Music app to control central music server PC/tablet from multiple devices

Can anyone recommend an app where I can store all my music on one device (ideally a tablet), leave it on 24hrs a day, and control it with other devices, including mainly my phone and my laptop? The tablet would then sit plugged into my amp in a cupboard, and say I wanted to play a particular album, I could make it do so easily from my phone or laptop, without needing to go over to the tablet.

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For anyone who wants a bit more detail... The house I bought 10 years ago has an old system called Living Control Music Box, one part of which (the bit that holds the CD collection) has now sadly died, and would be very expensive to repair. The system has 6 channels - 2 of them access the CD collection I've loaded on part of the Living Control system, 1 is radio, 1 is Sky, and 1 is to an old Airport Express that plays music from iTunes streamed from an old desktop. Most of that I rarely used / no longer need. The plan is to load most of my old CD collection, plus any MP3s, to one tablet, then have a single app that can choose songs, albums, playlists etc, and can be controlled from another device.

There will need to be 2 stages of development in the long-term:
1. At present, the Living Control box that directs music to different rooms still works, and the control panels on the walls still work, so I just need the app to select the right music on the tablet, have the tablet plugged into the LC box, and I can just select that single channel in whatever room I want it using the wall panel.
2. When that LC box dies, it will leave me with cables to 5 rooms all coming into my living room, so I'll presumably need to buy a new piece of hardware to manage that (to be honest there are only 3 rooms where we really need it). What is that hardware called? Amp? Receiver? It needs to take music from my tablet (single source) and send it to the right room. Is there a recommended app to manage that too? i.e. I'd need the app to not only choose the music, but then also choose the destination room, and tell the hardware to play the music in that room. Is it possible?
(N.B. My current LC set-up also enables 2+ different sources to play in different rooms at the same time, but i so rarely used it that it's not worth recreating, so I'll ignore that for now at least).

Thanks to anyone prepared to try to help, and apologies for my obvious lack of technical knowledge on such topics (please be patient! :) ).
 
Last edited:

GaryM999

Active Member
Living Control, I remember that.

If you like a bit of DIY why not look at a media player based on a Raspberry Pi. There are loads of solutions but the one I’m invested in is is based on the now old Logitech Media Server. Although it’s long gone the is a huge community supporting it. Look at the excellent PiCorePlayer. You can run the LMS server part on a NAS drive where you will probably store your music collection or run it directly on the PCP.

When the LC dies add an Amp HAT to the rPi and you can drive a set or speakers direct. I built an in wall player for our bathroom. See here
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
As @GaryM999 said, a pi with picoreplayer and LMS would be ideal, dont even need a NAS as you could just load a usb stick or hdd up and plug into the pi. Easily controlled by a phone or computer and low power.
 
Wow the end result looks very impressive - I'm not much of a DIYer, but my brother-in-law might be able to help me do something like that for the longer term - definitely something to think about. I'll have to learn about it all first. :)

What about for the short term, i.e. while my Living Control distribution box and wall panels are all working? All I need in the short term is music player software that I can control remotely, so the player software sits on a tablet, and I control it remotely with my phone / laptop - any ideas for software to do that?
 

GaryM999

Active Member
Still think pCP is the way to go. Purchase a Raspberry PI and SD card, download the pCP SW image to the card and fire it up. Its that simple and well documented. Then you can use yor tablet or phone to control it. If you dont like pCP there are plenty of other solutions but by then you will have more confidence with what you are doing.
 
Ok, thanks both - think I'll need to do a bit of research to get sufficiently confident first, as I've never touched anything like this before, was hoping for now to stick to software - but if I do go ahead with this, I may well loop you both in again if I need any advice along the way, hope that's ok, cheers. :)
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Stick your Music on a NAS drive sitting on your wired network, add a SONOS Port to the Living Control system and add the SONOS App to any number of control devices.

As the Living Control system 'dies' you can add in additional SONOS Zone players/Speakers as required.

We have used SONOS in the above fashion to extend the life of many multi-room music systems - mostly LINN as they were popular with our customers.

Joe

 
Aha, another possibility, thanks. :) However one thing I'm struggling with is what either of the above add to what I've actually done yesterday as a temporary solution:

I've ripped a sample of 20 CD albums to MP3s, loaded them onto my old HTC10 phone, plugged it into the Living Control box as a source, downloaded TeamViewer Host to that phone and TeamViewer main app to my current phone, and now it seems I can change the music from anywhere in the house. I still have to select the source on the wall panel in the relevant room, but I've always had to do that anyway.

Bearing in mind that:
  • I don't listen to anything streamed, only music in my own collection
  • All of my speakers all of the house are wired back to the living room where all my hi-fi etc is, so no wireless speakers
  • My source selection wall panels are currently working fine
...with both the PiCorePlayer and SONOS solutions, what would they give me that this quick fix solution doesn't?

(Sorry if I'm missing something obvious, you can probably tell that I'm very much an amateur with such things).
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If what you have works for you stick with it :)

The moment you add 'wee', as in, 'to be honest there are only 3 rooms where we really need it', you open up a very different set of requirements with multiple users many systems fall apart unless 'you' are always on hand to make things work.

'I don't listen to anything streamed, only music in my own collection' - have heard that a thousand times, once you have the likes of SONOS and a world of music in your hand folk tend to start streaming :)

You can try SONOS with a full money back guarantee - worth trying it and then deciding if it adds anything extra for you.

Joe

PS Be warned having individual Zones becomes addictive!
 

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