My Simple Multi Room Audio Project


17 posts
by hardwired2001 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:39 pm
I wanted to have music/radio in all the rooms upstairs in my house, but it normally costs a fortune for multi room audio kit! So I decided with the help of a Pi and a plaster board saw to do it myself!

The Pi itself runs raspbmc, its connected wirelessly to my main samba server so it can play flac/mp3s, it can also get digital radio via a TVheadend virtual machines running on the same server. Also shoutcast from another vm when I get around to it. The amps are 4 X Lepai lp-808's, they where very cheap at £9.99 each nevertheless are more then powerful enough to drive the 4 X 6.5inch 100Watt ceiling speakers I bought @ £40. As its only background music I was looking to have (and to cut down on costs) there is only one speaker per room, but trust me they are more the adequate to fill the entire 1st floor with lovely music. Having 4 amps allows me to isolate the rooms easily. I may add some gpio via web control depending on how we use it. As the Pi is headless we are using the XBMC Yatse android app to choose what we listen to. The amps are powered via an old atx power supply. Please excuse the untidiness of it, its all going neatly into a cupboard when the rooms decorated.

Thanks again

Barry
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Last edited by hardwired2001 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by Jonathon » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:12 am
Thanks for sharing. Are you using the Raspberry Pi's onboard audio to drive all of the amplifiers? Are you limited to playing the same content in every room at a given time with this set-up?
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by hardwired2001 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:59 pm
Yep! One pi drives all the amplifiers. No need for a preamp. We are limited to the same audio in every room. As the girls are quite young there's not really a requirement for separate audio in each room. Nevertheless its really easy to add another pi and plug it into samba/TVHeadend/shoutcast.

When I was planning it I decided to build it as cheaply/simply as possible then add extras on after if I needed/wanted them. I don't have a lot of free time so getting the project delivered was the most important thing! If I want to add other cool stuff on later I can, but I still have music while I decided!
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by Jonathon » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:19 am
I recently discovered squeezelite, a headless client for Logitech Media Server. Running squeezelite on the Raspberry Pi allows for simultaneous, synchronized playback with all clients or one can have something different playing on each one. I have my setup working over WiFi without any lag or dropouts. I just thought I'd mention this here in case others are also looking for a multi-room audio solution via WiFi.
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by chapperz » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:26 pm
...and I'm running Twonky Media too which is excellent. Can stream to many different devices as well. I used to use it on a Buffalo Linkstation but the licence key worked fine on the Pi :-)
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by Jonathon » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:58 pm
chapperz wrote:...and I'm running Twonky Media too which is excellent. Can stream to many different devices as well. I used to use it on a Buffalo Linkstation but the licence key worked fine on the Pi :-)


Unless I am mistaken, it seems that Twonky Server is proprietary software.

Does Twonky Server support playback synchronization across its clients? It wasn't clear from a quick glance at its website.
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by chapperz » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:44 pm
Well I am using an ARM version of it and haven't tried your suggestion so don't know, sorry. I found access to it via these forums & like the interface it uses, plus the fact that the Pi is a lot more stable than using something like RaspBMC or Xbian. I just don't seem to have much luck with those, but Twonky catalogues my 1.5TB HDD very quickly. Hope this info helps someone.
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by hardwired2001 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:01 pm
I have to say syncing playback from the pi upstairs to the pi down stairs and visa versa is the next thing I want to get sorted out. I would like to keep everything as it is now and just add the functionality on top of what I have already got. As that's working quite well for us. Just need to a few more hours in the day!
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by Krumlov » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:35 am
Can you let me know more about how you have DAB working? I am thinking of trying to get this working in my car but would like to know what USB receiver you are using and what you had to do to set it up and how it presents itself in YATSE?
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by hardwired2001 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:53 pm
Krumlov wrote:Can you let me know more about how you have DAB working? I am thinking of trying to get this working in my car but would like to know what USB receiver you are using and what you had to do to set it up and how it presents itself in YATSE?


