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Old 06-12-2008, 01:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Music and Laptop?

Let me specify my current setup. I have a surround sound system set up in my living room for my tv and dvd player and cd player. I also have 2 wireless speakers outside that play whatever plays on the surround sound system. When im outside enjoying my lawn i have to put a cd into the cd player and let it run. If i want to change a song or turn up or down the volume while im outisde, i have to go back inside to use the remote to change the song or volume.
What i Want: I want to be able to have ALL 100+ cds uploaded to my computer. (most likely my secondary desktop in my office) I would like to be able to be sitting outside by the pool with a laptop in hand or some sort of device by which i can choose which cd i want which song, and turn up or down the volume. Keep in mind, I WANT TO BE OUSTIDE, i dont want to have to get up to walk inside so that a remote can reach a device. I was looking at the Dlink Media Lounge Player. But it seems like that device would be sitting right next to my surround sound system base inside connected to it, to where if i wanted to change a song, id still have to come inside and i dont have a screen. Is what i want possible? If so what equipment do i need?
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default 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).
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Music and Laptop?

Here's an example of an alternative. A wireless remote repeater is what you need. Radio Shack may still carry them.

Infrared Repeater Systems at Crutchfield.com
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Music and Laptop?

I work at Best Buy as one of the Home Office Specialists, and I know we carry a music bridge from Linksys that does pretty much what you want if I understand it correctly.

I don't profess to be an expert, but worth at least looking at.

-Josh
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Music and Laptop?

you can hook up an IR remote system if you're game but to DIY could be quite tricky.
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