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mikelangeloz 22nd June 2013 02:54 PM

RaspyFi/Volumio - Turn raspberry Pi into Audiophile audio Player
Hello everybody,
I'm writing this 'cause I saw few threads talking about RaspyFi here, so I thought it could be interesting to let you guys know what RaspyFi is. RaspyFi is a free linux distribution for Raspberry Pi, it's meant to transform the little Pi into an audiophile source. I developed it being inspired by the excellent work of Kim-man "Punky" Tse with Voyage-Mpd.
RaspyFi is a complete OS designed to achieve the best audio quality possible out of the Raspberry, but in a user friendly environment.
It relies on MPD, as Voyage do.
You simply download it, flash it to your Pi, configure it a (very) little and you're ready to play your music library from a USB Storage or a NAS.
I must say RaspyFi sounds really good as of now, some of our users compared it with a 20k euros CD player... Apart from that, what really matters is that with this solution, you can get an amazing bang for the buck audio player.
The development started about 6 months ago, there were 3 major releases, and the 1.0 version (which will be pretty complete and hassle free) is to be released in few days.
The optimizations made to the O.S. are mainly kernel related, alsa-related and it would be excellent to discuss them with you guys.
You can grab it on RaspyFi - Pi never sounded so good!, where you will find also some diy article, knowledge is good only when shared, no?
As of now, there are no problems for RaspyFi to output audio to 192/24, even with async USB DACS. And there are plans to implement a DAC directly with i2s interface.
RaspyFi features also a very rudimental Ramplay feature, which is gonna be refined in the future.
More are to come, and would really like to know what you want to find in your perfect audiophile os and what you think of RaspyFi!

phofman 22nd June 2013 07:06 PM

The discussions below the article mention the 48kHz limit. The recommended MPD setup includes the 48kHz resampling option. Is it still the case with latest rpi usb drivers? If so then IMO RPi is not suitable for audiophile playback as its weak CPU will have to resample everything to 48kHz (in addition to the USB load when feeding data from USB storage/USB-based ethernet).

IMO there are better comparatively-priced solutions suitable for embedded linux audio playback (e.g. well-tested openwrt routers supporting 192kHz natively and featuring dedicated ethernet hardware).

mikelangeloz 23rd June 2013 12:07 AM

RaspyFi implements one of the latest USB patches available, this solves the notorious USB issues. So, RaspyFi can play 24/192 files without problems, in bit perfect mode.
As for computing power, playin a 24/192 file (with XMOS2 receiver) only takes between 20% a 30% of total PI's cpu (including cifs process).
So, with a little optimization the rasbperry is something more than suitable for playin hi res music. So, I can get 24/192 (even 32/192, but it has not been tested extensively yet) playback both from USB storage and NAS.
If anyone has mpd installed on stock raspbian, he can find the USB patch here:

Raspberry Pi Usb Audio fix - RaspyFi

I used to have a via C7 thin client with Voyage-MPd installed, and I can say that the 2 solutions are pretty similar, regarding power performance and quality. If you need to get an idea...

soundcheck 24th June 2013 07:02 AM

Raspberry PIs run out of steam on very simple DSP tasks.

A nice toy. That's what it's meant for.

IMO not worth it.

There are better solutions such as Wandboard.

phofman 24th June 2013 07:09 AM

If you need DSP then single-core ARM is clearly not for you. Those who do not need any are fine with low-cost single-core boards.

If the USB driver/firmware is fixed and RPi supports standard samplerates as reported above, it is an interesting inexpensive solution.

Nikitas 24th June 2013 08:26 AM

Tried it, it's worthless for this kind of applications.

"some of our users compared it with a 20k euros CD player"

That's ridiculous! Price and comparison.

phofman 24th June 2013 09:30 AM


Originally Posted by Odysseas (
Tried it, it's worthless for this kind of applications.

What specific problems did you encounter?

Nikitas 24th June 2013 10:00 AM

buzz, hum, pops, unexpected crashes, network problems, huge amount of time to set up, difficulty to control basic functions, very bad audio reproduction compared to a sony network player that costs 200 euros.

So all that for 50 euros when with 200 you can have a ready to use solution that includes also a blu ray player.

palmito 24th June 2013 10:01 AM

Works good so far...
I tried it this weekend and now my pi is delivering my flac collection to the dac. I have not done any sound comparisons, just listening for noises (ever present before), but so far it's very promising. The Raspyfi distro is very easy to install and the patched usb code is holding up for glitch free playing up to 96.

soundcheck 24th June 2013 11:44 AM

People having problems to play even native Hirez !?!?

Common folks. It's a toy.

If you look at e.g. Wandboard or Minix NEO X5 or newer models you'll get decent
mini computers at around 100$.


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