6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2012 5:10 PM by KenZakreski
KenZakreski Level 1 (0 points)

What is the best client machine for Home Sharing on my stereo? aka What do I want for Christmas. 



Well the CD player is starting to breakdown; that makes two this century. Might be time to replace that whole 5 disk CD player thing and get something to use as a player for  music in the living room stereo. Maybe a second unit in the office as well.


How to decide what to buy? Am I selecting the right media server option? I am pretty sure I have a server option but how should I set this all up.


Ethernet. The stereo in the living room doesn't have ethernet cable run to it so the Time Capsule could stream over airport Home Sharing from my iMac 2.4GHz or MacMini server to say my lightly used iPad 32gig. This must slow the network down so I could run ethernet cable if I had to, but the iPad doesn't take ethernet. Performance of the network is important.


Power on feature. Ideally the hardware should emulate the existing service. I go to the stereo, turn the power on and it starts playing, usually ramdom songs (shuffle) of a preselected playlist (5 cds).


Remote control. We don't really use this, although changing playlists with my iPhone makes sense. I could hide all the gear in an out of the way closet. Remote control would be a nice feature, and remote control from all devices in the network and over one or two devices. Can I power up/down the stereo, adjust the volume down or pause remotely? This is my most used functionality.


Server or Client. I could put something with the stereo and load the music on it. Share from it instead of share to it. My music library is currently at 20 gig, so a 32 gig device would work. A old PowerBook as well with any respectable hard drive. Or do I use the TimeCapsule or my low use MacMini server as a media server? What do I do if I want a second player in the Office?


Sound quality. Yeah, it has to be there, audiophile wise.


Audio Sources.
Play a single CD. This is where is gets a little complicated for gear. I do like the option of listening to a cd prior to burning it to iTunes. This starts to require a CD player connected to a iOS device, which is not yet availanble, so drives the gear selection into an older PowerBook. or maybe just add a single disk CD player to a iOS device and let the amplifier select the source.
FM. It would be nice if the device would get FM so I could toss the tuner as well.


Display. My existing CD player permits display of the disk and track, which kinda *****. I would like to know the artist, song and album, so remote control comes back into play here.


Cost. A replacement 5 disk CD player costs about $30 at the local thrift store. New around $200 - $300. I'm getting refurbished iPod 8gb touchs gen4 for $100. I see ebay has iPad 16 gig for around $200. Set the budget around $250. Maybe more christmas is coming   : )/


Brand. Been thinking Apple as iTunes sharing is easy, but would consider another brand if the price and quality supported the idea.


Shortlist. Old PowerBook, an iOS device as  client players or a stand alone player with out sharing to it but from it. Haven't looked close to see if they meet the functionality of an old CD player.


Workflow. How can we add CD music to the server from any client on the network? How do I change playlists? From the remote control? Can I operate the player from the stereo?


On Hand Gear. My network is running a pair of iMac 24's, iPad gen2, iPhone 3GS 32Gb, iPod gen4 8 Gb, Time Capsule (500Gb), MacMini Server (w/2 500 Gb drives in a RAID 1 config) with SLS. I have several PowerBooks: 17" G4, 14" G3; I could sell or use, USB external CD rw.


Any recommendations would be appreciated, I have some time before the CD player tanks and Christmas list sent to Santa.





  • KenZakreski Level 1 (0 points)

    A few notes from my research

    So on using the Apple Remote app to control iTunes. That works for the iTunes library machine not any ios device that may be sharing the library. 


    The suggested way to use the TimeCapsule is to load the music on the Time Capsule and play it from there on any client. That my allow a client to be remotely controled.

  • KenZakreski Level 1 (0 points)

    I would like to try playing music from the TC but using an iOS device and locate it at my stereo in the living room.


    Can I play the TC music library from a iOS device (like ipod gen4)?


    Can I remote control that iOS device from my desktop or iPhone using the Apple Remote app?


    I'll check it out

    Doing some more research and with Home Sharing enabled on my ipad 2 running ios 5.1.1 I can play music off my iMac desktop with iTunes 10.7 . Plus using the Apple Remote app my iPad can remotely control the iMac playing music. Can't adjust the volume though...


    I cannot control an iOS device sharing another iTunes library or remotely control the iOS device, so if I want to play from a shared library (possibly off a TC) I would need a computer as an iOS device won't do.


    Wonder what version of iTunes I'll need? What is the oldest OS I can use? Will a G3 or G4 do the trick?

  • KenZakreski Level 1 (0 points)

    iTunes Home Sharing seems to be included on iTunes 9 or 10. From kb doc Understanding Home Sharing http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3819#


    iTunes 9 requirements from http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1056

    System Requirements

    • Mac OS X version 10.4.11 or later
    • Mac OS X version 10.5 or later is required to play an iTunes LP or iTunes Extras


    Since I wont be needing iTunes LP or Extras; 10.4.11 will do, so any G3 with firewire or G4 will do. Donnas old G4 runs 10.5 and iTunes 10 very nicely and includes Home Sharing for sure.



    Note that Airplay does the job here but I want to retain legacy amplifier (circa 70's) and speakers (big, wood cabinets) which Airplay won't let me do.


