Streaming MP3's without a PC powered up.

SC999

Standard Member
Hi,

Hope you guys can help - I need some help with some pretty basic questions regarding media streaming at home.

Had a search on the forums and couldn't find what I was after - hopefully I've not missed anything obvious!

I'm interested in storing my music collection on hard drive, so I can access it without having to trawl through all my cd's.

I've looked at the Phillips WACS700 system, and it looks ideal - but is at least £400, and I already have a Hifi that I'm happy with for everythign except MP3 playback.

I've also looked at media streamers, such as the Squeezebox and Evesham M Bridge - which look great. However I dont want to have my PC powered up all the time as its a bit noisy.

It occurred to me that I could copy all my music to a laptop, and connect the media streamer up to that using a wireless PCMCIA card.
My question is, what spec laptop would I need? I have an old IBM T20 laptop (P3 500mhz, 256mb) - would this be sufficient? If so, then its just a question of storage - which is easy to solve.

Is there another option that I can look into?

Any comments / help / links to idiots guides would be much appreciated.

TIA

Si

PS Hope this doesn't appear twice, tried posting it and got an error.....
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
I've not tried it with a laptop, but it should work. If it can play an mp3, it should be able to stream it.

Not sure about using a wireless card, though. I've not had much luck with peer to peer wireless. You'll probably need a wireless router between the laptop and player, or use wires for one (or both) of the connections.

Using network attached storage (NAS) seems to be popular. NAS is basically a HDD box running a cutdown operating system, that connects to your network via ethernet. You need to be careful which unit you buy, as not all of them support the required mp3 server software. There was a post on here a few days ago that listed compatible products.
 

andrew1810

Active Member
That laptop would be fine spec-wise, I would suggest connecting it to a wireless access point or router and then connecting the player to that via wireless (an access point is probably cheaper than a PCMCIA card too!)

As suggested, the other option is a NAS and streamer, there are a number available, I have listed compatible ones for each device here:
http://www.audiofi.co.uk/reviews

If you have any questions, just let me know

Andrew
 

SC999

Standard Member
Thanks for the response - will look into the wireless router / access point as suggested.

Since I posted the original question I'd found your site through google. Really good stuff for a beginner like me!

What sort of price range am I looking at for a NAS?

Thanks

Si
 

andrew1810

Active Member
It depends which player, how much diskspace and if you are willing to hack linux a bit, some come ready to go, but are generally a bit more expensive than the ones that need a bit of work.
 

SC999

Standard Member
Thanks, I think I'll go with using the laptop at the moment - I can always upgrade to a NAS at a later date if I think I need to.

Thanks for the replies and the links.

Si
 

andrew1810

Active Member
No problem, I'd probably have used the laptop myself too (its more powerful than most NAS boxes)

I've had FLAC and MP3 files streaming from a PII 400Mhz with 128Mb RAM, so it should be fine
 

extremelydodgy

Active Member
There are completely PC-less streaming solutions available, such as the Slim Devices Squeezebox combined with a specially modified QNAP TS-101 NAS.


I don't like the Squeezebox that much myself due to the extremely limited display. The moment I was able to find a sufficiently quiet PC with a user interface suited to audio playback on t'telly (which turned out to be the Mac Mini), I went for it. However the SB is a respectable sounding, cheap box and apparently after a few teething problems the TS-101 solution works. The 101 is fanless, so all you can hear is the HDD. Visit Slimdevices.com and go to forums for more info.
 

clockworks

Well-known Member
extremelydodgy said:
There are completely PC-less streaming solutions available, such as the Slim Devices Squeezebox combined with a specially modified QNAP TS-101 NAS.


I don't like the Squeezebox that much myself due to the extremely limited display. The moment I was able to find a sufficiently quiet PC with a user interface suited to audio playback on t'telly (which turned out to be the Mac Mini), I went for it. However the SB is a respectable sounding, cheap box and apparently after a few teething problems the TS-101 solution works. The 101 is fanless, so all you can hear is the HDD. Visit Slimdevices.com and go to forums for more info.
What software are you using on the Mini - FrontRow, or something else?
I'm planning on using my Core Solo Mini for this purpose. I originally bought it to use as a media player, but have ended up using it as my main PC. It's a little underpowered, so I'll buy another one when the "next generation" comes out, and use my current one for media.

SC999:

You could just use the laptop as a player, and forget the streamer. Get a USB "remote eye", a copy of Girder (remote software), and connect it to your hifi.
 

SC999

Standard Member
Another question - do any of the highstreet chains sell either the M-Bridge or the Squeezebox?

I'd like to take a look at them to help me decide which one to get.

I can get into London fairly easily if thats any help.

Thanks again.

Si
 

Falp

Novice Member
The answer is:

Slimdevices Squeezebox

or

Roku Soundbridge
 

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