Review

If you are a geek, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Raspberry Pi, a small computer that costs just 30€. With the size of an audio tape, it has become very popular since its launch just over a year ago. The number of applications for this device running rampant.

For those who still are not familiar with Raspberry Pi, I will share some information in detail about it:

Raspbery Pi

Technical Specifications:

  • System:
  • Broadcom BCM2835 SoC (System on Chip)
  • ARM1176JZF to 700 MHz
  • Broadcom chipset VideoCore IV
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • Storage: SD / MMC / SDIO

Connectors:

  • 2 USB 2.0
  • Video: Composite (PAL and NTSC), HDMI or LCD Raw (DSI)
  • 3.5mm Audio over HDMI
  • Ethernet: RJ45 10/100

Devices (2.54mm pin pitch)

  • 8 x GPIO
  • UART
  • I2C Bus
  • SPI
  • Power outputs of +3.3 V and +5 V
  • Mass

Power supply: 5 V – 700 mA via microUSB or GPIO header.

Dimensions: 85.60 mm x 56mm x 21mm.

Weight: 45 g.

The possibilities and the applications are huge. Raspberry Pi has various distributions developed by different developers. In this tutorial we will learn about Squeezeplug distribution that transforms the mini-computer in a Squeezebox for only 40#. A good plan because Logitech decided to discontinue the Squeezebox.

I. Installation

To begin, you must visit the site  Squeezeplug and download the latest version of the image. We will also need a SD memory card. We recommend using a card of 4 GB Class 6 of reading/writing speeds. This card costs about 5€ and 7€. Then copy the downloaded image on the SD card.

Important: Do not try to copy the downloaded file on the SD card, as this will not work. You must use a tool like USB Image Tool, for example:

USB Image Tool

Select the SD card, download the image, and proceed to make a “Restore”.

It can be done through command as follows:

sudo dd if = / Users/cedric/Desktop/sp_rpi_500.img of = / dev/disk1 bs = 1m

It indicates the path of the image and the name of the memory card (disc 1 here).

The copy of the image on the SD card is the longer process.

Once this is done, just insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and then continue with the following steps.

Login with the username “root” and the password “nosoup4u”.

Initially, the system will prompt the installation type. Choose Raspberry Pi:

 SqueezePlug

The parameters will be prepared for this device and it will reboot. Once started, type “setup” to access the services configuration. The distribution Squeezepug has many:

  • Logitech Media Server (FKA Slimserver, Squeezebox Server)
  • MiniDLNA
  • MPD
  • MediaTomb
  • Twonky
  • Forked daapd
  • SqueezeSlave
  • SqueezePlay (experimental)
  • Shairport
  • Omxplayer
  • Crashplan
  • OwnCloud

In our case, the Squeezebox Server software is installed on Windows Home Server 2011. Therefore, it is necessary a driving part. SqueezePlay is still under development, so it is best to choose SqueezSlave. You can also use the server with Raspberry Pi server with, for example, an external hard drive connected by USB. In case you want to do multiroom with several Raspberry Pi, just specify the IP address of the first device to act as a server.

In the next menu select “Player”:

SqueezePlug Player

Then select “SqueezeSlave”:

SqueezePlug SqueezeSlave

It confirms the installation:

SqueezePlug install

As mentioned, you have to choose the appropriate option:

SqueezePlug Installation

The system then asks the IP address of the machine where you installed the Squeezebox Server software:

SqueezePlug OK

We confirm the parameters:

SqueezePlug Installation

The installation is complete, the Raspberry Pi has to be restarted:

SqueezePlug Installation finished II. Utilization

Regarding the use, ourSqueezeplug will work the same way as a classical Squeezebox. You need to connect the audio output of the device you want. The monitor, keyboard, mouse can be disconnected but not necessary.

The new Squeezebox appears on the Squeezebox Server web interface, like all the others:

Logitech Media Server

By accessing the board configuration, always in the Web interface, you can change the name of the plate if we want:

Logitech Media Server SqueezeSlave

The management system is like any computer program. You can start playing music, adjust the volume, synchronize Squeezebox, etc. It is completely transparent!

III. Conclusion

This is the easiest way to make a Squeezebox for 40€ in less than 10 minutes.

Raspberry Pi has 6 small amps and 6 pairs of speakers, so it is possible a complete audio system in 6 rooms for less than 500€. Unbeatable! And all this with the flexibility of Squeezebox, which has nothing to prove (by remote control, via HTTP, etc.). The power consumption is very low as Raspberry Pi consumes only 3,5 W.

The system is also very easy to integrate, given the small size of this PC (pictured on the left compared to a Squeezebox to right):

Raspberry Pi and SqueezeBox

However, despite the advantages, it has no real connection Squeezebox. In a Squeezebox’s RCA outputs, digital optical, but Raspberry Pi has only one. At best, you can use the HDMI output to preserve digital quality.

Raspberry Pi and SqueezeBox

The cost is very low for an excellent sound quality, enough for most users. Besides the whole system is easily integrated into home automation systems from home with the direction of the HTTP requests.

 

This article is a translation of the original written by Cédric Locqueneux in your blog Maison et domotique. Visit original article.



About the Author

Alfonso Eguino
I am technology consultant and online marketing manager at Domotica Davinci. I'm pretty geek and I really like gadgets and device programming. I share news and reviews about devices that anyone can use.