Streaming audio (stereo mix) over a LAN?

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thuh granantlet Posted: Sat, Sep 4 2010 6:32 PM

Hey guys, I have 4 windows machines on the same network. I want to be able to send the audio from 3 of the 4 machines to 1 "main" machine. Is there a way to do that, like with VNC? Real VNC doesn't support audio afaik, but there's got to be a way. I don't want to simply share audio files- I want the stereo mix of each machine to be accessible by the main machine. So that way I can get audio from any application, rather than just music.

Thanks for the help!

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acarzt replied on Sun, Sep 5 2010 7:09 PM

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking...

You can share a folder from 1 system and then map that folder as a drive on the other system and have it readily available...

Not sure what else you're looking for...

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That would limit me to hearing audio from shared files only. Furthermore, I would need to activate the audio on the "main" machine.

 

Maybe I should describe my goals: I have 1 set of speakers attached to my desktop (the "main" machine) on my desk. In my room I also have my bed and a table. I would like to be able to play audio from either of the two laptops or tablet and have that audio go over to the desktop (via wifi) and play out of the desktop's soundcard (to the speakers). That way I don't have to get up and go over to my desktop to play music/video, or change the volume or anything. Furthermore, if I'm watching movies online, on my laptop, I don't want the audio to come out of the crappy laptop speakers. I'd like it to come out of the desktop speakers. If I'm watching a video, I don't want it to be playing on the desktop- I want the video on the laptop, but with the audio streaming over to the desktop.

 

So in essence, I want to take the stereo mix of the mobile devices and send it (live) to the desktop, as an input, so that the desktop can play it on the main speakers.

I realize that streaming uncompressed audio would require a lot of bandwidth, so it'd probably also have to be encoded it in a better format...

 

Does that make sense?

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acarzt replied on Mon, Sep 6 2010 4:53 PM

I'm not quite sure it's possible to do it the way you're talking about.... but if it was, sending it over wifi would cause a delay and the sound would not sync up with the picture. So for watching movies or really any kind of video... it's not something you would want to do.

I would assume the speakers are relatively close... and being that you want to use those instead, the only thing I can suggest is running an audio cable and using that.

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I found a number of programs that allege to do this, but they're all for linux operating systems.

I'm not sure why sending it over wifi would *necessarily* cause a delay- i can see how it could, but I'm not sure why it would, every time. Plus plenty of media players (like VLC) offer options to offset the audio track anyway, so this could be corrected for. The only problem would be flash movies online.

There are a few locations around the room where I like to be- my desk, the other side of my desk, my bed, table, etc. If I was to run enough audio cables for each machine to all of those locations, I'd need several of them, and some would be pretty long. As the length increases, so does the noise in the signal. We're talking 20 feet, if I want to run it along the baseboards- and there's no way I'm going to string a wire across the room. I'd risk tripping on it and knocking the laptops onto the ground.

Furthermore, in order to have.. let's say- (conservatively) 2 wires for the desk, 2 wires for the bed, and 2 for the table, plus one for my desktop- 7 wires going into the speakers, besides the materials cost, i would have a LOT of noise coming in. And at any one location, I could only have 2 devices plugged in.

 

I'd like them to be ready to go, too. Thats why I like the wifi model- I don't have to mess with plugging in wires and, if I wanted to move from the desk to the bed, I could just pick up the laptop and move without any interruption. Sorry if I'm being difficult, but the wired model is really what I'm trying to get away from.

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acarzt replied on Mon, Sep 6 2010 8:58 PM

Well, one option is remote desktop.

You could just remotely connect to the other computer and just do everything from there.

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Hmm... connect to the desktop from the laptops with remote desktop? Or other way around (have the desktop connected to the laptops in the background)? In the former case, I'd play media on desktop remotely using the laptop, and in the latter case, I'd play the media on the laptop, and have the desktop pick up the sound with remote desktop?

 

I've used remote desktop probably one time, quite some time ago. I didn't remember it streaming audio. I also recall that it logged out any users on the host machine. One of the biggest things I'll be using this for is to use my laptop to browse the internet and play media during downtime in games, running on the desktop.

 

That is a good idea though, thanks! I'll try that out and see if I can make it work!

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acarzt replied on Wed, Sep 8 2010 9:31 PM

Remote desktop will turn the screen black for anyone looking at it lol

Any remote desktop sharing tool would work tho. For example we use a program called Dameware, here at work.

You could look into that one.

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Ah awesome, I checked it out, but it's a little pricey for what I want to do. But I had no idea that there were SO MANY desktop sharing applications. I'm sure I'll find one in the hundreds of google hits I got for "desktop sharing application"

 

Thanks for sticking with me!

 

As you can see- I have 20 posts, so I'm not very familiar with the board. Can I give you rep or something to say thx?

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acarzt replied on Mon, Sep 13 2010 3:36 AM

lol, no problem man. And no we don't have any kind of "rep" system.

I just like to help people out :-)

So just saying thanks is enough :-P

Also, let me know what you end up using, and how you like it.

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