Living in stereo

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I gave up on trying to find decent speakers for my computer. So I bought a bookshelf stereo system and ran the output from my sound card into the input on the stereo. MP3s now sound great, but the system is limited to my office. The next step is to get a wireless transmitter and receiver so I can broadcast music from the computer to my home’s main stereo system. I’ve had some luck hooking up my 802.11-powered laptop the the stereo and using it to play MP3s from another machine on the network, but that’s not a very elegant solution.

It seems to me that there’s basically three ways to wirelessly connect a computer’s MP3 library to your stereo system. You could use a component or computer connected by 802.11. That component should allow you to control what is being played from the stereo system. Either the component will contain the player and simply read the MP3 files from the source computer or the component will be able to control the computer-based player remotely.

You could also do the same with a proprietary wireless system That seems to be what the X10 media systems seem to do. If you use a proprietary wireless system, you have the same control options as you would with an 802.11 system.

The third option would be to hook a low-powered FM transmitter to the computer and then tune your stereo to the broadcast frequency. That’s how some aftermarket CD changers for cars work. It’s probably the easiest method to set up and maintain, but doesn’t offer much in the way of control. To skip songs or change playlists, you would have to go to the source computer.

Steve Garfield
April 30, 2003 3:27 AM

Have you seen the slimp3 ? It hooks up via ethernet to your stereo and lets you control your playlist with a remote control. Looks cool too.

Adam Kalsey
April 30, 2003 9:00 AM

I've seen the slimp3 and it looks like a nice product, but who has an ethernet jack next to their stereo system? If they want to sell this sort of things to consumers instead of geeks, they need to go wireless. Even though the average consumer isn't using a wireless network, it's much easier to add one than it is to run ethernet cables through the house.

matthew whittell
July 19, 2003 9:20 PM

There seem to be a couple of wireless products now trying to deliver exactly what you (and I) are looking for via 802.11. I've seen one from Linksys and product blurb from HP. BUT what I want most is to listen to net radio on the stereo system. These products seem only to seek and play existing files on the PC. I spoke to Linksys who confirmed this - and said they have no plans etc etc... ...has anyone seen a solution?

Tashi Hermzark
November 29, 2003 10:52 AM

Hey, can't we just use some software to broadcast an FM signal with our wireless miniPCI card? Or a normal PCI card, for that matter? Is this possible, and if so, HOW!

Lis Richardson
January 4, 2005 1:39 PM

Hey, this is what I'm looking for--a way to wirelessly listen to music or a station I have on my desktop computer through my main home stereo system in another room. We can't receive a lot of stations on our radio, like NPR, but we can get it through the computer. We already own a router for wireless networking of 2 computers--can't something be added to the stereo to receive signal and audio output from the router? All the previous notes on this site were from 2003--surely things have changed! What's out there now? Did you ever find a solution? A friend has a Mac and uses "Airport Express", but I can't find much info for my Sony Vaio with XP. Any help would be appreciated!

January 15, 2005 10:20 AM

The device your looking for is the SF150c - Computer Music Transmitter -- FM Transmitter. Made by a company named Arkon More info can be seen at this site. meh

March 8, 2005 6:29 PM

I've just been looking and found a unit form GE: GE HO97686 Wireless Computer-to-Stereo Transmitter Found one at:

August 30, 2005 9:52 PM

Look at Got one, works well

David Hunter
September 26, 2005 9:05 AM

An uber geeky solution is to use your bluetooth enabled phone as a remote control for your conmputer :)

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