Help me get my iTunes library into the living room without a computer.
September 2, 2013 1:40 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to be able to play my 30+GB iTunes music library in the living room, without needing a computer, and without spending more than around $250. I don't have a receiver, speakers or an iPod without enough capacity to hold my full library, though I do use iTunes Match. What are some good options for this?

I asked a similar question a few years ago, but my needs have changed. Primary considerations:

-I'd like to have instant access to my entire music library.
-I don't want to worry about having a computer turned on to stream music - I want to bypass the computer entirely.
-I don't want to spend more than about $250.
-I'm not an audiophile but decent sound would be nice.
-I live in an apartment and don't want to upset the neighbors with loud music or bass, but I do want other people in my apartment to be able to hear music (meaning something like wireless headphones won't work).

Since I use iTunes Match, one option would be to buy a $99 Apple TV and use it to stream my library, but that would mean buying speakers to supplement those in my TV, which aren't great for music. Two issues are that I wouldn't be able to use the TV for anything else while playing music (not a deal-breaker), and my TV doesn't currently have a free HDMI port for the Apple TV.

Another option would be to get an old iPod classic with enough storage to hold my library or an iPod Touch that supports iTunes Match along with some kind of iPod dock, and I've been leaning toward this one.

Any thoughts on these options or others?
posted by iamisaid to Technology (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
The second sentence in my question should read "I don't have a receiver, speakers or an iPod WITH enough capacity to hold my full library, though I do use iTunes Match."
posted by iamisaid at 1:42 PM on September 2, 2013


In your previous question you mentioned having an iPhone - is that still the case? Because my suggestion would be to spend $100 on an Airport Express, and plug that into a good set of "computer" speakers like these. Then you can just use your iPhone as the audio source and play it through the Express's Airplay. For what it's worth, I've had an earlier incarnation of that Klipsch set on my various desks for over a decade, and they sound absolutely fantastic.
posted by Tomorrowful at 1:56 PM on September 2, 2013


I use an Airport Express for this, using the iPhone/iPad I already have as a remote. My music is in iTunes Match, and the Airport Express is hooked up to a set of speakers. If I happen to be on my computer, I can control the speakers through iTunes. My friends think it's magic.
posted by bradbane at 2:02 PM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do have an iPhone and an iPad.

I also have an 8GB iPod Touch, but it's an older model that won't run the iOS version needed for iTunes Match, so it won't help me here.

I like the Airport Express idea, but I need my router to be in a different room. It looks like I could set up the Airport Express in client mode to join my existing wireless network and still get the audio features - is that right?
posted by iamisaid at 2:19 PM on September 2, 2013


Yes, that's how I have mine set up. Modem and Airport Extreme in the bedroom (long story) and Express in the living room connected to the speakers. The Express can even act as a signal booster on your network (though speeds suffer a bit).
posted by supercres at 2:24 PM on September 2, 2013


Another option, of course, is just to get an Airplay-enabled standalone speaker system. Can use the Remote app on your phone to play music to the speaker in the same manner as the Airport Express option-- either from the phone directly (if you want to use Spotify or Pandora or something) or controlling the computer's iTunes.
posted by supercres at 2:26 PM on September 2, 2013


Definitely agree re: the Airport Express. I bought mine for wireless printing and only later realized it could also be used to streaming music. Very handy, and portable.
posted by finnegans at 2:50 PM on September 2, 2013


The Airplay speakers seem like a good option also, and the prices have really dropped since the last time I checked.

One thing I'm unclear on - do Airplay speakers require an Apple Airport router or do they work with any third-party router?
posted by iamisaid at 2:55 PM on September 2, 2013


Apple TV is a perfect solution. It costs about $99 and can stream your whole itunes match library.
posted by kdern at 3:33 PM on September 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


It looks like I could set up the Airport Express in client mode to join my existing wireless network and still get the audio features - is that right?

That's how I have mine setup.

One thing that's nice about the Airplay option is you can choose multiple speakers. Like if I pull out my phone in my apartment, I can have the music come out of the living room stereo, the computer, or both simultaneously.
posted by bradbane at 3:58 PM on September 2, 2013


That's how I have mine setup.

This is also how I have mine set up.
posted by aramaic at 5:30 PM on September 2, 2013


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