Ever since I bought my first MP3 player and started to rip MP3's from my CD collection I have been interested in also making life easier for accessing my music on my home stereo. Many years ago I spent probably a whole week going through the process of inserting each CD into my desktop PC and ripping the contents into MP3's. This was back in the time when digital storage was expensive and ended up ripping to a 128 bitrate. So now I had my full CD collection stored in MP3 format (I have since gone through the process again ripping to "flac" format as storage is so much cheaper) and transferable to my MP3 player via Windows Media Player, iTunes or whatever software the MP3 player required. I could also play music via WMP through the powered speakers connected to the PC (a nice old pair of AR Powered Partners).
But what if I wanted to play music on my regular home stereo? My home setup is little unusual. In my house the family room is at the back while my office sits in the front. The speakers sit against a wall that is shared by the office. The amplifier and CD player sit in the office with the speakers connected vi speaker wire feed through two holes in the wall. The downside to all this is that controlling the stereo is quite problematic when sitting in the family room. Getting up and going into the office to change the volume, change CD etc gets old very quickly.
Also in the office is my desktop PC that has access to all the MP3 files. It seemed like a slam dunk to somehow hook up the PC to my amplifier to play the MP3 files on my home stereo.
This blog serves to detail the long and windy road I have taken to build a digital music server that is flexible and easy to use.