Multizone Sound System

Right, im totally new to arduino. Ive read a fair few articles about it over recent months etc but never used it.

My plan is to use my old laptop which is running xUbuntu and MPD as a server to play my music all over the house. All the music is stored on the laptop. I am using MPoD on my iphone to control MPD which plays the music through a simple amp and two desktop speakers in a single room. Now when i move into my new house i want to install a multiroom sound system. Basically about 5 pairs of speakers around the house. I'm not really interested in wireless as the quality wont be ideal. I hope to just use my current amp wired into a speaker distribution box then run off to 5 zones.

Now, my question is, can i use an arduino to control each zone individually? I want to be able to disable/activate individual or multiple zones preferably via an ip interface on my iphone.

is it possible? is it cheap? is it easy?

Will your amp run five pairs of speakers in parallel safely? Five 8Ohm speakers in parallel presents a 1.6Ohm load to the amp.

I've not actually looked into it yet but id be surprised if it doesn't. If it doesn't though i can just get in one that does. I'm still well and truly only in the planning stage. I need to get a house first.

It'll need a serious power supply. It takes a lot of current to drive a 1.6Ohm speaker load. A lot of domestic amps will go into thermal shutdown under that sort of provocation.

As to your original question, you could use relays to switch speakers in and out of circuit.