DIY

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iHome portable speaker and wifi-only smartphone with Plex app running.

iHome portable speaker and wifi-only smartphone with Plex app running.

Yesterday, I visited a friend with a swimming pool at his house. To provide musical entertainment, I took along my wifi-only Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone (formerly my wife’s), and a portable iHome rechargeable speaker.

All my music content is currently stored on my laptop at home.

As described previously, the laptop and a couple of other household computers are running the Plex server software. That allows stored music, TV shows and movies to be played by devices running Plex client software. Up until recently for me, those devices were the Roku boxes and the Raspberry Pi running PleXBMC software.

But other devices can be Plex clients, too, such as a browser, a smartphone or a tablet.

With the free Android Plex app on my smartphone, the phone can play my music in the workout room or out on the patio via our private wifi network.

However, it can also work at remote locations, like my friend’s pool.

To achieve this, you must enable remote access on the Plex server. Here are the directions: Enabling Remote Access for a Server, and if needed, Troubleshooting Remote Access. This can be tricky, depending on your router. With my old warhorse Linksys WRT54G, I had to do Manual Port Forwarding as described in the second link to make it work.

The result was delightful. My phone had internet access via my friend’s wifi. I had used my DIY radio recorder to capture “All This Jazz” from KWGS the night before (I could have selected any of my music content). At poolside, I started the show and it streamed from the laptop in our house, 3 miles away. It played until it was time to go.

Just for kicks, I kept the music going in the car to see how long it would last after losing wifi access. I got to 61st & Memorial, still going. 71st & Memorial, still going. Got home, still going! Checked the phone, and it had reestablished access to our wifi and continued to play on.

Evidently Plex buffered at least 10 minutes of the show. You may recall that I chop the three-hour program into twelve 15-minute segments for convenience with Roku, where you can’t “rewind”. (Reminds me of an 8-track player when it switches to the next track.) Did Plex buffer an entire segment, or more? I don’t know.

But it is a lot of fun to use. All of this fits into a sandwich bag for safe and cheap transport to and from poolside.

Plex client playing ATJ's 1st 3-hr show.

Plex app on a Galaxy Note II

I recently mentioned my free, PC-based DIY internet radio recorder, which I use to record an .mp3 of “All This Jazz” on KWGS @ 9pm Saturdays (now expanded to 3 hours).

In an earlier post, ‘All This Jazz’ in the home and on the run, I described how I used FTP to copy the show from my PC to a hand-me-down, wifi-only smartphone. I then plugged the phone into a radio in the kitchen or a boombox in the workout room to listen.

Now that my wife has moved up to an iPhone and an iPad, there is a better way. I am the proud owner of her old devices, a Galaxy Note II phone and a Google Nexus 7 tablet. Both are capable of running the free Plex client app, unlike the older smartphone.

Plex lets me stream the recorded show directly to the Note II from my laptop running free Plex Media Server software.

To celebrate the expansion of the show and the new devices, I spruced up Plex’ presentation by associating a photo of host Scott Gregory with the show name.

In addition, I can listen through a media room Raspberry Pi computer running PleXBMC software, or via the Plex channel on a Roku box or TiVo.

Even if I were at a Starbucks in Hong Kong, I could stream the show to either new device from our house using Plex. Pretty amazing.

Here is a new “All This Jazz”-related story I posted over on Tulsa TV Memories@Facebook:


Our nephew Jared (and also nephew Jordan) have been spending time at our house doing some scanning/archiving work for my wife. We added Jared’s preferred Pandora channels for his listening pleasure on TiVo. After he got tired of listening to what he wanted, he put it on Shuffle, which included my Pandora stations.

Lee Ritenour’s version of the Oliver Nelson jazz tune “Stolen Moments” came on at one point. I hadn’t heard my CD of it for years, so I found it and ripped it to one of our Plex Media Servers for later.

Since I had no handy liner notes while listening, I read the AllMusic review of the album and Lee’s followup, “Wes Bound” on my wifiphone. The reviewer snootily inquired why you should be listening to this when you could be listening to Wes Montgomery himself. I happen to like both Ritenour albums a lot, but was reminded of the monstrous Montgomery tune played on Scott Gregory’s All This Jazz show on KWGS a short time ago.

Since I save the shows and the playlists, I searched “Montgomery” on my PC with Agent Ransack and found that Wes’ stunning version of Coltrane’s “Impressions” was played at 11:08 pm on 5/23/2015. I listened to it again on my recording, and then bought “Smokin’ At The Half Note” on MP3 from Amazon.

What a guitarist! Disciplined, driving and musically brilliant. Wynton Kelly, Jimmy Cobb, and Paul Chambers made it a highly cohesive unit.

The musical journey started with Blake Shelton and ended with prime Wes Montgomery.