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What solutions are available for sending audio output across the network to an arbitrary receiver?

Use case:

Two computers - one upstairs, one downstairs. What software can I install on them so that I could choose to listen to the audio from one computer on the other?

Ideally, what if I had n computers, and each one fed its own audio stream into the system. Each computer could select from the available audio streams to decide what to play on its own speakers : normally its own audio stream but sometimes maybe the music my wife is listening to upstairs etc. Maybe one system is connected to a home theater sound system...see where I'm going with this?

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What OS you using? – MicTech Jul 24 '09 at 18:36
Mostly XP Pro, with one Server 2003 and a few Fedoras mixed in. – sangretu Jul 27 '09 at 12:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The VLC Media Player can used for this purpose. It is open source and runs on Microsoft Windows and Linux.

See e.g. How-To: Stream almost anything using VLC:

"... we are going to show you how to stream any type of media file from your computer to another device on your network ... Using these techniques you could stream video from your office computer to a laptop plugged into the living room TV and control the playlist with your PDA."

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Really? You can stream "what you hear" using VLC? That's awesome, I use that already :) – sangretu Jul 31 '09 at 12:28

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