Stream existing MP3 files like Roku Soundbridge?

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by mrodent, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. mrodent

    mrodent
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    This has been driving me slowly crazy for months.

    I have a Roku Soundbridge. As it happens I need a new amp, so I can't use it at the moment. I already have two pretty high quality speakers. I've been hesitating buying a new amp because the choices are (to me) so totally confusing.

    I just want to do what the Roku Soundbridge does ("serve" MP3s over my Wifi) but do it in a more modern way, probably using a smartphone (Android) app. I have thousands of MP3s on a hard drive connected to a computer, in another room, and I just want to listen to them in the living room. I'd like to be able to select by artist, by album, maybe make up my own lists, etc. You can do this with a Roku Soundbridge, using a Plex server app, for example, but I bought this maybe 15 years ago, maybe more. It is so clunky I'm sure it'll soon be a collector's item, or an antique. Surely there must be something which can replace it?

    Anti-requirements
    - I am absolutely not in any way interested in streaming services which are paid for.
    - I am not interested in multi-room stuff: I just want to play in one room, but a different room to the one where the computer and hard drive are, using "serving over Wifi". Like Roku.
    - The ability to connect to a TV is of little interest/irrelevant. I just want to play MP3 files which I already have on my hard drive, over Wifi.
    - I absolutely do not want to put these MP3s on a dedicated HiFi device. The MP3s have to stay on the hard drive, for all sorts of reasons.
    - I do not want to use a single-speaker solution: one thing I don't understand about some of the "solutions" out there is that they seem to involve only ONE SPEAKER. What about the invention of stereo sound? Are we just meant to pretend it is not important any more? The MP3s I have are all stereo. I want to play through a (new) amp, into my two good speakers: one right-channel, the other left-channel.

    I just went into a well-known hi-fi chain in London and they were helpful. They suggested a DLNA-enabled device would be needed. They suggested a Yamama receiver with DLNA and "MusicCast" might do the trick. Alternatively they talked about a Sonos device. They started talking about soundbars. At that point I got confused. There seemed to be very very few solutions out there for people who want to listen to THEIR OWN MP3s (not paid streaming services).
     
  2. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    Chromecast Audio?
     
  3. Jamie

    Jamie
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    A CCA can easily do this but only using a 3rd party app like the highly recommended Bubble UPNP or similar.

    The only real downside compared to a Roku SB is that it won't work without a phone controlling it, the SB can be controlled just using the display and IR remote, neither of which a CCA has.

    I'd say a CCA is the best £30 I've ever spent on hi-fi. (Technically that's not true as I've got 4 of the buggers and some were bought on offer at half price but you get the drift)
     
  4. mrodent

    mrodent
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    Thanks for these answers. I have indeed bought a ChromeCast device. My understanding (low-level) is that it can be used to receive and play only paid streaming services, from *outside* your own Wifi setup, i.e. stuff coming in over the Internet. On discovering this I searched a bit to find if there was any way of using it to handle one's one MP3 collection, to no avail: worse, some people said there *was* a way, but it involved major computer geekery.

    @Jamie ... which is presumably where Bubble UPNP comes in: I've just taken a first look at the page in question. Glad to hear your recommendation: this makes me inclined to perservere and see if I can get it working. Using the Roku remote is a very "primitive" way of getting music, particularly if you have 000s of MP3s... so in fact I tentatively welcome the use of an Android app... although it depends on what it actually enables you to do...
     
  5. Cebolla

    Cebolla
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    Normally, I'd recommend the BubbleUPnP Android app and/or the BubbleUPnP Server as they are the most flexible methods for getting the Chromecast devices to play audio, including your own files (with a decent UPnP/DLNA media server for audio files such as MinimServer).

    However, given your familiarity and previous success using the Plex server with your current setup, plus your aversion to 'major computer geekery', why don't you try Plex's own support for the Chromecast Audio?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  6. Jamie

    Jamie
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    It's not exactly major computer geekery but you do need to run some sort of server on your PC. While j wouldn't recommend it there's one built into Windows media player but I'd suggest installing something else TBH.

    If you're already using Plex that'll do the job TBH

    Personally I'd suggest you run a server on the PC called Asset UPNP which is specifically designed for music use and then use bubble UPNP on the phone to control it.
     

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