sit down and listen to music again…