PDA

View Full Version : Considering Duet Purchase - Question about multi-user control



MikeInColorado
2008-12-19, 00:15
I searched the forums and wiki quite a bit, so forgive me if I missed an obvious answer...

My desired end result is to have multiple rooms access a single dedicated media PC (audio only for now). I would also like to be able to control each room separately (music being played, volume, etc...). Safe to assume the included controller would not be used by two people at the same time, and my wife certainly won't want to "request" that I change the song in her zone (yes, I am assuming that I would always have the controller ;) )

All of the above seems easy to use with the Duet base system with the exception of multiple users controlling their zones at the same time.

I do not have a Touch or any other device I would want to use as an additional controller.


I can't justify paying x dollars for the Duet system and then doubling or tripling that for additional Controllers only.

So, what options do I have? Would a base Duet system be a good start for the main room and then add on other Squeezebox devices (non Duet) for additional rooms?

P.S. I do have several rooms with PCs/laptops - any benefits to hooking these up to the Duet system versus standard networking?

Thanks in advance,

Mike

Echo
2008-12-19, 00:41
You will be able to use any of the PCs/laptops to control all players via SqueezeCenter's web interface. A Duet (controller and receiver) is a good starting point. Add more devices (receiver, boom, etc.) later.

snarlydwarf
2008-12-19, 00:44
I searched the forums and wiki quite a bit, so forgive me if I missed an obvious answer...

My desired end result is to have multiple rooms access a single dedicated media PC (audio only for now). I would also like to be able to control each room separately (music being played, volume, etc...). Safe to assume the included controller would not be used by two people at the same time, and my wife certainly won't want to "request" that I change the song in her zone (yes, I am assuming that I would always have the controller ;) )


That works, the only real catch if you only have one controller is, well, you would only have one controller... whoever had the controller wins and can easily inflict Abba on others.... sort of like having a handful of TVs in the house and only one remote...



All of the above seems easy to use with the Duet base system with the exception of multiple users controlling their zones at the same time.


Very doable. Players (SBC, SBClassic, Transporter...) can easily be synced or not. You can change it on the fly or even send the playlist from one to another ("I have this real cool playlist but got kicked out of the living room, so I'll send it to the office player to keep listening")



I do not have a Touch or any other device I would want to use as an additional controller.

I can't justify paying x dollars for the Duet system and then doubling or tripling that for additional Controllers only.


Don't think I get you: there really isn't much use for more controllers than players. Well, I guess it gets around fighting for the remote..

Each Duet is an SBR (player) and SBC (controller). So if you buy a Duet for each room, you get an equal number of remotes effectively.



So, what options do I have? Would a base Duet system be a good start for the main room and then add on other Squeezebox devices (non Duet) for additional rooms?

Sure, think of the Duet and SBClassic as basically the same thing: a player, a display, and a remote. On the Duet, the display is part of the remote, is color, and the remote uses WiFi... on the SBClassic, the display is part of the player, and the remote uses IR. Both are fine products, and depending on your usage one or the other may be better for you. Or a mix even, they play nicely together. (And the SBC can control any SB player type, even Softsqueeze the java-based emulator on a pc..)

Oh, yeah, and the Boom fits in there too, sort of like a SB3 but with a bit more smarts and its own speakers. Great in kitchens and bedrooms and offices and I guess 'smaller' rooms, though the speakers are able to fill a reasonable sized room pretty well.



P.S. I do have several rooms with PCs/laptops - any benefits to hooking these up to the Duet system versus standard networking?

You mean using the Duet as a bridge? Its useful for a desktop if you don't have a wired ethernet in the same room. It's VERY useful for things like consoles or other TV-type gizmos that want ethernet if you don't have ethernet in the same room already, or at least in the TV corner...

For a laptop.. may as well just get a wireless card for the laptop and use a wifi router. So much easier to be wirefree on a laptop.

But if you have a laptop or PC in the same room as the player.. well, you can use those to control the player. So, in that case one Duet (so you get the cool remote) and let everyone else use a SBReceiver (half of the duet package) and a web browser to control it.

I don't know if any of that is clear.. it's almost midnight and I'm still at work and hallucinating.

