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DIY: Your Son or Daughter Can Build a Raspberry Pi Audio Streamer for You in Minutes

StevenEleven

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#1
So, as I wrote in another thread, my son is building me an audio streamer. This is a second-hand account unless he wants to write something.

A HifiBerry Digi+ Pro is on the way from Amazon. It has optical and coax outs.

Today we went to Microcenter and we bought some stuff. A Raspberry Pi 4 (4 gb I think), a micro HDMI to HDMI cable, a 64 gb Samsung Evo+ microSD card, and a Raspberry 4 USB C connected power supply,

He‘s working on the software. He’s going to be using Arch Linux (which is what he uses on his main PC also). He’s going to start by making a basic WiFi streamer and then adding on a bunch of cool stuff over time.

Okay, so he just came downstairs and said he finished making the streamer. That was quick. He used Arch Linux and installed shairport on it. I don’t know what all that means. We get the Hifi berry digi+ Pro from Amazon tomorrow and pop it on there and the basic streaming stuff is done. Then he adds the extras via coding and stuff.

So this just goes to show you, your son (or daughter) can build a Raspberry Pi audio streamer for you in minutes. Let me edit the title here to make this more accurate.

Now I will go upstairs and he will show me how to use it. If you have any questions you can ask me and I will ask him. I guess I’ll post a pic.
 
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StevenEleven

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#3
This is as DIY as it gets: Not only are the components DIY, but the assembler was DIYed as well.
I went upstairs and it works. He has it hooked up to his stereo (which consists of 90s relics from my closets). Amazing. I use my ipad to cast to it and it sends the audio out to the stereo system. We'll put the HifiBerry Digi + Pro sound card on top of the Raspberry Pi tomorrow and it will send digital out by coax or optical.

I had imagined an unboxing and whatnot but what's done is done. Kids these days. I'll post it with the HiFiBerry Digi + Pro sound card on top tomorrow after the HifiBerry Digi+ Pro arrives from Amazon.

He informs me that the Shairport software pulls in the album metadata and album art so that is something he won't have to figure out how to do. The long term goal is album art and metadata and real-time lyrics out to video monitor by HDMI and lossless music out by digital coaxial or optical.

Again, if you have any questions just ask me and I will ask him and I will try to translate. If it's a tough question I will have him type the answer in whateverthehell language kids use nowadays.

Also if you have any suggestions for additions or improvements or features please let me know.

Here is what's left of the unboxing and then the working streamer:
20200202-unboxing.jpg
20200201-IMG_0241.jpg
 
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Wombat

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#4
I'm in the same space as yourself re building one of these and getting it working.

Some how-to or basic hands on references would be appreciated if possible. :)
 

StevenEleven

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#5
Here are some basics right from him. He will write up more detailed instructions later. I have a feeling he just did it on the fly:

I installed Arch Linux ARM on it, per these instructions: https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8/broadcom/raspberry-pi-4. Raspbian or any other distro would likely work just as well. I then installed shairport-sync (https://github.com/mikebrady/shairport-sync), which required some fiddling around to get it to work. The HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro has not come yet, so I'm not sure exactly how that will work, but hopefully it is as simple as changing the sound card ALSA is using.

I am planning on writing up more detailed instructions (step-by-step) later so that I can remember how I did it. I'm also working on an interface with hopefully album art, lyrics, metadata, etc. but don't know how long it will take. Something to note is that this setup only works with AirPlay, not other streaming options (e.g. Bluetooth or Chromecast).
 
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Wombat

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#6
Here are some basics right from him. He will write up more detailed instructions later. I have a feeling he just did it on the fly. You can call him KevinEleven.

I installed Arch Linux ARM on it, per these instructions: https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8/broadcom/raspberry-pi-4. Raspbian or any other distro would likely work just as well. I then installed shairport-sync (https://github.com/mikebrady/shairport-sync), which required some fiddling around to get it to work. The HiFiBerry has not come yet, so I'm not sure exactly how that will work, but hopefully it is as simple as changing the sound card ALSA is using.

I am planning on writing up more detailed instructions (step-by-step) later so that I can remember how I did it. I'm also working on an interface with hopefully album art, lyrics, metadata, etc. but don't know how long it will take. Something to note is that this setup only works with AirPlay, not other streaming options (e.g. Bluetooth or Chromecast).

Sounds good. Thanks.
 

