Here's the situation. Like many others I have my entire CD collection ripped to my PC, along side other music I've acquired through iTunes or Amazon MP3. Also like many others the speakers at my PC are underpowered, and likely included in my monitor as an afterthought.
This is fine for most use: system sounds, YouTube, etc. Even games sounds and music. But I'd like something a little better for when I really want to listen to music. And I have it; in the next room — barely 25 feet away as the crow flies — sits a nice 400 watts stereo system. The stereo supports MP3 CDs, so up to this point I've just kept a few CD-RW disks around to keep most of my collection available. But it's time to move on to something a little more sophisticated.
What are my options for using the MP3 files available on my computer as an input for this stereo?
- I want to be able to control what song the stereo is playing without having to go to the PC, including setting up and retrieving playlists. Ideally this should even be able to wake the PC from sleep mode to start playing.
- I primarily use Windows Media Player on the PC (which runs Windows Vista). However, the files themselves live on a server running Windows Server 2008, and so I could also install something on the server and run everything from there.
- The axillary input on the stereo is unfortunately limited to a 1/8 inch stereo mini-plug.
- I'm loath to run wires across two rooms, and I'm considering moving the stereo to the garage at some point. Therefore a wireless solution that can easily cover about 100 ft or so is preferred.
- I already have a Wi-Fi network ready, but it's secured so anything using Wi-Fi should make it easy to set up security.
- Bonus points for doing it in under $85 shipped at Amazon (I'm hoping to pay for this via $85 worth of Amazon gift cards). I know this a pretty tight budget, so just getting close is okay.
- Bonus points for something that remembers multiple profiles (keep my favorite songs separate from the wife's).
- Bonus points for a remote that can also replace my stereo remote, so I only need one device to control everything. I'm not holding my breath on this one given my price range, though.
- Bonus points if I can also use for Internet radio.
Doing some research on my own as well. This looks like it'll do exactly what I want, but it lists at an outrageous $299: