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Newbie - Basic audio questions
#1
Hi all.

I am new to this home automation hobby so please be gentle Big Grin
I am planning on buying CQC when my house is finished but I have some questions.

I already bought most of the hardware I will be needing. That includes 2 Nuvo Grand Concerto's, 2 radio tuners (RS232 controlled) and a M-Audio Delta 410 soundcard which I will be using for MP3/Music playback.

Imagine I have 10 zones controlled by individual IV's. How do I manage to feed 2 radio sources and, let's say, 6 mp3 sources to 10 zones? How is that done? If two radio stations are already in use, what will happen when a 3rd one is requested? Do I have to make CQC check the radio/mp3 state and availability before doing something?

Thanks.

Regards,
Mike
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#2
The Concerto will allow more than 1 zone to listen to a source at a time. In fact, you could have the entire 10 zones listening to the same source.

So if one zone is listening to source A and then another person in another zones also tunes to source A there isn't a problem. That is until the second person doesn't like what is playing and changes the channel, song list, etc. Those changes would obviously effect both zones. I think this is the problem you are asking about.

You could build out some logic using CQC that would prevent a 2nd user from controlling a source as long as they are the 2nd user. I haven't really thought about the logic specifically, but I'm sure it can be done. I'm not sure that is a very elegant solution. What if you are the 2nd user and you need to change the source (ie your kids are listening to something inappropriate, etc). Again, you should be able to add some logic that would allow a 2nd user to input a code to give them the ability to override the system, etc. But you are really starting to add some complexity to the situation. Again, CQC has the capacity to do any of this, but it won't be a 30 minute job to accomplish ;-)

If you are going to be using CQC interfaces (as opposed to one way devices like IR remotes), then it should be pretty easy to display a graphical representation of who is listening to a particular source at the same time. So you might turn on source B in your zone, and it would show that not only is your zone listening to Source B, but so are two other zones. That would allow you to know that changing what is playing will effect other people, but without all the extra logic to prevent someone from changing what is playing.

Another solution is to have 1 source defined for each family member. For example, If you have 6 MP3 sources, but only 5 family members, then simply assign people their own source. So instead of seeing "CD 1" and "CD 2" etc, you see "Mom's CD" or "David's CD" etc. That way, a person selects their own CD source from any zone and they know that no one else should change it on them. The problem with this solution is that many times, you don't want to buy enough tuners for example to have 1 source for each person. But it should be easier to accomplish with the ripped media and the Delta 410 card.

Hopefully that gives you a couple of ideas of how you might tackle the problem. As usual, there are several solutions and you have to think about which might be the best solution for your situation.

Good luck. Keep the questions coming.
Brian - a long time user that rarely messes with the system now
Other systems used:
SageTV w/ cablecard tuner & multiple extenders for viewing
BlueIris and IP cameras for CCTV
Incredible PBX for home phone
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#3
sic0048 Wrote:So if one zone is listening to source A and then another person in another zones also tunes to source A there isn't a problem. That is until the second person doesn't like what is playing and changes the channel, song list, etc. Those changes would obviously effect both zones. I think this is the problem you are asking about.

Thanks for the reply Smile
Yes, that is exactly my problem.
I liked your suggestion of defining sources for each family member. I'll try to work that out but I still will need some kind of management because of radio sources. I can't have a radio tuner per member Sad
I guess the third member will have to listen to whatever the first two are listening Smile
Thanks!


Just one more question:
Which software MP3 player would you recommend for CQC? Album art and genres are a must.

Regards,
Mike
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#4
You could always implement some fairly simple logic that says any client can listen to any zone, but what's playing in a given zone can only be changed from the clients in that zone (though you could always provide a password protected override if you wanted to.)
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#5
I spent a fair amount of time worrying about edge cases like having enough sources, or matching input and outputs when setting up my system. Comes from being a software engineer I guess.

My lesson ... don't worry about it, the things I was concerned about have never been an issue in practice! Once everything else in your set up is perfect you can go back and deal with those issues.

I have an output on the Delta 410 dedicated to each of the upstairs zones and 1 for the whole downstairs (it is too open plan to ever want different music in different zones there). There are multiple instances of the standard CQC music player running on the server, and all the music is handed by the XML based music repository (forget the name).

Handling of the album art is done by the CQC IV component which works well, though lacks some of the 'flash' associated with dedicated media programs.

With some effort you can create a very custom interface, or go the easy root and just tweak the default.
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