Re: Music and Laptop?
Well, you can put all your CD's and MP3's and other audio files on one PC (has to be on the network with sharing enabled, obviously). As long as that PC is on and the network is running, other PC's can play music from it. Now, you want to PLAY the music on a PC or other network device in your living room, correct? And you want to CONTROL said PC/device using a laptop or other portable device from outdoors?
Well, that shouldn't be too hard. Any PC with a big hard drive will work as your main music server. For your living room, I'd recommend just getting another small PC for your living room. You can use a TV out card to use your TV screen for it (common on modern PC's, though I'd recommend something small and quiet). This way you can run a media player that supports external (network) control. I know WinAmp allows you to use networked remote controller devices, so do many other players. Then, you can use a laptop or PDA or WiFi enabled smartphone with compatible controller software to control it. If you use a PC in the living room, it will be able to handle remote network connections, not sure about those "media player" devices, usually those are meant to be controlled with an IR remote. For a small PC for your living room, look into Mac Mini or Mini-ITX based PC's. You could also use an old laptop, as those are pretty quiet and often have TV-out (and their own screen).