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Sonos replacement

Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:13 am
by motas
Hi. We are currently building a new house and was looking at installing sonos. But with at least 5 zones the cost is excessive. I have been wanting a Raspberry Pi project which is useful to me for a few weeks now and thought this could be a possibility. My requirements for this system are:
A NAS with everyones music automatically backed up to it.
Simultaneous streaming of different songs to different zones, or multiple zones. So two people can play two songs in any amount of zones.
Controllable from iphone, windows or windows phone.
No setup from server end, clients must retrieve and play data alone. This means I can add more zones without redesigning anything.

So would this be plausible solution? I have no experience with Raspberry Pi, and limited experience programming but am doing a programming course at school. If it is successful I would be happy to release the apps to windows and apple app stores and have the coding available. Android would also be possible but less important to me.
Thanks for any help.

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:39 pm
by crispypaint
You should look at installing Squeezeplug, which can then be used to install Logitech Media Server (LMS). You can then install apps like spotify (search for Triode's spotify plugin), or stream your library. Each Pi (in each room) would be a Squeezeplug player, which can be controlled using Android/iOS apps for the different zones in your house.

Although, I'm not sure whether you can stream to multiple zones at once - you'd have to find this out.

Go to squeezeplug.eu, theres a great video on setting it up. I went through installation the other night, and it works great. I can use my android phone to play spotify remotely :D

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:46 am
by Gerrelt
I also was considering the Sonos system, but then I found out about raspberries.
I am now using squeezelite on two raspberries with the LMS server running on my NAS. One in in the living room and one in the kitchen. Both have a wired ethernet connection.
If you don't mind tinkering with this kind of stuff, this is an excellent Sonos replacement at a fraction of the cost of a sonos system.

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:40 am
by tech_monkey
Why not use Raspbmc or Open elec. Raspbmc available here http://www.raspbmc.com/ not too sure about the link for Open Elec.
Not only would this give you streaming audio but you would also have the option of video as well if you wanted it.
There is also an app for your smartphone to act as a remote control for the XBMC.
I actually have a PC running Ubuntu 12.1 and the Eden version of XBMC with my media stored on a NAS. Works very well. I have also used a PI running Raspbmc and this works as well. the GUI is a bit slow compared to the PC version (mind you the PC version does have an SSD instead of a normal hard drive and a quad core processor and 1GB graphics card and 4GB of memory, so not a fair comparison).
Its also possible to use a single database for multiple XBMC units, just go over to the forums on www.xbmc.org to find out how its done.

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:22 pm
by Gerrelt
I think Raspbmc or Open elec doesn't support synchronisation of two or more players?
With the LMS server you can synchronize zones. So you can have the music in the living room synchronize with the music in the kitchen.

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:38 am
by tboheeren
Interesting topic. How do you actually connect your speakers to the rPi. I mean I know there is the audiojack but do you incorporate amps or adapters?
What would be the ideal connection between a standard 100W jamo set and the Pi?
What would be the possible connection if I have an old 2 speaker system laying around with a standard wired connection? (http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/ ... ctions.jpg)

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:09 pm
by TechAUmNu
Just connect the 3.5mm jack on your amp to the pi, you could add a switch to pick which audio channels come out of the speakers if you wanted to have one on each side of room in order to get stereo.

You always need an amplifier with it and you want to set the volume on the pi very low and use the amp to do all the amplification since the pi's audio chip isn't that brilliant.

I am currently building a similar unit to the sonos play 3, although with a slightly different design. The pi and amplifier are small enough to fit inside the speaker and it only needs a power cable or a battery to run.

I will probably build one of their subwoofers as well since it is quite a nice design, but that's another project...

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:56 pm
by tboheeren
Could you tell me what speaker and amp your are using for this?

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:21 pm
by TechAUmNu
I bought bare speaker drivers from maplin (yes I know they are probably crap) and power them using a Muse M20 EX2 Class T amplifier.

The Pi, amp and speakers are all in a custom built wooden case.

I also found that squeezebox lets you pick which audio channels to output on the player settings page.
I should be done building it tonight (although not painted) and will post some pics of it.

Here is a quick drawing I made with links to everything I am using:
https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1NgN ... sp=sharing

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:02 am
by tboheeren
Looking forward to the end result!

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:27 am
by tboheeren
Extra comment: why would you use PiCorePlayer instead of Squeezeplug?
Squeezeplug has next to the squeezelite player also Shairport provided, rendering the rPi also into an airplay receiver...

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:27 am
by TechAUmNu
I didn't have any 4GB sd cards, only a 1GB so it wouldn't fit. Also PiCorePlayer is read only so it doesn't trash the sd card.

Also the squeezeplug pi image is out of date and doesn't work on the latest model b. I didn't have much time and couldn't be bother to install raspbian then run the conversion script and then install squeezelite.

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:11 am
by tboheeren
Ah didnt know that. If you have time could you link me to the forum/site where it is posted that it doesnt work? Or did you find out the hard way? ;)

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:14 am
by TechAUmNu
The hard way :P

Re: Sonos replacement

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:01 pm
by Gerrelt
I finally got around to making a video demonstrating the multi room synchronisation with the LMS server and squeezelite players.
See: LMS server multi room synchronisation with two raspberry pi squeezebox players
I've used my kitchen raspberry, which is attached to ceiling speakers, synchronized with the portable radio raspberry. But I've also got a living room raspberry squeezelite player connected. But that one is not in the video.
Using the portable was just easier for making this video. :)