The combination of the Raspberry Pi, RaspyFi, a TA2024 amp and for instance a Behringer UCA202 DAC with a set of small speakers just screams for a multi room setup that will be a heck of a lot cheaper than what Linn or B&O can offer. Might not be quite the same audio quality, but in many rooms where it is nice to hear the same music as in the living room, a high end setup is not feasible anyways, and a cheaper one will suffice.
But what do we want from a multi room setup? And how do we achieve it?
Let's set up an example, one that might be used in my house.
I have a living room with the main hifi from Linn. Here I have the RaspyFi feeding my Cambridge DacMagic, and I am quite pleased with the result so far.
In the kitchen I have a RaspyFi feeding a Sure TA2024 via a UCA202. Speakers are a pair of older Advent Mini. When adding to the system, I would like to have music in the office, the workshop, the guest room and in my daughter's room. For fun, maybe the bathroom and bedroom.
Having RaspyFi on each, controlling each from a client, with music files stored on a NAS, no problem, we just go ahead and do that. Much of the time music will only be playing in one room after all. There is a little problem, though, but that is with the clients. They are designed to handle only one MPD, changing to another one requires the changing of the IP in the settings. We need to modify a client to be able to hold information of multiple MPDs, and change between them at the touch of a button. I imagine that should not be a very big problem, but I may be mistaken on that one. There might even exist a client that can do this.
Pretending we have overcome the above task, how do we get multiple RaspyFis to play the same file, synchronised? I am thinking letting one RaspyFi stream the file and have the others in the group play that stream. Question is, can a RaspyFi handle both streaming and playing back locally at the same time? Otherwise we will have to set up a RaspyFi to handle streaming.
If a RaspyFi can handle both local playback and streaming, then we can create groups as we please. Select one as streaming unit and set the others to play back that stream. Creating another group is just repeating this, and in theory we can add as many groups as we have RaspyFis.The biggest issue could be the synchronisation of the music. It is important that music is played back at the same time in every room, otherwise we will get an echo-effect when we are in a location where we can hear two or more units playing back the same music.
If we need a RaspyFi to handle streaming, and not local playback, then we would need a streaming unit for each group we want to set up, but realistically, even in a large setup, how many groups would be needed at any one time? I would think that my requirements would be met by one streaming unit, if there is different music playing in other rooms, they would likely be for individual listeners anyway, and not shared over more rooms.
So, these are my initial thoughts. How much is actually needed to go into the MPD / RaspyFi, how much can be achieved by sending the appropriate commands from the MPD client?
19 dicembre 2012
Yeah, thats' definetely a good solution! I think the best way to go would be using a pi as a server which transmits an http stream and subsequently feeding as much pi's you want. The only caveat would be the quality of the stream, it will be lower as the one achieved with a single pi setup. I will definetely investigate this option, but i only have one pi… But i can setup a multi mpd setup, with an old laptop.
If we can get a simoultaneus playback\stream device that will be awesome. If you want, just investigate more and we'll set up this thing! Hope to get good news soon, Henrik!
I have not set my system up yet but I intend to use an audio splitter box that will allow me to split to several sets of speakers that I have gathered over the years and still have a decent quality of sound. I am just going to run speakers cable behind skirting boards to feed these speakers. However before I do that I want to set the Raspberry Pi up using a little DAC that I can feed into the back of my amp. I've just ordered a Pi but have yet to decide upon and gather money for a DAC and NAS. If I intend to use the Pi solely for reading music files from the NAS then a basic DAC with rca outputs will suffice? Any links to something inexpensive would be welcome.
I'm also wondering if there are other ways of streaming that I should consider. I'm on a really tight budget. This is all pretty new to me and I must confess I'm thoroughly enjoying myself.
19 dicembre 2012
Yeah, anything not so expensive should work for you, look here:
If you don't want to spend too much money I suggest you the Hifimediy. If you are familiar with diy, I suggest Xmos receiver plus Sabre dac. If you want to go higher go with the micromega… Let me know!
This one works does it
19 dicembre 2012
Yeah it does!
8 settembre 2013
I have two ideas for multi-room:
1) A pi for each zone and use MPod to control them (or build a web based control with a some jQuery + navigation to pull in each zone from the built in web server). There will be some lag in the timing of each zone unless we can somehow synch all of the ones so that they keep the same amount of buffering when on the same material (NAS or web radio) but I haven't looked at this at all so I don't even know if this will be possible.
2) A pi for a bunch of zones and multiple DACs. I have no idea if this will work but boy you could build a multi-room system quite economically this way if you could control all DACs simultaneously or separately.
For the #1 idea I can put a zone together including 15w + 15w for about $80 each not including the cost for the enclosure.
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