Friday, June 5, 2015

Streaming/NAS music solution-Raspberry Pi + RuneAudio

I've been looking for a good way to play music on a stereo system mainly from a network share, but also possibly from streaming audio.

There USED to be solutions you could buy for this, but they seem to have been discontinued except for some high end solutions.

This evening I found Rune Audio which runs on a variety of platforms including the Raspberry Pi.

In general it was easy to install, but getting it to actually output useable audio was a bit of a problem.

First I tried the headphone jack on the Pi. No luck until I went to the config page to select it. Even then, the audio output was phenomenally bad. Very low volume (the software vol control was cranked to 100%) and a ton of noise.

Then I tried HDMI.  No audio. Found some forum posts indicating that I should try some lines in the config.txt. Took another 10 minutes to figure out that config.txt was located in /boot.  Then because apparently this Linux install has some crazy keyboard layout, I had to type every non-alpha character by using alt+ascii value. I got crazy high ascii when I typed : or ! or anything like that.

I never did get HDMI working.  That would have been nice.

I figure that eventually I'll try using my Behringer DAC, it has excellent characteristics, but that's at work right now.

Then I remembered that I have a junky little USB audio device that I think I bought from DealExtreme for about $2. That dumb thing has come in useful more times than I care to think about. I plugged it in, it showed up in the config, I selected it and it's working fine. And it actually doesn't sound bad at all.

It isn't what I really want, which is a device with an integrated display and a remote control, but this can be controlled from a phone, tablet or web browser, and I can set up playlists that will go for days and it has some streaming capabilities so I guess it'll do.

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