First, let me say how much I like Volumio. Major selling points are:
- Client/server oriented.
- Fast & light on ressource.
- Beautiful sound.
- Slik interface (the webapp, not the Android one).
Now, it’s all perfect as a standalone app used in a single room. But when it comes to multiroom, there’s more hopes than true achievements.
Don’t get me wrong, built-in multiroom is alreally cool. It automagically detects every instances of Volumio on the network, and one can switch from one Volumio instance to another to control all of them from the same interface. That is truely something nice and easy to use.
The major problem when it comes to multiroom is that most people think that multiroom comes with synced multiroom features. Saiyato did a great job with the Snapcast plugin, making possible to have synced multiroom working with Volumio. But for a lot of (non tech) people, this will not work as:
- It’s not as automagical as the builtin Volumio multiroom feature.
- it’s not part of the ‘out-of-the-box’ Volumio experience (e.g. it’s not a built-in feature).
- It comes with a lot a options, which are handy but complicated to end users.
So, what would be really nice?
First, have a real dedicated menu entry for multiroom. It would insist on the fact that Volumio can be a lot more that a player designed for single rooms. Also, there’s some room that could be done on the main menu (I never use the alarm & sleep features for example).
Then, make the Snapcast plugin part of the default Volumio experience. One of Volumio’s biggest selling point is that it allows people to use their existing audio equipment to extend their connectivity features. All new hifi amplifiers nowadays sell (poorly done) connectivity features. Audio manufacturers don’t sell music quality anymore. They sell connected amps and intelligent speakers. But we don’t care as we (I) already have the audio quality we want with Volumio. So pushing Volumio as a multiroom AND synced multiroom music player would make Volumio even more desirable.
I know that this topic has been talked a lot in the past. And I’m writing all this also because I really think that an amazing work has been done on Volumio, making it my number 1 choice for audio player. And I really hope that this synced multiroom feature (which can be seen as a useless toy for some), will be seen as a must-have feature that will be added in the built-in Volumio experience in the future.
Keep up the good work guys, and long live Volumio