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Old 25th June 2013, 01:12 PM   #21
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Default RaspBMC

I'm tinkering with a Rapberry Pi running RaspBMC at the moment. The idea is to build a simple A/V player that the whole family can use.

So for now, it's a USB hub with a WiFi dongle, a keyboard and mouse, a USB hard drive and a USB DVD drive playing through the speakers of a small LG TV connected by an HDMI cable.

From what I've read, it's impossible to send the audio to a different device if you use the HDMI cable for the video, and in any case I don't have a decent amp or speakers, yet. And this is just exploratory for now… the Pi might turn into a weather monitoring station or a combined environmental and machine monitor for my workshop…

But for testing, I ripped a Deutsche Gramofon CD to FLAC, and I can heard an odd "plip" sound now and again, that I think might due to buffering between the hard drive and the player software.
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Old 25th June 2013, 06:45 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philpoole View Post
My pi is lashed up feeding I2S to a reclocked TDA1541A, and it sounds great! I can't see how it could sound much different to if you lifted the clock, DAC, and IV and connected it to the decoder output of a CD player.
I2S is now quite mature on the pi. There's a driver for it now (in a branched kernel at the moment), and it seems to work well.
Don't write this toy off just yet.
Hi philpoole! Nice to find you here! I just ordered a very good external clock to connect a sabre 9023 to the little PI. So the driver is getting even better? Could you please tell me the kernel branch it is included into?
I would really like future releases of RaspyFi to have your i2s module built-in, what you think about it ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Odysseas View Post
mikelangeloz, I re-read my posts and I realize that my tone could be misunderstood.

First of all I have to say I admire your work, the effort you have put into this must be tremendous.

My "anger" isn't towards you, and I definitely I am not snobbing, I am though, towards some other folks, who, when the Pi came out, they were like "OMG,OMG AWESOME, most amazing gadget, you can do anything, router, file server, music streamer, video streamer". (see adafruit, hackaday, make etc etc.....). Well it's not. It has fundamental problems hardware and software-wise that need to be solved by the foundation before people start calling it like that. And I'm talking from experience.

That said, if someone has the will/skills to get involved and make it better, he will have my applaud, but we have to be clear it needs a lot of effort and time. Like what you said, that it took you 2 days to install mpd. It took me one day to boot it after an update.
I understand, sometimes reality conflicts with hope and enthusiasm. However, the PI community is doing a great job in improving what can be improved, and the biggest advange of the PI is that it has the widest userbase a single platform can have.
I hope that the skepticism around Pi is going to be defeated by the good projects are emerging, in every field. The early problems are about to being solved almost completely.
I do agree that the main concern as for the Audio on the PI is the common BUS between USB and ethernet, but as far as I can tell the audio quality the Pi is capable of are very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithBeef View Post
I'm tinkering with a Rapberry Pi running RaspBMC at the moment. The idea is to build a simple A/V player that the whole family can use.

So for now, it's a USB hub with a WiFi dongle, a keyboard and mouse, a USB hard drive and a USB DVD drive playing through the speakers of a small LG TV connected by an HDMI cable.

From what I've read, it's impossible to send the audio to a different device if you use the HDMI cable for the video, and in any case I don't have a decent amp or speakers, yet. And this is just exploratory for now… the Pi might turn into a weather monitoring station or a combined environmental and machine monitor for my workshop…

But for testing, I ripped a Deutsche Gramofon CD to FLAC, and I can heard an odd "plip" sound now and again, that I think might due to buffering between the hard drive and the player software.
RaspyFi is different from XBMC, and should behave lot better in only audio domain.

That being said, I would encourage people to try RaspyFi out, I may say lot of things, but I'm pretty pleased with the quality we achieved. And this is the best proof we can offer.
To taste what is coming next, this is the current beta:
Forum - RaspyFi

This is 90% of what you'll get with the stable 1.0 release. Which will feature some other improvements. With this beta, you can get 192/24 bit perfect playback even getting your library directly from a Nas.
The optimal nas values are to be found on the bottom of this article:
Raspberry Pi Usb Audio fix - RaspyFi

I didn't thought someone could be unhappy about releasing something good sounding for free and sharing it. But, I must say. The best thing is happening in this adventure, is to have lot of clever users contributing, and people who never knew what linux is starting to being passionate about digital music reproduction. That's what we want, share our passion and make people conscious about the way they listen.
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Old 25th June 2013, 07:33 PM   #23
glt is offline glt  United States
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Hi mikelangeloz, keep up the good work, and many thanks!
I would prefer to use the USB output and have an off-board solution to generate the I2S with dedicated power and clocks. So don't forget the USB-out even if you can get the on-board I2S working well.
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Old 25th June 2013, 07:38 PM   #24
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I'd be interested in getting my Pi up and running. Just like to stream some internet radio (it's plugged into my network).

I'm running openelec, xbmc.

Just want to know if;

1) can I use an usb external hd with my pi.
2) can I use my 16bit usb dac with my pi

If the PI can stream movies, it can surely stream music...
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Old 25th June 2013, 08:39 PM   #25
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Hi,
The linux branch in question is the kaolo branch on github. Kaolo is very active on the raspbery pi i2s thread.

Considering the pi has only one usb bus, if you're going to do i2s, why bother going to usb first?
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Old 26th June 2013, 01:59 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by glt View Post
Hi mikelangeloz, keep up the good work, and many thanks!
I would prefer to use the USB output and have an off-board solution to generate the I2S with dedicated power and clocks. So don't forget the USB-out even if you can get the on-board I2S working well.
Hi glt, I'm one of your loyal readers on hifiduino, so getting such words from you makes me really proud.
Don't worry, USB is and always will be our primary focus. As USB DACS are more often used by audiophiles. It will be possible to use both at the same time, changin the output via RaspyFi control panel (which is almost finished). I will definetely love to know what you think of RaspyFi, hope you will listen to it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin2069er View Post
I'd be interested in getting my Pi up and running. Just like to stream some internet radio (it's plugged into my network).

