Hi, this is a random question that isn’t totally related to design, but is related to a studio work environment. We recently DOUBLED our studio space because the design department has been doing so well (woot!). Prior to this, a set of high-end computer speakers at various desks allowed people to play music if they wanted, from a variety of sources. Personally, I play the freshest stuff from hype machine and indie shuffle a lot, because they offer a wide variety without commericals. Other designers would play some stuff from Pandora, streaming radio, or Spotify. It was fine.
However, in this new space, it’s large enough that we’re going to require a real audio system with multiple speakers. Now, that part I have covered due to experience in that realm…but what I don’t have figured out is how we can allow multiple users to access to the audio system, once I build it. I’d like a system that was flexible enough to allow different users to play music from different sources; be it streaming radio, webpages like hype machine, or some MP3s off their hard drive. Does anybody have any ideas?
Spotify can load local MP3’s no problem, and it has a hype machine plugin (plus hundreds of other plugins that will help you find music). You can also search for other playlists and play them or start radio stations based on it.
I’d give it another look. Also, another option for how to set up the hardware would be to run the speakers and spotify account off a central machine (can be an old server in a back room) and just setup a general VNC or remote desktop account so whoever wants to DJ can just login and change tunes.
We have a roaming iPad - usually has a home but travels around the studio too - which is the Spotify central portal, to which a few select people in the office, usually musicians, have access via their iMacs. I believe Sonos handles the signal transmission to the tastefully discrete and suitably loud in-wall and ceiling mounted loudspeakers around the office. We can thus turn on and off various spaces, pump it up in the cafe for parties, and down in the studio area for working. It works well. Want it for home.
The key is Sonos. Spotify is just a source you select. You can also pull from most other streaming services or play local files.
The nice thing is that anyone on the network can control Sonos, add to the queue, adjust the volume, skip a song, etc.
In addition, you push multiple audio sources to each speaker or all of them together. Because each speaker is stand alone, you can continue to add additional units as needed.
We currently have 2 PLAY:5s set up as a stereo pair in the main open area and a PLAY:3 in the lobby. We can play the same track on everything, or have stuff that is more client friendly in the lobby.
bookshelf speakers connected to the amps strategically placed
a nice subwoofer hooked into the system through a Sonos amp
Going with anything else really risks the manufacturer sunsetting the technology if it is not their core business, and Sonos is the only company where it is really their core business (and they even got slammed for sunsetting some of their older products). The reason I would recommend getting the amps and then separate speakers vs all in ones is that way you divorce the streaming tech bit from the speaker bit. A good bookshelf speaker can last 20+ years. A wireless amp might last 5 depending on if the firmware keeps getting supported. This way you let the speaker maker do the part they are good at, and the connected streaming hardware company do the part they are good at.