There are some things I took into consideration when building the old system that I don't consider to be so important this time around. I'm not bothered about browsing the Internet on my TV and I'm prepared to spend a bit more cash, for example. But rather than concentrate on those points, here's a list of things I would like to include in the new system:
- Switchable speakers in different rooms (kitchen and living room)
- Connection to my stereo amplifier
- Access to my mp3 collection without leaving my PC powered on
- Access to Internet music (podcasts, radio, etc)
- Remotely controlled
- Separate screen (from the TV)
After much research, here's what I've come up with:
Click to enlarge.
I'm going to use a Linksys NSLU2 (a.k.a. a SLUG) which can be modified to run Linux so I can hack it into submission to be my low powered music server. The SLUG will provide my music collection over my wireless network to a Slim Devices Squeezebox Duet system. The Squeezebox is also able to access all the Internet services I want and similar to the SLUG runs open source software so has a fantastic community of users. The Duet comes with a wifi remote control with built-in LCD screen so I can interact with the system from anywhere in the house. From the Squeezebox is an audio connection to the amplifier which, similarly to my old system, is connected to a speaker switcher box.
That little lot should keep me busy for a while and give me all I want from music at home. As I mentioned, a lot of research went into deciding which components to choose. The weak link here will likely be the SLUG because it's such a small box with only 32Mb RAM and a relatively slow processor (just 264 bogomips) but it should do for the time being. Here's my component list: