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Redirecting Audio from PC to PC?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the network-sound-for-windows dept.

Music 76

Atlantis-Rising asks: "I have two PCs in my standard setup- one is a 1U server (Running windows XP), and the other is a Windows XP Media Center PC. When I purchased the server, I didn't think I'd need a soundcard, and so I made no provisions for this when I was planning my system, and so it has no audio. After buying the server, my main desktop died and I decided to use the server as my main desktop machine, and I'd really like audio. However, my Media Center PC is hooked up to a wonderful speaker set, one that I'd not like to duplicate. I therefore wonder if anyone on Slashdot knows of a way to play the audio from one PC on another? I know about buying a USB sound-card, and I'd rather not do that. I also know that I can use RDP to connect the media center PC to the server, but I'd rather not do that either, for graphical performance reasons. Are there any other solutions out there, Slashdot?"

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You could use Total Recorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450565)

As a virtual soundcard, and then stream it to some other computer using Shoutcast or something similar... but it's really not going to be the best experiece. I'd just buy a soundcard or USB thing and run a long cable over to the other PC.

Re:You could use Total Recorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14456710)

I'm not a coder, so perhaps I will get laughed out of the room for saying this, but wouldn't it be fairly easy to write some sort of DirectX COM object to reroute sound from the DirectX sound module to another process?

nc (3, Informative)

jon787 (512497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450570)

Netcat can do wonderful things that should never be done over a network.

Buy a cheap sound card (1)

frizzantik (944615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14463210)

I bet /. will pay more in bandwidth to answer this question than it would cost to buy a soundcard

Just buy a super cheap sound card and run the audio out to the line in on the entertainment box. you'll get better performance that way anyways

Virtual sound card (2, Interesting)

GQuon (643387) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450580)

Relevant thread: Free workaround for listening to server audio from client []

Then there's the possibility of setting your server up as a SoutCast-like server.

I've got no personal experience with it though...

I would've bought a cheap sound card...

Easy (2, Informative)

secondsun (195377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450590)

You should give esound a try.

Re:Easy (1)

Slashcrap (869349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14452520)

You should give esound a try.

Or you could try repeatedly slamming your testicles in the refrigerator door, which is a great deal more rewarding and results in less long term pain.

Re:Easy (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14466981)

Why do people harsh on the eSound daemon? It works really well for me. I'm using it on the Linux side for a complete remote desktop solution including sound. I can use MPlayer, Xine, XMMS, and RealPlayer just fine this way. All this and over 802.11b... I think eSound is "the bomb".

Get the Windows Media Encoder - Free download (2, Informative)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450608)

Just get the Windows Media Encoder 9 Series and you can broadcast the streaming media over the network ies/encoder/default.aspx []

Re:Get the Windows Media Encoder - Free download (2, Informative)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451737)

Requirements for "Capture and Broadcast of audio files" per Microsoft's site:

2000 MHz processor or higher, such as an AMD Athlon 64

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

512 MB of RAM or higher

Supported audio and video capture device

Pay special attention to the last line.

Re:Get the Windows Media Encoder - Free download (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14460234)

Requirements for "Capture and Broadcast of audio files" per Microsoft's site

Exactly. "Pay special attention to the first line." You looked at the requirement for capture and broadcast. You can broadcast from media files already saved on the disk and thus no need to capture live media. I have it setup and working. If you need more information, post your email and I will send you the instructions on how to do it. It is so easy, you just need to install the encoder and spend about 5 minutes configuring it.

Audio Streaming At Home (2, Interesting)

whodunnit (238223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450618)

Hey there,

For a while I used [] ,it takes a bit to figgure out and get working properly, but after that it works great and sounds like what you need, as all you really seem to want is a way to remotely change songs.


Re:Audio Streaming At Home (1)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450876)

Problems with Streamsicle, as of the last time I used it:
No transcoding, so good luck streaming any high-bitrate mp3's.
No easy way to password protect the server, although it is
doable, just not elegantly. This should be a standard, gui
feature in any mp3 server. If you don't mind paying a little
for a more elegant solution, try Andromeda; I think the site's []

Re:Audio Streaming At Home (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451639)

Yeah, but on a private home network, bandwidth and password protection are probably not big issues.

Music Tracks or all Audio? (1)

rRaminrodt (250095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450626)

A good question to ask is, whether you want to play music over the network, or if you want all sounds streamed (music,events,games,etc). The first is going to be vastly easier for you to accomplish. Off the top of my head I can think of audioplayers/jukeboxes, like mpd (although that may be unixesque systems only).

The second option is going to be a lot harder to accomplish, especially if you need to play sounds without a lot of latency. I only know of unix type software (esd,mas), and even then they are notoriously hard to get working right.

If you can live with just music, I'd go that route.