    So at this point with iOS 5 I can't remotely use an iOS device as a palyer. I would need a computer running 10.4 or 10.5 and iTunes 9 or 10.

  • KenZakreski Level 1 (0 points)

    Time to start testing the set up.


    First, I set up a new user on my machine (iMac 24 10.6.8, 2.4GHz, 3Gb ram)  and loaded on album into iTunes (the tragically hip's Day for Night total 124 mb) then following the instructions on using the TC for a music library server ( https://discussions.apple.com/message/20261526#20261526 ) I copied over my iTunes folder with the one album and trashed the local copy. I did one thing different. Since I will likely run several iTunes libraries on the TC (Donna's, mine and the radio stations) I renamed the iTunes library folder  to   ( tech_iTunes )


    Started iTunes holding down the <option> key... log in credentials... selected the appropriate library on the TC... shabam, running iTunes off my TC... nice.


    Now to set up sharing on this user account, I wonder if I can have multiple libraries in itunes under Home Sharing or if I need a different Apple ID. Nice, this account's library shows up on my iPhone under my iTunes sharing as another, techs library. Tried playing the library from two places, the iMac and my iPhone, quality of service seems good. Opened my Remote app on the iPhone and it sees both my library and this newly created library. Remote app works just fine.


    Test Success! I can control the iTunes playing on a computer with the library on the TC. Still no way to control the iOS device remotely.



    My only though here is , since the TC has a back up of my music why can't I just play that version. Why do I need to copy another folder full of music?


    Will it work under 10.4 with iTune 9?

  • KenZakreski Level 1 (0 points)

    What does itunes do on a G4?


    Will itunes work under 10.4 with iTune 9 on a G3?


    So back to the G4 1.67 GHz running 10.5.8 with iTunes 10. Adding Home Sharing  to this computer required deauthorising one of the other 5 authorised computers. Also I noticed I must be logged into a user in order for Home Sharing to see the other library... Or atleast that user has to have iTunes running. I logged into my test user account and opened iTunes account as user Tech, found the library on the TC (why doesn't iTunes remember this ?, maybe it has to bee conected to the TC) , shabam the library shows up on the PowerBook G4. Started playing the Tragically Hip , logged out and expected the library to stop sharing but no, I was still able to play from the logged out accout, as long as iTunes was running. Sure enough as soon as I logged back in to that user account and quit iTunes running fron the TC library, the sharing stop. No warning of a connected user though!


    So what about Home Sharing on a Pismo? I fired up the old guy PowerBook bronze keyboard G3 400 MHz, 512 mb ram, running 10.4.11 and iTunes what? iTunes 4, oh yeah, from the iLife 05 install. I need to update to iTunes 9 but before that I should try to see if it can play from the TC. Well no it can't . I can see the TC and load the library but no songs show up in iTunes 4. Must be incompatible file format. I can't see any shared libraries either.


    So I download iTunes 9.2.1 from Apple. Thanks for supporting older machines.  hmmm. installer says iTunes 9.2.1 requires a G4, yet it lets me install into the G3... let's wait for the install to complete and see what is up wit dat... well it installed... but will it run? no, iTunes installs, but it won't run on a G3, it wants a G4 or better.


    So the story goes that for Home Sharing we stop at G4, G3 not invited to the party. Good thing the Pismo just sold on eBay.




    The discussion on Home Entertainment Network over at https://discussions.apple.com/message/15843219#15843219 brings up another thing to test.


    Can I stream the same music to multiple locations? Can I play the same music in the office and the living room? How does Apple handle this?


    My other thought here is, since the TC has a back up of my music why can't I just play that version. Why do I need to back up my music? Guess I could not back up the Music folder in TC but store the music in the TC.

  • KenZakreski Level 1 (0 points)

    What if I want to play the same music at multiple locations in the house? Say a party or a day spent wandering from office to living room. How do we set that up and how well does it work?


    I looked and looked and Home Sharing or iTunes doesn't have a way to stream so it can be picked up. Yes you can play from the same library but you would have to start each client at the same time to play the same playlist. Not really a workable solution. We would need a audio streaming server.


    I used NiceCast years ago setting up our radio station so I started with that. Turns out it a very good application for streaming audio inside the network or accross the internet (insert "respect muscians copyrights message here). NiceCast offers a trial  download ($60 to purchase) and I gave it a whirl.


    I must say audio streaming software has VASTLY improved since we were in the basement of the Student Union Building starting up CHLY mid nineties. 5 minutes from decide to download to Davy across town emailing me he can tune in using iTunes nicely.


    So I tuned in using my desktop. Gotta say even at the lowest setting of mono dial up service it sounds great on my AppleDesign Powered Speakers II. That's one player but now what about tuning in on my iPhone. I couldn't find QuickTime on my iPhone so I opened up Safari , plugged in the 10.x.x.x. address given by NiceCast. Sure enough it buffers and opens QuickTime player and plays the same music, at a 3 second delay. Not really the solution I was hoping to find. I could try to match buffering but think a better solution can be found. FM transmitters they have been around for years. What about getting a small one and put it in the attic and try my hands at a home broadcast.


    Plus, can Davy run the Home Sharing accross the internet? I mean maybe I want to let someone else choose the music I hear.  Put the player with iTunes next the the TC and Home Share the iTunes on the FM transmitter.