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DIY Whole House Audio

June 28, 2011

One of my sabbatical projects was to put in a whole house audio system.  Total cost: $20. And some solid effort. I dusted off an old laptop and installed Vortexbox. Vortexbox is an audio swiss army knife, based on a specialized and simplified Linux distribution.  It rips CDs to the lossless FLAC format and automatically converts FLAC files to MP3, ALAC , and WAV. It serves music to Squeezebox systems, Sonos systems, iTunes, and Zune. iTunes on my wife’s Mac indexes but does not wastefully duplicate the music on the Vortexbox Server. iPhone syncing works as expected. Ditto for Zune on my PC. I put Squeezebox player software on the various house computers e.g. the media center PC.  You might choose to use a Squeezebox appliance or a Sonos appliance instead. This sounds complicated, but my wife can control the whole system from her iPhone.  Ditto for my Windows Phone and iPad. What really matters is that we listen to our music more, and that makes us happy.

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