Hacker's Guide to Wireless Audio

Posted by Steve on Thu, 04/12/2012 - 4:58pm

Okay, it's not really a guide because it's peculiar to my hardware and I don't completely comprehend why it's working and I took a lot of wrong turns to get here.  But it works!

Here's some background: I work from home and I like to have music playing in the background downstairs, not in my office.  For some reason, it takes the edge off the cabin fever having music playing in another room rather than blasting in my face.  At first I did this by tuning in an FM radio station on my receiver in the living room.  Later, I switched to using one of DirecTV's music channels because they're commercial-free and genre-focused so I don't have to listen to a crappy Josh Groban song to hear a nice Derek Trucks Band track.

Last year, I discovered Spotify's streaming music service and became a huge fan -- so much so that when I was asked to install a music system in a friend's wine bar in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn I went with Spotify and a wireless-enabled laptop, which also let me program his music playlists remotely.

What I really wanted however was a way to play Spotify on my great-sounding living room home entertainment center and to be able to control it remotely from my office upstairs.  If I could do this then not only could I indulge my fickle musical tastes by choosing what's being played but I could also mute the background music during business calls (yes, I play it loud).  My HE center also plays music in the back yard, so bonus.Unknown Object

The correct answer is: a ghetto blaster.

Posted by Steve on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 12:36am

I'm not saying anything that battle-experienced home renovators don't know. Sometimes, the simplest little task can consume gobs of time and a bucket of money before you realize you made a tragic mistake. Not always, of course. That's how you get suckered into doing it over and over again.

It started as a simple idea: I wanted to have music in my back yard. I could have bought a boombox a/k/a ghetto blaster for a hundred bucks and kept it under the deck. Problem solved and, when all is said and done, that actually would have been a more flexible solution than the mission I set for myself. Even if I wanted XM Radio (which I did) they make XM blasters too. The bonus would have been that I could have had XM in my car as well.

Instead, I wanted the speakers fed by the big, honkin' Denon home theatre system in the living room. Why? I don't freakin' know. Probably because it was there.

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