Volumio car project some small issues

Hello forum,

following the project online for a while I decided to give it a go and abandoned my squeezeplug setup that I had been using before.Squeezeplug worked nicely but the ios apps looked quite outdated (ipeng or Squeezebox app).

The Volumio 2 setup worked straightforward. I started with a raspberry B and hifiberry dac plugin (my old hardware)

Issues I am having are (maybe some fit are better into the “feature request” or “bug section” )

  1. browsing the music library is quite slow, even after multiple boots when I thought all the images and library scanning should be complete. I have about 10000 tracks on a usb harddisk. Opening “albums” for example takes about 10-20 seconds before anything is shown. trying to scroll has a some-seconds delay until screen actually scrolls.

  2. boot up takes a long time.

  3. Volume control issues. using the software mixer, the volume control only works on library songs not for spotify plugin songs, choosing “hardware” doesnt work at all with normal hifiberry dac (not the dac+)

  4. Web UI for car use too small and slow at some positions. The overall playback UI is nice however when I try to add a song from “browse” to a Queue it is almost imossible during driving. The browse menu gets stuck, scolling hangs and the three buttons at the end “…” is hard to find with my fingers , the small window that opens to “add to queue” or play is too small as well. many times I hit a little left of the points “…” and the song is just started instead of opening the menu to add it. Sometimes I hit one row below “clear and play” which clears my whole playlist and is quite annoying. Sometimes trying to open a menu or the “play, add to queue etc window” doesnt work at all and I have to wait and/or press several times which is irritating during driving.
    Trying to access the “small house” icon to go back home or the “<-” back arrow is almost impossible to hit in my car setup.

I changed to the newest Raspberry 3 with hifiberry dac+ with a fast micro sd card (class 10) and the overall browsing and booting is still slow, a bit better though
Could this be an issue of my old ipad mini (version1) and not a raspberry or volumio issue?

I will try to modify the Web UI but before reinventing the wheel I wanted to ask if there is anybody working on similar issues first?

The volume control works better with the hifiberry dac+ ( I can choose hardware mixer)

I will post my setup in the DIY projects section later. I am using a “padbay” car holder for ipad and I am happy with the look. It fits nicely into many cars (I am not in any way affiliated with them) and the ipad controls the volumio hidden underneath the shelf. I hope to get these last issues resolved.

best regards and thanks for any Input

Trigan

I do agree that booting is a pain… That said, normally you’d not shut it down anyway… I’m curious about your experience in the car since I will have to decide soon enough which audio system to build in my old beetle and a hidden Pi vs a €60 modern radio sounds great to me!

My experience so far is:

  • everything hidden nicely underneath the dashboard
  • Ipad with fitting specially designed for my car looks nice (little Tesla `ish)
  • Navigation, all apps run smoothly and I can control the volumio headless from the ipad or stream all audio output from the ipad via shairport
  • low cost (80 Eur for the ipad frame, 60 Eur for raspberry and hifiberry, sd card and few more hardware like 12volt to usb converter, cables, etc, I had an old ssd drive at home which I am using as my music library)
  • boot time slow. for small rides for example when You are delivering and in and out of the car, box and ipad have to be started everytime, unless You let it running. Its not like my old radio, start the engine - music running without touching a button. BUT if you leave it runnung then You are commited to coming back to the car. If You change plans and don’t come back to Your car it will be running.
  • some small bugs like Web UI stuck sometimes and as I mentioned above sometimes slow reaction times to selecting songs, small fiddly icons
  • so far I get background noise until the unit is fully booted. Thereafter sound quality is really nice and no noises.

I don’t feel good leaving it running especially during the winter when the car is parked at the airport for up to 2 weeks and I don’t want my battery get depleted. My battery is 95 AH so my calculations say it could theoretically serve 0.3 mA for about 13 days

Another thing I am still thinking is about the best way to import new music onto the raspberry ssd drive. Unplugging it and copying it at home?
Some dropbox like system where I can put new music into the box at home and it would get transferred automatically would be nice.
You just heard this new album in the morning and want to have it in the car without a morning copy mission before You drive.

I am still testing it before I decide if I keep it or not. Another setup that I might try is installing spotify directly on the raspberry and controlling it headless from the ipad but via the spotify app. bootup time is probably slow as well. Advantage is that I can easily sync spotify music on the raspi at home (offline) and play it without internet when driving.

Very interested in your setup and progress. I am new to RPi but not new to car audio.

Have you thought about using Wifi (if you have Wifi at home) to sync music with RPi? This is how I plan to do it - have some script to copy latest music from home PC to car when it’s parked in the garage.
But I am a long way from that point. Current situation is deciding environment of RPi in my car. I have decided on using Volumio however. I can see 3 options:

  1. Use touch-screen which requires Volumio acting as “head” unit, which is not the design intention behind Volumio. I see there is a Volumio plugin available which may help. I am inquiring about it.
  2. Use smartphone to control Volumio as headless RPi unit. My concern here is the same issues you have noted like navigation difficulty due to small display.
  3. Integrate RPi with car navigation/infotainment system. (Car is 2016 Mazda 6 with touch-screen in dash. It is Linux based.) This is the best option, integration-wise, but I do not even know if it is possible. Certainly it is the most effort. Somehow I would need to modify car’s OEM system to browse to Volumio on RPi.

I am also thinking about whether to have RPi turned on all the time, or only when car is running. I am leaning toward having RPi on all the time, but using a switch to cut the 12v power in case of long parking time to avoid battery drain.

the instructions for connecting a touch display are here:

volumio.org/raspberry-pi-displa … ic-player/

My Garage is quite far away as well and I am using a repeater. It connects via a cat6 cable from the house router. If You don’t have any network cables in your garage try a power adapter for ethernet (Powerline) . That should work.

copy script could be an “rsync” function via cronjob that checks the server folder from time to time.

I found a rpi script to install “owncloud” for the file transfer.

projpi.com/diy-home-projects-wit … box-clone/

Nice project you have there.
For syncing your music, I’d use resilio Sync (formerly known as BitTorrent Sync). It behaves exactly like Dropbox without the need for the cloud, because it uses the bittorrent protocol and therefore it stays in your home.

Regarding the boot time, could it be an idea to position a small battery in between? The Pi shouldn’t use too much current? Would at least save the in and out issue?

Thanks for the hints.
I will check if the resilio sync works for me.
As small backup battery is a good idea, I could use some of my Nimh batteries and put a little powerpack together.

Maybe this thread should be moved over to the projects section then and I will add some photos.

Biggest nogo now is the web interface problem. When this gets solved I am happy with the system.
But so far I frequently have to reboot because the web ui just gets stuck. For example I am playing a song and want to skip to the next. I get a “output error” message and the song keeps playing. Web UI is out of sync (showing the new song including play time).

Could this be a setup issue? I tried different volume control settings already.

volumio.png

Can’t say, I’m having some issues as well. Especially after storing some of the files locally.