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Raspberry Pi Multi-Room Audio (Mobile/Tablet/PC Controlled)

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Picture of Raspberry Pi Multi-Room Audio (Mobile/Tablet/PC Controlled)
I have been lurking on Instructables for a few years but have never posted one myself. Now I have bought a home of my own it's time to undergo some projects and share them with the community.

In my first project I'm going to show you how I setup multi-room audio that can be controlled by any device with a web browser or an app on your Android and/or iOS device.

I apologise for the lack of/poor quality photos.

I have borrowed some of this information and thrown in some things from my own experience. Some credit goes to the author of this tutorial http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=25778
To tackle this instructable you should have an understanding of networking, intermediate to expert computer skills and maybe some linux experience too. If you run into something you don't understand just remember google is your friend.


Equipment you will need

• Computer (mac/win/linux to act as your Logitech Media Server)
• Home network (wireless if you can't run a cable to the Pi)
• Raspberry Pi (I've used 1 per room however I will add a multi-DAC tutorial once I complete it myself)
• SD card 2GB or larger
• AC Adaptor (I used a USB wall charger for mobile phones check here http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals#Power_adapters)
• Micro USB cable
• USB wireless adaptor (MAKE SURE IT IS COMPATIBLE OUT OF THE BOX! http://elinux.org/RPi_USB_Wi-Fi_Adapters)
• Powered USB Hub (for extra usb devices or multi DAC at a later date)
• HDMI cable or HDMI to DVI cable (depending on your monitor)
• DAC (digital to analogue converter, 1 per room)
• Amplifier (unless your DAC is also amplified)
• Speakers
 
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Step 1: Logitech Media Server

Picture of Logitech Media Server
step1-2.png
First of all we need to setup your Logitech account and install the Logitech Media Server on the computer contains your music collection. This computer should always be on when you want to play music. The LMS and instructions can be found at http://www.mysqueezebox.com/download
 
Once installed setup your library 
 
Also login to your squeezebox account otherwise you cannot see your music on the player.
 
You can also download the Squeezebox app for your iOS or Android device also remember to login to your Logitech account inside the app.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.logitech.squeezeboxremote&hl=en
https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/logitech-squeezebox-controller/id431302899?mt=8

Step 2: Raspberry Pi Setup

Picture of Raspberry Pi Setup
step2-2.png
step2-3.png
Now we'll setup the Raspberry Pi, to do this you'll need to have Raspbian installed. You can buy a Pi with Raspbian pre-installed or you can use a 2GB or larger SD card that you already have.

I am using an SD card I already have. Plug the SD card into your computer and download the latest Raspbian http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_latest

I'm using windows so I unzipped the file and used win32diskimager (http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager) to write the Raspbian image to the SD card. 

If you are still not sure there is a tutorial here http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup

Ok now we have Raspbian installed it's time to get our Pi up and running, plug in your SD card, Wi-Fi dongle, USB keyboard, Ethernet cable to your router, HDMI to your monitor and lastly the micro USB cable to the power socket. The first time you boot up you'll end up with the configuration tool on the screen.

Things you need to change are:
• Expand the filesystem so Raspbian utilises the entire SD card
• Change your password
• Set your language, region and time zone

Now the advanced options:
• Change your hostname so you can recognise your Pi on the network.
• Enable SSH so you can access your PI from a computer on your network.
• Select finish which might restart your Pi.

If you are in the US or Australia like me you will want to change the keyboard layout to US.
To do this you’ll need to change a file entering the command:

sudo nano /etc/default/keyboard

Use the arrow keys to move the cursor and change the gb to us.
Now save the file by pressing ctrl + X and Y to save changes

Now to update your Pi, type the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


Press y to download larger updates.

Step 3: Wi-Fi

If you just want to use Ethernet you can skip this step.

To get your Wi-Fi dongle working you may need to edit the wpa_supplicant.conf file by typing

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Then make it look like this:

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant
network={
    proto=RSN
    scan_ssid=1
    key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
    pairwise=CCMP TKIP
    group=CCMP TKIP
    ssid="your network ID in quote marks"
    psk="your network password in quote marks"
}

To save the file press ctrl + x and Y to save

Restart the Pi by entering:

Sudo reboot

You should be able to see if your Wi-Fi dongle has an IP address with the command

Sudo ifconfig

You should get something like this

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 64:66:b3:06:43:1b
          inet addr:10.0.0.75  Bcast:10.0.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:912384 errors:0 dropped:121692 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:706463 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
          RX bytes:694114055 (661.9 MiB)  TX bytes:71017681 (67.7 MiB)

Step 4: Static IP and SSH

Picture of Static IP and SSH
step4-2.png
Next I usually give my Pi a static IP by adjusting the LAN settings on my router.
Giving your Pi a static IP address makes it easier to remember the address when we connect via SSH.

I am not going into this because every router is different.
I suggest using google to search for “your routers model number” static IP.

