Can I make a Portable FLAC player ?


I have a lot of FLAC music, and I can’t either play it on usual mp3 player, or cary as much as I want on it, so I had this idea that maybe with a Raspberry PI and some tweaking I could make that. After little googling I found about Volumio, wich from what I understand is an OS for Raspberry PI made to deal with music !

Though it’s quite hard to understand for new-age internet user without theses modern smart and punchy explicative videos every startup make nowadays,
I think I got quite a good idea from reading forum(still working !), but I’m still not sure about some tchnical issues,

ils it possible to make with Volumio and a RaspberryPI, a mobile player (working with USB 5v or cellphone charger) on wich I can plug a normal external USB hard drive containing FLAC songs in folders, and browse it’s content with buttons and a LCD screen, with High Quality sound output of course.

I have that simple idea in my mind, but I’m guessing there is multiple details, like what part of the process is handled by Volumio and wich is not, maybe there is a limitation of processor calculation capacity with high quality sound playing and LCD B/W display, details like that, I don’t know.

And if I got it right, can I simply buy a raspberry and the buttons & LCD screen and start coding ? I have little money and I d’ont want to waste it :slight_smile:



I think you can do it this way (the “do-it-yourself” way), although it’s probably not the easiest one.
I’ve bought Adafruit’s LCD screen and buttons, soldered it (because it’s sold in pieces!), programmed a python script to make buttons pressure communicating with the music player… and it works :slight_smile:

Check Adafruit LCD here : … i/overview
My python script :
What it does : play / pause, next/previous, browse and load playlists and … display current time (I had to find something for the 5th button :slight_smile: )

Yo ! Thanks for reply, though you don’t talk about the audio source of your projet,

is it like I want to do, just a flashdrive or something like that, without computer in between, is that really possible ?


Here’s what I use, and it works perfectly :

Note that due to the size of the Creative device, I had to add a small extension cable in order to plug it on the pi :frowning:
If I had to buy a new USB soundcard, I’ll probably choose another one.

The ethernet cable can be unplugged of course.
I don’t use any battery so mine is always plugged on its alimentation, but I’ve already seen some batteries for pi, so I think it’s possible to have a fully portable device.

Great thanks again for your answers,

though you use a usb external as audio card, isn’t it possible you use the HDMI audio pin ? or is it for quality reasons ?

for the screen I found out that it’s apparently possible to plug a car tft, screen (15€ :slight_smile:, hope It will work out

and for the buttons is guess I can make it with anything like recycled buttons from I don’t know what, so I would just buy the Raspberry and the screen,

finally I’m not so good with linux, but is it possible to build a external in Volumio (if I said it properly…) ?, I would like to add PiFM on the project :slight_smile:


Concerning battery use: Indeed I already ran my pi on a battery that usually serves as backup power to charge mobile phones. It worked without any flaw. I would rather consider flash-drives for to store your music though, as the power consumption of hard drives can be quite high and might destabilise your system. Then I don’t know if you will need a headphone amp as well or if the level from the DAC output powered through the Pi will be sufficient.
Although I have no personal experience, I suppose that the biggest issue is probably the screen and the buttons to make all this accessible without getting trough the webinterface, but you already got some feedback on that. Considering all these issues, I think it becomes quite evident that Volumio is great working in a network, but I doubt that it makes a lot of sense to use it for a mobile music player.

It’s possibly a spoiler and not what you like to do (a nice frickle DIY project), but I suppose that for a mobile player based on the raspy, all that you can achieve will be much more clumsy, unreliable and possibly not even cheaper than what you get if you buy a Fiio X3. It’s playing FLACs right away, lasts for up to 10 hours on battery, it has an easy working interface and wellmade a DAC included, and apparently it also has quite good sound. It sells for 225€ new, so you might get some used ones even cheaper.

If you are really in a DIY mood, the following two projects might inspire you on the hardware side.

1.) A Wifi-based local radio station with receivers based on the Pi: … tal-radio/

2.) A tablet computer based on the Pi:

Best regards,