Enjoy Multiroom Audio In Your Smart Home With The Loxone Music Server
For thousands of years, we’ve enjoyed music. We find comfort, solace and healing in music; it is a channel through which we can convey our emotions, connect with others and pass stories down through generations. However, the way we consume music has markedly evolved – whilst we still enjoy music as a collective experience in such places as churches and concert halls, listening has become a wholly more integral part of our lives at home.
So what about the modern home? Where does music fit in, and what’s the best way to integrate audio as part of a wider smart home system?
Take a look in any large high street electrical retailer and chances are, you’ll find something labelled ‘smart’. A smart thermostat, a smart door lock, or perhaps a colour changing light bulb that can be adjusted via an app. These products are often very affordable, and many are wireless, meaning you can set them up by yourself.
So far, so good right? Well, yes and no. You can build up a smart home, of sorts, over time using these products, however, there’s likely a few key issues you’ll run into. Firstly, there’s compatibility. Not all products can communicate with others, and although there can be ways around this, this can lead to issues with reliability, not to mention frustration. This is closely tied in with a second issue – multiple apps and/or controls. Your new LED strip for the kitchen may come with its own remote to switch it on and off and change the colours, whilst the kitchen ceiling lights are controlled via an app, and the lamp on the sideboard is just a good old fashioned socket on the wall. Suddenly, turning the lights off at night becomes even more of a chore than before.
So what’s the answer? How do you ensure that you don’t end up a slave to the technology you’re bringing into your home? The answer’s simple: let someone else do the hard work for you.
The Smart Home Ecosystem
That someone, or rather, that something, could be the Loxone Miniserver. The Loxone Miniserver is the centrepiece of your smart home – it makes intelligent decisions and brings together all the different systems in your home – like your heating, lighting, blinds, security and of course, your music. It creates an ‘ecosystem’ – one that ensures your home always runs at maximum efficiency without any effort from you. Certainly, if you’re self-building, renovating or re-wiring, an ecosystem like Loxone can be a more robust, feature-rich and even more cost-effective than a piecemeal alternative. Having only one central ‘brain’ gives your smart home unrivalled reliability and intelligence.
So, now that we’ve taken a look at what the Miniserver can do, let’s take a look at how we can use it to create a centralised multiroom audio solution, and the benefits that come as part of that.
Meet the Loxone Music Server
The Loxone Music Server is the first multiroom Audio System that was developed exclusively for use in Smart Homes. It unleashes the possibility of unprecedented interplay between multiroom audio and home automation. The Loxone Music Server becomes part of a smart home system, managed and automated by the Loxone Miniserver.
Here’s just a quick glimpse of some of the features that are possible with the Loxone Music Server in a Loxone Smart Home:
Automatically play music…
Play music automatically at certain times of day, or when you walk into a room. Have the music turn off if you leave the room for longer than say, 30 minutes.
… from a variety of sources
Play your favourite songs from your personal music collection, use music subscription services such as TuneIn, Google Play Music, Spotify or tune into over 100,000 internet radio stations.
You can group your music zones into different areas of your home, for example: upstairs and downstairs or kitchen and dining room. Your zones can be part of different groups too.
You may be thinking about having music in the kitchen, dining room or lounge, but don’t overlook rooms such as bathrooms – this way you could wake up to the radio, the news, or your favourite playlist in your bedroom and continue listening whilst you get ready in the bathroom.
Always losing the remote for your sound system? Control your music directly from a switch on the wall instead – adjust the volume, pause the music or skip to your next music source. With the Loxone Air range, you can place these switches wherever it’s convenient – on your bedside table or next to the sofa for instance.
Multimedia control via the Loxone App
In addition to the switch on the wall, with Loxone, you’ll be able to control what’s playing all around the house with just one app. You’ll have an overview of what’s playing and have the ability to make individual adjustments at any time. Whether it’s changing the volume, skipping songs, choosing a new playlist, scrolling through albums, playing your personal favourite from your library or queueing up a new chart topper – it can all be done in one app. Not only that, but different kinds of home entertainment devices can be incorporated into a Loxone Smart Home too, so you can turn on the XBox and switch the TV to the correct AV source with just one touch.
The Loxone Music Server doesn’t just excel at playing music – it can also be used for a variety of smart home functions:
Burglar alarm siren
The Loxone Music Server allows you to implement an alarm siren function that is sure to send any intruder running. If an alarm is triggered in your Loxone Smart Home, the Music Server will play the alarm sound at full volume across all the zones.
Old-fashioned doorbell? Ring the changes and let the Loxone Music Server take over. If someone rings your doorbell, you will hear your chosen doorbell chime in the rooms you like. If the kids are asleep, their room will be muted – Simple!
The Loxone Music Server makes sure that the amplifier is using energy efficiently. If music is no longer being played in any of the rooms or zones, the amplifier is automatically switched off.
Gentle alarm clock
Time’s up for your annoying, shrill alarm clock. In your Loxone Smart Home you will be woken up gently as the blinds are gradually opened to let the light in. The Music Server then helps you to get out of bed by playing your favourite tunes.
Text to Speech
Your Loxone Smart Home can keep up with your busy lifestyle by giving you reminders – for example if the garage door or bathroom window are still open after sunset. The Loxone Music Server text-to-speech function generates your pre-defined text online and plays it back to you in the relevant zone as a speech output. The speech output reminders are perfect for those occasions when you want to be informed quickly when things are amiss.
Who could install this for me?
Your Loxone Partner will integrate the Loxone Music Server into your Smart Home, linking up the Music Server to the network. The automatic configuration in Loxone Config automatically creates the music zones. Then all that’s left to do is to open the Loxone Smart Home app and start playing your music.
What if I want to add more zones in future?
It’s a good idea when planning to consider how many zones of music you’ll want in the house. Even if you don’t use them right away, it’s worthwhile pulling speaker cables to the rooms you may want to add audio to at a later date.
The Loxone Music Server is available for 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 zones, however, you can add zones to your multiroom audio system by using networkable audio devices such as wireless speakers. This would allow the Music Server to play your music wirelessly via the speakers on your patio, for example.
What if I already have speakers?
The Music Server is compatible with most devices that run on the UPnP or DLNA networking protocol. If you need some help or guidance with designing your music system, why not chat to a friendly Loxone Partner?
What about the Amazon Echo?
We are often asked about integrating the Amazon Echo into a Loxone Smart Home. We know that voice control is a very hot topic at the moment, especially in relation to smart homes. We are aware of the platforms, like Amazon’s Alexa, and the processes involved in making such a skill available. Controlling your Loxone Smart Home via Alexa is wholly possible as indicated in these videos for example – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2ULR6hwe5k, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C832M60XUwk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwbQexl5AKA. Some Loxone Partners do offer this integration but at the moment, this feature is not supported by Loxone directly and tech support is therefore not offered on it.
Where Can I Find Out More?
Fancy a little extra reading? Head over to our multimedia page for more information and ideas about multiroom audio, or alternatively, why not request a free brochure?
Keen to see the system in action? Book yourself a place at one of our free smart home information sessions, run regularly from our show facility in Reading, Berkshire. It’s free and really easy to book your place online.