But, yeah, you can mix and match SB player types all you want. The only real catch with the Duet is that you really should have one controller if you get the SB Player half of the duet.... so buy the pair (ie, Duet.. two thingies) instead of just a player. It is more complex and unsupported to set up a SBReceiver without a controller. And the controller is pretty nifty.

And one controller can set up as many Receivers as you want, so if you're content letting people use the web browser to control a player.. well, get the receivers.

... though the display on SB Classics is nifty too...

So it boils down to get what you want for each room. Mix and match works.

MikeInColorado
2008-12-19, 01:02
Thanks for the quick responses.

I was considering getting the Duet system with additional Duet Receivers (SBR) - so that would be 1 controller I think. If the add-on Duet Receivers included a means to control the system that would be perfect.

I'm thinking of the times when I am in another part of the house and would like to listen to audio without walking around looking for the single controller.

It sounds like I'll be looking at the SB3 or the Boom in the other rooms that don't already have PCs hooked up.

Dogberry2
2008-12-19, 08:16
The Boom is often a good choice as an "extra" player, because you don't have to worry about setting up a separate amp/speaker system, and because you can move it around if circumstances require.

rainjacks
2008-12-19, 09:20
I got the Duet and an extra receiver for now. Currently my receivers are in the basement with the media server. Speaker wire runs to two zones. Eventually I will add a few more receivers to create more zones. I will also have two controllers, one for the first floor and one for the second floor. Lastly, I will get a couple of squeezebox booms for the kids rooms. It is no problem using multiple controllers on a single large squeezebox system. You could also use the web interface as a controller.

MikeInColorado
2008-12-19, 10:46
Thanks rainjacks.

I will probably follow down that same road. Now I'm starting to think about the best way to interface with the PC controller. I think a good option would be to use an IR receiver setup to control the PC software.

My entrance to this rabbit hole was my desire to go all digital. The plan was to build an HTPC to handle audio/video (with PVR)/and standard computer functionality with picture in picture on the HDTV. The lack of reliable and cost-effective solutions for PVR functionality and Comcast Cable means video is taking a back burner for the time being.

I appreciate the input thus far and will post an update as I get further along.

Cheers,

Mike

tcutting
2008-12-19, 17:31
You can go ahead and start to get a feel for things, since the SqueezeCenter software is free, and you can try "software" players (there's SoftSqueeze, and also the new SqueezePlay and also something called SqueezeSlave). This can get you a feel for how the system works before you get the hardware, and when you do get the hardware players, the server is already up and running.

Zaragon
2008-12-20, 10:28
Thanks rainjacks.

I will probably follow down that same road. Now I'm starting to think about the best way to interface with the PC controller. I think a good option would be to use an IR receiver setup to control the PC software.

...

I appreciate the input thus far and will post an update as I get further along.

Cheers,

Mike

Mike I think that you are getting a little confused. Think of it this way. You have a PC running SqueezeCentre. Receivers, SB3, SB2, Booms, SoftSqueeze, SqueezePlay etc all connect the the SqueezeCentre and do what the SqueezeCentre says. They can't do anything on their own*.

The Controller and any PC connects over your network to the SqueezeCentre. Once connected you tell SqueezeCentre (via the controller or web browser) which of the players that are connected you want to control. When you issue commands like play track X you are sending the command to SqueezeCentre which then says to the nominiated player(s) "here is track X play it" oh and while you're about it put this on your display (if it has one).

Any controller connected to your network can talk to SqueezeCentre and ask it to tell any player to do something. Any browser on your network can talk to SqueezeCentre and ask it to tell any player to do something.

If you have a classic SqueezeBox (SB2, SB3 etc) or a Boom with an infrared control the infrared control also talks directly to SqueezeCentre not the player, the only difference is that since the infrared signal is relayed by the player the SqueezeCentre assumes that is the player you want to control (though there are plugins that let you control others).

So you can play complete mix and match, any control device (Controller, browser, iPeng etc) can control any player via SqueezeCentre and you can have as many of each as you wish. The key bit is everything talks to the SqueezeCentre and the SqueezeCentre does all the telling without it they are mostly paperweights.

Oh and yes you can have two or more control devices asking SqueezeCentre to control the same player, even at the same time.

[For completeness you can replace SqueezeCentre with SqueezeNetwork but the basic arrangement is the same.]

*OK there is some very limited functionallity on some devices.