Audio streaming without loss of sync

Go digital? Listen to internet radio? Stream your music online?

Before I jumped on the digital bandwagon, I considered two problems:-

(1) The expense of replacing all my old (but working perfectly) audi devices – CDs, tapedecks, radios etc

(2) The problem of no-sync – ie the time difference that occurs when different devices “listening” to one online audio stream have different buffer periods and thus non-synchronised outputs.

I like listening to music, and radio stations (TMS anyone?), especially on the weekend. But as a busy family man I cannot sit and listen to the radio – there’s always movement from room to room. Inside to outside. You know how it is.

Hence my habit was to tune the many radios in our house to the one station, and listen to the same program all over, upstairs downstairs and even in the garden, garage and shed. Easy.

But going digital presents the challenge of syncing the signal. And the expense of a big handful of new devices. What to do?

My answer – transmit my own audio stream on FM, using an FM transmitter hooked up to the PC.

Fm

image from http://www.redferret.net/?p=20736

Since the legalisation of certain types of FM transmitter in the UK, it has become possible and legal to have your own little FM radio station in your car (which many people know of) and in your house (less known methinks). Courtesy of eBay (other auction sites are available) I found a Canadian product which promised noise-free interference-free transmission, and so I installed it on my main PC where my Spotify, iTunes, LastFM and what I call my “DAB links” favourites live.

This PC has a Logitech 2.1 speaker system with its own volume adjuster, so I’ve split the output using a simple headphone splitter and leave the PC volume set continually at about 75% (100% distorts), as per advice re setup & setting volume (pdf).

So now I can listen to my own music or radio or even a DVD soundtrack in whichever room I’m in.

Just set the radio to FM 107.7 – and you can even send an audiobook Bedtime Story to the children’s bedside radio. Bless.

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