Headless audio box

philj

Member
2003-12-09 5:37 pm
england
The hardware is around to do this very cheap at the moment with little power needed to actually play music.

Wouldn't it be nice to get the matching cd deck from that old stereo and stick a little computer with your whole music library, controlled by a remote and vfd screen like a normal piece of hifi? Rip, name and store cd's, deal with playlists, but all headless without a big screen.

Hardware is easy and very cheap, but what software and how could it be implemented?
 

skunark

Member
Paid Member
2011-09-07 6:59 pm
Pacific Northwest
My current headless linux audio box

a minimalist linux distro (i.e. arch)

Key Software:
-python audio tools
-- securely rips and validates with the AccurateRip database (git version)
-music player daemon (mpd)
-- used for playback, can be controlled with IR, keypad, web, smartphone, etc
-beets music organizer
-- keeps your tags up to date, builds playlists
-custom scripts
--'udev' rule that batches a script to rip the cd on insertion
--script to call python audio tools, update beets, update mpd database and eject cd

Hardware - (to rip, play and even file serve)
-mini-itx motherboard (fanless Intel Atom)
-2GB of memory (or more)
-boot drive:4GB CFast or 32 GB mSATA flash drive
-music drive: 2TB HDD or 960GB SDD or more
-24/192 capable sound card
--ESI [email protected] (pci or pcie version) - can convert to 1/2 height card if all you need is digital out, also can be modded
-dvd-rom drive (perhaps slim-slot loading, large collections might want two dvd-rom drives) - python audio tools can rip DVD audio, but haven't tried
-chassis:
--hifi2000 htpc chassis, 1u chassis from the diyaudio store or
--perhaps select a chassis with a LCD display and IR receiver

Another Hardware option- (playback only)
-Raspberry Pi (2nd version)
--USB DAC
 
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skunark

Member
Paid Member
2011-09-07 6:59 pm
Pacific Northwest
picoLCD?

A basic lcd like this? picoLCD

I have found some scripts on a few blogs where folks can control and report the status of MPD (i.e. current song, bit rate, etc). It seems that some of the work is already done, and most of these script work with the lcd4linux package, but it's nothing I've tried yet.

For a headless system, I wouldn't consider the lcd as the main user interface mostly just a billboard. If you add buttons for play, pause, next, previous and perhaps code extra buttons to play certain playlists, but if you have a large music library, it's probably becomes a bit tedious.

Jim
 

t4ckleb0x

Member
2010-10-25 12:21 am
I have a semi headless system going.

I have a htpc, i5 and gt560ti with a couple TB of media. I use HDMI to my receiver for movies and what not and have an HRT Music streamer II for music.
When I just want music I use MediaMonkey with monkey tunes controller for my phone. I have media monkey in the startup folder and it automatically adds music from my directory

I also have xbmc installed that starts with a command from Unified Remote and is then controlled with the XBMC app on my phone.

The rest of the system is controlled with a URC Total Control system. I am working on an IP based driver for XBMC to be able to use the TRC1280 remote with it.

Sent from my DROID RAZR
 

Pano

Administrator
Paid Member
2004-10-07 6:05 am
Panama
I do this too, but use JRiver Media Center as my player and Windoze XP pro as the OS. Works like a charm. Remote can be in any web browser, or even another instance of JRiver on another computer. The PC is an old Dell Optiplex with a whopping 256 Meg of RAM. :) Soundcard has SPDIF out.
 
The hardware is around to do this very cheap at the moment with little power needed to actually play music.

Wouldn't it be nice to get the matching cd deck from that old stereo and stick a little computer with your whole music library, controlled by a remote and vfd screen like a normal piece of hifi? Rip, name and store cd's, deal with playlists, but all headless without a big screen.

Hardware is easy and very cheap, but what software and how could it be implemented?

goggle this: mpdpup. It's based on Puppy Linux and has been configured only to serve as music server, run from USB drive, controllable via iOS or Android and works out of the box with vfd display too.

IMHO, vfd display is just a waste of money for a computer based music server as most of music player s/w nowadays can be controlled via iOS or Android which gives a lot more info (cover art, playlist, some excellent controller software can even display the song lyric and artists' bio) than just a vfd which can only display song title.

Mine's use Win 7 64 bit + foobar + jplay controller using Foobarcon on Android. The only reason I don't use mpdpup is because my current DAC doesn't support Linux. Once I have my sabre32 DAC complete, I'll move back to mpdpup. Just to give you an idea, this is how the controller looks on my Android phone :
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2012-12-15-09-36-29-1.png
 
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The CD drive in a regular CD player cannot be hooked to a computer without major modifications.

My plan for near future is headless internet radio from Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Net GoFlex Net | Seagate (under 40EUR on ebay) controlled via inexpensive chinese android tablet. I would love to attach a SATA DVD drive to make it play CD-DA too. MPD supports CD-DA, I will have to compile openwrt kernel modules anyway, perhaps it will work :)

I already have the goflex, just have to debrick it after initial playing :)
 

Wolfsin

Member
2009-08-24 11:58 pm
Yes, I have done something similar

I assembled an Intel D510MO mobo in a small case and use winXP remote desktop to control it from a laptop. I am currently working on power-down configurations so it will remain in standby (i.e. not hibernate). Wake on lan allows it to awaken from standby and power on other audio components. All music bits are stored on NAS.

The Integra Research RDC-7 is among those components so I use its BB1704 DACs but also use WM8741s driven by wavio. I distribute using balanced wiring to six listening points around the house. I move 'the wire' balanced headamp, balanced wired HD600s, and an eeePC with me to listen. The RDC-7 is controlled by the headless PC so from the eeePC I have complete system control all around the house.
 
I'm building a Media Player/Server for my audio system. I started with a Silverstone SST-GD08B HTPC case. It can hold 8x 3.5" data HD's (2 x 4 RAID 5) + 2x 2.5" program HD's + 2x optical drives (Blu-ray & DVD). I'll run 2x 4HD x 2TB, RAID 5. So it has 8TB for Audio & 8TB for video.

Yeah it's big, but at least my wife/daughter won't destroy my CD's/DVD's.

MLStrand56