Late to the party… . might be worth that Google questionnaire thing, I created a forum login especially to write this comment.
What I’m currently doing and what I’d like to do are two different things… but not too different
Current set up, is in my office only - a RPi 2 model B, connected via wired ethernet, with a 1TB portable USB hard drive plugged in and containing the music collection: the SD Card is for the os/app only. It’s connected via the Pi’s headphone jack to an old home theatre system ( I have 5.1 sound in my garden shed ).
I used to have an RPi 1 Model B and Volumio 1.x doing the same job, this got retired due to sound quality issues
There are about 3000 mp3 and ogg files in the music collection totalling 25GB. This is on the small side, I have a cabinet of over 500 CDs that it would nice to rip sometime. Occasionally I add new music to it by copying with SCP up to the hard drive directly.
I have an increasing number of full concerts and podcasts. It’s not uncommon for me to listen to a some downloaded from Youtube or the likes.
I used to listen to internet radio stations as well, but stopped when I upgraded from the Pi to the Pi 2. More on that later…
I pretty much exclusively use the desktop computer to control Volumio via the web interface (packages.ubuntu.com/yakkety/cantata) to control it, but apart from seeing it connects I haven’t actually used that with Volumio 2.
I tend not to use playlists. When the current bracket of tracks runs out, or a radio station starts playing something I don’t like, I add something new to listen to.
Future set up
What I want to do, eventually, is have all the music stored on a single NAS, and then accessible from multiple Pi’s around the house. This is entirely possible with Volumio now (at least, I presume). I just don’t have the NAS. Also the first place to get set up might have a TV, with the Pi needing to streaming video of the hard disk recorder, maybe Youtube. Not a job Volumio is meant for at all (so Kodi perhaps).
The only thing that might be a problem is that in the house I’d want a phone app (which could be a web app) to control multiple pis. The MPD remote app I used once was able to do this, but I’ve seen too many apps like it that can’t or the UX is terrible to switch (go into settings etc).
I don’t know about a remote - given there is no IR receiver built in to the RPi, I’m not likely to want one. Half the household seems to have phones in hand 24/7, and I’d rather proliferate cheap android tablets tied to the wall that have multiple uses (eg web browsing) than spend money on music player hardware. It might control the pi, but it couldn’t switch the external amplifier on or off.
Volumio features where the UX isn’t the best
Looking only at the web interface here.
Upload new music: If I copy a file up via SCP or FTP, then if I want to listen to newly added music immediately, I have to wait or force a rescan . This is very slow - minutes, and I consider the music collection to currently be small. Having a web upload, that only merges the new files into the index without having to rescan would be brilliant.
Adding radio stations: I don’t care about the list of radio stations that “ship with” volumio. I want to add my own., Some examples:
positivelybaroque.com/, All of these I had playing through Volumio 1.x but to get them to work I had to edit a text files, not sure which one of these two is the one that made it work:
I realise there is quite a bit of variation in how radio stations work, but most apps just ask for URL to be entered.
So having a user interface to add radio stations would mean I could get these back. I’d like them to appear on the front page of “Browse” somehow. Under “Web Radio” > My Web Radios is ok, but is about 4 clicks. This might be why the two files above - maybe I created a playlist to get it more accessible.
Youtube. This is a bit of a fancy one, but I had a Firefox extension called “Play to Kodi” which let me view a page on youtube.com and then send it to the Kodi box which played it on the TV. Would be kind of nice to have something that lets me play a Youtube clip (the sound only, obviously).
The front page of Browse is pretty wasteful of space - with web browser to my full-screen 1920 x1080, the list of options on the left is less than 10%. Having a set of panels with some more info would be cool. That said, I would also like to make the Volumio web page its own app (using Chrome browser’s “add to desktop” feature) wihich would be a smaller window. I find there are a few shortcomings there too, eg having it merge with Chrome as one item on my taskbar is pretty annoying (not Volumio’s fault although it might be able to hint better to Chrome what to do).