All my music at home sits on my NAS (running freeNAS), and I want to be able to play this all around my house, but utilizing my existing Hi Fi equipment.

I have looked at Sonos, but this is to expensive and requires new kit. Something like the Apple Airport Express would be quite good, but I don't want to be tied to iTunes.

So, how can I play my music from my NAS using my current equipment?

  • Shopping recommendations are offtopic on SU as you can read in the FAQ. If you are looking into more general solutions (e.g. "Install a DLNA server and get a DLNA capable client") for solving your question consider rewriting it. – slhck May 3 '11 at 13:35
  • @slhck - this is not so much a shopping question as it is a fairly high-level "how do I do something" question (with a little bit of tweaking), so I think it should be fine. – DMA57361 May 3 '11 at 14:44
  • @DMA57361 Sorry, just fell for the "Sonos", "Airport Express" thing :) – slhck May 3 '11 at 14:47

There are several ways you can stream the audio:

  1. Get a computer -- really -- get a computer and a nice sound card. Most solutions below the price of a computer would be unlikely to give you circuitry for audio quality comparable to a typical (hifi) CD player. On a sidenote, it is rather usual to have a audio output of <96dB SNR for those 'convenience' devices available in the market. In contrast, most available standalone (reads: not on-board) sound card have specs that is much, much better than the CD specification (16-bit resolution [96dB SNR], 44.1kHz sampling rate). If I were you I would buy a small, ITX-based computer and connect an external sound card to it.
  2. Use an audio-streaming device -- with, or without onboard amplifier. You may want to choose ones with digital audio output (Airport express comes to mind). Check if they are bit-correct.
  3. Use a gaming console - xbox360 and ps3 are able to stream music from DLNA compliant servers. The audio quality are pretty good, too. Plus you get a gaming machine, at a low, low price....

I am using solution #1

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  • Thanks for the info, i was considering a tablet with an audio output. Makes it easy to control and i could use spotify/last.fm etc as well – beakersoft May 3 '11 at 14:33

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