I had heard about UPnP previously but apparently I was too thick-headed to understand it at the time. It does exactly what I've just written a forum post about and even more! It's better than anything I could ever come up with.Suggestions for available implementations are very much welcome. Thanks.
There are thousands of DLNA (UPnP) compatible devices out there.Whether they work as nicely as you might want is another question, but you're certainly not tied into a particular manufacturer or OS, or even a single server or control point.Cheers,David.
The problem with DLNA is that so far there aren't any DLNA controllers for Linux which makes UPnP a poor choice for Linux users who want to manage their sound system from their computer. Of course, maybe I'm wrong and someone did make a control point for Linux that I just don't know about, who knows. If you know of one I'd definitely like to know about it!