All the Music on Earth, in Every Room, Wirelessly

All the Music on Earth, in Every Room, Wirelessly

Sonos’s one liner description of what it does nicely sums up the music system in our house. It’s pretty damn cool so thought I would share it.

In a nutshell I have three zones around the house that I can control either from my laptop or iPhone and I can choose to play my own music library, internet radio stations or anything from Spotify – cool huh?

Here’s how it works:

First of all I grabbed three Sonos PLAY:3’s and a Sonos Bridge. The PLAY:3’s are Wireless HiFi Speakers and the Bridge is simply a small white box that connects to your router and allows you to set up the wireless network around the house.

I stuck the PLAY:3’s in the bedroom, dining room and living room – the music sounds great on them and they also have a clean, minimal look so they fit well in most rooms.PLAY:3

Setting up the Sonos system was super easy. Each speaker simply plugs into the wall for power and the Bridge plugs into the router. Next, you install the software on your laptop and it will automatically index your Itunes library or any other music folder you choose for it to index. You can also install the Sonos App on your iPhone or Android device to control the music from your phone or tablet.

Sonos has Spotify (and numerous other music services) built into it too, so by simply entering your Spotify details you’re good to go.

The above allows you to play music through any of the three sonos speakers – you can control what is played in what room and the volume of each room really easily. You can stream Spotify and control it from the laptop / iPhone or you can play your iTunes library from your laptop. If you have more than one phone in the household, just install the Sonos app on them and everyone can control it.

The only snag is that you need to have your PC / Laptop on to be able to play the music from your iTunes library which isn’t ideal. To solve this, I picked up a wireless harddrive and dumped my itunes library onto it. Using the Sonos software I was able to index my itunes library and I can now pull from this via the Sonos Iphone app – I thought this was pretty cool at first but to be honest I tend to use Spotify 99% of the time 🙂

No wires, instant access to my own music library or anything from spotify from my phone and full control of what is played in the three rooms.

Super cool.

The Holstee Manifesto – This is Your Life

I stumbled across something awesome and very inspirational yesterday whilst reading the article How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love (which is also a great read by the way).

It’s called The Holstee Manifesto and is a collection of statements which are very powerful – all of which I just love.

I went ahead an ordered the 18 x 24 poster for the house. I can’t wait to put it up and look at it every day.

Super cool site too. I particularly liked their My Life section which is a collection of stories from people who found The Holstee Manifesto to be a source of inspiration.

Screw Being Constantly Connected

A few days back I read a very good and thought provoking post by Brad Feld called My Smart Phone Is No Longer Working For Me.

In short, it covers the ‘mobile first’ movement and also how distracting being constantly connected can be.

Like Brad, the few times I haven’t had my phone with me (pretty much when I forget to take it with me someplace!) I am far more engaged and present in what I am doing – there is something liberating about it too. The experience isn’t constantly being broken by reaching for the phone to check twitter, facebook or email – which you checked literally 2 minutes ago anyway!.

Of course you could just decide not to check the phone as often but we all know how compelling checking email and social networks can be – it’s borderline addicting.

I believe being fully engaged and present in experiences (spending time with family and friends, taking time with yourself, hobbies etc.) will make me much happier. I also believe that answering email and checking twitter less often will make me far more productive in two main ways. Firstly, I will spend less time overall checking email and twitter (it’s simply quicker to go through 100 emails in one go rather than 50+ times) and secondly the time I spend on other things I will both enjoy and be better at (they will have my full and undivided attention).

So, with that I have removed all of my email accounts from my phone and also deleted all social networking apps. I also deactivated my Facebook account as I have growingly been feeling it is an utterly useless waste of my time – I simply get nothing from it. Mark Cuban makes some good points on this here – What I Really Think About Facebook.

The other change I made recently related to the above was to ditch Google reader. With approx. 30 rss feeds which tended to generate approx. 200 new items a day – it was information overload! I grew to hate logging into the damn thing. I would perhaps get a couple of good reads per 200 items and there really is no way of being able to identify them without wading through everything. Instead I am now relying on twitter for discovery of content which is working out really nicely (I tend to follow smart people who share smart things). If I miss the odd thing, who cares? I now spend much more time reading vs. ploughing through stuff I don’t care about.

Lastly, I am going to try and do an offline day per fortnight – that’s no phone and no internet. I have a feeling I will end up doing some things I would have never done had I had my phone / laptop to hand.

Jay Z – Where I'm From (Video)

All of my posts here tend to be pretty serious – topics such as personal development, career, leadership etc.

So, I’ve decided to do something lighter each Friday – I think I will call it ‘Not So Serious Friday’ (maybe I will come up with a shorter, better name for next week!).

I love, love, love this video that @wknoxwalker shared with me a couple of days ago. It’s basically a short documentary (24 min) covering things behind the scenes of Jay Z’s recent tour and the building of the new Barclays Stadium that he was involved in.

Massively inspirational and very motivating. Best rapper alive and a massive role model.