Minimum specs of an Android device functioning as a remotely controlled music player

We recently added an amplifier and speakers to a room (Audiosource AMP-100; Paradigm 9SEs ). For the moment, we’re using our phones and tablets to it feed music, but it’s a small PITA to connect/disconnect and deal with the cables while we’re changing things. We want a more permanent source (i.e. leave the device connected to its charger and the amplifier) and to move the components into a closet. Here’s a basic rundown:

[ul][li]To** connect an Android device to an amplifier** (via a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable or any suitable X-to-RCA connector). [/li][li]Music will be streamed over a** wireless-n** network via Rhapsody and/or Spotify (Internet) and a Windows 7 machine (LAN)[/li][li]It’s** sole purpose will be to headlessly stream music**, so graphics, screen size, camera, non-music related OS and processor limitations, etc. absolutely don’t matter. [/li][li]The Android device will be remotely controlled by another Android device (any remote software suggestions?). [/li][li]I will add an SD card, so internal storage size isn’t important (regardless, any storage will be limited to MP3s so requirements aren’t large). [/ul][/li]
I know PCs, but know nothing of Android-based hardware. What are the minimum requirements to make running and controlling it as seamless/non-laggy as possible?



In another thread I suggested this

Actually, I have just had a play, using a cheap 7" Android tablet (Ainol Crystal £65). Skifta is great for playing on the local device but I could not use it as a renderer. 2Play UPnP Player 2.0 works a charm. However, I am confident that the mk806 I linked above will run the renderer/player with no performance issues at all.

However, I am not sure about Spotify, but this may help.

Thanks. I also read through the other threadyou helped with.

How is the Ainol working out? If it’s responsive enough to run basic apps (again, no significant graphics or processing other than sound–both Spotify and Rhapsody have a small footprint.) and plays well with the network, wouldn’t I be able to stop right there? As in, connect it to the amplifier and then control it with existing phones/tablets in the house?

The benefit of spending an extra $40 to $50 is the built-in screen. I should have said ‘veritably’ or ‘nominally’ headless above. As in to use the mk806, any need to configure, make any changes or track down a problem (e.g. post-crash), I’ll need to plug in a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Not prohibitively cumbersome, but enough of a chore such that an extra few dollars to avoid lugging things from the office to the bedroom is worth it.
Which brings this back to the fundamentals of my question and why I posted in GQ. I’ve been building PCs since the 386 days but have no idea what I’m doing tablet/phone-wise. Where can I find a basic rundown of processors and hardware architecture so I can tell where and what to get? If you give me the basic stats of a Galaxy tab and a discount tablet but hide their names I’d have no idea which was which.

I like the Ainol Crystal - quad-core ARM processor, 1Gb RAM. The CPU is older and not as fast as other ARM quad-cores, but is works well. There are things you can do to improve the responsiveness (change the launcher, some tuning parameters) but it is good enough out the box, and I like having a screen, too. I pick it up and use it for email/facebook/tapatalk/web all the time - I just find it too useful to leave hooked up to the amp (and I have a 9.7" Ainol Novo Spark as well). The 7" is a good form factor. It is slower than an equivalent Samsung 7" tablet (probably faster memory and better drivers/optimization) but it is less than half the cost. For your use-case, I would expect you to be quite pleased.

For a headless device, you could use an MK808B. A bit over spec for this application, but it’s cheap, and if you decide to do more with it down the road, you have the option.

The MK808B you linked to does not have an audio out socket, just HDMI. Not much use as an audio player, as per the OP.

Not a problem with a cable like this.

I guess that would work (although I understand that the VGA output element of that cable is actually pretty specific and not guaranteed to be suitable for all monitors).