I'm running openelec, xbmc.

Just want to know if;

1) can I use an usb external hd with my pi.
2) can I use my 16bit usb dac with my pi

If the PI can stream movies, it can surely stream music...
RaspyFi has internet radio support out of the box. You can use both FAT32 and NTFS hds to read your music. However FAT32 is suggested (less cpu usage) and a powered usb hub or self powered hard drive is necessary. Of course, pretty much all DACs available are compatible out of the box. You can find a compatibility list here:
Raspberry Pi usb dac Supported Dacs - RaspyFi
which is based on user feedbacks, so these are the DACS reported to be working, but as I said, almost every DAC works out of the box (only the Hiface1 doesn't)

Quote:
Originally Posted by philpoole View Post
Hi,
The linux branch in question is the kaolo branch on github. Kaolo is very active on the raspbery pi i2s thread.

Considering the pi has only one usb bus, if you're going to do i2s, why bother going to usb first?
Thanks. As for the USB. We are focusing on USB because is the most immediate and user friendly output on PI. Almost everyone has a USB DAC if he wants to listen to liquid music. So getting USB to work properly is the first step to make this distro "audiophile".
But then, as I stated before, i2s seems the way to go to get the best quality out of the PI. This will give also to advanced users (getting i2s to work is not a piece of cake for the average joe) a step up option. If they want, they will find out how to do it and find a suitable software environment. This 2 step approach in my opinion will make everybody satisfied. What you think about it?

As for the external clock, how do you manage to connect it? Do you think is possible to create a "universal" i2s driver for all DACS and clock combinations?
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Old 26th June 2013, 04:33 AM   #27
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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I honestly dont see how i2s from the pi can be seen as an upgrade to usb. you cant very well isolate mclk and i2s galvanically from its own host without adding jitter, even with an external clock you will still have the jitter added by the processor, it doesnt have dual clock domains as yet and ground is almost always the main contributor to jitter in most audiophile rigs, because the clock reg and clock will/should be low noise, but may not have differential rejection etc. I just dont see the need for pursuing it except maybe to save money, or for small size/low power. I will send you an email about beaglebone, as its something i've been working on a few bits for. the pi doesnt interest me, theyve been very slow to address, or even admit problems, thinking we are silly picky audiophiles.
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Old 27th June 2013, 08:45 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by qusp View Post
Ithe pi doesnt interest me, theyve been very slow to address, or even admit problems, thinking we are silly picky audiophiles.
Why should they care?? That thing is made for educational purposes or toying
and sells at 30$.


"Top Quality" ( in audiophile terms) is not the first item on the to do list of those embedded board manufacturers.

And that's valid for other embedded general purpose boards incl. your beagleboard.


Most people over here become happy by getting things to work first of all with such a device. They copy a pre-made image to a SD card and start playing music.
For some people that's a hell of an achievement.

Soundquality is not the main concern. "Rather good SQ" might be good enough. That's the point obviously where discussions run out of sync.


Compare high end gamer motherboards with standard MBOs or embedded boards.
You'll find much better parts on high quality gamers boards (power supplies, regulators, capacitors, shielding asf. asf. )
Is there any known embedded board a micro PC which would be able to compete to those gamer (sometimes also marketed with military grade quality) MBO specs??

That'll be a never ending story anyhow.

What's actually needed is an audio device / interface which can handle the mess caused by the transport. Though I'm not aware of any device that'll do though!?!?

( I expect you to respond: "You havn't tried IAN's reclocker yet ??" That's right. And I guess I won't ever try it. Things (chains) need to get simpler and not more complex. )
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Old 27th June 2013, 03:08 PM   #29
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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actually no, the beaglebone black represents something that has very good potential. separate power busses, separate data busses etc. I will toy with i2s from it, but thats not my intention to use it that way, my intention is to use to to augment, rather than replace my computer, as a local processor/controller for various things and audio output, if any, will still be by USB.

with only the i2s input option and i2s output, the fifo is actually about as simple as it can get while needing a fifo/memory and a clock.
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Old 7th July 2013, 06:11 PM   #30
palmito is offline palmito  United States
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Default RaspyFi

I've been listening and comparing the RaspyFi/pi to my Foxconn amd a45 nettop using mpdpup. Caveats on my comments to follow: the pi is using an externally powered usb drive and the nettop uses an internal hd; my system is not hi-end; I have tin ears... Also, the pi is being powered by a crappy wallwart that I had laying around (2.5A, a cell phone charger).

The nettop does sound better, I would say better air, better bass, silkier highs and clearer midrange. It cost over $100 on a good newegg sale plus memory (it was a barebones).

But, the pi sounds surprisingly good! RaspyFI is as easy to install as mpdpup and with the usb patches applied it played flawlessly. This is the first time I've been able to play my flacs on the pi with mpd without noise and distortion.

So the pi will not be a state of the art streamer, I don't think anyone expected that. However, with the usb patched, it's a competent streamer, costs $35 + $10 for a case, I had the sd card/usb cable/wallwart. I think it's great for mid-fi systems, college people on a tight budget, setting up your kid's stereo, a second system, a backup when your main system fails, etc. It will also work great on any good sounding system if you are testing usb delivery of your digital music collection. You can test with minimal investment and move up at a later date.

Great job on RaspyFi and of course, the usb patch!

Last edited by palmito; 7th July 2013 at 06:16 PM.
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