StevenEleven

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#7
Sounds good. Thanks.
If anyone has any questions just let me know. It sounds good on my Hifi using even using an analog audio out jack from the Raspberry Pi 4 even without the HiFiBerry HAT Digi + Pro sound add-on card (which comes tomorrow). I stream anything I want from my iPad to it. He turned my A/V system into a giant computer for a while and tweaked some things. He made setup auto log in and turned the max digital volume up to just short of digital clipping. The iPad says it is sending lossless 44.1 / 16 from both Amazon music HD and Qobuz and the Raspberry Pi seems to indicate its native DAC is receiving and processing straight 44.1 / 16 received by Airplay. There is a dazzling array of code, parameters, options, and resource use indicators sent out by the HDMI port to the TV right now. It seems to be pretty light lifting for the Raspberry Pi 4 hardware.

He could do other setups on other SD cards but he really likes the way Shairport is implemented and refined. He says other options along these lines do not appear to be nearly as polished. He says Google seems to have locked down its Chromecast audio protocol way tighter than Apple has locked down Airplay. He says the Amazon music API is right there in front of people’s noses but apparently they don’t know it when they see it. Since Amazon apparently doesn’t want to share it maybe he shouldn’t say more about that. Of course the Qobuz API is all over the place, it’s no secret.

For anyone as non-techie as I am, of course you need a USB mouse and keyboard and a monitor to do the installation and programming and tweaking on the Raspberry Pi 4.

Edited for accuracy as per son KevinEleven. He seems pretty enthused—he is upstairs on his computer designing the video interface.

Further edit: He’s got album art and real time lyrics up and running. And now he has the album credits (session musicians, composer, etc.) up and running.
 
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#8
I'm in the same space as yourself re building one of these and getting it working.

Some how-to or basic hands on references would be appreciated if possible. :)
Do you already have a server? If not, you might consider Logitech Media Server. It's free and supports just about every music file format. If you use LMS, here are instructions on what you need and how to get your Raspberry Pi working as a remote player.

 

StevenEleven

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#9
My Ipad is essentially my music server (with stored stuff and then streaming services). I don't want to have a computer or NAS running all of the time.

So here is the video display on my TV with the video portion of the software my son Kev wrote himself to run with shairport on arch linux on the Raspberry Pi 4, with album art (from Airplay), credits (from Qobuz API), and lyrics (from Amazon music API (yes, it's just hanging out there for the taking for anyone, right in front of your face if you're using Amazon music)). We just got the HifiBerry Digi+ Pro HAT from Amazon and he is about to install it--then we'll have options of optical out, coax out, HDMI out, USB out, or analog out. It's a 16-bit / 44.1 khz audio stream.

Kev is standing over my shoulder making sure everything I write is correct. If you have any questions just ask me and I will ask him.

20200202-IMG_0250TalkingHeadsStreaming.jpg
 
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#10
It will sound much better w the DAC hi fi berry on it....There's all ready software to do this for free, look at Moode and Volumino
 

StevenEleven

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#11
It will sound much better w the DAC hi fi berry on it....There's all ready software to do this for free, look at Moode and Volumino
Unlike this newly minted software, Moode and Volumio don't show you album art, musician credits, and real-time synced lyrics on your TV all at the same time no matter what music streaming service you're using!! And nor does any other software (that I know of)! :)

There is already a perfectly good DAC in my receiver, now being fed a bit-perfect and well-timed 16-bit / 44.1 khz stream by the optical out from the HiFi Berry Digi+ Pro. I don't do ultra HD, Hi Res, MQA, or other super-DAC $$$ voodoo. :cool:

Here is the HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro on top of the Raspberry Pi 4 doing its thing in real time!!! Optical out 16 / 44.1 bit perfect digital audio stream to receiver and video interface to TV by HDMI.

20200202-IMG_0256HiFiBerry.jpg
 
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StevenEleven

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#14
The Pi has issues w jitter and timing w/o a DAC hat.
That's in part why we got the HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro HAT with the separate oscillators. Even though I find the idea that the jitter we are reducing or eliminating would have been audible to be dubious.

Perhaps this forum post with responses from the HiFiBerry creators could be informative for you.
 
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somebodyelse

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#15
For anyone as non-techie as I am, of course you need a USB mouse and keyboard and a monitor to do the installation and programming and tweaking on the Raspberry Pi 4.
Those who are techie don't need the keyboard, mouse or monitor, at least with most of the OS options for the Pi. Search for headless pi setup if you want the details.
 

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