A couple of questions (radio, remote)

I was never into media, as in plying video or music from different sources at different places; hence, do not understand the possible workings.

  1. What plays online radio?
    I see in the OH demo SWR, etc. which have .mru? files in the URL.
    When I put ABC Jazz into .rules – http://abc.net.au/res/streaming/audio/aac/abc_jazz.pls what will play the music? Is it the browser, or will the iPhone | Android apps play this too?
    do I need an Internet radio (e.g. MEDION), which is controlled by OH and plays this? OR is a binding required?
    (In this particular case there is only a tick behind the station but nothing plays (could be the URL or something else?)

  2. IR Remote control (in general)
    I have a Harmony 1100 remote, which send IR signals to the media devices.
    Can I use an Arduino with an IR sender LED with OH to send the signals to the devices? I understand that I can use a library on the Arduino to read these signals from the remote(s) and send them as required.
    Or do I need to buy something to send the signals to it?

Feel free to answer either one or both :slight_smile:

  1. Typically it is the browser that plays the audio or the device (e.g. Sonos speaker). I think there are some programs on Linux at a minimum that will play these streams for you but I don’t really have that much experience with this stuff either. I just have an old phone connected to a speaker and play music (Google Music and Pandora) from there.

  2. There is a library called lirirc which is often used to control the IR transmitters for sending commands to devices. The challenge I think is in finding the codes that are understood by your devices. Way back when I set up a home entertainment system (a decade ago now) I used a USB-URIT device which also had an IR receiver and the program could learn the codes from the device’s remote.

The short of it is you might be able to get the arduino with an IR LED to work but you will need to research your device’s codes.

1 Like

Thanks Rich (as always)…

It was more about getting a broader understanding on what talks to what…
The best way of doing this, at a low cost, but I am also prepared to spend the money where it makes sense. I have time (to a certain degree) but little money :slight_smile: (don’t we all?)

  1. So the browsers plays the music; but what about the iPhone | Android apps? Will they play in app or launch another to play the file?

  2. Not so much about the coding, but is this the approach people take when controlling their home audio/video devices? E.g. put a IR sender in the ceiling (or where else would they put it) and send signals to control these devices? Or do most have a form of media centre and send controls there, rather than using OH to "play’ the media (stream, file)?

I am asking these seemingly simple questions, because I have no media centre or dealt with these; I never liked proprietary players on a computer, like iTunes, etc., hence, never spend time with this stuff. I have an mp3 player (WinAmp) running on the PC for almost decades now which suits my needs.

The thinking I came up with, was using a ClearOne XAP 800 to get audio in every room, replying to queries I have with voice control; it will be interrupted by important announcements; e.g. door bell ringing where the people are, telling it will rain soon, etc. this XAP800 can play different input channels to different rooms; it is dirt cheap for what is can do, etc. Anyway, I digress…

Maybe others may also chip in and let me know how they solved their media playing and controlling needs?!

On phones the apps are able to open the stream and play it. It all depends on which service you are using as to what the specifics on how the user is authenticated and the media is encrypted, decrypted, and played. But from the user’s perspective it is playing within the app.

And I should augment my previous statement. Sometimes it is actually a plug-in of the browser that plays the audio like Flash or Silverlight. Spotify has its own desktop app required to play on a computer.

I’ve not done this myself. My home AV system has greatly simplified over the years (basically just a Roku and a TV) to the point where all I need now is a decent universal remote to control everything adequately.

From what I’ve seen on this forum though, people are usually either interacting with the native API of their devices (smart TVs, audio receivers, etc) or they get a Logitech Harmony Hub.

Another approach is to use a media center like you mention such as Kodi or Open-ELEC. I ran Open-ELEC for awhile on my TVs before I got the Rokus and it worked fairly well, though the Rokus with Plex as the media server for video and Google Music as the audio server works better.

In my quick looking at the product description it looks like that device only does the microphones, not speaker. Either I’m missing something or this would be only part of the problem. Though a look at the back of it does show a bunch of output plugs so who knows. The price is really good for what it does.

You will have to figure out how to interface and control it from your server though. If has some serial and parallel ports on the back which you could probably use to interface with it. Looks like a fun project.

1 Like

I should have added that I am at a stage in my life, where I am ridding myself of any subscription or expense I can. I have my own water, grey/black water (worm farm), electricity (12kW in PV and 20kW in battery) and only have the following bills: land, car, trailer, Internet, and a grocery bill; the latter with the aim to be reduced significantly by growing my own food.
Hence, no interest in any subscription based service…

I have a Harmony 1100, which is working well since day dot.

The XAP800 is basically an audio router, tons if inputs, tons of outputs… all you need is a mic and a little amp ($5) and a speaker in each room. It auto-mutes the music on whatever you want it too; e.g. door bell, phone, openHAB announcements, etc. and routes music (different inputs) to different outputs.

OK, then… I will look at the media various media centres and see how I interface with these :slight_smile:

Just for reference, the Roku with the Plex server does not require any subscription. And the Roku, in my experience, works WAY better than openELEC did, though I was running it many years ago on a Raspberry Pi 1st gen which was a little underpowered for the task. It probably runs better and has received other updates since then.

Also, I use the free tier of Pandora and Google Music so there is no cost there (though there are commercials). And I mainly don’t use Plex for that because until very recently there was no easy way to, for example, randomly play all of my tracks that are in the Big Band and Early Jazz generas. Their paid version now supports this but I’m too lazy to go back. I also like hearing new things on Pandora every now and then.