Now the network is up and running either wired or wireless I like to use a SSH client like PuTTY to control the Pi.
That way I can copy and paste code if I’m feeling too lazy to type it out.
To copy use ctrl + c as usual but to paste into PuTTY click the right mouse button.
This will also free up a USB port for your DAC if you are using a USB Wi-Fi adaptor.
Download and run PuTTY then type in the IP address of your Pi and press open.

Login as pi and the password is whatever you changed it to in the initial setup.

Step 5: Audio Setup

Picture of Audio Setup
Now we can check if the DAC is recognised and set the volume. Enter the command

sudo alsamixer

Now press F6 to select your DAC and use the up arrow to set the volume to maximum.

Now press Esc to exit and use the following command to save your changes

sudo alsactl store

We’ll need to install some extra sound libraries to play different music formats

sudo apt-get install libfaad2
sudo apt-get install libflac-dev

Step 6: Installing squeezelite

The next step is to install Squeezelite on the Pi so we’ll create a squeezelite "work" directory

mkdir squeezelite
cd squeezelite


Now get squeezelite:

wget http://squeezelite.googlecode.com/files/squeezelite-armv6hf

Move it to the usr directory, and make it executable:

sudo mv squeezelite-armv6hf /usr/bin
cd /usr/bin
sudo chmod u+x squeezelite-armv6hf


Because I am using a USB DAC, I had to tell squeezelite which sound device to use.
First list all the devices:

squeezelite-armv6hf -l

The result:
Output devices:
  null                           - Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
  default:CARD=ALSA              - bcm2835 ALSA, bcm2835 ALSA - Default Audio Device
  sysdefault:CARD=ALSA           - bcm2835 ALSA, bcm2835 ALSA - Default Audio Device
  default:CARD=DAC               - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - Default Audio Device
  sysdefault:CARD=DAC            - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - Default Audio Device
  front:CARD=DAC,DEV=0           - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - Front speakers
  surround40:CARD=DAC,DEV=0      - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - 4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
  surround41:CARD=DAC,DEV=0      - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - 4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
  surround50:CARD=DAC,DEV=0      - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - 5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
  surround51:CARD=DAC,DEV=0      - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - 5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
  surround71:CARD=DAC,DEV=0      - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - 7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
  iec958:CARD=DAC,DEV=0          - USB Audio DAC, USB Audio - IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output


I wanted to use only the front speakers, so I have to tell squeezelite to use "front:CARD=DAC,DEV=0".

Now to start Squeezelite enter

./squeezelite-armv6hf -o front:CARD=DAC,DEV=0

At this point you should be able to see the player on your Logitech Media Server or Squeezebox App, woo hoo you did it!!!

Step 7: Run on startup

Next we need to make sure Squeezelite runs on startup
I have borrowed the daemon start script to start Squeezelite from another tutorial, so use at your own risk!

Follow these commands to automate startup:

cd /home/pi/squeezelite
sudo wget http://www.gerrelt.nl/RaspberryPi/squeezelitehf.sh
sudo mv squeezelitehf.sh /etc/init.d/squeezelite
cd /etc/init.d
sudo chmod u+x squeezelite
sudo update-rc.d squeezelite defaults


You will need to change a few lines to make sure it works properly and you know what room it’s in.

sudo nano squeezelite

Search for "SL_NAME", you will find this line:
SL_NAME="Framboos"
Change the word "Framboos" to whatever you like, I’ve used Lounge on one and Outdoor on the other.

You need set the soundcard here too.
Search for this line
SL_SOUNDCARD="sysdefault:CARD=Set"
Change "sysdefault:CARD=Set" to the one you selected earlier (in my case I changed it to " front:CARD=DAC,DEV=0").

If you are using multiple players you will need to make sure the MAC address is different on each player. To do this uncomment (remove hash/pound sign) the line
#SL_MAC_ADDRESS="00:00:00:00:00:01"
I have used
SL_MAC_ADDRESS="01:01:01:01:01:01” for my lounge player
SL_MAC_ADDRESS="02:02:02:02:02:02” for my outdoor player

Save and close the script file by pressing ctrl + x and then Y to save.

This is how you test the script:

sudo ./squeezelite start

The command prompt should return immediately. Now check if the squeezelite process is up:

ps -A |grep squeeze

It should return something like this (the number will be different):

2324 ?        00:00:01 squeezelite-arm

To stop squeezelite:

sudo ./squeezelite stop

And that's it, if you reboot the pi

sudo reboot

squeezelite should be started automatically.

Repeat steps 1 through 7 for any additional players.
S-Cript7 months ago

HI all,

since we also have the possibility to run squeezeboxserver on raspberry.
basicly 3 pi's ( 2 for the room-audio,1 for the server) kicks some real ....

http://allthingspi.webspace.virginmedia.com/lms.ph...

