For quite some time now I’ve been pondering two things:
1. What should I do with that old Wallstreet G3 Powerbook?
2. How can I play my digital music on my stereo easily?
Until today the answer to item one has been leave it in a bag in the closet until I come up with something better. Item two always involved hooking up our iPod or a laptop to the stereo.
The easy solution to this is to get an Airport Express or something like the SqueezeBox from Slim Devices. Both of these are fine solutions, but they cost money and don’t solve the what to do with the Powerbook question.
That all changed today. This morning I put together my own streaming media solution. I haven’t tried video yet, but iTunes visualization works well,so streaming video shouldn’t be much of a problem. The setup is quite simple — computer with wifi hooked into stereo, music player, music streaming software, and a music library.
The Powerbook now sits with all of our AV equipment and is hooked up as video device 3 (svideo and audio from the powerbook). The Powerbook is fairly low tech (250mhz g3, 384mb ram, 4gb hd, and a Lucent wifi card) and is running OS X 10.2. The music playback and visualization is all handled by iTunes.
iTunes only has two items in the playlist currently — Radio Kerner and Columbia, MO’s 102.3 KBXR (because there isn’t a AAA radio station in Springfield). We’re using iHam on iRye to control iTunes remotely (basically selecting BXR or our own mix and hitting play).
Radio Kerner is powered by a computer also running iTunes (for cataloging purposes) and SlimServer 5.4 the software that powers the SqueezeBox. It provides a great web-based interface for putting together playlists. You could even stream different music to other computers in the house (with iTunes).
So far so good. To make it more radio like I may record some interstitials to litter through the music randomly.
In other news, I’m 1 person away from a free iPod, I’ll post a link from the first person who completes my final offer.