Yeah no problem.
I bought two "ITE Inc. Zolid Mini DVB-T Stick Version 1", (http://linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ITE_IT9135) I was able to get them from ebay @ £5.25 each delivered. Strictly speaking there not DAB adapters, but I get the same radio stations though DVB as I do with my Cambridge Audio 640-T so I'm happy! linuxtv.org is a fantastic place for all things DVB. The link above had instructions for installing the correct firmware. I setup a Fedora Core 17 virtual machine on my local server and installed TV Headend "https://tvheadend.org/projects/tvheadend". Once I had the correct firmware in place and I plugged in the usb stick the device came up in "/dev/dvb/ as adapter0" From there I pointed my pi's running XBMC (raspbmc installs) to the TV Headend server using the "TvHeadend HTPS Client" under PVR Clients in addons.
Yatse connects to XBMC, as long as XBMC is connected to your TV Headend server Yatse will see the tv/radio stations. In YATSE there is a "PVR" button on the main screen, touch it and swipe to the left to find your radio stations.
As there is more the one pi based media centre in my house and I have an always on server anyway it made sense to setup a dedicated server so I wasn't relying on any one pi.

For your car project I know you can get a tvheadend server running on raspbmc, but I'm not sure what adapters are compatible. I'd have a look round here or at http://forum.stmlabs.com.

Hope the above was of some use, if you need more details on anything let me know.
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by frankida » Tue May 28, 2013 2:32 pm
Great post. Recently moved into a new home with multi room speaker setup and want to hook it up on the cheap. Multi channel stereo receivers run up to $2k. Which is in unreasonable for music.

This will definitely be my next project.

Hopefully I'll learn a lot and not break anything while I'm at it.
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by frankida » Tue May 28, 2013 3:37 pm
frankida wrote:Great post. Recently moved into a new home with multi room speaker setup and want to hook it up on the cheap. Multi channel stereo receivers run up to $2k. Which is in unreasonable for music.

This will definitely be my next project.

Hopefully I'll learn a lot and not break anything while I'm at it.


Also do you have any tips on setting up the tax power supply to the amps lepai as several with power supplies the connect to the power outlet so I might just skip that step.
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by frankida » Thu May 30, 2013 6:19 am
Also why not use a stereo splitter?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10903&cs_id=1090305&p_id=8229&seq=1&format=2

This thing seems pretty cheap and decent.

This other website recommended using an amp then the stereo splitter. I'm thinking about purchasing the lepai 2020 which runs about $20.

http://www.htd.com/s.nl/ctype.KB/it.I/id.67/KB.2987/.f

I pulled the trigger on the Lepai but i'm wondering if I'll notice the different from your configuration vs a stereo splitter.

Thanks,
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by hankchad » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:07 am
Jonathon wrote:I recently discovered squeezelite, a headless client for Logitech Media Server. Running squeezelite on the Raspberry Pi allows for simultaneous, synchronized playback with all clients or one can have something different playing on each one. I have my setup working over WiFi without any lag or dropouts. I just thought I'd mention this here in case others are also looking for a multi-room audio solution via WiFi.


Jonathon can you please tell me how you achieved this or point me to some instructions as this is exactly what I want to do?
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by Gerrelt » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:18 pm
hankchad wrote:
Jonathon wrote:I recently discovered squeezelite, a headless client for Logitech Media Server. Running squeezelite on the Raspberry Pi allows for simultaneous, synchronized playback with all clients or one can have something different playing on each one. I have my setup working over WiFi without any lag or dropouts. I just thought I'd mention this here in case others are also looking for a multi-room audio solution via WiFi.


Jonathon can you please tell me how you achieved this or point me to some instructions as this is exactly what I want to do?


See: Squeezelite up and running on Raspian Wheezy Hard Float, if you want to install it yourself.
OR:
For easy installing, use Squeezeplug (can include the LMS server) or PicoPlayer(for a player that can be switched off by unplugging the power).
my Raspberry Pi page: http://raspberry.gerrelt.nl
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by msage » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:09 am
Hi!

I hope this is still working ok! I have a question if I may. Have you managed to make this a 'headless' install play from spotify? This is where I am having the most problems. At the moment I have a freeview box in the airing cupboard to serve my house speakers, this works well. I have a list of channels and the remote control.

What I would love to do is replace the freeview box with a pi and be able to remote control spotify from my mobile / tablet etc.
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by Murphyprecht » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:02 pm
I have 3 pi's all running picoreplayer (Squeezeplug has proven too unreliable) and I'm able to login to my Deezer account, I don't have Spotify but it's an app just like Deezer so shouldn't provide any problems.
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