Re:Music Tracks or all Audio? (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451941)

No, I do want to stream all audio. What I have now is VNC, and a mapped network drive (mapping the music folder on my main desktop to a Z drive on my media center PC) that allows me to remotely change songs/etc that I'm playing on the Media Center PC. It's not a perfect solution, but it actually works quite well for me. Latency isn't really a big issue- I'm looking more for things like IM alerts, mail sounds, stuff like that. Plus, it's all gigabit wired, so I have no bandwidth issues either. (Not that I'd expect them with 100mb wiring either, frankly).

Re:Music Tracks or all Audio? (1)

TheScienceKid (611371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14452870)

there's also NAS in UNIX too, btw. I can't remember any windows solutions off of my head, but the Apples let you play music (from iTunes, etc) over a network to remote Airport stations (which have sound jacks on 'em) - so it's gotta be possible in the real world.

You are using a 1U server as a desktop? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450661)

Isn't that just loud as hell? When I configure rackmounts in my office, I usually use earphones bacause they are so loud. Oh, and drowing out noise with more noise is not a good idea hearing-wise.

Re:You are using a 1U server as a desktop? (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451973)

Yes, it is loud as hell. I throttle the CPU to 15 percent load, max, when I'm not actively playing games or something else that needs it, because that keeps the fans spun down to their minimum load. It was actually a really bad decision to buy this PC. (Dell SC1425). At the time, it was a good idea, but then my needs changed... and now I'm stuck with a loud as hell server in my room. Luckily, I have long cables, and it's in what amounts to a closet. (with proper airflow of course, but it dampens the sound significantly)

Re:You are using a 1U server as a desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14454148)

I wish someone told me this years ago

I work about a metre from a 42U rack of dell 1u servers.

As there is no warning - can I sue dell for hearing damage?

Re:You are using a 1U server as a desktop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14461705)

Oh, and drowing out noise with more noise is not a good idea hearing-wise.

Sound volume isn't cumulative like you perhaps think it is.

Winamp can do this for you. (1)

Braedley (887013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450679)

I had a similar situation a number of summers ago when both my brothers and my own computer occupied a KVM switch with one set of speakers. I'm assuming that you already share files over your network, because otherwise this solution is useless unless all your music is on the media center PC. This Winamp plugin [] will allow you to control Winamp on your media center PC through an internet browser. Simply type in the internal IP and you're all set (once of course you set up the plugin to begin with; a fairly easy task). Since playlist files need not reside on the local computer (ie the media center PC), but just at an accessable location (anywhere on your LAN), your entire colection can stay right where it is (be it on the server or the media center). It might not be the most elagant solution, but it works.

windows media connect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450680)

Try Windows Media Connect. You can install it on any Windows XP system. It isn't perfect, but it does allow you to stream media files over a network. Depending on what sort of setup you are looking for, it might be just what you need. It won't help if you're trying to stream audio from games over, though.

Video Lan Client of course (3, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450687)

Maybe VLC will do what you want.

I guess I don't see the need.... (1, Offtopic)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450716)

On my home net, my ancient laptop serves files, including oggs. There's no point in streaming the audio--I just mount the filesystem from my PCs and mythtv box and play them as though they were local--the point of a networked filesystem. I can't imagine why you'd not be able to do the same thing in your setup.

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14450833)

That was going to be my suggestion, but now I'll just post an AC "Me too!" to protect myself from -1 Redundant. Just run the media player of your choice on the box with the sound system and configure it to look on the other PC's drive for music.

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (2, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451003)

He didn't ask about streaming music. He asked about playing sounds remotely. Your solution does nothing to, say, play the sounds from a game on a different machine.

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14451104)

I think it was just assumed that having the sounds from your game come from another room (or across the same room for that matter) would be pretty dumb. Great positional sound though. "Wow, that really sounds like it's coming from down the hall! Oh... nevermind." Anyway, why would anyone want to game like that?

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451549)

While you were busy assuming things, you *also* assumed that the computers are, in fact, in different locations.

You additionally assumed that he doesn't want to listen to, say, Real streams. And you assumed that he doesn't want to hear informational sounds ("ding!" says the server as it finishes downloading/crashing/whatever).

I mean, for the sake of fuck: If he just wanted to play his MP3s over a network, I assume, by virtue of his use of the "server" adjective, that he'd be doing it already with the Media Center box.

Quit assuming things, and give this guy what he asked for: He wants the moral equivilent of ESD, but he wants it to run on Windows instead of Linux.

AFAICT, this does not exist[2]. But that doesn't mean it's a dumb thing to be doing[1], does it?.

[1]: The best gaming machine I currently posess is an XP laptop. I frequently sit at my desk at home with a rather nice audio system flanking me, playing games on said laptop. I should be able to route audio from there, over the network (without wires, even) and have it play through one of several other real computers in this room (with real sound cards), but I cannot.

Yes, I know I can just plug a wire into the laptop. But that's somewhat defeating of the purpose of having a portable computer which, in addition to being a gaming machine, also tends to go with me basically everywhere. I want fewer things to plug into it when I come home, not more.

