Nowplaying 2005


Senior Member
Well I have started down the path of learning Photoshop and want to redo the graphics for my Nowplaying, which were really heavely borrowed from other peoples CCF's.

Here is a ruff first cut at a new 'space' theme I am playing with. The screen size has been bumped up to 800X600 to use on my Fujitsu 3400.

Let me know what you think about this screen for the main Nowplaying page.



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MUCH slicker now. Not to sound like a bung hole, but the orignial was kinda boring. I can tell you now I guess since you're working on something much nicer :D
Here is a new pop-up light control panel I am working on... ruff cut...



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Well its time for Christmas music so I figured out how I wanted to handle the Christmas CD's. I really didn't want them to show up in my normal Album & Artist views. I finally decided to create a genre called Xmas and then went in and edited each of the other views and had them exclude the genre Xmas. I added a genre button on my screen called Xmas so now when my wife wants to to listen to Christmas music she can hit the button to view all the CD's and select one. Thought some other newbies like me would like to see.

Here is some screen shots showing how.


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Well I decided to add some information as to how my whole house audio is designed. I originally started with the idea of having a single amp and use LPADS in each room. What I came up with was as cheap and offered much more features and felt it was the best solution for the money long term.

The problem with using a single receiver to drive multiple speakers are numerous. First you will have to have a way of impediance matching the speakers to your receiver. I seriously looked at devices like the HACS AB8SS but those cost quite a bit more money and you still will have to have some way of adjusting the volume in each room that you have your speakers in. For that you could use a manual or IR controlled LPAD mounted in the wall. Remember that this LPAD has to dissapate the wattage your driving so plan on it getting HOT. In researching LPADS I have read of many horror stories of people having them melt down in the walls. I also would be faced with all the work of mounting them and running the wires. A decent LPAD can run you $50-$100 each for manual control and double that for IR control.

I had no doubt that the 220 watt RMS receiver I currently had would drive all the speakers so power was not an issue. My original setup would share a single 400 disc CD changer over multiple zones so again using a single receiver would work quite well. Again what had a big impact on my decision was the cost of the LPADS that I would need to purchase.

After weighing all those ideas (and trust me I was planning on going that route at first) I decided to take a different approach. First I live in a home that has wet plaster walls and its a real pain to mount anything in the walls so I was not looking forward to LPADS in each room anyways. I also wanted IR control so that I could use a touch screen and Homeseer to control it down the road. That meant spending big bucks on the speaker switcher/impedience matcher and all the IR controlled LPADS.

What I came up with ended up costing much less and really being much less work. I decided to purchase a Technics 200 watt stereo receiver for each additional room that I wanted to put a 'zone' in. So keeping my main Hometheatre system as the main 'zone' I purchased 4 extra receivers. Each receiver is IR controllable from Homeseer and can be powered on&off seperately. Each zone then has its own volume, power, mute, bass & treble controls. Since the wiring came down to running speaker wires from the 4 aux zones to each of the rooms it was much easier as I had no LPADS to buy or install. Each room has its own 200 watts RMS so there is no chance of a melt down. Once I chose the model of receiver I looked on Ebay and bought 4 receivers at an average cost of $50 each. Thats less than the 4 manual LPADS I would have had to buy. All four receivers are close to my HS server and are out of site. No need to have them visible when you can control them remotely with IR control.

Now with 5 seperate receivers it opened up a few options. Each zone had its own tuner so that was a bonus. When I first did this I shared a 400 Disc CD changer for all 5 zones. I have since went to a hard drive solution that enabled me to really endulge by having 5 distinct zones. Using the M-Audio 410 PCI Sound Cards that has 10 channels I am able to have a 5 zone setup with audiophile specifications. I use the built in sound card for my HS voices and everything works well together. All the receivers are controlled via this Now Playing GUI interface done using Netremote/JRMC/HS/hsGirder/Slink-e. Some people have asked about the Slink-e and why I used it. First I already had it to control my CD changer and second it has 8 independant IR zones. The IR zones need to be indepenant due to the fact that I am using the same receiver for 4 of the 'zones'. One way around this would be to use different model receivers for each zone or use an Ocelot with the IR module to get the indendant IR zones.

Every day I sit down at my PC in the den and using my Now Playing GUI front end I have access to over 650 CD's, internet radio stations, and 10 preset FM local stations. My wife can play what she likes in the living room, bedroom or kitchen and I play what I like. With 1300 Watts RMS total available I have no worries about heat or clipping the amplifiers and destroying the speakers. I also have to say it all sounds quite nice.

I am sure this is more than most of you would think starting down a whole house audio setup. I just wanted to share a glimpz of what you could do for about the same cost and a lot less work and risk. .


Below is a diagram of my design (needs to be updated).

With this design I implemented a hardware based synching option that lets you play the same CD in more than one zone but still allows you to play yet another in another zone.


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jwilson56 said:
Once I chose the model of receiver I looked on Ebay and bought 4 receivers at an average cost of $50 each.
What Technics model did you end up choosing?
I bought Technics SA-EX140 200Watt RMS Stereo receivers. They are no more than $119 for a brand new one and can be had on Ebay for much less.

My overall average was $50 each

Well putting the finishing touches on the Win32 project. All I have left is to work on the camera screen. Thanks to smee for suggesting Webcam2000 as its working out really well...

OT... my wife and I just got Josh Groban's CD. What a voice he has.....



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