I was very very excited when I started reading up up Volumio and the “Audiophile” moniker it carries. So, let me explain a bit of the background in hope that future versions can benefit from this honest feedback.
In the past I used MacMini with Audirvana with itunes plugin to feed Musical Fidelity V-Dac. DAC outputted to Audiolab 8000S preamp, which fed Audiolab 8000P Poweramp. Speakers are Proac Studio 140mk2.
Long story short. I switched to Volumio, and its been quite a journey… a journey mixed with frustration and joy… I am quite familiar with SSH and Linux, I use a mixture of Debian, RedHat, Ubuntu and OSX for day job, so I wasnt shy of getting my hands dirty and compiling from source…
What I liked…
- Sound quality, MPD has a slight dB gain which makes it sound “clearer” at same volume compared to other playback apps…
- GUI config is miles ahead of SSH messing around
- Easy to install and configure without worrying about plugin dependencies etc
- HTTP player is kinda cool too
What needs improvement
- GUI slow and sluggish, crashed often and resulted in a restart every 12-24 hrs
- The dependency on SSH to restart MPD or GUI (guys, this is NOT an “audiophile” solution)
- MPD, ancient version shipped with Volumio. I guess its a personal preference, I have a number of audio systems and prefer to have a central “server approach”, I wish Volumio would update MPD so we can use the remote server to host MPD database.
- MPD constantly updating its database… oh seriously…
- GUI for Volumio config is a great idea… But having it integrated with MPD?? Really? Maybe the HTTP player and config GUI should be split.
- Airplay is kinda flaky, sometimes MPD crashes and also takes out the GUI with it.
- Never had any success with NFS or SMB mounting from OSX server.
I hope the above is seen as constructive criticism and not a slander. I wanted to setup a system where I could simply turn on the amp and listen to tracks after a hard days work. What I got instead was SHH + countless hours of tweaking and bugfixing. Most of my fixes and progress has been contributed back to this community - so not a complete waste… The latest 1.2 version really pushed me over the edge and I have to look for something else as the playback source.
Its a great project and lots of good people contributing lots of good things. Can my wife use this system? erm… no…