We have just set up a household MP3 server and it has changed our lives. Like a thousand-disc CD changer without the delays and clunking and whirring noises.
Ever played your ENTIRE CD COLLECTION on shuffle? You Will™. Shits on radio, fer sure.
We (well, Lionel Lauer, the housemate) use a PC running the e-smith server, a Linux-based system for sharing an Internet connection around a house or small business. (You can download it free or buy a CD with support.)
As well as its intended use (sharing our Internet connection around the house), there is an add-on module for turning the server into a streaming MP3 jukebox.
Get any crappy old PC (Pentium 90 or better), a cheap network hub and a huge cheap hard disk, follow the instructions, string blue cable all around the house and have YOUR ENTIRE COLLECTION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.
(Note that the MP3 server doesn’t include ripping software, to convert the CDs into MP3s – you have to get that yourself. Note also, I don’t think the jukebox server does Ogg Vorbis or other non-patent-encumbered formats, though I’m sure that will come with time.)
I don’t know how I coped for so long playing the little silver things separately. It just seems ridiculously primitive.
The next stage, of course, will be setting up the turntable and ripping the vinyl too. All of it …