Airplay, NAS and Getting Different Music in Different Rooms

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by liamski, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007
    Hi Guys

    I'll keep my question simple.

    I would like to have different music in different rooms. I know the Sonos system can do this, but would prefer to stay Apple native

    I know Airplay across Airport Express will only play the same music in each room

    Question: has anyone developed a workaround to allow multi music, multi room using Airports?

    I own:

    -- A mac mini connected to TV

    -- A new Synology NAS that will be filled with mp3s (along with films etc, but thats a different story)

    -- 3 airport expresses

    I had an idea.....

    -- NAS remains single source of music mp3s - they reside on a shared music folder presumably

    -- Mac Mini runs itunes, has its own local database file and look at mp3s on NAS - mapped drive

    -- NAS runs iTunes Server independently and looks at mp3s on NAS

    Would I be right in saying that this is effectively TWO DIFFERENT iTunes databases, and as a result, could serve music independently of each other?

    If so, could I use the iOS Remote app to tell...

    -- Airport Express No.1 to play music from Mac Mini itunes

    -- Airport Express No.2 (upstairs) to play music from NAS itunes Server?

    Make sense? Any views on viability welcome!

  2. macrumors 68040


    May 10, 2010
    Sounds like a working plan; except I'm not sure if the iOS remote will talk with 3rd party iTunes Server. Plus the files needs to be DRM free; for the NAS based iTunes.

    But sharing the same music files from two server should be no problem.

    Actually you could be even more fancy and install a virtualized Mac OS and run a second iTunes (with iOS Remote); didn't tried myself but could work. overkill ?, yes, sure.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007
    hmmm.. interesting. A virtualised OSX on the NAS? Didnt know you could do that. Wouldnt that contend with the DSM software already in place?
    I may have misunderstood your idea! :p
  4. macrumors 68040


    May 10, 2010
    Not on the NAS. That would not work. But the mini could take a virtual instance (if you have enough memory). Apple allowed that from 10.7 onwards on apple hardware.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007
    That's a great idea.

    Local machine running one iTunes library, accesses music on NAS, controllable via remote

    Virtual machine running another library, same network connections, controllable via remote

    Will give it a go and report back! thanks


    Another idea...

    are there any apps that would stream music from my NAS, via my phone/ipad to the airplay?
  6. macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    West Bend, WI
    Assuming you wanted to play music through iTunes and another source (say a browser with Pandora) you could use Airfoil. The Mac or PC program will let you stream to any Airplay source and even your iOS devices running the free app from the App Store.

    For example you could have iTunes airplaying to one Airport, Safari streaming Pandora to another, Spotify streaming to your last Airport, and Chrome streaming to your iPhone in a speaker dock. Really the only limitation is your wi-fi bandwidth and number of devices you have.
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007
    another very helpful suggestion

    many thanks!
  8. macrumors 68040


    Jan 6, 2005
    Airfoil is one way as suggested. The other is that if you are using different devices for control, each can Airplay separate content. So your Mini could be sending music to one AE, someone using an iPhone could listen to something else, and someone on an iPad also gets their own music. Use the Mini and Airfoil when you need centralized control, and the handheld devices when you don't.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2012
    It's even simpler:

    Just create a second user and log into that one as well. Now you can run 2 iTunes on the same computer and stream to 2 different sets of Airplay speakers simultaneously. As long as you don't log out the streams keep playing. You can switch between the users without any stream interruptions.

    That works here on an rather old mini with Snow Leopard accessing the same iTunes library.


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