A Music Server

So I’ve been wanting something to replace the music in our house for quite some time. We bought wireless speakers several years ago that are fantastic for parties and having kids (moving to another room? just pick up the speaker and go). The problem has been getting a stereo that works with them. And with an iPod. And with CDs, and it’s been a mess. So here’s what we’ve tried that we decided didn’t work quite how we wanted.

  • Having all mp3s on Playstation 3. Clunky interface. No control via iPod/Android.
  • Streaming to Playstation 3 using UPNP – too slow. No control via iPod/Android. Needs separate dedicated music server.
  • Dedicated music server hooked directly to wireless speakers. Cost for new system. Energy usage.
  • Stereo with iPod dock. No android support. iPod docks stop working.

So I began playing with my router and noticed I could put PHP on it. I decided to setup a web server to play with and in doing so, noticed that DD-WRT/OpenWRT had sound support. Puzzled, I looked it up and turns out I could plug this:

into the USB port on the back of my router and have sound. Intrigued I tried plugging in a USB hub and a USB hard drive with the sound card, and was able to get all my MP3s on the router with sound output.

I started writing my own interface, but found out there was already a program called MPD (Music Playlist Daemon) compiled for the router that had iPhone and Android control apps. So now Julie and I can walk around our house, pull out our phones and start, stop or change the music. And it’s all running off a router that was always on anyway. No music stopping because Tim has to reboot his computer.

Here’s the partlist if you’re interested in replicating it yourself: