Multi-room audio with iRule

Can iRule be used to control multiroom audio with multiple sources? If so what are the ways this can be done and what hardware requirements are there. I have many Macs at home and iOS devices and anticipate about 5 zones
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  • Sure, iRule can control many different devices and location is not an issue.

    There are lots of different multizone audio systems such as: iTunes with AirPlay devices in every room, Media Center applications on a computer such as XBMC/PLEX, and multiroom amp distribution systems are also very common.

    With iRule, each or your 5 zones can be independent or be controlled together depending on your needs.

    Best Regards,
    Itai
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  • What equipment are you using? I'm doing this now with a Denon multi-zone amp and it works great. Your current details are a bit lacking. What's driving each zone? Are they separate pieces of equipment or what?

    The good news is, regardless iRule can do this and handle it really well. If you can give some insight into what equipment you're using or planning to use I'm sure many people here can help.
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  • Sorry for the lack of information. This is new construction. I have an Arcam Preamp and Amp that I wasn't planning on using for the multizone audio. I use iTunes on multiple computers and iOS devices.

    Basically, I have 4 to 5 audio zones I am planning. I would like to listen to my iTunes music in each zone separately through a server/NAS, my computer, or an iOS device. I would also like to be able to stream airplay apps [like Slacker, Pandora, or individual radiostations] to each zone as desired.

    I was not aware of the multi room amp distribution systems and they might be able to be controlled through the iPhone and iRule. Any guidance on brands and specific hardware appreciated.

    Also is there an ability within iRule to get feed back as to what music is playing within the iOS display, similar to control of iTunes through Airplay?

    Also, with video control, is it possible to look or import a program guide feed into iRule and then use the program guide to change the channel?
    • You may want to look at Denon POA-3012CI, 12 channels (basically 6 stereo zones, or fewer zones if you bridge some channels for higher power). They can be had for a pretty good deal if you know where to look (call for best price from internet retailers like JR, electonrics expo, etc. you'll get a far better deal).

      You can feed these things any source you want and pipe that source into one zone (room) or multiple in any configuration.
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  • You have several options.
    Our iTunes module is currently available on the iPad and is also getting a bit of an update in the upcoming release to allow for multiple iPads at the same time. This module allows you to interface with your Mac/PC with iTunes and send the audio to AirPlay devices. This is a nice solution for many (I use it myself) but has a problem if you want different audio going to different zones. iTunes only sends a single stream.

    If you are looking for another alternative (or use together) you can also use our upcoming Integra/Onkyo Module. This module will be available for both iPhone and iPad where you can use the internet radio of the receiver which covers the popular options such as: Spotify, Rhapsody, Pandora, Slacker, vTuner and more. This is a nice option if you have not already purchased your existing receiver.

    A TV program guide that can interface and control satellite and cable boxes is under development.

    Sonos is coming as well and will debut with the local music (basically the same as iTunes but with the ability to stream to multiple rooms).

    Below are some images from the Integra/Onkyo Module.
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  • Logitech Squezeebox server (Module) would be nice for multiroom audio.
    It has support for many plugins Sspotify,itunes,pandora.
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  • The Denon is definitely a module we will support (I honestly don't have timing yet but it will be similar in functionality to the Onkyo).

    I am really happy about the way this module is coming together. It also has a bonus feature where you can use the USB cable to connect your iPod or other MP3 player and navigate the content and see the now playing with cover art.

    We started with the Onkyo/Integra because of the numbers in the industry and our customer usage. Also, the price point of a new Onkyo with this capability is under $300 - how cool is that.

    Itai
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  • So why no iPhone support for iTunes module? Is one coming. I have it set to go to Apple remote on Music pages but the clunkiness of double clicking in and out is confusing for some
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  • The reason the iPhone iTunes module is done as a separate project is because it requires a completely different user experience. We are working on it (as well as a module for iTunes on the Android platform).

    Best Regards,
    Itai
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  • Thanks! Before Christmas possibly? The thing about iTunes is that it handles AppleTv and AirPlay so smoothly.

    Do you know if Apple has plans to IP control Apple TV? I have 4 of them and it would be a shame to buy 4 iTachs just for them
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  • Apple removed IP control from the current generation of AppleTV (both 2nd and 3rd generation).

    I don't have a good feeling on the timing yet for the iTunes module on the iPhone.

    Best Regards,
    Itai
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  • Thanks for the background. The new iTunes module looks great. It will be great to also have available on the iPhone also.

    One thing that is not clear to me yet and ideas would be appreciated.....I have the option of playing music from multiple Mac computers, airplay from iPhone or iPad, AppleTV.... it doesn't really matter.... HOWEVER, I would like to be able to control the audio for each zone from a single iPhone/iPad. So my question is this, how does iRule control the multiple zones since iTunes can only have a single source for a particular computer or Airplay device? For zone 1, e.g., do I have to choose a computer as a source and for zone 2 a different computer if I want to play different music from the same iTunes library? Also can the zones be synced to be played in unison? Hope this makes sense. I have been finding some servers that offer multiple sources such as CasaTunes, Savant, Plethra that are adding to this confusion.
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  • The iTunes is going to be available to both the iPhone and the Android in the future (the foundation for the Android port is already underway).

    Since iTunes is designed as a single stream is it intended to be used as a 1 - to - many system. While some systems have gone to a great extent such as CasaTunes to extend this functionality (software alone is $500 if I remember correctly) this is well beyond what most are using for iTunes. Since regular iTunes always plays the same music to all devices they are synced and can be controlled with individual volume levels. Our iTunes module talks directly to your computer's iTunes (mac or PC).

    If you want a system that can play music in different rooms with different streams you may want to consider a system that was designed for it such as Sonos.

    Best Regards,
    Itai
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  • Can you run the iTunes module in the following scenario?

    Run iTunes module from iPad #1 to control audio in zone 1 from iTunes library on Mac #1
    Run second iTunes module on iPad #1 to control audio in zone 2 from iTunes library running on Mac #2?
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  • Alex (Official Rep) November 27, 2012 17:32
    Hi Charles,

    Only 1 iTunes gateway can be created in the app so you can only pair with one iTunes library on each handset. In the future maybe multiple iTunes gateways would be possible.

    Alex
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