[Solved] Multiroom Audio

Michelangelo hope I didn’t miss this thread but can you explain this? This capture was taken from the comments of the 1.4 release blog post

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I’m interested in doing this with raspberry pi’s. Can you explain how this could be possible? Do all Volumio’ devices have to play the same song or can we have one playing internet radio and another playing songs from a NAS. Would be even better if I could have the majority be pi’s and a udoo on the main system.

What about if I just want to use airplay? If I have 3 pi’s on the network how would it work for playing the same song and different songs or nothing at all?

Hi I’m interested in doing this too.

Here are 2 of the best iOS apps that will do the job.
-Skifta
-Twonky Beam

By default the songs selected will be independent streams so different songs. You will need something more sophisticated to “Zone” and “Synchronise” so you can have the same music. A NAS, (Synology is my preferred option), a PC running JRiver Media centre are a couple of examples. It’s also built into Mac OS with multiple device Airplay.

I have had multiroom success over the years with the Apple Airport Express. I like the RPI & Volumio option as it opens up the DNLA world.

My problem at the moment is that I want to call the device friendly names like “Kitchen”, “Bedroom” etc. and I can’t see how to do this on Volumio 1.4. Can anyone help me do this ?

Hi NWTStuff,

have a look at this post : http://volumio.org/forum/upnp-renderer-volumio-t551-10.html#p5991
Let me know if it helps :slight_smile:

Thanks esseki, works a treat,

Kevin :smiley:

I have yet to order a second pi but I’m wondering what happens when a second pi is added to the network. If you type direct your browser to volumio.local, what happens?

Great question!

It’s pretty clear in this post,

more-than-one-t1273.html

The UI access in Web Browser works with the device “hostname”, so the instruction “hostname,local/”

The default hostname is “volumio” so follow the instructions in the post and you can identify unique hostnames:-
RPi#1 - hostname = “pie” UI Access = “pie.local/”
RPi#2 - hostname = “chips” UI Access = “chips.local/”

An you’ll be away with your Pie & Chips :laughing:

Hi tulz43,

You can not indeed access two Volumio instances on the same network using the http://volumio.local/ URL. A unique URL can not access two different devices. An easy solution to that would be to access the devices by their IP address instead : ie http://192.168.0.7 and http://192.168.0.8
This will work :smiley:

My apologies, I’m a bit of a noob, but I’m not sure I understand the answer to the original question.

I would also like to set up multi-room audio using Volumio-powered Raspberry Pi’s as UPnP renderers, where a controller could pick which of these device(s) to output the sound to. If multiple devices are selected, the playback would be synchronized.

It sounds like this is possible but I’m not sure how it is accomplished. Should I be focusing my research on UPnP controlers? UPnP Servers? Is it possible to use Volumio’s WebUI to accomplish this?

Some cursory research tells me that UPnP only recently adopted multiple device syncronization as part of its standard and support for this (which requires a centralized clock) is spotty.

If someone could point me to somewhere that I could learn how to accomplish this, I would be very grateful! It would be a big bonus for me if I would be able to use my absolute favourite music library manager MusicBee as a controller. (They’ve just added UPnP support with their new release - getmusicbee.com/forum/index.php?topic=13648.0).

Alnisd,

I would start with the following questions :-

1 how many rooms and which ones need sychronising? E.g. Sychronise kithchen and lounge but kitchen and bedroom waste of time…

2 server - where are the files to be played stored ? E.g. PC, MAC, Nas drive.

3 control, what is you preference for control ? E.g. Tablet, phone, laptop, what OS ?

  1. Home network, what router, Network equipment in your house.

Then could recommend a way forward,

Kevin

Thanks for your offer to help!

1. Number of rooms: I’m starting with 3, but could go up to 5+ (I’ve got receivers all over the place). I would love to be able to sync them all so that i could just wander around the house e.g. doing chores and listening to the same thing in different rooms:)
2. Server: I use a windows 7 desktop to store the actual files. As a “server” in the sense of UPnP I’m using MusicBee. (Sometimes I use this as a controller as well, but I already know it won’t synchronize multiple renderers. So I’m going to have to look elsewhere if I want to syncronize…)
3. Controller: I’d be happy with either an Android or a Windows controller. Windows is preferable.
4. Network: I’ve got an N-based wireless network, i.e. the router is N and my Pi’s have N adapters. The server is actually connected to the router with an ethernet cable.

Thanks again! (I had been trying to accomplish this by using the pis to emulate squeezeboxes, but that turned out to be a dead end because of jitter and having to use Squeezebox server, which isn’t great)

alnisd

I did some tests on Multi Room synchronising about 9 months ago. My conclusions at that time were that satisfactory results could be achieved with SIMILAR RENDERER HARDWARE. I had 3 Apple Airport Expresses working with acceptable sync in 3 rooms. When I added the Apple TV to this scenario I had a lag with Apple TV vs Apple Airport Express.

I didn’t have multiple RPI equipment at the time so didn’t do any tests with this hardware, I could resurrect these tests to include RPi’s. Sonos equipment is good at syncing but they do this by restricting the Hardware options (3 speakers possible I think). In the UPnP/DLNA we will have thousands of possible music renderers.

On the DLNA side I also tried an RPI + Volumio, a Sansui streamer and a PC. The results were not synchronised and pretty annoying :blush:

The best software that I used for Multi Room was Jriver for Windows. It is quite expensive but there is a 30 day free trial so worth a test. Older versions (which might do the job) V17 & V18 might also be available as free software by now. It had Zone Linking capability and a solution for adjusting the lag time. I didn’t find this reliable enough to pursue at the time.

Regarding point 3. You say you would prefer a Windows Controller. Would this be laptop, tablet or phone ? If so what OS (e.g. Windows Phone, RT, Full blown). I quite liked the web browser UI with JRiver, did the job.

Do you have enough “similar” receivers to get 3 rooms off and away. I’d try out with JRiver Link Zone Function and see how you get on.

I have more RPi’s now so I might have another go with these. I’ll have a look at MusicBee too as I am not familiar with that.

Good Luck and let us know how you get on.

Kevin

Kevin,

Thanks for the suggestions! I had ruled out Sonos because it was expensive and proprietary and ruled out airports because they wouldn’t play high res audio, but the JRiver sofware might be the ticket. It would be nice if it worked some magic with a central clock.

The Windows controller would be a latop, either with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. A Windows 8.1 metro-friendly app would be amazing, but probably too much to ask. Maybe in a couple years there will be some floating around.

In terms of a music organizer/browser, Musicbee is my favourite by a long shot. Extremely customizable with great tools. Highly recommended, especially if you’ve got a large music collection.

If I get somewhere with the Pi’s/Voumio/JRiver, I’ll post back. I won’t be able to give it a serious shot until next weekend, but I’d love to make it work.

Thanks again!

alnisd,

Thanks for the tip, will certainly have a look at MusicBee,

MediaMonkey is the best Windows 8 app (graphically and intuitively) that I have found so far, but don’t think it’s so good for Multi Room.

If you’re not aware in Windows 8 there is some pretty annoying certificate restrictions with “PlayTo” streaming. This requires a registry work around to stream to non certified Windows renderers (reckon that’s probably most of them !!). Sometimes better to stick to the desktop apps :unamused: