Possible Raspberry Pi network audio solutions

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Ray P
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Possible Raspberry Pi network audio solutions

Post by Ray P » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:56 pm

In my dalliances with upnp/dlna solutions for the Raspberry Pi platform I came across these two, apparently closely related, solutions for the RPi (and Beaglebone - an alternative to the RPi hardware);

http://volumio.org/

http://www.runeaudio.com/

Both are fully packaged solutions that don't seem to need any configuration - should be a simple install and run 'out of the box'. They both use web interfaces to configure playback and select what's playing. In practical hardware terms you would have your music files on a computer or NAS drive, which is mounted onto the RPi (so it appears to the RPi that the files are local to it); the software then 'indexes' the music (i.e. it is the media server) and plays it (i.e. it is the renderer). You control it through a web interface on any suitable device, such as a smartphone/tablet/laptop.

If you have a collection of music files available on your network it would appear that these solutions would enable to 'stream' across the network for an outlay of perhaps £40-50 if you can work with output via hdmi (for digital) or the mediocre quality analogue audio output from the 3.5mm connector on the RPi board. For better quality output via phonos or spdif you would need to factor in the extra costs of something like a HiFiBerry daughter board.

I think I'll give them a try when my RPi arrives.

Ray

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Post by Paul Barker » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:10 pm

Do I get this correct? Is Volumio a free download? Just have to buy the RPI and an operating system for the RPI? Or is the RPI operating system also free download?

Then usb output to spdif then DAC and you're away?
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Post by Ray P » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:08 pm

Paul Barker wrote:Do I get this correct? Is Volumio a free download? Just have to buy the RPI and an operating system for the RPI? Or is the RPI operating system also free download?

Then usb output to spdif then DAC and you're away?
Paul, yes Volumio is freeware.

My understanding is that Volumio is a stripped down operating system with the sole function of supporting the embedded audio elements (i.e. combined OS and audio player).

You could use a USB output to spdif, a usb dac, a HiFiBerry output board or take the RPi I2S to a suitable DAC.

Ray

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Post by izzy wizzy » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:51 pm

And as Volumio is a move on from RaspyFi, I expect it is as easy. RaspyFi was easy to set up and get going if that is the kind of solution you want.

If it is the Squeeze system you want, I recommend picoreplayer.

cheers,

Stephen

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Post by Paul Barker » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:25 am

I would try the Hifi berry output board as it is a solution ready packaged, I was impressed by the number of thingy's it ran at (perhaps ignorantly). But it isn't available yet is it?

Menawhile the DaC.

Oh and the fact I have precious little digital music.
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Post by Ray P » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:35 am

I'm currently listening to music via Volumio on the new Raspberry Pi.

Music files are held on a USB device plugged into the RPi and output is via an old pair of powered computer speakers plugged into the RPi's onboard audio output and control is via a web interface; a fairly simple set up but impressive because it took me only a few minutes to get going straight 'out of the box'. Sound is OK given the mediocre speakers but certainly no pops or dropouts. Currently playing is a 24bit 96KHz FLAC album of Eleanor McEvoy's 'Alone' - bit depth and sample rate are correctly reported on the interface.

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Post by Ray P » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:49 am

It's just taken me only a few minutes to connect the network share on my music server to Volumio and it is now indexing the thousand or so albums while I listen to one of them. Very simple.

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Post by Ray P » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:41 am

Currently listening to Volumio on the RPi playing 24bit 192KHz FLAC files from the music server without any problems.

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Post by Ray P » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:17 am

So some downsides of Volumio as it installs out of the box...

Indexing of music files was very slow.

The index created is very limited in its usefulness as it just reflects the file structure of your music file library so no views such as 'Album', 'Artist', 'Genre', etc. and no album art.

You have to add music to the playlist to play it; I prefer to just locate what I want and click play.

Ray

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Post by Paul Barker » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:52 am

So is volumio workable? or are we shopping for other software? Never the less that is good news so far. A cheap entry into a world many of us haven't yet stepped foot.
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Post by Ray P » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:26 am

Paul Barker wrote:So is volumio workable? or are we shopping for other software? Never the less that is good news so far. A cheap entry into a world many of us haven't yet stepped foot.
Yes, it is workable out of the box. Easy to install and configure and the overall package is excellent value for money. I would say that the limitations on the built-in indexing wouldn't be to onerous if you don't have a large collection of rips.

I'm going to see what there is by way of alternative controllers before I move on to reconfiguring the RPi as a UPnP/DLNA renderer.

Ray

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Post by Paul Barker » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:28 am

Ray P wrote: before I move on to reconfiguring the RPi as a UPnP/DLNA renderer.

Ray
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Post by Ray P » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:28 am

I also plan to have a look at the similar RuneAudio solution as well.

Ray

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Post by Paul Barker » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:32 am

Ah, just a flash at Wiki is it something like this?

A standard invented in 2003 for connecting devices on a network like priniting over wifi and playing music too? Have I got it?

So that means I could have a puter somewhere on my wifi and a Rasberry elsewhere on same wifi and the raspberry reads the disk on the computer to play miusic as if it were plugged into the raspberry usb?

So the step up is you are moving up from usb to wireless?
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Post by izzy wizzy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:37 am

There's a certain similarity to the Rune interface and the RaspyFi one.

Gotta love open source software :)

Look forward to watching your travels on this one Ray.

cheers,

Stephen

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