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Building a Raspberry Pi Squeezebox Player for £100

lmccauley

Well-known Member
Building a Raspberry Pi Squeezebox Player for £100

Introduction
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to be able to access all my music around the house. I looked at the options, and liked the look of the Logitech Radio and Touch devices, and Media Server software – originally known as Squeezebox. So, I ripped all my CDs as FLAC and stored them on a RAID5 array on a HP Microserver, installed Logitech Media Server (LMS) and bought a couple of Logitech Radios. I also downloaded the Orange Squeeze app for my Android phone, and used that most of the time to control the radios. This worked great, but when I looked for a Touch to plug into my main hi-fi I discovered that Logitech had discontinued the whole line. Recently, I’d been looking again at options for a streamer to plug into my hi-fi, and I discovered SqueezePlug & Max2Play software for the Raspberry Pi, and a high quality DAC made by Iqaudio. They also made a case, which I thought looked smart.

Assumptions
  • You have Logitech Media Server installed and running already. If not, you can download it from My Media - Welcome to mysqueezebox.com!
  • You will be connecting the Raspberry Pi to the network using cables – you can buy a wi-fi dongle, but I didn’t look into that as I prefer to use cable where possible.
Components



From Amazon (£43.38):
  • Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Desktop
  • Raspberry Pi Model B+ OFFICIAL 5V 2A Multi National Power adapter
  • Kingston Technology 16 GB microSDHC Class 10 Flash Card with SD card adapter
From Tindie (£54.23):
  • IQaudio Pi-DAC+ Full-HD audio card
  • IQaudio Pi-CASE for DAC+
Software (donate what you like):
Total: £97.61

Instructions
Download the NOOBS-Image of SqueezePlug & Max2Play for the Raspberry Pi from Download the Max2Play Image for Raspberry Pi and Odroid | Max2Play
Follow the INSTRUCTIONS-README.txt file to install the image onto your SD micro card.
Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi.
Download the instructions on fitting the Pi-DAC+ card to the Raspberry Pi from http://www.iqaudio.com/downloads/IQaudIO.pdf
Attach the Pi-DAC+ card to the Raspberry Pi.



Note – use the 4 x 5mm PCB standoffs from the Pi-CASE+ instead of the screws supplied with the Pi-DAC+ for the bottom of the Raspberry Pi.
Plug the Raspberry Pi into a monitor using HDMI. You shouldn’t need to use a keyboard. You don’t strictly need the monitor, but it’s nice to see the progress on screen.



Connect the power supply.
Wait for it to load – about 20 minutes.



From a PC on the same network, go to http://max2play. You can make a number of config changes from this web page, including enabling/disabling the Squeeze player, and rebooting the Raspberry Pi.
  • Choose the AUDIOPLAYER tab.
  • Make sure that Autostart Squeezelight is ticked.
  • Click Edit Advanced Options.
  • Set the Soundcard to “default - IQaudioDAC”.
  • Choose the SETTINGS / REBOOT tab.
  • Change the player name, if required (I changed mine to “Lounge”).
  • Click Save Settings.
  • Click Reboot.
Use the Logitech Media Server web page, or Orange Squeeze app, to verify that the player is working correctly.
Shutdown the Raspberry Pi using Max2Play (i.e. http://max2play).
Fit the Raspberry Pi and DAC into the case using the instructions you downloaded from IQaudio earlier.

Final Connection Steps



Connect the Raspberry Pi to your hi-fi amplifier using analogue connectors (from the Pi-DAC+).
Connect to the network.
Connect the power supply.
And that should be it. In the Logitech Media Server web page, or Orange Squeeze app, set the volume to 100, and use your hi-fi amplifier volume control.
 

kit1cat

Active Member
Great article lmccauley, I have just built a similar system running Picoreplayer connected via WiFi to my ZyXEL nas drive all controlled via the ipeng app from my ipad.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Squeezeplug can also run LMS and other servers or components, its a proper OS that runs from the SD card so it possible to knacker it up by not shutting down properly.

PiCorePlayer runs entirely from memory, so once booted it doesn't access the SD card at all, this allows it to be treated more like an appliance and not worry about shutting down properly. Its fine to just pull the plug. it's only a player though so you can't install other things on it.
 

kit1cat

Active Member
Cool. I'm not sure why I went Squeezeplug/Max2Play rather than Picoreplayer - both look like they do very similar things.
I started with volumio but missed the functions and ease of use I had with ipeng, was going to try Max2play but had problems with the download, so I have settled with picoreplayer, a very small download which runs from ram and was very easy to setup.
 

lmccauley

Well-known Member
Actually, I also had problems downloading from Squeezeplug's site, but it was fine from Max2Play's.

I decided to pay 10 euro for the software license, and am using the SD card protection feature that unlocks - so, I shouldn't have any problems with accidental shutdowns corrupting the card.

