Why Raspberry pi and Volumio?
Raspberry pi is a micro computer and Volumio is the operating system for Raspberry pi which converts pi into a dedicated music streaming software with inbuilt DAC ( Digital to Analogue Converter ) capabilities. Volumio helps to add a lot of features to the music streaming capabilities to the wired or wifi network where its implemented, such as connectivity to many internet radios, music streaming services, many devices in a house or an office where one can play music by zone. Support for high definition audio from Master Quality Authenticated (MQA), Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio, and HiFi varities. The wide array of music support means super high definition audio which is produced right at the recording studio all the way down to regular youtube streaming quality.
Volumio also enables itself as a network player and with addons such as youtube2, youtube casting receiver Volumio makes its presence felt through the network. So its a one click streaming of your fav youtube track to the high end music system at home audio.
Now why Raspberry pi for music streaming?
First and foremost is the cost and its a complete mini computer. With the added flexibility to add more hardware extensions called HATs Pi can receive a lot more high end custom built compatible HATs that enable solid digital to analogue conversion capabilties which translates to sonic bliss. With a DAC and a right one added one gets dedicated hifi audiophile grade music processing capabilities at home. Raspberry Pi, with its official plastic case and power supply 5v 1.5A cost $125 as a whole which is all that one needs to do stage 1 of the build.
For me including troubleshooting the wifi not working issue all it took was an hour or less to get everything up and running.
How and where to order Raspberry Pi?
- Visit official Raspberry Pi website product page at, https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/
- Select the product by clicking on the “More Info” button.
On the subsequent page click on the Buy now button which will take you the last block at the bottom of the page. Or scroll down to the end where you find the following section. Click on the preferred retailer and check availability and stock, prices and place the order. This is the right way to order as it will ensure you are buying from the right source.
It was a worthwhile spend of $125 for network capability for my hifi system. I am using mobile Spotify premium that gives spotify connect feature which inturn sends the music streams directly to Volumio which processes all signal with its internal DAC. The output of DAC via headphone jack 3.5mm goes into the amplifier RCA left right. You will need a 3.5mm to RCA converter which cost a dollar at the max. The quality of sound stage has improved with more separation, tighter bass and a quality audio. Next stage is to get used to the new set up train the ear and at a later point add a DAC HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) assembly to the system for better specs and sonic quality. For readers in countries were Tidal has service is highly recommended to subscribe to get the full potential of the system.
When you set up volumio on raspberry pi 4b (In 2022), older years issue was there in network and many went and fiddled with ssh access etc. So now you are doing in 2022, and wifi doesnt work please read on. Pre-requisite, everything works well on wired network. The solution is to disable hotspot, enable custom dns under settings. Once done reboot. First thing is hotspot uses the wifi antenna, second is Volumio wont connect using the dns in network and its ideal to configure the preferred network in volumio.