How it works
The network music player is controlled by your personal devices like smart phones, tablets, PCs or Macs. They have to be connected to the same network as the player. In order to stream music you use an app or a web browser.
The music sources can be Spotify, webradio stations, podcasts or locally stored music on your connected devices or any music you play or stream on your phone, tablet or even PC or Mac.
There are basically two ways how to play music:
 the playback is done on your device as you normally do using one of your apps and the music is streamed to the player (see figure above),
 the playback is done locally on the player and you use your device as a remote control. Instead of an app you use the web page player.local.
Either way you control the playback from your devices.
When your device is running the playback using one of the apps [option 1 above] the audio is streamed to the player. It means that you can use every audio app on your phone, not only the music player, you can also use podcasts, radio apps or streaming services like Pandora, Qobuz, Tidal and Spotify etc. Any sound, any audio can be streamed.
The best thing is that the player directly supports Spotify (apps and their web player). That means that the player is one of the devices you can choose by using the settings of the actual Spotify app (inside the app itself). The streaming is then even more seamlessly integrated in the Spotify app and gives you the full listening experience. Retro Audiophile Designs recommends the Spotify app as the preferred way to enjoy music.
The player has also its own local software. It is mainly used for receiving digital audio streams and convert them into analogue sound that is amplified. However, instead of directly streaming from your app you can use the local software for playback as well by entering player.local in your web browser [option 2 above]. More importantly the local software is also used for all aspects of settings of the player (connect to Wi-Fi, set default volume, connect to music sources etc.). The player’s user interface for playback and settings is a user-friendly web page called player.local and offers an easy and intuitive control of the player. You can connect different music sources on your home network to the player. Through Internet you can also via the player access thousands of web radio stations from all over the world.