Around home music streaming

denz1968

Standard Member
Hi all

Looking for advice with my music streaming.
I currently have all my old CD's burnt to Itunes, along with several bought albums there too.
I also subscribe to Spotify premium, and amazon prime.

My apple music is hosted on my Imac (always on)
I have a homepod in my kitchen.
I have a Bang & Olufsen speaker in the dining hall connected by airport express.
Hifi (Denon circa 1995~) with B & W speakers in the lounge.
Samsung TV (not smart) in the lounge also

What is the best way to enable music streaming across my current setup please.

Thanks in advance
 

jamieu

Active Member
Hi all

Looking for advice with my music streaming.
I currently have all my old CD's burnt to Itunes, along with several bought albums there too.
I also subscribe to Spotify premium, and amazon prime.

My apple music is hosted on my Imac (always on)
I have a homepod in my kitchen.
I have a Bang & Olufsen speaker in the dining hall connected by airport express.
Hifi (Denon circa 1995~) with B & W speakers in the lounge.
Samsung TV (not smart) in the lounge also

What is the best way to enable music streaming across my current setup please.

Thanks in advance

What exactly are you hoping to change / achieve? ie. what specifically do you want to do in future that you can't do now?

For example you can buy a used AirPort express for £10 (or £40 for one that supports AirPlay 2) which would enable you to also stream to the HiFi via AirPlay if that is your only goal.

If you want better music management and to introduce non-Airplay devices to your multi-room setup then you could run something like Roon on your iMac. But without knowing specifically what you're trying to achieve we could be recommending costly solutions that don't actually solve your needs.
 
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denz1968

Standard Member
OK thanks for the reply.
Ideally airplay around the house. But I wasnt really sure what the options are re expanding and making the system better for me.
I mean would i be better going to a NAS and storing my music there? But then how can i play that to the current items i have.

What would Roon do for me - I will google it and see.

Thanks
 

jamieu

Active Member
OK thanks for the reply.
Ideally airplay around the house. But I wasnt really sure what the options are re expanding and making the system better for me.
I mean would i be better going to a NAS and storing my music there? But then how can i play that to the current items i have.

What would Roon do for me - I will google it and see.

Thanks

In that case I think Roon might actually fit the bill for what you want to achieve. Have a look at this video to see what it looks like in use.

In terms of functionality Roon effectively acts as a vendor independent hub between your various audio components/speakers, music streaming / internet radio services and your local music collection.

It scans/indexes your music library (either locally or on another machine on your network) and pulls in loads of extra metadata. It can also (very nicely) integrate 3rd party streaming services, although unfortunately not Spotify. You can then control / browse that centralised library (which can be made of up of both local music and music on a remote streaming service) via the various Roon Remote apps (both mobile and desktop).

It then streams the music to any device that Roon supports (which includes a whole range of manufactures as well as any AirPlay / Chromecast supporting devices). This also includes streaming different music to different systems at the same time or transferring music from one room/speaker to another.

Another nice benefit is that you can start playback on say the iMac and then pickup control of what is playing on the iPhone app. It also supports multiple users, so you can each have your own view of the library. It also has a powerful recommendation engine which is great for discovering new music.

If your iMac is on 24/7 then you don't even need to buy additional hardware to run it. You can try the trial for free. Download the first option on this page (OSX / Roon) and then install the Roon remote app on your phone. Then in settings / storage point it to your existing iTunes library.

You might still need to buy an additional AirPort to hook up the Denon so that Roon can stream audio to it. But you can get a feel for how Roon works with your existing speakers before doing that.

A NAS has the advantage that normally they are left on 24/7, hidden out of sight and forgotten about. They are also normally managed via a web interface as opposed to a traditional PC monitor/keyboard. It's also (normally) easier to expand the amount of storage you have with a NAS. But at a simple level they're just a PC with a bunch of disks attached, nothing your iMac can't do currently.

If you did go the Roon route and (later on) wanted to free up the iMac. Roon offer their own operating system called Rock that you can install on an off the shelf Intel NUC (an older ~£160 used model is fine). Effectively turning it into a standalone music server on which you can store your files and run Roon. Roon actually make/sell a commercial version of this called Nucleus but it offers no real benefit over installing Rock on a NUC yourself. You can even attach a cheap USB CD drive to enable 1-click ripping. But I'd suggest starting simple and trial Roon on your iMac to begin.

To be honest the best way to get your head around it is to download it and give it a trial.
 
Last edited:

Flashy

Well-known Member
If the OP is happy with AirPlay and wants to expand it and continue on the Apple path then the AirPort Express would work for the Denon (assuming it has an RCA/optical input spare). An Apple TV 3rd gen (not HD or 4K) would also work if the Denon has an optical input, although don't think it will handle AirPlay 2.

That may negate the need to get music onto the TV in the same room, but if not an Apple TV 4K would do it and more – though again involves going further into the Apple ecosystem and spending more money. (There's nothing wrong with that, of course, it's what I've done but conscious it's not for everyone.)

As for a NAS, if the OP is happy with having the iMac on 24/7 to serve media from iTunes, then it's arguably an unnecessary expense. The Mac with storage – either on-board or on a connected external drive – will achieve the same thing, again if AirPlay is the desired solution.
 

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