Wireless Jukebox- Background
Once I put the Arcade
on the cabinet, I found that it might be nice to hear it
also through the main stereo of the house. I found a number of
wireless media 'solutions' marketed but these suffered from
one of two problems (or both): either they did not solve my specific issue
or they were too pricey for me. Not knowing whether or not what
I was asking was viable (control a central jukebox that would play through
the main floor's stereo from any PC in the house), I began to research the
I knew that a server component would be required on the
driving PC (which, actually, is my print server). I also knew some
client piece would need to control that server component remotely. To
make a long story short, after much research by myself and a friend, I
combo. Winamp runs on the print server and
Web Interface) is a plug-in to Winamp that allows browser control through the Intranet.
That was all that was needed (besides an audio transmitter).
The steps to setting up the 'server' installation are simple:
1) Get version 2.81 of Winamp. This early version is a requirement
of WAWI. It can be found here.
Or my archived version, in case
that page is unavailable.
2) Install Winamp.
3) Get the Winamp
Web Interface (WAWI) from
also have it archived.
4) Execute it. This will
update Winamp with the WAWI plugin.
5) Point Winamp to your
MP3 collection. You do this by right-clicking in Winamp, and choosing
Options/Preferences. Under Plug-ins (the left column), select
General Purpose. You will see Winamp Web Interface... in
the right frame. Highlight it, then click the Configure
button at the bottom. All the options you'll need will be available
6) You can now test the
connection by opening a browser on your server and typing "http://localhost/".
This will take you into the WAWI interface. You can access the
interface from the other PCs on the network by "http://<pcname>/".
7) On the WAWI web page,
click on the Options icon (box with a checkmark) at the top, then click on [User Management]
Set up any users you will need with correct rights. Now you are ready
That's all there is to the software side.
Audio Transmitter issues
After a failed experiment
with a product from X10 (on loan), I found a few very glowing reviews of the
RCA Lyra Wireless System
(RD900W) in the BYOAC
So off to ebay I went and found a brand new system available for $45
shipped, which seemed reasonable. Once it arrived, I went to install
it onto my print server (Compaq 5150). It
was very simple. I just plugged the USB connector from the Lyra into
the appropriate port and the machine immediately recognized it AND installed
all the drivers, with no prompting (or install CD). That was
unexpected but a welcome surprise. Of course, the Lyra receiver was
also connected to the tape-in jacks on my stereo receiver.
Note that the Lyra comes with Musicmatch software on the install CD.
I did not install this as the Winamp/WAWI combo are perfectly fine for my
listening needs at the moment. I, however, did install the software to allow the
use of the supplied remote control. I don't know if it'll get used
anytime soon but it is a nice option to have onhand.
The sound is amazing through this setup!
I did not expect the sound quality at all to be what it is. No interference at all. There is no difference between
the Lyra sound versus that from from the cable channels. My 900Mhz cordless and
microwave did not cause any problems, either. My main stereo is on a
different level than the transmitter and it still shows full power which
demonstrates its range.
I am very
pleased with the sound
quality and the ability to change songs from any networked machine in the
house. I will likely look at purchasing an additional receiver for the
bedroom stereo. This was a very low cost solution to the 'problem' of
routing my MP3 music to my main stereo system and being able to control it
easily from anywhere.
I have added
a second receiver to the bedroom system and love it. Well worth the