- I have a laptop. I carry it around to different places and use it.
- I have nice speakers. I do not carry them around to different places.
- I have a desktop computer. I do not carry it around to different places, and I rarely sit in front of it and use it.
Naturally, I should connect my speakers up to my desktop computer's nice sound card, and use it to play music. Practically, this has turned out to be very difficult. This may be because I am using Ubuntu on both laptop and desktop, which is not a particularly easy-to-use OS.
For this question, I'm asking how to set up the desktop so that it can play music to the sound card at all times without being logged in locally. The music would be controlled by the laptop, though how exactly to do this is up to you. Music files can be on laptop or desktop (or Android phone, for that matter).
In the past I've had the most success logging in via SSH and running music apps through X forwarding, though "success" is relative. This method doesn't support keyboard multimedia keys or anything that works via DBus, like notifications.
I've tried setting up sharing of files between computers using SSH and scripts, but that's flaky and prone to failure. I've discovered Tangerine music sharing, which seems to work pretty well and obsoletes the SSH file-sharing kludge, but the rest of the solution would need to have DAAP support. I've had much more success with pre-packaged solutions than kludgy scripts.
I previously asked how to set up the desktop to automatically mount my external drives (which have music on them) without logging in, but was unsuccessful.
Does OS X or Windows 7 have a more smooth solution for this? Is there a dedicated box I can buy that will do this sort of thing?