Dj-q9 months ago
Thank you so much for this instructable, I have just followed all the steps to create a 4 zone audio system for our offices in work, teamed with a spotify premium account it works like a dream.
Piney (author)  Dj-q9 months ago
Great news :D, glad I could help you.
mrubenb9 months ago
Nice Project! I would love to see a demo video of it.
Piney (author)  mrubenb9 months ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQKZA6X2Wp0 Here's a link to someone elses video demo
mrubenb Piney9 months ago
Thanks! This is very nifty. I may try this myself.
cedyathome9 months ago
Does it matter if I use a Raspberry A or B ? This will be my first raspberry project. Thank you!
Piney (author)  cedyathome9 months ago
You need network connectivity so as long as you use a USB wireless adaptor you should be able to use the model A
cedyathome Piney9 months ago
I bought the model B. I'm using wired ethernet and the audio on the raspberry right now and it works!! thank you.
djsainty9 months ago
Was wondering why you didn't use rasbmc on the Pi, built in media server and the air play functionally is easy to remotely control in the rooms you have them in, using browser or remote app on ios/android device. I have 2, running 24/7, the ability to output audio via hdmi and analog jack simultaneously since last update is good for multi-room use plus you get video too with 7.1 in my set up.
djsainty djsainty9 months ago
Hi, I didn't do a tutorial on this as I thought it would be a bit overkill, as the all the easy to follow instructions of the use, and installation of RASPBMC (rasbian/XBMC) are on www.raspbmc.com.
Your 'ible has inspired me to have a go once I have learned the best way to access the gpio port on the pi over my lan. I am looking into ways to use the gpio pins on the pi to automatically power up a little diy Stereo 15amp Amplifier I bought for £5 (and or switching from one to the other) so could mount some ceiling speakers and move from room to room. I was thinking about using Nfc tags on the light sockets and tap with my mobile phone to turn on. When I figure this out I will do an ible on the subject as I still have to manually power up the cinema system or TV's that the Pi's are connected to, so only have 3 rooms from 2 pi's at the moment, and am hoping for 5 from 1 pi.
jrzeznik9 months ago
Hi,
Very interesting tutorial.As a beginner, I'm wondering about 2 things.
Why do you have to use a DAC + amplifier (and not the audio output from the Raspberry Pi itself)?
What DAC and amplifier did you use?
Thanks!
dcerts jrzeznik9 months ago
I tried with the onboard audio/DAC. There was a constant crackling/popping that was easily resolved by using the "-a 100" option starting squeezelite. Just uncomment the line in the /etc/init.d/squeezelite file, it's default at 80 or 85, I changed to 100 just because that's what was working when I tested.

Change this in the squeezelite startup script:
#SL_ALSA_PARAMS="80"
To this:
SL_ALSA_PARAMS="100"

I also read something about enabling the PlayWMA 3rd arty plugin if you want to use Sirius on squeezelite. Haven't tried it yet, but I plan to later today.

I'm using wired, but plan to switch to Wifi, the Monoprice.com 1T1R is $8, uses a Realtek chipset so it should work just fine. 
Piney (author)  dcerts9 months ago
I tried this "-a 100" option on my lounge player but the audio quality was still very poor. Back to my DAC :)

PS. on board audio works fine on my other pi straight out of the box so maybe it's just a dud audio chip.
jrzeznik dcerts9 months ago
Cool, thanks!
Piney (author)  jrzeznik9 months ago
Hi Jrzeznik,

I use a DAC because of increased sound quality and I want to setup multiple players on a single Pi down the track.
Piney (author)  Piney9 months ago
I used this DAC for my outdoor speakers http://www.tpdz.net/en/products/tp23.htm
ukumar119 months ago
Really Good Invention
jhansen109 months ago
EXCELLENT guide. Just got my setup up and running in a few hours. Now I just need to find some speakers where I can hide the PI inside. :-)

One question though. I used the onboard audio and connected it to my BOSE Media. But I think the sound is quite low, I have to turn up the volume quite a lot.

Will it help with the USB Sound card or is the same?
Piney (author)  jhansen109 months ago
Hi Jhansen10,

Well done getting it all up and running. In my experience the non-amplified DAC still had to be turned up quite loud at the amplifier end even with the volume turned right up in alsamixer.

Hope that helps :D
etrombly9 months ago
if you are using ubuntu (on another arm device, I use a cubieboard) you can use this upstart script:
#!upstart
description "SqueezeSlave"

start on (local-filesystems and net-device-up IFACE!=lo)
stop on [!12345]

# Start job via the daemon control script. Replace "gert" with your username.
exec su -l -c '/usr/bin/squeezelite -m 00:00:00:00:00:04'

# Restart the process if it dies with a signal
# or exit code not given by the 'normal exit' stanza. respawn
# Give up if restart occurs 10 times in 90 seconds.
respawn limit 10 90



you'll need to change the mac address for each player (the -m option)
jogendrasingh9 months ago
thank for
Raspberry pi explained in basic steps.
all posts are very informative.
http://createyourownbots.blogspot.in/