Before I respond to the meat of your comments, let me just say how appreciative I am to be able bounce these ideas around with someone as much at the heart of it as you are. Prior to balenaSound, I was using Volumio. In the end, I decided that its “pull” model was not what I wanted; I prefer to use mostly my own existing interfaces and “push” the data to the sound system. In any event, however, Volumio too is a relatively small community, and many of my questions/comments were answered by “patrickkfkan”, the developer of a number of the plugins I was using. This kind of access is unheard of in “big product” environments, and it makes people like me want to perk up and make sure we’re asking reasonable questions and doing our best to bring something to the table ourselves. I know how valuable your time is and I can’t thank you enough for your considered response.
In addition, what is balenaSound? This started out as one of the Balena “free day” projects, right? Where the staff can work on their own stuff, whether it’s practical or not, exploring their own ideas. I’m getting an understanding of what openBalena and balenaOS is, and I know it ain’t about providing an environment for home tinkerers to set up music systems to play in two or three rooms. I understand the versioning, distribution and central control the this architecture provides, and it’s pretty intense, to say the least, what this product really is. I’ve never been more keenly interested in IoT than I have become through this brief exposure via this side project.
Ok, all of that being said, back to the original inquiry. I guess there must be a lot of people who have older Hifi systems that relied on records, tapes, CDs, as source material, and as that stuff fades into memory, perhaps the convenience of a device like the HomePod, the Echo Studio, etc, makes a convincing argument. But my system took years to put together. I have big Magnepan speakers. High-current 150-watt NAD amplifiers. An Audio Physic subwoofer. Am I supposed to replace all that with a tabletop music box? It’s not gonna happen. Yes, I’ll add to it, in other rooms perhaps. But obviously I’m not gonna just give up on this sound and call it a day. So a device that aims to bridge the new music sources with the old ways of reproducing them is right on-target for me.
And some convenience isn’t bad. I love the idea of having the same music playing around the house or apartment. If that’s the biggest thing that balenaSound is going to bring to me, besides the wireless link itself, that may be enough. Well, that, and having relatively higher fidelity music streaming to my system. I’ve used a few Bluetooth receivers, and they sounded like crap (they were not aptX). Here at least I can use AirPlay, which seems to satisfy me at present.
The one additional thing I think I’d like my system to be able to do is to distribute locally-stored music as well as music being streamed to it. If there were a way to incorporate a cmus-like (but more user-friendly) music player into balenaSound, I could easily switch from stuff that I’m streaming from my Mac or pc or iPad, to stuff that’s stored in my own music library on a hard drive attached directly to the RPi, and stream that around the house. I can’t think of much beyond that that I would want it to do. Maybe these are the kinds of things you’re talking about. If so, it all sounds good to me.
Once again, thanks for your previous reply. Sorry to go on so long. It’s just kind of an exciting new exploration for me and I’m enthusiastic.