And I know that it's a stupid problem to have, having been solved on *nix for at least a decate (perhaps longer if you count Network Audio System), but it's still a problem, because most games don't run for shit on *nix, if they work at all, and least of all with ATI's half-supported binary driver that breaks software suspend.[3]

[2]: Apple, I believe, has this working with some of their Airport models, but only for OS X.

[3]: Yep - people with ATI-equipped Linux laptops get to choose betweeen proper power management and accelerated 3D graphics, whereas things just fucking work under XP.

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451969)

Thank you! You've exactly summarized my problem. in point of fact, the PCs are right beside each other, and the sound system is similarly positional no matter which PC i'm using. VNC and mapped network drives DO already stream my music, as you can probably imagine. You're right- I've loaded Ubuntu on a handful of PCs. Thing is, they can't really compare for gaming (which is what my server is for, among other things.) The other solution that a friend proposed is a permanent terminal services connection. I like this, because it has the Terminal Services Audio Redirector thingy. That's great... except I can't use double-headed monitors, or games, watching movies, or anything else. What I really use as a stopgap is a bluetooth heatset attached to my logitech bluetooth desktop. It's okay, but if I'm not wearing the earpiece, I don't get the sounds. So kind of sucky. Anyway, yes! You nailed the problem on the head. (Too bad you didn't have a solution, but we can't get everything!)

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14462351)

Now.. the Server runs Windows and the desktop/s run Ubuntu.. hmmmm... What are you smoking dude?
Linux is for servers
Windows is for desktops

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14453561)

people with ATI-equipped Linux laptops get to choose betweeen proper power management and accelerated 3D graphics, whereas things just fucking work under XP.
  • Use an ATI (or other) card with a Free driver (not an option on all ATI cards)
  • Use an NVidia driver (currently quite the powerhouse)
  • ATI is actively working to make their driver work with Software Suspend--it's an issue with their driver not Linux itself.

It is worth noting that Windows has no accelated graphics support Out Of The Box--the vidcard vendor does all the heavy lifting. That is the reason Windows "just fucking work[s]"--do or die, natural selection, purely due to Microsoft's overwhelming marketshare.

Now, I'll give you that things are easier, but the way you phrased it really pisses me off. What can Linux do to make things Just Fucking Work like that?

  • Emulate all of Windows
  • Emulate enough of Windows to make the software work and painstakingly reverse-engineer all of the drivers for Windows (extremely hard for some classes of hardware)
  • Move Heaven and Earth (just gotta find a long enough lever for the penguin to stand on....)

And even after that, it'll be on par with Windows (in the Just Fucking Works department), and people will still use Windows instead (and whine because Linux is different)!

Sure, Windows is the best gaming OS, but purely because of its marketshare--all games and hardware work on it (or else the vendor would die or be relegated to a niche market). There's nothing inherent in Windows that makes it superior-- it's superior because it's superior .

[Interestingly, in another metric, we're far above Windows in the Just Fucking Works department. That metric is "hardware that works out of the box (aka Automagically) compared to all hardware that works on the platform, because we can't rely on vendors to do the hard work for us.]

Sorry; I just had to rant this morning. :)

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14466977)

I really hope the Linux community will start taking the "It Just Fucking Works" philosophy to heart, since that's what normal human beings expect from their computers.

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467502)

I really hope the Linux community will start taking the "It Just Fucking Works" philosophy to heart, since that's what normal human beings expect from their computers.
Believe me, it is the foremost in most distro developers' minds, in my experience. In fact, many things are now easier than a similar scenario under Windows or Mac. Problem: we cannot work miracles, and we cannot magically make devices work without vendor help (or lots of time and effort).

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14469732)

Be pissed all you want. No matter how angry you are, I'll still be forced to choose between software suspend and accelerated 3D with Linux.

I know that it's the fault of the driver; I just choose not to care. There is just simply no driver which offers a combination of proper power management support, 3D acceleration, and stability under Linux.

It does seem that it would be pretty trivial to dump the state of a video card and restore it later, particularly if you designed the thing in-house, and it is definately absurd that it doesn't work.

But it doesn't matter - there's lots of other things that Just Fucking Work about XP which Linux falls down on.

Modern ALPS Glidepoints Just Fucking Work in XP. They can work well with Linux and X, but it requires one to use the Synaptics driver (!) and a few days (!!!) of trial and error, restarting X and all applications with every iteration of (trial and error).

Sound support. ALSA is very good, but with very limited scope. JACK and a few other projects aim to increase the scope, but become very unmanagable very quickly to anyone not overtly preoccupied with playing with it (even with supposedly easy-to-use configuration tools). Windows' DirectX audio Just Fucking Works. And the free (as in beer) Kx driver for the beloved emu10k1 chip does all manner of wonderful hardware DSP things in mere minutes with Windows that, while possible, would take weeks to properly sort out with Linux. And audio latency? I remember Linus arguing against the kernel supporting realtime processes. *sigh*

I'd go on, but it's pointless. And don't get me wrong, oh pissed-off one: I like Linux, and have been using it as my main desktop OS for 10 years or more. Further, you can have my Spamassassin-filtering, F-prot/ClamAV-scanning, fault-tolerant, high-speed, low-cost, snapshotting, backed-up-to-a-remote-server-with-Rsync-in-mere-mi nutes-over-Roadrunner postfix/Gentoo mail server when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

But the fact remains that little of it Just Fucking Works. It took hard work to get that mail thrashing machine to turn its tricks, but that's OK because it works extremely well and lives a largely hands-off existance.

