Laura and I enjoy listening to WERS, the user-supported radio station of Emerson College, on Saturdays: 10 AM – 2 PM Standing Room Only plays Broadway tunes, and 2 PM to 5 PM All A Cappella. Since we live just outside their broadcast area, we listen to the streaming audio. Thanks to Live365.com, we can listen to the streaming music either on the iMac via iTunes or through the ThinkPads and WinAmp or Live365’s player. However, that means that we are stuck in the computer room with the good computer speakers or listening over the weak laptop speakers, right? Nah.
Downstairs, we moved my ThinkPad into the living room, and use the living room stereo via iRock. Okay, follow this: WERS broadcasts their radio signal, and also routes the audio somehow to Live365.com, who turn it into TCP/IP packets. The internet packets route their way through the Internet, and end up on my Comcast cable, decoded by my local cable modem. Routed from there to my LinkSys WRT-54G. Wrapping around the room, an ethernet cable goes to a LinkSys 5-port switch, and back out again to a LinkSys WAP-11 802-11b transmitter. Back into radio waves, the transmission somehow finds its way to the living room, where the ThinkPad A31p‘s built-in wireless adapters turns it back into TCP/IP packets, again, and then into an MP3 stream, which WinAMP turns into audio output, again. Wait, we’re almost there! The iRock then turns the audio stream back into FM radio waves, which are picked up by tuning the living room stereo to the same frequency. Once again, back to audio, the sound, finally, comes out the speakers.
What’s remarkable is how good this sounds. And that it works at all.
How hard could it be?
If this works out, we may consider using an Airport Express, and cut out a lot of the complexity.