so i’m looking into making my own streamer as the ones on the market are all so luxurious for my wishes. https://vidmate.bid/ i was searching into the volumio software that you may just run on a raspberry pi and became planning on including a hifiberry dac+ pro to improve sound satisfactory. does anyone have any experience with this and how appropriate is this?
I have been using the HiFiBerry DAC+Pro with the Pi4 for a month or two and I am very happy. I send the output through my NAD receiver to wired speakers. (old school) . I have set up an SSD drive on the pi through USB. That holds my music library. I am also very happy with results streaming my favorite radio station.
There is a plugin for volumio that provides for parametric eq. I am experimenting with that as well.
Prior to this I was streaming that radio station from my phone to an AUKEY bluetooth converter plugged into the same receiver & speakers. The improvement when I switched to the hifiberry DAC was significant.
That is just the sound side. The Volumio interface is generally good, but there are a few quirks. Most of the ones that concern me are being worked on, so I expect improvement. In the mean time it works well enough for me to enjoy listening, which is what it’s all about, right?
Good luck with your project.
Absolutely. It’s a very credible place to start with a digital streamer.
A Raspberry Pi 3B+ (there seem to be ongoing issues with R Pi 4 models and Volumio), an I2S DAC hat such as the Allo Boss V1.2, some online sources such as web radio stations, local flac files, and you’re all set for a great experience.
If you want to get into using a stremaer and DAC I can’t think of a better place to start.
My experience is don’t buy a sound board for your pi.
Ive tried using two. They barely ever worked.
I’ve spent hours trying to get them working. I replaced USB power supplies, cables, trying on more than one pi, etc etc etc. One problem that confused me for weeks was changing the power strip. All my equipment is connected off a APC UPS that provides voltage smoothing so poor incoming mans shouldn’t be a problem.
That was a few year back. I’m now trying to get them working again as covid projects with even less success.
What does work for me is the following (all on rpi)
OMV NAS - superb software. Does exactly what i want flawlessly. All the time. For years. A real jewel. The only problem I have with OMVis it works so well, I have completely forgotten the installation, and I want to add a new drive. I’m afraid to touch it.
OSMC - I use it for music and video. I have a hifiberry digiboard installed but can’t get it to work. According to the forums a recent version has broken support. To get high quality sound I bought a small HDMI breakout box which sits between the pi and the TV. This gives me a toslink which i plug in my dac. This gives me much better sound quality than the TV and good sound quality for music. OSMC has its fair share of problems (eg I have to reset the screen size on every power up) but it does the job most of the time. If you go for OSMC, select “never update” as the updates often break the system. Sometimes the underlying Kodi want to install updates. Never install those either.
If you ignore this advice:
if you go for an add-on board, make sure you get one with hardware volume support, or make sure you have a remote on the amp. turning the volume knob isn’t an option for downloaded music as the sound levels constantly change so you will up and down like a yoyo.
make sure you you know about getting dumps, setting linux config files, can sift through conflicting advice etc.
make sure you have two of everything so you can try a different one when things don’t work
buy the best accessories (power strips, cables, adapters etc) you can get. I live in an “emerging” country so this meant a six month wait till my next vacation.
buy a switched connector so can can easily power on and off a pi. I have three pis for which I built a dedicated cabinet placed in a real out of the way position . the only feasible way to power on/off a pi is all 3 at the same time. OMV takes it all in its stride. OSMC doesn’t.
Make sure you have a good physical access to all ports on the PI. you will constantly be plugging/unplugging stuff.
This all reminds me of British motorbike manufacturers. They all assumed till the very end the average rider wanted to spend all weekend tinkering instead of actually riding. Until Japanese manufactures blew them away with reliable machines. its the same with most pis. you will spend far more time testing etc than actually listening
I think the majority of R Pi Volumio users would disagree with this.
That’s a convoluted way to go about it.
The Allo Boss V1.2 has hardware volume control, and a master clock, it seems to be one of the best choices and I’ve had no issues with mine.
This seems alarmist, I’ve never even ssh’d to mine, nor viewed or copied logs, or hand edited files. I feel like you had a really bad experience that isn’t common to many users of Volumio on R Pi.
Again, quite alarmist and unrealistic I think.
That hasn’t been my experience with recent versions of Volumio, it’s been very stable and reliable.
well everybody’s mileage will vary.
I’ve spent at least 20 times as much time trying to get add on boards in an Rpi to work as I have listening to music on them.
I’ve got a couple of recent problems on volumio semi active just now.
The music library like doesn’t seem to like certain types of files, so I’m trying to clean out the directories. This is a long slow process. It might be faster if I was windows 10/linux expert but I’m not.
The software volume control doesn’t work (I use a digione), though this may or not be because it won’t play flac files. I’ve got to investigate further. They might not be serious problems, but I still have to solve it. The first step is trying to find out what flac over sp/dif actually means? Is it converted/encapsulated/trans-coded? Ive no idea. But what is for sure is while I’m trying to solve this, I’m not doing a host of other small jobs to pass the time in lockdown. To be honest, I’m not even interested in the answer, I just want to:
a: be more than 20% sure when I turn on my sound system it will work.
b: listen to music
Sure Linux, volumio etc may be free, but that’s only if you’re time is worthless.
And tbh now, even if I get volumio “working” I doubt I will use it. Why? Currently I use OSMC for playing Movies and music. When I switch to volumio I have to reconfigure the DAC each time as the different volume levels are too pronounced. My amp is noon for osmc, and 0830 for volumio. Sure, its not hard, but it is time cosuming and I jump out of my skin in shock if I forget.
I only bought the Allo as I couldn’t get the hifiberry to work. Once I ordered it, I managed to get the hifiberry to work a little but it doesn’t anymore.
In contrast, my “convoluted” toslink board on OSMC does work. No configuration. No set up. No hours spent on forums looking for solutions.
I think the sound quality on my allo digione might be better, but as it barely works (and it seems not at all on flac) it’s a moot point. Its a mystery to me why a hifiberry or an allo digione should sound better than the HDMI output the pi send to the TV. I use a meridian 518 which does some kind of resampling and magic.
If I had my time again, there is no way I would get an add on board for pi. OSMC (and to be clear, OSMC has its fair share of problems) but at least when I turn it on to listen to music it works. And by using YATSE I can control the volume on multiple systems simultaneously and remotely which I do.
I wonder if you’ve tried something like Moode on that same hardware.
Thanks for tip. I shall take a look.
Ive downloaded rune but I’ve read it’s better for for people who want to “look under the bonnet”.
That’s exactly what I don’t want to do.
Moode is very similar to Volumio (based on the same basic player), so I find it a useful tool to diagnose issues between hardware and software. Just image a spare micro SD card with Moode and boot it up with everything else the same.
Thank you for the tip. I (well kind internet forum users) solved all of the playback options.
Most of my problems were caused by testing with a flac file, which led me down many false paths to suspect the mixer
The problem seems to be my 1990’s DAC wont accept 96k input. Once I converted the flac to 48K it worked fine, which gave me the confidence to set resampling on volumio. All files now play, and software mixer is working too, so that great.
In the end I didn’t need to try moode or rune. volumio is now stable enough to start further testing.
All i have to do now is try and get hifiberry digi (same DAC) working with OSMC with librelec or OSMC, but those are topics for a different forum.
Thank you again for your kind help and attention.