However, it took hard work and KERNEL PATCHES to get the DVD+RW drive to work correctly on my laptop. Which is just fucking stupid, as common a thing as that is. And I wouldn't mind so much, but the patches (which were trivial) were already old by the time I got around to using them, and still weren't integrated into an official kernel.

This is 2006: I shouldn't have to grok GCC in order to figure out how to cut a CD on my computer.

And while hardware support of network devices has always been stellar with Linux, don't get me started about trying to get 802.11 WPA or WPA2 working with a large and varying collection of wireless networks.

And every time I press a hardware button on my laptop (like, the button to adjust brightness), the kernel froths at the mouth about the unknown key presses, spewing several lines of useless shit onto the console. Which makes text mode almost unusable at times. And sure, I can map all of those buttons and make that, but the fact is that they work JUST BLOODY FINE without the kernel knowing what they're up to, and I don't want to spend an hour or more fucking with scan codes just to make the kernel shut up about them.

I should not even need to know what a scan code IS.

Meanwhile, since X, by most definitions, defaults to being broken without a serious investment in time, research, and effort, the whole thing leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth as I systematically feed XP a handful of drivers, reboot half a dozen times, and get on with things Just Fucking Working, accelerated 3D, suspend-to-disk, touchpad, WPA, and all.

Being angry about it all won't turn wishful thinking into fact, though. I suggest that you get over it, and realize that there are definitely some areas in which Linux (and pals) absolutely suck ass, with dismal hope for timely recovery.


Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14471117)

I had a point-by-point refute going, but I'll drop it because it's not healthy to stay this frustrated. :)

I understand your perspective. I've had things not work on my laptop before, and so I'm not terribly happy with the situation. I've no illusion of Linux being the Holy Grail of operating systems--I know that there is a good deal of hardware that works under Windows that doesn't work under Linux, and some of it doesn't even work easily. [BTW, what kind of weird-ass DVD+RW do you have?! DVD drives are very standard these days, and I've not heard of any such weirdness!] Linux is by no means perfect, and I (along with others) am trying to make it work better--suggestions for improvements are always welcome!

That said, I most certainly contest your assertion that "Linux Sucks" at this. It does a grave disservice to all those who worked hard to make sure that hardware--despite the vendors lack of support, other vendors' outright HOSTILITY, and users' GREAT APATHY--managed to make most any piece of hardware work on Linux , and this is why it pisses me off that people say that "Linux sucks at supporting hardware." The devs have already moved heaven and earth to get the support that's in place , but that's not enough--people want it to be exactly like the situation is with Windows. But it isn't gonna be at the same level as Windows until it's at the same popularity as Windows, which requires it (apparently magically) to be much, much BETTER than Windows (or else, why switch from something that works well enough)! . A losing proposition if I ever saw one, which is why I just want to take this moment (in this probably obscure thread) to thank all the people that helped make my laptop work with Linux! You all seriously ROCK ! :)

Now, I understand if you choose to use Windows because the hardware (and software) support is better. But understand that

  • Linux's support cannot improve unless people put their money where their mouth is and stop just using Windows
  • It's not an inherent fault of Linux that you cannot use Random Piece of Hardware--it's sheer lack of marketshare that the vendors don't support Linux.
  • Another way of stating the above: developers are already working hard to get as much hardware as possible working under Linux. They cannot magically make vendors support Linux and, until vendors do, most everything will have to be put in place by Linux developers doing lots of hard work that is otherwise done by hardware vendors
  • By using Windows instead of Linux, you forfeit the right (but not the ability ;) to whine about Linux's hardware support, because you're now part of the problem. Vendors won't support Linux until they perceive a need, and you're not showing them the need!

Finally--I somewhat agree about X. It'd be nice if a vendor could supply a .inf file to specify supported modes and an xorg.conf could be modular (that is, it could load various vendors' .inf files instead of having one big file). That said, setting up X on a modern Linux distribution is easy--point, click, and you're done (SuSE is what I've used recently; Red Hat had one too). If you're doing it The Hard Way, it's your own fault that it's not easy--"just because you can edit doesn't mean you should". :)

Oh, and the video suspend-to-disk/RAM thing. It's not anywhere as simple as you set it up to be. It's actually a pretty involved process, from what I've seen. There may be tools to help out, if you're interested. What notebook do you have, if you're still interested in making it work?

In conclusion, I wish I knew of an Apple for Linux--that is, a hardware vendor with the cojones to actually support Linux fully on their hardware ; none of this "winmodem doesn't work; no suspend to disk" crapola. To such a vendor, if one actually exists: I would give you (potentially quite a bit of) money!

