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Archphile - An Archlinux Based Audiophile Distribution for Raspberry Pi and Udoo Quad
Archphile - An Archlinux Based Audiophile Distribution for Raspberry Pi and Udoo Quad
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Old 22nd July 2014, 06:56 PM   #11
tuxx is offline tuxx  Greece
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My friend I am not here to convince you to by an embedded device for audiophile use.

The raspberry pi used to have lots of issues with USB dacs. It still does but the situation is by far better. With all the optimizations I've done (kernel with new usb driver and removal of usb hid from the DAC) it's perfect for many dacs, at least with two I own.

As far as the udoo and cubox are concerned they are both perfect for this job. I haven't tested dsd though because my dacs don't support it.

With regards to 'bit perfect', yes the configuration is for bit perfect music reproduction.

As it seems you ve made your choice and many of us mad made ours. Let's both have fun by listening to music!
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Old 22nd July 2014, 07:45 PM   #12
konstantin is offline konstantin  Greece
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Please don't be "alarmed", I have and will always have great respect for any attempt on better audio reproduction. I'm not looking for conviction, the arguments are well-intentioned and for the sake of the conversation as I said earlier.

BTW, the problem with RassBerry Pi is in it's hardware, so I do not see how a new USB driver can overcome the unusually (just 140ma) low current provided for its USB devices.

Konstantinos


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Originally Posted by tuxx View Post
My friend I am not here to convince you to by an embedded device for audiophile use.

The raspberry pi used to have lots of issues with USB dacs. It still does but the situation is by far better. With all the optimizations I've done (kernel with new usb driver and removal of usb hid from the DAC) it's perfect for many dacs, at least with two I own.

As far as the udoo and cubox are concerned they are both perfect for this job. I haven't tested dsd though because my dacs don't support it.

With regards to 'bit perfect', yes the configuration is for bit perfect music reproduction.

As it seems you ve made your choice and many of us mad made ours. Let's both have fun by listening to music!

Last edited by konstantin; 22nd July 2014 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 05:45 AM   #13
tuxx is offline tuxx  Greece
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Of course there is no problem arguing!

When I first started my involvement with ARM devices many people I know that use x86 for music reproduction had the same opinion on them and suggested me the same, just to buy a pc and stop playing with embedded boards.

To be honest, back at the time I had only the rpi and it had issues with my dac I was ready to move to x86 platform. The major problem of the Raspberry Pi is that it's ethernet is just a third USB port. This shared usb bus caused a painful interference between a USB dac and the ethernet card. After the changes of the rpi firmware and after buying the Udoo (and testing a friends cubox-i4 pro) I feel there is no way back.

My personal need is a very minimal headless operating system that "sees" my FLACS from a NAS and reproduces them.

Even if I had a pc or if my ARM devices were compliant with several Windows and Linux OS I would not use them. I believe that a Graphical User Interface is not the right choice for Hi Fi use. From my point of view the more minimal, the better.

I have been using Linux as my only Desktop and Server OS for about 12 years now and I still would not trust a desktop Linux OS for music. Even a minimal Linux Desktop has plenty of processes and daemons running and many things can go wrong, leading to high cpu and ram use. For me a linux system with MPD should be the same like all other linux server applications and it's very rare to see a linux server with a GUI even in 2014.

Archphile is not a special operating system or a super duper recipe. It's just a very very minimal Archlinux with optimizations and some self compiled packages. Everyone can do the exact same installation on his pc.

For my needs K.I.S.S. is the way to go and especially Udoo along with Archlinux makes a perfect combination for a K.I.S.S. approach. You set it up once and you forget it.

Last edited by tuxx; 23rd July 2014 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 23rd July 2014, 08:32 AM   #14
phofman is online now phofman  Czech Republic
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Everyone values different criteria. MiniPC (btw a completely fanless reliable one is not so inexpensive) has its advantages (e.g. windows for those not friendly with linux), embedded boards too. They are different devices for overlapping yet mildly different use cases.
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Old 26th July 2014, 08:57 AM   #15
soundcheck is offline soundcheck  Germany
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I'm running embedded boards for quite some time now.

There are disadvantages!! (I also tested UDOO btw and it failed)


The HW quality is usually not comparable to top level motherboards.
You might hit problems here and there. The very important (for audio purposes) power and noise situation is not always at highest quality.
The kernel/driver/firmware support is usually pretty shaky. Things might run, but might not run perfectly.
The support lifecycle of these boards is usually also pretty short. You often rely on the community to get things fixed.
If the community decides not to support a board anymore, you stay where you are with it.

The 1% CPU consumption shown above is not really explaining it all.
Squeezelite runs at 0.7% on my Debian Jessy (That replaced my earlier Archlinux installation)
I've seen sudden peakloads which almost lock up the system. Complex tasks
like a database rescan take quite some time. If you download all your coverarts to a client (tablet/phone) things can get bumpy.
Control commands to an embedded server show certain latencies. The less you run on such a board the smoother things get.


Manageability:

For a non-hacker it requires Volumio or Rune Audio to get going.
Otherwise things get complex.


However. If the embedded board HW and its SW situation exactly matches your requirements, and you do a little or a little more tweaking, such a board
can do quite good job.

I btw. switched back from Arch to Debian, because the SW and community support was much better on Debian.
It was also much easier to crosscompile stuff on my Ubuntu machine for my Debian install.

Good luck with your project.

Cheers

Last edited by soundcheck; 26th July 2014 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 5th August 2014, 09:03 PM   #16
tuxx is offline tuxx  Greece
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New packages for mpd 0.18.12 are up:

New MPD packages for Raspberry Pi and Udoo Quad - Blog - Archphile
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Old 27th August 2014, 02:48 PM   #17
tuxx is offline tuxx  Greece
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Archphile 1.00 Stable for raspberry Pi B and B+ is up!

Archphile 1.00 stable for Raspberry Pi B and B+ is up - Blog - Archphile
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Old 28th August 2014, 01:34 PM   #18
tuxx is offline tuxx  Greece
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Hi all,

I decided to remove the image “supposed to be stable” image for the raspberry pi as I found some last minute annoying problems and I believe that it’s best to apply some more fixes and do some additional testing.

Later today or tomorrow I will upload a new image hoping to be the final beta for this device.

I really apologize for this inconvenience.

Regards,

Michael
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Old 28th August 2014, 04:02 PM   #19
randytsuch is offline randytsuch
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Wondering if you support I2S from the Pi?

I've connected a Pi via I2S to my DAC, and it sounds very good IMHO.

Thanks
Randy
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Old 28th August 2014, 04:09 PM   #20
tuxx is offline tuxx  Greece
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Hi Randytsuch,

Archphile does not officialy support i2s but a user reported that it was very easy to use an i2s dac:

Archphile Forum View topic - HifiBerry RCA
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