Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

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Topic review

Expand view Topic review: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Lowlander » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:14 pm

That's impossible to resolve. Devices have different delays and differing delays each time they're used. DLNA simply doesn't provide for this.

Chromecast however does as it's a closed system from Google.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by tomt39 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:21 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Lowlander.

Forgot to post I'm using the Version 4 lifetime. Have not updated to the beta 5.
Yeah, I have a Yamaha multicast speaker that I set up in my office so I can cast to my receiver, then receive the signal back and Yamaha is perfectly in sync. It would just be nice to utilize my computer speakers (which are pretty decent).

I'm glad to hear they have the feature in version 5. Sorry to hear about time delay issue. Hopefully they'll resolve that soon.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Lowlander » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:24 am

MediaMonkey 5 can stream to multiple devices and play internally. However the timing is always off for me.

On the other hand streaming to multiple Chromecast capable devices from either MediaMonkey 5 or MMA works very well.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by tomt39 » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:52 am

Couple comments.
First, I have a Yamaha receiver (RX-A2060) that supports multicast from Mediamonkey playback and it works very well. So as a previous individual mentioned, if you are having conductivity issues it is probably related to your WiFi. I have a new Asus 6 ghz router and have no issues.

However, my other comment is regarding playback from my computer at the same time as streaming to my receiver. This is the feature I would like to see added. So, if I could choose multiple playback sources (Internal player and Receiver) this would be ideal.
Long story short. I'm with everyone else, but just work on it from the select player option.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Lowlander » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:27 am

Then you'd still need clients that are able to receive this (DLNA doesn't provide for that).

Multiroom is possible with Chromecast (from MMA and MM5) and often when you stay within the same manufacturers ecosystem you can get it to run multiroom for you.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Rexi » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:18 am

One more upvote from me.
I have read a bit on multiroom and it seems one of the challenges is getting the output simultaneous. Perhaps this could be turned around and instead of controlling all renderers in the LAN, the media monkey server could broadcast like a small internet radio station. I know I would most often use a multiroom service like that for some kind of party where a little lag would not ruin the day

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by JamesM » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:41 am

Further to the earlier Yamaha mention that sounds quite dismal...I can confirm Yamaha music cast products can be made to work reliably with smart choices. The caveats most likely apply to other product (brands) that are available as they come down to transmission methods. The software, for me, hasn't had a hissyfit for a long old time so I would suggest it is reliable at this juncture. It was however almost unusable before I sorted out my network (i.e. don't try with WiFi)...which is why I can confirm Yamaha's support is pretty bad (as has been suggested)

I will start with the caveats and follow up with a lessons learned and opinion section (how to make it reliable)

Generic caveats
* the biggest caveat is avoid using wifi if you can. It's an unreliable tech and the more devices you have the worse the problems gets.
- Newer Wifi tech N etc.. just makes connections less reliable.
- Higher throughput is traded for more susceptibility to noise (dect phones, fridges, washing machines, other wifi networks)
- Signal power drops off faster over distance on higher frequencies/throughput
- higher frequencies travels less well through walls etc..
which all means you might want to try and stick it on a slower network in an attempt to get a more stable link...even if it's still a little unreliable because that's the the nature of wifi.

* use streaming technologies, don't use analogue sources. Even if you're on a gigabit wired LAN you will still get delays when using Analogue sources (this includes playback via HDMI).
This is normal as the analogue signal is converted on the fly and sent out over the network...which will mean conversion delays + transmission delays.

* Digital output wise :
- the media monkey DNLA server works...but searching is clunky from most dnla clients
- "cast to" from media monkey works although I have experienced dropouts that require manual intervention (making a stable [non wifi] network a must)
- setting media monkey player to use a streaming output (player settings page) works
- bluetooth from a phone works (but blootooth is more restrictive and less reliable than wifi)

* Pretty much all their AV kit supports MusicCast (bottom of the line will be wifi only).
* They have "just speaker" options.
- WX-010 is wifi only so I would chose to avoid this one
- WX-030 is a stereo option with a wired lan connection. But with both speakers next to each other I would argue it's not a very good stereo output
- I think there's also a "powered monitor speaker", i forget the details
* They also have a variety of powered stereo amp options

