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Simple automation question from a rookie - playing music automatically


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#1 Rrail

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 02:55 PM

I have a question that I imagine is very simple to individuals experienced with home automation. However, I am brand new to the subject, and very much in the learning stages.

I understand the concept of "Scenes", and that I can set up a system to automatically unlock my front door and turn on my lights with a single selection. However, I would like to add a third element to that scene - I want it to start playing my music (from a location on my network.. a random song or one from a playlist would be great) as well. Through all of my research on these forums and via Google, I can not for the life of me figure out how this can be achieved. I imagine it would be accomplished through my HTPC, but I am not really sure the best way to go about it.

Is this possible? I apologize if this question is overly sophomoric - perhaps I am just not searching with the right terms.

A note: I have not yet begun to automate my home. I'm in the planning process right now, and have yet to finalize any plans for any certain system. Z-Wave is looking like the top choice for me at the moment, however.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

#2 potts.mike

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 03:17 PM

There is about 100 ways to skin this cat but without knowing the hardware and software your looking at its hard to explain.

Personally I use CQC to tie everything together. It controls a squeezebox that plays music throughout the house.

#3 Rrail

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:51 PM

I understand. I guess the good thing is that I do not yet have any software or hardware - I'm still in the planning stage before I make my purchase.

The Squeezebox setup makes sense, and is perhaps what I will do. I am wondering if there is a way that doesn't require any additional hardware beyond a stereo/HTPC?

#4 potts.mike

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:11 PM

I am sure there is. There is a software squeezebox client or I think a lot of HA packages interface with J River media center or maybe even wmc. Just make sure whatever package you choose has a driver for an audio player that you want to use.

#5 Work2Play

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 01:50 AM

To best accomplish this, you need some sort of "director" which ties all your systems together. This is the system that'll listen to your lighting controls or whatever you use to trigger the scene selection, and it'll talk to your audio system and tell it what to do.

For example, by itself, UPB can't talk to an audio system; and by itself, and audio system can't really watch what's going on with lighting; but with a good home controller, everything talks to each other and events can pass around - such as, when the front door opens and it's after 5:00PM, the lights come on in the entry way, the fireplace kicks on, the hot tub fires up, and soft music starts playing.

But again, critical to this is a "director" of some sort - can be software that's running on your HTPC (Premise, Elve, CQC, Homeseer, etc) or even hardware (Elk, HAI, Vera?). Figure out which director works for you, then build on compatible components, and this will be a piece of cake. The hardest decision is deciding on the master director for it all - the rest is easy.

#6 Rrail

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:06 AM

To best accomplish this, you need some sort of "director" which ties all your systems together. This is the system that'll listen to your lighting controls or whatever you use to trigger the scene selection, and it'll talk to your audio system and tell it what to do.

For example, by itself, UPB can't talk to an audio system; and by itself, and audio system can't really watch what's going on with lighting; but with a good home controller, everything talks to each other and events can pass around - such as, when the front door opens and it's after 5:00PM, the lights come on in the entry way, the fireplace kicks on, the hot tub fires up, and soft music starts playing.

But again, critical to this is a "director" of some sort - can be software that's running on your HTPC (Premise, Elve, CQC, Homeseer, etc) or even hardware (Elk, HAI, Vera?). Figure out which director works for you, then build on compatible components, and this will be a piece of cake. The hardest decision is deciding on the master director for it all - the rest is easy.


Work2Play, I think I understand what you're saying. As I mentioned, I'm a total novice. It looks like I'll be going with the Z-Wave standard due to wanting to use the Kwikset lock. I am by no means a programmer, so a director that is intuitive for a new user would be a great plus. The system I want to set up is really simple: I live in a loft (single guy), and I only need it to control lights, a door lock, and my media. Nothing complicated. I would love to hear any suggestions you may have with what to go with, but in the mean time I will research all the options you mentioned.

#7 Rrail

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:22 AM

I guess an important note that I have failed to mention prior to now is that I want to be able to control all of this from my iPhone, even when I'm away from the house (basically so I can unlock it as I'm pulling into the parking garage, etc). This looks like it rules Homeseer out as it costs $200 for the plug-in to give it iPhone functionality. That's silly.

Let's say I went with a Mi Casa Verde VeraLite (the current front runner after more extensive research). My HTPC will be running XBMC Live (though I am willing to switch it over to Linux if need be), my homeserver (which contains all my media) will be running Linux in all likelihood, and my primary PC will be running Windows 7. How would you suggest accomplishing what I'm trying to pull off?

Edited by Rrail, 30 June 2012 - 10:34 AM.


#8 Work2Play

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 12:56 PM

I think you've made great progress - as that's exactly what I'd suggest looking at - so I think the next best step is for you to spend some time researching the MiCasaVera site/forum and see what plugins or modules are available that can control music and see if you find any acceptable solutions. I'd do couple searches for you for fun, but I'm short on time.




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