Pi music centre - anyone done it?

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I'm considering my options for music playing around the house.  I have
much of my music digitised now and available from a file server that's
on all the time.  What I need is some simple 'clients' that can access
the file server and play the music.

So, a Pi can do the 'mechanics' as it were, access the files and play
them, *BUT* (and it's a big but) what do you do for a user interface?

I have getting on for ten thousand items arranged in a classified
hierarchy, when deciding on what to play I tend to navigate down the
hierarchy to the album I want, often I'm not looking for a particular
name, rather I want to be prompted by what Isee in a particular genre.

So how can one do this with a Pi, or is some other sort of approach
going to work better?  It needs a display of some sort and a means of
navigating, a remote (as in a TV type remote) would be nice, can one
get them to interface to a Pi easily?

... and I'm pretty much against a mobile phone interface, it's too
small for my (gently) fading eyesight and I don't get on well with on
screen keyboards.  I've actually just changed back from a smartphone
to a feature phone with real buttons for this very reason.

--  
Chris Green


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
Chris Green wrote:

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Won't you need a 'HAT' of some sort to get stereo audio out of it (as  
opposed to audio embedded in HDMI or mono on the 3.5mm jack)?


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 2019-10-11, Andy Burns wrote:
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Huh? Er, no.

R

Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 11/10/2019 12:25, Roger Bell_West wrote:
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Er yes, if you want any quality at all.

Pi onboard sound is pretty basic.

HifiBerry DAC is good price performamce

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--  
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on  
its shoes.

Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 2019-10-11, The Natural Philosopher wrote:
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We can disagree on that. But it's certainly not mono-only on any of
the Pis I've used.

Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 11/10/2019 12:32, Roger Bell_West wrote:
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Indeed. No reason for it to be


--  
It?s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
Mark Twain



Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
The Natural Philosopher wrote:

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I though mono audio from rPIs was a thing, a couple of searches turned  
up results that seemed to confirm it, but it turns out they were red  
herrings ... still plenty of results saying for decent quality get a DAC.

Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 11/10/2019 15:49, Andy Burns wrote:
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yep. Timing jitter on the onbard convertyr is likely to make sound a  
causalty of CPU usage


--  
?It is hard to imagine a more stupid decision or more dangerous way of  
making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people  
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Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
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I have a new Pi 4 which has stereo on the audio jack I think.  However
I may add a DAC or some such to get better quality.

--  
Chris Green


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 2019-10-11, Chris Green wrote:
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mpd.

With the right configuration you can get an mp3 stream, which a pi
will happily play. And control is through a standard protocol, with
lots of different interfaces available (including a bunch of web-based
ones) to suit various tastes. I like
https://github.com/bobboau/Bragi-MPD among others.

Right now I'm listening to a stream encoded on the media server,
played through a Pi and speakers, and controlled it via ncmpcpp
(terminal client) and M.A.L.P. on Android.

R

Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
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Android, as I said, is not for me (for choosing music anyway).  What
I'm really after is advice/ideas on the 'physical' interface used for
choosing music.  There are loads of options providing a web interface
or a mobile phone interface but I want a (probably) larger and/or
dedicated screen and real buttons to press.

I've already done the mpd (or whatever) bit! :-)

--  
Chris Green


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 11/10/2019 11:38, Chris Green wrote:
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I used a web browser and a smart phone!


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What I did was use a pi zero W and a HiFiBerry  D to A converter for the  
hardware.
That runs a homebrew daemon that forks to play either internet radio or  
flac or mp3 files on a mounted partition from my server, using standrd  
tools.
Web server communicates with this and there is a shared memory area in a  
ramdisk so daemons can write current state and the rowser read it.,


Very happy to to share source etc.



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Oh, well the backend would still work, but you would need to find  
another UI to drive it.

I dont have a huge problem using a smartphone as the text is  
deliberately large



--  
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign,  
that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."

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Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
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Exactly, it's the UI that is my problem.


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We don't tend to have phones at hand all the time at home because
there's no mobile coverage here so they're not terribly useful. So I'd
really prefer something permanently by the Pi/Audio system.  There are
also several users so a single dedicated system would be handy.

I guess a tablet (e.g. 7" screen) might work and could be kept plugged
in and charged next to the Pi.  We have some old[ish] 7" tablets,
Android 4.x sort of vintage.

--  
Chris Green


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 11/10/2019 13:05, Chris Green wrote:
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Well then an old netbook or similar - anythimg that has wifi and will  
run a browser.


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Sure. If they will run.

The other option is to us another Pi equipped with buttons and a  
screen....:-)





--  
"Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and  
higher education positively fortifies it."

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Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
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You have WiFi, so they're very useful. Just not for making phone calls.

I appreciate that a smartphone isn't the solution you're looking for to  
control your putative Pi music centre ... but don't write them off as  
useless about the house just because there's no cellular phone signal!  
--  
Cheers,
 Daniel.
  


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 11/10/2019 15:45, Daniel James wrote:
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Mnay modern phones support making and recieving calls over wifi if your  
carrier supports it too. Cf 'Wifi calling'




--  
To ban Christmas, simply give turkeys the vote.

Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
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No, we've actually just upgraded to new phones (dirt cheap in my case,
a 'feature phone') which do Voice over WiFi and Voice over 4G properly
so we're just getting used to the mobiles working in the house, mostly.

Three's 4G just about gets into the house, we just needed phones to
use it.

--  
Chris Green


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
Daniel James wrote:
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My dumb old-style 'feature phone' clamshell is the one which has a cell  
plan which I use rarely.  My android smart phone doesn't have a plan and  
it can be used for all kinds of things, a remote for my Kobi Pi, a  
camera, an mp3 player incl bluetooth, a dictation device, and online via  
wifi.

As a person who typically doesn't use a cell phone, I've been surprised  
by how useful the device can be.

--  
Mike Easter

Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
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But I have:-

    A better camera which is as small and light as many smartphones,
    and it has a proper viewfinder

    A remote keyboard and mouse which are much easier to use than any
    smartphone screen.

    A laptop for browsing the web

    A music system which sounds much better than a smartphone

:-)

I'm of the Unix/Linux philosophy which advocates things that do *one*
thing and do it well.  A smartphone does lots of things rather badly
IMHO.  Yes, a smartphone is small and portable but that's rarely an
issue if I'm on my 'bike or in my car. If I'm walking then I'm probably
somewhere that I don't want the distractions of a smartphone, just a
(better) camera maybe and something for communication in an emergency.

--  
Chris Green


Re: Pi music centre - anyone done it?
On 12/10/2019 08:38, Chris Green wrote:
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I am also of the philosophy that if I can get one piece of tech to do it  
rather than two I will.

So my TVs are smart and understand DLNA so I dont have any 'dvd/blu ray'  
boxes to worry about


Once I had to have a smartphone - in my case the need was to receive  
text messages in a no-signal area, which meant wifi calling and a  
particular operator and phone - well why not leverage the blasted thing?

It is also my satnav. And takes dictation.



--  
Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have  
guns, why should we let them have ideas?

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