As a rule I find most of the options too expensive for what they give you (same way I find sonos kit stupidly expensive) so I've plumbed for a number of AV receivers as they tended to get much bigger discounts in previous years when you buy them after the new models come out. That said they are significantly larger than some of the above options...but come with numerous speaker outputs and video processing (all mine are attached to TV's or computers), some also support a record deck. Additionally, with receivers many come with "a second zone" so out of the box without looking into networking you can run speaker cables to a second set of speakers that you have in a different room :)
....Unfortunately you may have missed the boat this year (heavy discount wise) as new models come out some time around march.
* compatibility. The firmware on products seems to be reliably updated for new versions of their Musiccast app (which you use to link speakers and select sources). My oldest receiver just received an update 2 days ago so longevity of support seems to an absolute minimum of 4 years, but it may well be much longer.
* the music cast app itself allows you to link devices (and zones) in any configuration you like...but they all have to be on the same network (can't go through a router). Additionally this app allows you to start playback on your digital sources. Like bluetooth, USB, DNLA servers, NET radio, napster, spotify, juke , airplay (I read complaints about reliability on this after the last update, but luckily for me I hate apple so wouldn't dream of using airplay). You can also select analogue inputs like HDMI1-N, Radio, AV1-N, Aux in but as mentioned expect delays in playback between rooms with analogue.

Lessons learned.
* to get round your wifi dependency without ripping your house apart to route fat network cables, buy flat gigabit cables and route them under the carpet, you'd hardly notice them underfoot especially if you have underlay. Also buy a second router (I still have one receiver connecting via Wifi on a slower 2.5GHz speed). connect all your normal devices to your broadband routers network and audio devices to the new wifi network...because every device runs at it's own speed and the slowest limits your routers performance...and devices can also cause instability so even with mumimo one badly behaving device can cause a drop out (with any product, not just yamaha musiccast).
* when you have wifi connected devices make sure the network is set to allow them to see wired devices (another reason why you don't want general devices, and guests, to use the music streaming network)
* defo limit Wifi musiccast connections and keep distances short. In analogue mode you will experience significant delays for long distances (as throughput drops)...and a bit of dropouts and jumping.
* With digital over an unreliable wifi network you will get breaks in music as individual devices catch up. The delays will however be synchronised (everything stops) and it will resume from the same point. You will also have more chance of a terminal failure which translates to restarting playback because your player has stopped playback and/or sending new tracks.
* If you hook up an AV to a PC and initiate the musiccast function you no longer have access to your setting Media Monkey to "cast to" in any way shape or form means you can't control your music from windows!
* An amazon Fire HD8 may do bluetooth linking flawlessly when an Amazon Fire HD10 tablet performs badly...until it gets an OS don't bank on bluetooth being useful as you can't control how well your device will perform at any given time
***!!!*** the best option I've found so far (for playing your music) is having Auto playlists shared on the MMW DNLA server. I've avoided using the DNLA server as I find DNLA clients in general too restrictive and clunky but I've had the best results in practicality so far this way....but only because I've spent an age rating tracks and cleaning up their genre's etc.. so I can now pick say a "funk" or "Techno" or any other playlist and it will randomly play just tracks I like. And the playlist will grow automatically as long as I maintain my metadata.
* At some stage I will get round my last hurdle (searching for tracks being an absolute paint using DNLA) but until I have had time to find a no niggle solution where you don't lose apps and such offscreen (having a second monitor direct to the TV on a different channel has been tried) this is my best suggestion....lots of auto playlists for your different "moods" and "scenarios".
~ I have not tried a HDMI splitter (most are limited to 4K or 1080p and and I have an odd resolution
~ If you have two HDMI outputs (this is what I will try next) you can set multiscreen on the PC and have it "mirror" the output. I will update this post when I've had time to try this
* If you get an AV, unless you want to rely heavily on subwoofers, don't buy a "speaker package". The speakers are often limited on frequency ranges, and have very disappointing bass responses (and often limit your cable choices to 15-16 guage or above)....only buy stereo speakers (preferably with terminal posts if you want to give it some welly). Because of the number of speakers you can attach to an AV receiver I've plumbed for wharfedale diamond 9's because they are front ported, give reasonable bass/volume for there size...and more importantly (in the UK) richer sounds keep sticking these on reduced price deals (I've seen them go as low as £40 several times)
* Yamaha's Alexa skills barely work and are pretty clunky so don't get excited if you see mention of this

Hopefully this is more than enough info for you, and anyone else who might be interested, to avoid many of my hard learned lessons (whatever you chose in the end as some of this is generic info)...

