RaspyFi – a distro for music lovers

RaspyFi was brought to our attention a few days ago: it’s a distro designed especially for those with big media libraries who are using their Pis to listen to music. If you’re one of those people (I am, and I’m chuffed to bits to find RaspyFi), or an honest-to-god audiophile, you may have noticed that other media centre distros have been built to prioritise video rather than music, and don’t necessarily support all the formats your collection might be made up of; or give you the fine degree of control you want over volume and playback. And if you want to stream music wirelessly to other devices on your network, you’ll have to do a little more work with a traditional Raspberry Pi media centre (I can’t believe I’m saying “traditional” about a device that’s only been on the market for 18 months) to get everything working.

So RaspyFi has been engineered to address those issues. Apple AirPlay works out of the box, so you can stream to other devices without any extra work. The distro supports a large number of external USB DACs (there is a pleasingly lengthy list on the project website) and asynchronous playback, so you can use your other amplifiers and DACs instead of the one that’s onboard the Pi – which, let’s face it, wasn’t built for audiophiles.

The UI is really slick, and offers you a web interface you can use to control all your devices, so you can get to local or streamed content from your desktop, phone or tablet. I’ve been enjoying it so far: it’s intuitive, I can play music on any networked device with a web interface without having to install anything, and AirPlay just works – which is very pleasing.

Have a look for yourself. You can download RaspyFi (currently v1.0) from the project website. Documentation, help and tutorials are all available too – let us know what you think!

29 comments

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Is the official name RaspiFi or RaspyFi? In the article you’ve used both.

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I am very tired. Fixed now.

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Too much beer and curry?

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No, actually; nightmares about the CS curriculum (seriously) woke me at 3am and I didn’t get back to sleep after that!

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Was that where giant Michael Gove faced monsters destroyed every Raspberry Pi in the world?

That seems to be a recurring one for me…

The Raspberry Pi Guy ;-)

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I have some RPi’s connected to various speakers in different rooms. I can stream from my phone (or computer, or tablet) to any of them. However I have an old turntable in one of those rooms that I’d like to modify so it could have BT capabilities to stream to my other pi’s. Is there a way to do that?

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VCezar, you might be better off posting your question in one of the RPi forums.

Doing a quick search of the forums, I found these discussions that might help you:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=51331&p=399810&hilit=turntable#p399810

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=50984&p=394842&hilit=turntable#p394351

I hope these help.

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There are dongles available that take a stereo line in and transmit to a bluetooth receiver using a2dp.

You won’t be able to broadcast though, it’s only point to point. If you want it coming out of all the speakers you’ll need one Pi receiving and then broadcasting. network radio stream perhaps?

Also, yes, better to use the forums. ;)

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Not an audiophile myself, nor do I really have a music collection. However, I was wondering if this is something that might be added to NOOBS at some point. Also, is NOOBS remotely upgradeable or would you have to re-download the software?

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Hold on to that thought…. ;-)

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If the OS Maintainers wanted to have their OS included in NOOBS then I’m happy for them to make contact.

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Good point, didn’t think of that.

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Like most people I have a big collection of music, mainly mp3’s but my problems is duplicates or albums with all but 1 or two tracks, the odd file that is not the whole track and tracks with no mete data so you do not know who it is etc.

Many tools claim to be able to sort all that out, few do.

Does anybody know of a killer app to do this so I can sort out my 38,0000 + tracks and then start to use this distro to play them

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Look at Jaikoz, MusicBrainz Picard or find paid alternatives like Tagalicious or SongGenie on Mac OS.

http://alternativeto.net/software/jaikoz/
http://alternativeto.net/software/musicbrainz-picard/

Chances are you will need decent rips of tracks otherwise incorrect timing breaks accurate matching. I’m not sure how you legally get 38,000+ tracks without metadata but good luck :)

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I don’t know how many tracks I have, lost count long ago, but certainly hundreds of vinyl albums (two generations’ worth) that I’ve recorded, cleaned and converted to mp3. Many of these I didn’t bother to write tag data for.

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Have you given them sensible file names?

eg. I have my files in directory structures of:

/ – / – .mp3

In which case, a little work with a shell loop and mp3info can write all the tags in for you.

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Blast. Shouldn’t have used angle brackets, should I?

Artist name/year – Album title/track number – track title.mp3

So…
Bowie, David/2002 – Heathen/08 – I took a trip on a gemini spaceship.mp3

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Most have the meta data, some have very little and some from compilation albums etc do not have artist information or track titles except track1, track2……

As to 38 K +

There is a market where I live, I buy old CD’s for a couple of quid each then rip them. The guy has got to know me so he allows me to then trade them back at 2 or 3 to one as long as I buy more which is fine by me so a lot have come that way.

I have 2 teenage sons, so a lot of them come from their CD’s, My wife has a collection of her stuff, CD’s I have borrowed and some that have come by other means….

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Thanks for the links BTW I will check them out

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I tend to default to XBMC when I have questions like that. I figure it is the largest single source of media enthusiasts. I found the following links on their wiki.

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Supplemental_tools/Linux#Music_tools

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Supplemental_tools/Mac_OS_X#Music_tools

http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Supplemental_tools/Windows#Music_tools

Hopefully something there will help you.

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Sweet! Nice look, like google chrome.

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All the Pi does is serve a webpage and plays music. It doesn’t have desktop environment. What you’re seeing is Chrome running in OSX displaying the RaspyFi web based UI.

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A very useful software. Raspyfi wors very well.
Kindly regards
Hans-Georg

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This looks like a great project! I went to the linked site, but couldn’t find a quick answer to the two questions I wonder about all audio playback software:

1. Does it have / support gapless playback?

2. Is there an upper limit to how many tracks it will hold in a playlist?

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“1. Does it have / support gapless playback?”

Yes

“2. Is there an upper limit to how many tracks it will hold in a playlist?”

I have over 7,000 tracks on one playlist. The web based playlist editing is quite slow, but it works.

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Fantastic! Thanks for the info :-)

I’m currently out of SD cards, but your answers give a bump to ordering more, next month, so I can dedicate one to this distro.

I’m okay with a playlist that’s slow to build, since I tend to make them less on the fly and more for playlists I’ll listen to over and over again for months at a time.

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If you use an mpd client such as mpc to build the Playlists that works quite fast. What takes time is the browser based editor that is quite slow to respond. I find it easier to ssh into the RPi and use mpc to build/edit Playlists with the results eventually showing up in the browser in a different window.

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I worked on a similar project, but my goal was to get Raspberry Pi to stream audio from an online music streaming service. If interested head over to my blog and check it out… This is an opensource project btw. So feel free to contribute.

http://theredblacktree.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/pi-music-box-raspberry-pi-as-a-music-streaming-device/

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Hey, Liz I am pretty happy with RaspberryPi Musicbox but will have to try this RaspyFi for something featured. The strong thing about it is the audio and video decoding is probably done in hardware. However, I have a query that, How it can work with an external USB DACs?

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