Re:I guess I don't see the need.... (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14512167)

Meh... rant rant rant... Ubuntu utterly failed on my p3-450. After 4 installations, it finally only installed correctly when I nuked the entire harddrive first and let it reformat the ENTIRE harddrive.

Then, my network card wouldn't work. Oh, it asked me all my settings and took just as much time as if it worked. But the card was greyed out.

It was a waste of many hours of my life. Most of the waste was because, for the first time in my life, I had a disc that passed verification that was actually still corrupt! (New dvd burner hates old cd-rs, and i still have 600 left.)

But despite the disc problem, my network didn't work. I could search for a soulution but time and time again the past has taught me that finding a solution to a windows problem is ALWAYS quicker and easier because more people have had that problem. (Yes, that's quite a spin on things, but it's the truth.)

I try linux out about every 3 years (Slackware 1998, RedHat 6.2 2000, Ubuntu AND VectorLinux 200601). It will be 3 more years before I allow my time to be wasted like that again. I'm giving up much quicker this time because the past few times I allowed it to suck whole weeks out of my life. I got stuff to do. I can't afford sysadmin pauses in my production line.

You're not in it alone (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14455367)

Don't worry, those of us with NVidia cards have exactly the same problem. :)

DAAP (1)

iamstan (110049) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450916)

I am listening to a music stream from that old laptop in the corner (which is running mt-daapd) to this newer one running Rhythmbox. Works like a charm!

vac+shoutcast = streaming audio with no soundcard (5, Informative)

djtempest (945235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14450965)

This will work fine... Since you don't have a sound card you will need a virtual soundcard [] works great. Then you set up a shoutcast server [] and a copy of winamp with the shoutcast dsp encoder. once you get shoutcast running and broadcasting over your network you just tell it to take it's input from the virtual audio cable. You need to fiddle with the windows mixers to get all the sounds sent out the vac. on the speaker machine tune into your stream with winamp and that should be all you need to do. Use a low bit rate so the encoder doesn't tax your CPU. I recommend the aac+ @24k. This sounds great and won't tax your cpu much at all. good luck! -DJTempest>

Re:vac+shoutcast = streaming audio with no soundca (1)

crisco (4669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14452151)

What kind of latency does this introduce? Would movies or games be useable or does the encoding, buffering and decoding of audio introduce enough of a delay to make this a headache?

Re:vac+shoutcast = streaming audio with no soundca (1)

narsiman (67024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14455881)

Since you have been modded to max, I respectfully say this. Sir you are one fucking genius geek - WNWorthy

jack audio connection kit (2, Interesting)

jasonwea (598696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451117)

Using JACK I regularly stream realtime audio (iTunes, QuickTime) from my PowerBook running OS X Tiger to my Debian Linux server where my speakers are attached with minimal latency.

There's a good port [] of JACK available for OS X and jack.udp [] readily compiles on OS X. I use Audio Hijack Pro [] as my JACK source to grab audio from applications and send them to JACK which then uses jack.udp to send via the network.

Of course if you're running Linux on your workstation, everything you need should be included in your distro's repositories already. I have no idea about Windows support.

Re:jack audio connection kit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14452395)

Can you not read properly? He specifically stated that both machines are running Windows.

Thanks for a completely useless answer, you dick.

Re:jack audio connection kit (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456759)

What sort of latency is there with this approach? I bought a Mac Mini on a whim when I saw a decent sale price on it. I was thinking about perhaps buying an Airport Express and using the Mini as a DVD player (there's no discrete way to route audio cables to my stereo due to the layout of my condo) but it seems that that's a completely unworkable solution due to shortcomings in the Airport Express.

Re:jack audio connection kit (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459995)

Allow me to start off by being a bitch;
"What sort of latency is there with this approach?"
What sort of machine are you running? What sort of network cards & network speed? What sort of network congestion? What sort of tasks are you running on your systems?

Jack.udp itself is exceedingly low latency. I would be truly suprised if you found a lower latency streaming method. Take care to setup jack to use smaller buffers to reduce its latency.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how well jack.udp maintains synchronization. Synch is a very complex issue. Xine & all media players take great pains to keep the system clock in sync with the sound card's clock. How this is supposed to happen with a network thrown in between, I have no idea. I'd suggest running a very draconian NTP, but it probably will not help.

Re:jack audio connection kit (1)

jasonwea (598696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14461881)

With 2048 byte packets and using Jack OS X's audio output device I get a very slight echo between my local speakers and the remote speakers. The latency is very good with this setup. Definitely sub 50 milliseconds as I don't notice any lip sync issues. I do my video playback from my Linux server directly but do

Because I do other things on my wireless network besides audio, I like to use an 8192 byte buffer to greatly reduce the chances of underflows and I use Audio Hijack Pro to give me single click switching between local and remote speakers. With a few scripts to setup the plumbing I could do it without Audio Hijack Pro. This setup provides what sounds like a couple hundred milliseconds. I use this setup for iTunes due to easy of use, I'm too lazy to setup some plumbing scripts and the larger packet sizes make CPU usage a lot lower. With 2048 byte packets things like Exposé can cause skips.