Sounds like Picoreplayer would have done everything I needed, too, as I doubt I'll use it as a server. Oh, I do have it set to run airplay for my partner's i-stuff, but I don't know if we'd use that, as everything is available via LMP.
 

kit1cat

Active Member
I might give Max2Play a look in the future, would be handy having the airplay feature for my ipad, spotify free works on the ipad but I would need a pemium account to work with the pi using picoreplayer.
 

TB303

Active Member
I recently build an RPI with a Digi+ board for tousling and Coax outputs - running Jriver for RPI it works flawlessly and I replaced a £700 media computer with a £70 Pi!

I now wonder if it's worth getting a linear power supply for the RPi - I wonder if it'll improve the sound, especially of the coax output?
 

frog61

Active Member
Hi
great article which i will be following.
Forgive the newb questions, can I connect a Bose Companion 3 to the DAC headphone jack?
Its a short term fix for now!

Thanks!
 

kit1cat

Active Member
Hi
great article which i will be following.
Forgive the newb questions, can I connect a Bose Companion 3 to the DAC headphone jack?
Its a short term fix for now!

Thanks!
Should work ok, but the DAC's line out to the Bose aux in could be better.
 

kit1cat

Active Member
I now wonder if it's worth getting a linear power supply for the RPi - I wonder if it'll improve the sound, especially of the coax output?
A few users on "The Art of Sound" forum have reported improved sound quality from using linear power supplies. I am using a maplins switched mode power supply fitted with a S-Booster, sounds good to me.
 

frog61

Active Member
Should work ok, but the DAC's line out to the Bose aux in could be better.

Thanks
I presume you mean the L/R phono sockets?
Why would this make better sense rather than the headphone socket? out of curiousity?

Many thanks!!
 

kit1cat

Active Member
Thanks
I presume you mean the L/R phono sockets?
Why would this make better sense rather than the headphone socket? out of curiousity?

Many thanks!!
Yes, the L/R phono sockets. IMO It's just the usual way of connecting things. Line out's are for connecting amp's, active speakers etc, headphone out for headphones. On some tv's you can use the headphone out socket for audio or headphones, but you select audio out or headphone out in the menu. The PI DAC allows volume control of the line out sockets and headphone socket, so pick the one that works\sounds the best. Line out is usually fixed output to suit the inputs, headphone out variable.
 
Last edited:

frog61

Active Member
Thanks

All ordered now, just need to choose a wifi module for the pi, any suggestions guys?
I suspect this may not be the best option as pi will be located on the top floor of a 3 story house. Perhaps powerline is the way to go?
 

frog61

Active Member
thx, which wifi extender woudl you advise?
I have a BT Hub 5 which is alright but increasing strength would be ideal.
Does it just repliacate the signal or acts as a replacement?
 

kit1cat

Active Member
Finaly got around to trying Squeezeplug/Max2Play this afternoon, works great with ipeng but I can only get Airplay to work via the Dac by stopping Squeezelite in the max2play web browser first, which is a bit of a pain. The audio player and airplay work fine together in moode player, any ideas?
 

kit1cat

Active Member
Glad people are finding this useful.

I've just tried Airplay on Squeezeplug/Max2Play, and can't get it to work either. I swear it worked when I first set it up!
Have you updated it since you first set it up? I noticed yesterday the first thing it said was that there was a update available, which I installed, this could have broken Airplay? Any way I have gone back to moode player for the time being, so easy to try differant players when they are on seperate sd cards.
 

lmccauley

Well-known Member
Have you updated it since you first set it up? I noticed yesterday the first thing it said was that there was a update available, which I installed, this could have broken Airplay? Any way I have gone back to moode player for the time being, so easy to try differant players when they are on seperate sd cards.
I had updated it since I first tested Airplay. I also updated last night, but haven't had the chance to get my partner to re-test with her iPad.

Yeah, the ability to just swap SD cards in and out must make it very easy to try things out.
 

frog61

Active Member
Hi All
got the above all setup and seems to work great!
i alsdo purchased a wifi usb.
Can anyone advise how i set this up however?
I followed the instructions as per advised by Imaccauley in the first post.
Just struggling now to figure out how to install the usb and connect to my ssid

any help?
thanks
 

kit1cat

Active Member
What player are you using?

General rule, first get it working via the ethernet cable with the usb wifi dongle pluged in, go to the network setup page and enter details for you wifi connection and password, save details, when the wifi is connected, pull out the ethernet cable and reboot the pi. You shoud then be connected via wifi only. You might need to check the modem/router page for the ip address of the player, mine changes all the time.
 

frog61

Active Member
Hi Kit
Using the one Imaccauleyused in the first post, pi 2, with Max2Play Raspberry Pi and Odroid | Max2Play
whilst i can access the device via ethernet, when i go to wifi/ethernet, i enter the SSID and the password, save it all, restart.
plug the ethernet cable out and try to access to device again, and it doesnt work, not seen on network or anything.
its almost like the wifi is not relaly saving?

any thoughts?
 

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