I want a Wi-Fi to stereo out adapter

Gordon Mohr gojomo@usa.net
Mon, 20 Aug 2001 14:00:01 -0700


Dan Kohn writes:
> Here's a simple enough product I would like to buy, that doesn't
> currently seem to exist.  I want a network sound receiver (NSR) that I
> can hook up to the stereo systems in my living room, bedroom, and
> office.  I would use then use the NSRs to play MP3s from my laptop
> without having to hook up cables.  The NSR would consist of a standard
> 1/8" male stereo jack or RCA male stereo jacks (i.e., stereo out) and an
> 802.11b Wi-Fi adapter (for sound in, using UDP/IP).

I suspect such a product is inevitable, because I completely
buy the idea that 802.11b is in an adoption tornado which will
continue to drive down costs and drive up capabilities.

> With the NSR, I'd like bundled a piece of Windows software that allows
> me to direct my sound output to any of NSR on the network.  You'd want
> to do password protection for security (especially if you're going to
> potentially enable access from any Internet-connected sound source), but
> the NSR could be quite simple.

Having the NSR(s) as generic sound-output sinks would be a nice 
lowest-common-denominator capability, but would probably result
in a wasteful (and potentially sound-degrading) process like:

  MP3->WinAmp->uncompressed-audio->NSR-software->
   compressed-audio->802.11b-airwaves->NSR->
    uncompressed-audio->RCA-jacks

The NSR might have enough capability that it should really
become a remote MP3 cache-and-player. Hell, why not make it 
a full windows PC, running a slaved WinAmp -- you get the UI 
you want, the MP3s get shuffled around behind the scenes 
automagically.

That is, what you *really* want might be:

  - a brick PC with...
    - nice audio and video chips/outputs
    - 256MB+ RAM
    - no hard drive, CDrom, or disk drive
    - 802.11b, capable of operating as access point, client, 
      or ad-hoc

Hell, make the 802.11b capable of doing all those roles at 
once, with multiple networks, simultaneously. (That's a
simple matter of software, right?)

Now, the only external controls on this brick should be to
set "who it listens to for commands/new software inserts". 
This could take the form of luggage-lock style numeric 
tumblers (for the retro-tactile) or some other single-touch 
configuration plate (Google query: "Resurrecting Duckling").
An external reset button always restores the brick to
factory-shipping state.

Shouldn't such a beast be possible, in volume, for under 
$200?

With one package of software, this is Dan's desired NSR.

With another, it's a windowsill node for neighborhood
resource-sharing networks, which route around ISP 
terms-of-service and filtering.

- Gordon
____________________________ 
Gordon Mohr - gojomo@usa.net 
 Personal - http://xavvy.com 













    

> Note that Bluetooth originally planned to offer this, but Bluetooth has
> now been declared dead.
> http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1270-210-6832075-1.html
> 
> There are several offerings in this space using HomePNA, proprietary 2.4
> GHz signaling, and USB, but nothing Wi-Fi based yet.
> http://music.cnet.com/music/0-1566073-7-4718183.html
> 
> - dan
> --
> Dan Kohn <mailto:dan@dankohn.com>
> <http://www.dankohn.com/>  <tel:+1-650-327-2600>
> 
> 
> 
> http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
>