Sorry for the lack of scientific answers. I would have done some test recordings but I don't have the required cables handy. In any case, I'm sure it's far better than you'd get with an Airport Express. It only takes a short time to setup and needs no hardware, so I'd give it a whirl when you have an afternoon free.

Hope this helps :)

It's one of those things (3, Informative)

metalpet (557056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451236)

It would be quite easy to achieve what you want on linux, thanks to various sound drivers that are designed to allow streaming to another computer.
On Windows however, the sound drivers are discouraged from doing things like that. In fact, some applications will refuse to output sound if the driver isn't "approved" by Microsof, pretty much specifically to block this kind of setup.
Still, if someone was buy the DDK and write an unsigned virtual sound driver for windows, most applications out there would accept it for now (except for DRM-enabled things.)

Re:It's one of those things (1)

kiatoa (66945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14455364)

It would be quite easy to achieve what you want on linux

God I wish this were true. Yes, in theory all the pieces are available to make this work and it probably does work for the handful of skilled Linux users who have time to tweak all the necessary bits and pieces. I've been using Linux as a primary pc at home and at work for years and I still dread setting up sound to work as well as I'd like. I know it can be done and I've done it. But I know I'll have to figure it all out again when I have to rebuild a machine due to hardware problems or such like and I know it will take a lot of time that I just can't afford. I don't mean to imply that Winders is better. I dread working on that also. I installed skype (on Linux) and got it to work (yeah!) but on kubuntu it is untrustworthy because kde gets control of the sound system and relinquishes control only after a delay if kde has produced a sound. I.e. it isn't seamless, I can't give it to my wife to use because she'll click to call someone and kde will have control and skype won't work. Funny though, as I write this I remembered "artswrapper" which I didn't think to try. The point still stands. For the technically adept with ample time on their hands, sure, it can be done. For the rest of us (we have lives remember?) its a pain. There is a lot of churn in the Linux world, kde vs gnome, arts vs esd vs ??, etc. There is an upside to this churn as I'm sure the competion is generally healthy, but the downside is some serious pain for us end-users who really just don't want to spend an evening trying to figure out how to make non arts aware apps co-exist with arts apps.

Re:It's one of those things (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14458011)

you have two choices:

1: emulate the dsp device to skype with arts by executing it as:

artsdsp -m skype (it might be -w, its been a while)

2: disable arts and set knotify to use madplay to output sound

Re:It's one of those things (1)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459289)

Is this something particular to KDE? I dunno I've never used it. Maybe it's something already "fixed" in my distro? I've been using RH, and now Fedora, since RH 5. As far as I can remember sounds in applications has been one of the (few) things that has just worked the way I expected without fiddling.

Re:It's one of those things (1)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14466562)

Use a modern distribution, one that has software mixing using dmix and dsnoop enabled. Or you can do it yourself, its a little tricky, but not outside the range of the average poweruser. (Your better off with a better distro, though).

Then, pipe all your legacy OSS apps through AOSS (sadly, skype IS a legacy app). Supposedly, the Skype people are working on native alsa support; AFAIK, thats the last OSS app I use.

As long as you are using either pure Alsa, or AOSS for OSS apps, you won't get stupid sound-card sharing issues.

Either that, or purchase a soundcard with hardware mixing, like a soundblaster live or audigy. You can get sb! lives for next to nothing.

Re:It's one of those things (1)

platos_beard (213740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457506)

It would be quite easy to achieve what you want on linux
Tempted as I am to use my mod points and give this a +1 funny, I will instead respond with a question. Have you, in fact, done this? If so, please post a howto somewhere so that we can all take advantage. My main workstation is now an ltsp terminal for a hot (in more ways than one) linux box that lives in a closet, and after some thrashing about sound works, for some things, well enough to get by.

Mysterious things happen with no sound card in the server. Java sound just plain doesn't work. Some things, with the proper preferences, look like they should work, but don't. XMMS, for no reason I can understand, can play files just fine, but completely locks up with an mp3 stream. mplayer works.

So please enlighten me. How do I go about this easy linux setup?

wiring from line-out to line-in (2, Informative)

foszae (655528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451264)

for my own situation, i have two machines side-by-side. one is a rackmount linux server and one is a windows game-playing machine (also using a monitor switch to dual-monitor the windows box). if both sound-cards use spdif connexions, then i highly recommend taking the spdif-out from one box and wiring it to the spdif-in on the sound card that has the speakers. alternately, if you have sound cards that only have one-eigth inch headphone jacks, take the line-out from one and get a patch cable to the line-in or mic jack on the other.

if you patch it in through a mic jack, make sure you turn off the decibel boost on the mic jack or otherwise you'll get hideous distortion. if you're running it to the line-in, then go into the mixer and set line-in between half and three-quarter volume at first. then adjust the line-out on the slave machine up to it's highest and see where you're at.

in my case, i seldom use the server for full audio or video playback (but will occasionally), so i tend to leave the line-in closer to halfway because i mostly want to hear the sound events from the server, but have the option to use it to watch a movie while i play a game.