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Lowlander » Wed May 16, 2018 2:53 pm

Chromecast is one of the best candidates as DLNA is hard to manage across multiple devices. Many hardware manufacturers have it build in, but also is available as a little dongle for any hardware that doesn't. This means you're not tied into any specific hardware ecosystem (other than Chromecast, but many devices also support other technologies like DLNA and Apple).

MMA already supports Chromecasting and MM5 will too.

(PS. Onkyo will add Sonos support to select equipment soon).

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Media_Allen » Wed May 16, 2018 1:06 pm

An alternative to Sonos is the (Denon) Heos product. It does not require a "hub" making the buy-in lower, but it does need either local media or DLNA. They have a "CD replacement" product without an amplifier, for use in your main system for an even lower buy-in.

Synchronizing music playback in many places, while streaming from a common source across a network is more complicated than a piece of software. It involves buffering and clocking to overcome network traffic and latency, which is why Sonos establishes its own network.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Lowlander » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:27 pm

MediaMonkey 5 can do Chromecast (MMA already can) and Chromecast can do multiroom. Besides Chromecast dongles there are various hardware manufacturers that have Chromecast capabilities build in.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by David Hillman » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:52 pm

Not sure if anyone cares about this thread anymore, as it has been dead for a long time, but chiming in to add another upvote, and also a workaround suggestion for acraigbray and anyone else.

I have a bunch of Yamaha Musiccast devices in my house -- a few AV receivers, and wireless speakers like the WX-030. Musiccast, if you are not familiar with it, has an app that you can use to control music playback to any device, and also to configure the devices into any combination for synchronized multiroom operation. If it had half the functionality of Media Monkey, I wouldn't be here, 'cause I wouldn't need Media Monkey. But alas, Yamaha's software is abysmal, both in design and execution.

One thing all these Yamahas are, though, is DLNA-compliant. So I found -- to my surprise -- that I was able to send playback from Media Monkey on my computer to any one of those Musiccast devices ( right-click on song -> 'choose player' ). What really shocked me, though, was that I could treat that DLNA input as a regular source, and link whichever Yamaha I selected to any/all of the others for multiroom playback.

Very cool... at least in theory. Like the saying goes, practice is different from theory.

The problems with this approach include;

a) the Yamahas are terribly unreliable, largely because Yamaha elected to implement their own 802.11 wireless interface, instead of using one of the hundreds of superior options. They drop off my LAN frequently and with no rhyme nor reason. If you can wire all your devices, you'll be way better off.

b) I have to use two apps for control, and even then, still have only partial remote control. I use Media Monkey Remote to control playback, and then the Musiccast app to control which rooms are linked. Unfortunately, Media Monkey Remote doesn't support the rightclick->'choose player' feature, so that has to be done from the desktop. Also obviously, the Media Monkey Remote Server has to be running.

c) Yamaha's multiroom sync code is broken. I've reported the bugs to them, but they don't care. It will play a song or two, sometimes three, successfully... but then will stutter and breakup and generally become unlistenable. It's not a bandwidth issue, it's a protocol bug, and they are just too lazy or incompetent to fix it ( I can play 5 **different** songs to 5 devices without any problems... but playing the same song to 5 devices doesn't work. )

d) Basically, the whole setup is quite Goldbergian, and should be unnecessary. It would be so much better if Media Monkey could support this mode of operation. Note to developers: if I can be of any assistance there, just let me know.

So anyway, there's a way to accomplish multiroom synchronized playback from Media Monkey. It isn't pretty, but it can be done. I think the same idea should work with any DLNA-compliant multiroom-capable devices, and if you're going to try, I would recommend using anything EXCEPT YAMAHA. Seriously, Yamaha's software is terrible, and their support is worse. Caveat emptor. Good luck.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by Mcrackn » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:34 am

Upvoting this feature.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by nauip » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:10 pm

This would be awesome.

Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by » Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:50 am

Multiple Chromecasts same music would be GREAT!


Re: Synchronized playback multiroom [#7090]

by mwei » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:32 am

I would like MediaMonkey Android app (at least) to push to a Chromecast.... Ideally also to multiroom Sonos and/or Samsung.