Plugin versus App+Streaming


I’m new to the Volumio’s world and all the possibilities it offers, but I’m very impressed, thanks a lot! I share here my thoughts about plugins versus streaming: please let me know what you think.

On the one hand, like a lot of people here, it would be a dream if Volumio would be adapted to all my specific needs and my way of listening music. For example I’d love to listen to Spotify, Deezer, Youtube, movies,… A lot of these features are listed in this feature collection thread, or this one. Some plugins are under development. While Spotify plugin needs a rewrite due to their new API, as far as I understood. But each plugin needs a lot of work, a lot of specific development, a lot of maintenance because of third party changes,… And a plugin will always have limited features compared to the native service.

On the other hand, I’m piloting Volumio from an Android device: I could imagine that it’s the same for the majority of users (or any Apple device). And I’ve got a Spotify app on it. And a Deezer app. (and YouTube, Dailymotion, VLC, podcast, …).

If I could have a reliable and easy streaming from my Android to Volumio, I’d be able to send the sound from any application to my Volumio. The documentation gives some examples. DLNA and Airplay are available (even if I need to root my Android device, and even if a lot of these apps are not free in their full version).

Lastly, Volumio is doing its own app. While Gi explained that DLNA is being redesigned to work better.

So I’m wondering if we could have a global solution, putting efforts on a reliable streaming (from Android and Apple devices, but why not also from Linux, Windows,…) in an easy way, instead of developing a specific plugin for each need. Why not in a splendid Volumio app?

What do you think?

PS1: I know that their is a limitation due to the “emitting” device: it will drain more battery (as data is going through it), and it will stop the music if I receive a call. In my case, I accept this limitation because I use a dedicated old smartphone (a -now- very cheap Samsung Galaxy S3 mini under Android 4.3, besides it’s easy to root).

PS2: Bluetooth would be another solution, as it is often available in the hardware (for example in the Raspberry 3, even if I don’t know it it supports aptX). I don’t need to root my phone to stream music to a BT receiver. But the audio is compressed, even with aptX, so I suppose that not everybody would be satisfied.

Hi Sisim!

I’m not a developer/contributor here but the list (collection!) of features is really a hard work. Someone should be paid something for doing all of those :smiley:
By the moment, and always based on my personal experience with Volumio-2, Spotify works fine. I understand that you would like to have all possible musical sources in just one app, however developing all those apps seems pretty tough, specially when you think that Volumio is free for personal use.

Perhaps, and bearing in mind that Volumio can work as a UPnP/DLNA renderer, you could rely on 3rd apps (developed by third party) in order to stream many other sources to Volumio. For example, if you get Bubble UPnP app for Android, it’ll let you stream many of those proposed sources (see attached pic), not only to Volumio but also to a Chromecast.

Now, if you want to stream any available phone musical app now and in the coming months, it seems to me more logical to get a mobile phone of last generation (LG, for instance) which has the Bluetooth APTX-HD (latest chip) feature so you can stream up to 24 bits (so, probably enough to stream 16 fair bits) to an APTX-HD receiver. However, as far as I know that protocol & Bluetooth chip are so new that it is just right now when some companies are implementing it.
…just my 2 cents.

The main problem here is the lack of protocols. The only generic protocol for streaming audio from multiple platforms via network is to the best of my knowledge the UPnP AV standard, which is already contained in Volumio. However, it’s native integration is very sparse, so that you have to look for a third party application, as suggested in the previous post.

I think you’re one of the few that run a dedicated smartphone just for volumio streaming.

APT-X and its successor APT-X HD are proprietary protocols owned by Qualcomm, as everyone can see on Wikipedia. The only free audio streaming protocol for BT is afaik the ancient A2DP protocol which gives really shitty sound quality and has some other problems that I tried to highlight in the A2DP thread

Thank you for your feedback!

Totally agree! I don’t know if Volumio has the financial resources to pay this someone. That’s why I’m wondering where the resources could be concentrated in order to maximize their effectiveness.

On my side, the Spotify plugin is very slow, and not working really fine. But I discovered yesterday the wonderful plugin of @Balbuze (see the plugins collection) to use it as Spotify Connect. This is exactly what I think very efficient: the plugin concentrates in receiving the sound, not in building a new UI while Spotify has a wonderful app. (no, @Balbuze didn’t offer me a Black Forest gateau to write that down :wink: )

Totally agree. I understand that my post wasn’t clear enough (I have to make efforts !) I tested these apps (including AllConnect, AirAudio, AllStream or BubbleUPnP+Xposed) and mentioned them in the documentation I wrote about “Stream audio to Volumio”. But it’s not very stable, I have scratches, interruptions, and the Volumio UI becomes totally unresponsive when I use them. My thought is: if a Volumio Android app speaks to the Volumio Renderer over UPnP, it should work like a charm? But I imagine it’s not easy to do…

Bubble UPnP is exactly what I think very hard (impossible?) to achieve: “One ring to rule them all”. I would be much happier to use a beautiful and dedicated app to manage the source (Youtube, Podcast, Spotify, …) and another background app (AirAudio for instance, or an improved Volumio app) redirecting the sound I want (coming out of the Deezer app for example) to Volumio through DLNA or Airplay (by the way, Bubble UPnP cannot do that, it needs Xposed). In fact, I would need a “Universal Spotify Connect”, a kind of “Android Connect” (I know, you’ll tell me to buy an iPhone, so that I’ll have a native AirPlay support :slight_smile: ).

All features and apps, what talk about, can be taken with two protocols. AirPlay(wich we already have and good worked in Volumio), and… chromecast. Why not buid software chromecast receiver in Volumio? With this plugin, all of things: Spotify, YouTube, Deezer… whatever… we can easy use with Volumio.
And this two protocols(AirPlay and Chromecast) will be enough for all “mobile needs”.
Ofcause i`m talk about sound only parts…