Re:wiring from line-out to line-in (1)

thacreeper (945365) | more than 8 years ago | (#14454617)

Wasnt the point that he didn't have a sound card in his server..?

Re:wiring from line-out to line-in (1)

silicon not in the v (669585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14456002)

I can't believe the number of useless comments I'm seeing here from people who are giving suggestions that don't apply to this guy's computer situation.

To the person who suggested using JACK on OS X: He isn't using OS X! He's using Windows, so let's get some Windows utilities suggested, eh?

To the parent, who suggested plugging an audio cable from the server's audio-out to the media center's audio-in: His server doesn't have a sound card! That's the entire problem he's trying to solve. He wants something that handles the sound data in software because there is no sound card to work with.

I know that most Ask Slashdot questions are incredibly stupid,(i.e. "I need help doing my job" or "I need legal advice") but I think this one is kind of interesting and something I would like to find out about. Please read the description of his scenario though, so you can give intelligent suggestions.

Cry me a fucking river. (1)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14460100)

If the problem is no sound card, external USB sound cards are $20. Thats what we call "no excuses". I got mine at a sale for $12. 24/96 and 8 channel output. What more do you want? Wait, your computer doesnt have USB? Try upgrading from a 486. Cant do cabling? Now we have an issue.

Look, there's no way in fucking hell you're going to get windows doing this. We all want our Pinto's to fly and do 180 on the highway, but its just not going to happen. There used to be some esound-based virtual sound card, it looked like a normal sound card and it streamed out to esound daemons across network, but it wasnt updated since the Win NT 4 days. The site was gone when I went looking for it again last year and the year before. Dead.

Since that time, MS has started charging for the device driver development kit. it used to be free. people used to be able to make cool hacks. those days are over now. there's a couple costly apps (Virtual Audio Cables is basically taht app) which create fake sound card devices, but harvesting these to make streaming connections to other machines is not simple. Shoutcast is your only bet, and good luck getting anything less than a 1s delay on that front.

This one question IS very interesting, it just so happens that the particulars of the question are quite boring bordering idiotic. We might not get flying pintos, but by-george slashdot will do its damnedest to whip up a flying car. "Where are my flying cars?" The "news for nerds" under the title is the hint that we're going to take your boring "give me software to do it" Suit-wearing question and mix it up to a "what CAN we do", "what IS possible" question. The answer's left wearing leftover's 90's grunge, but you know what, at least its a real answer. Which is something Windows cannot deliver. We've crushed the technical problem best as possible; mission accomplished.

I would've written your frakking software for you too, had windows continued giving away the device developers kit free.


Too bad MPDv2 isn't out yet (3, Interesting)

neocephas (840876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451441)

I usually use MPD [] (Music Player Daemon) on my Linux and NetBSD boxes so I can play audio remotely (or locally too). MPDv2 is suppose to support Windows, but it isn't out yet. Another trick that I've used for Linux/BSD -> Windows is that I ran a esound server (esd -public -tcp -port 6666) on the Windows computer and used mplayer (mplayer -ao esd) to send the audio output to the remote windows computer. It's very fun to send Avril Lavigne songs to the university's clusters' computers to piss off your hard working friends :).

Anyway, a quick google came up with PlayerPal [] , which runs on Windows and seems to be what you want. In fact, it seems to do a lot of things that MPD and its various clients do. Good luck.

Check out DAAP (0, Redundant)

darnok (650458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451514)

iTunes (the version that runs on your own PC, not the download shop) uses the DAAP protocol to act as a music server. Fire up iTunes with your music collection on one PC, then fire up iTunes on another PC on the same network and you can see and play each other's music across the network from within iTunes.

Better yet, there's DAAP servers available that mean you don't need a GUI based tool such as iTunes to share the music around. I run mt-daapd on a cheapy Linksys NSLU2 disc server (which runs Linux under the covers), and it works perfectly - every PC in the house can see every piece of music in the house, by running either iTunes or another DAAP client such as GetItTogether. Next purchase is a Roku SoundBridge, which is a hardware box that can attach to the main stereo system to play DAAP-sourced music. All up, it's a simple, powerful, elegant solution that's been rock solid in my experience.

Unlike a lot of other household IT projects, this definitely merits the Spousal Seal of Approval - all the household music CDs (~700 at present, give or take) get ripped once, copied to the NSLU2, then filed away in crates under the house. No clutter, no empty CD cases or orphaned CDs left out to get scratched, no furniture needed to store purchased CDs beyond 1 x $5 plastic crate per ~100 CDs. The NSLU2 and attached 2 disc drives actually sit on top of a kitchen cupboard, and is shown off by my SO as a tribute to my "IT genius" to both her friends and my geek buddies - you can't top that!!!

