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FM radios to casually listen to local music files


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Quite often, streaming from say Spotify on a phone, then transferring to a Bluetooth speaker, then to a computer is a bit of nightmare to disconnect one from the other. These days FM portable radios are common place, so why not combine the two technologies? This is only for casual use, is genuine wireless and most homes have FM radios, many portable, even the old Walkmans tucked away in a drawer may become useful.

 

Principal components are a music server, which most of us would have with an analog output, either RCA or 3.5mm stereo. The software, something like VLC could output to the computer's standard analog out, and shouldn't interfere with other software, like Jriver, HQPlayer, Roon, Audirvana etc. since their outputs are either ASIO or Ethernet. Picture from. Select an unused channel and away you go :)

 

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Looking at Amazon, most FM transmitters accept a 3.5mm connection. There are though various regulations from different countries as to strength of the transmitter to use. For AU, the transmitter is restricted to 10 microwatts without requiring a full blown license, which should be OK for home to go through walls or floors?

 

Has anyone considered or used FM radios to listen to one's own music around the house and is working OK? Right, it's not hifi, Bluetooth isn't either, FM radios are still wireless without the overhead of the WLAN networking and that complication to decode the other end. 

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At least in the fairly recent past US cell carriers removed FM capability from phones the rest of the world could plug antenna (headphone cord) into.  Most of the larger FM stations have started broadcasting over the internet anyways.  

 

I'd be negligent to avoid pointing out a good quality roof antenna and high quality receiver are the acceptable answer here.  Though the days of world class signals are past.  This is still a quite rewarding experience worth the extra effort.  

 

You are aware CC dropped the word Computer from site title and added a dedicated analog sub-forum are you not?  :)

 

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29 minutes ago, gocubs42 said:

This is my 1943 radio with working am. I added a small or of speakers an amp and a echo dot. My mother ,90 years old, came for a visit. I steamed an old perry mansion radio show, she couldn’t get over the sound quality. She thought the steam was an am radio show

BA5AA4E6-F10B-49FD-B8FD-740335AC79AD.jpeg

 

That's really cool!

No electron left behind...

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2 hours ago, AudioDoctor said:

well, they have an analog output...

 

https://sound.balenalabs.io

The main problem with digital anything, maybe apart from Roon, is in the conversion. There are latencies in processing of wi-fi to analog at different rates for different devices. If in the lounge the main system is playing and several endpoints each with their own latencies will sound like a stadium and a mess. 

With FM, the signals are the same processing speed from radio waves to audio.

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44 minutes ago, One and a half said:

The main problem with digital anything, maybe apart from Roon, is in the conversion. There are latencies in processing of wi-fi to analog at different rates for different devices. If in the lounge the main system is playing and several endpoints each with their own latencies will sound like a stadium and a mess. 

With FM, the signals are the same processing speed from radio waves to audio.

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-10-08 at 8.24.45 PM.png

 

Granted, I haven't tried this particular software so I don't know if it works. I solved this problem by having one Pi that's connected to the whole house system and so far it seems to work that way.

No electron left behind...

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On 10/8/2021 at 3:22 AM, One and a half said:

Quite often, streaming from say Spotify on a phone, then transferring to a Bluetooth speaker, then to a computer is a bit of nightmare to disconnect one from the other. These days FM portable radios are common place, so why not combine the two technologies? This is only for casual use, is genuine wireless and most homes have FM radios, many portable, even the old Walkmans tucked away in a drawer may become useful.

 

Principal components are a music server, which most of us would have with an analog output, either RCA or 3.5mm stereo. The software, something like VLC could output to the computer's standard analog out, and shouldn't interfere with other software, like Jriver, HQPlayer, Roon, Audirvana etc. since their outputs are either ASIO or Ethernet. Picture from. Select an unused channel and away you go :)

 

?pid=226&d=1493907630&x=1200

 

Looking at Amazon, most FM transmitters accept a 3.5mm connection. There are though various regulations from different countries as to strength of the transmitter to use. For AU, the transmitter is restricted to 10 microwatts without requiring a full blown license, which should be OK for home to go through walls or floors?

 

Has anyone considered or used FM radios to listen to one's own music around the house and is working OK? Right, it's not hifi, Bluetooth isn't either, FM radios are still wireless without the overhead of the WLAN networking and that complication to decode the other end. 

 

I did this for a while, just because I thought it was cool! You need an FM transmitter. I got a USB model which worked quite well. It worked with windows or Mac (I think). You have to find a frequency which is not used locally. The transmitter worked as  soundcard on windows so any app ca' be used to "broadcast". 

my blog

 

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