Re:Check out DAAP (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457726)

Isn't there some number-of-connection limit that's been imposed in iTunes, in the recent versions? Like each client can only take seven remote connections per day or something like that?

I used to really like the DAAP server functions in iTunes, but Apple (at the behest of the music companies, I am fairly certain) pared the usefulness down and down, until they imposed this limit. I was never clear on whether it was a seven-client limit, or a seven-connection limit.

Anyone care to clear this up? Because you're right, iTunes is really neat in terms of a household music sharing / music server application. Pity there's no Linux version though.

I don't think it solves this guy's question, at least as I understand it, because he can't be connected to the server (using it as his main desktop implied to me his mouse/keyboard/monitor are hooked up to it directly) and be controlling the output at the client. If I turn on sharing of my music library, and you connect to it, I can't control what you play on your end. That's what he's trying to do.

Effectively what he wants (I think) is to use the remote PC as a very overbuilt Airport Express. Frankly I'd think about just buying one of those.

what the fuck? (-1, Flamebait)

JVert (578547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451673)

This is the, THE lamest ask slashdot. ever.

Re:what the fuck? (0, Troll)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451982)

Why so?

Re:what the fuck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14462281)

Because he's an asshole...

Simple answer (0)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14451878)

Use a stereo audio cable, line out to line in. It can't get any simpler.

Re:Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14452552)

Are you stupid? The computer he works on has no audio hardware - this fact was clearly stated in the submission. Learn some simple reading comprehension skills before jumping in and trying to look clever.

Re:Simple answer (1)

CMiYC (6473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14454048)

When I purchased the server, I didn't think I'd need a soundcard, and so I made no provisions for this when I was planning my system, and so it has no audio.

The question clearly states that the server has no audio-processor. This means there is no line-in. The solution isn't as simple as you think.

Re:Simple answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14454460)

Of course, since the previous machine is dead, the simplest solution in my mind is to remove the sound card from the old machine and put it in the new machine.

But then, what do I know?

Re:Simple answer (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14455391)

A 1U server like mine has exactly 1 PCI slot, occupied by a graphics card. Moreover, the previous computer didn't have a seperate soundcard- it was onboard. Good idea, though.

Switchbox (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14452944)

Trying to stream from one PC to another is not a good idea. Latency will be an issue, for a start.

The simplest solutions are the best. Get an audio switch box. You can get one that has six phono plugs for surround sound, or even just make one. If you have digital audio, even better... No latency, good sound quality, easy to switch over. Hell, get a basic mixer if you need both on at the same time.

Slimserver (1)

JuanLopez (670829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14453283)

Maybe Slimserver [] is what youre looking for. They have real nice clients in hardware which are also available in software and you can also use it to play streams. Great piece of software and its free!

just get the soundcard (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14453331)

You don't want to buy a USB soundcard because...? It would be too easy? Clue. Get one.

For everyone else:
Smack the slashdot editors in the head for posting stupid articles. (1)

phatjew (705716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14453550)

The folks over at [] are incredibly knowledgable and friendly. Most forum posts are answered within hours. This is exactly the type of thing that is asked there a lot, so there may even be some older threads that you can search for.

remote desktop (1)

zenray (9262) | more than 8 years ago | (#14457387)

Check out remote desktop to the system that has the sound. There is an optrion to redirect sound. You need to be logged on to it and then remote desktop into is as the same user. We use this for one guy in HR. His normal location is at another plant and his system is just so-so but that's where his telephone is. When he is on-site here he uses a really good system and he can play voice mail on his usuall systemn he is remote desktoped into.

Not sure I'm following the request... (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14459264)

Alright, he has two computers. One is a rack-mount server with no audio. The other is a HTPC with a nice set of speakers. The only thing I can figure with this is that he had a third computer that he was using as his desktop. Additionally, he doesn't want to purchase a USB sound card.

He doesn't want to use RDP due to graphical performance issues which leads me to believe that he is intending to play games rather than listen to music (Since listening to music does not require graphical performance).

I hate to say it (since it contradicts his intentions), but I think a USB sound card would be the optimal way to go. If he just wants to listen to music, there is no need to ask Slashdot (Just stream it or use RDP to control the playlist). If he wants to play games with awesome sound, he should just use the HTPC.

Somehow Your Media is Not so Centered. (1)

ramsj900 (885385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14471639)

Could you have a few more silly I don't want that because in the question? You are tying slashdot's hands because you were too cheap to get a $25 sound card for that sled-server. The graphics considerations? How about a gigabit LAN? I use Nero 6.6+'s media server no problemo. Since you probably would not want speakers for whatever reason how about some Bluetooth headphones; 40 ft. ;259 channels scrambled and no wires. Oh yeah...why are you not using the media center music server? My last idea I swear is to turn up the volume on the Media Center PC and rock out, damn the neighbors
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