Hello From Lake Stevens, WA

I had a Logitech Squeezebox for years and it was reading off my network storage device to play about 3,000 MP3 songs. I had the great fortune of having 2 children who were teenagers during the Napster years and it didn’t take long before I had accumulated much of the same music I had already purchased on albums, and maybe a wee bit more. :confused:

The Squeezebox was a PITA at times. The remote control had to obviously hook to the home network via a wireless connection whilst the box which sent out the signal had to be hardwired to the network. If the power went out, there might be red flashing warnings for hours while I fiddled with getting it working again. Once it was all running though, it worked fine, until it died the other day. I just wasn’t going to keep buying old Squeezebox units on Craigslist and they’re not making them any more, so I veered off to the DIY Raspberry Pi solutions.

The goal is whole house audio, with the music coming off of either a ReadyNAS Duo or an older Synology unit. I have a Niles SI-1230 and all the wiring is in place since my last remodel in 2008, but I’ve only gotten 3 rooms hooked up to date, maybe more will get done this winter? I got the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and a HiFiBerry DAC+ (not the Pro though) from Amazon (Same Day, God bless Amazon?) and I already had a 64GB micro SD and a power cord laying around. I imaged the SD Card with the Volumio bin that I downloaded, plugged it in, found it had connected to the router, pulled up the web page, and it was working just like that. Then I had leave town for the weekend…

I did enable SSH, just because I know UNIX. Another skill, like keyboarding, that I thought would be totally useless, but turned out to be quite useful. I have so many questions though, and I will put some of them on other forum posts, but the first one would be, does this thing “update” itself? I mean for my Raspberry Pi camera, I like to get on there and do the old ‘sudo apt-get upgrade’ and ‘sudo apt-get update’ every so often. I suppose if it’s a really stripped down version of Raspian (I noticed ‘vi’ wasn’t available) maybe there’s no need?

I ended up putting all my music on the SD Card. That was easy enough too since the unit just started appearing on my Windows network and it had the ‘Internal Storage’ directory available for copying & pasting via Windows. Since I had the space, this also made it more portable in case I wanted to take it to our vacation place.

I like to listen to ALL of my music in random order. As most people probably do, the music was copied over in folders, by artist, or sometimes as ‘Misc’ or ‘Oldies’ or what-have-you. With regard to shuffling VolumIO treated all those folders individually though, so to do random order over all songs, I created a playlist called Everything. This took a long time though, since I have 215 folders. All that repetitive clicking, on each and every folder, made me long for cheap labor, but I pushed through and it’s working fine now. It looks like every time I get new music it will need to be added to the Everything playlist. A nice feature would be to just have an Everything playlist built in as it scans. This randomness, for me anyway, is like having my own radio station without snarky DJs or commercials. I don’t know what song will come up and that makes it more fun and spontaneous. And that’s what I love about music, being selectively spontaneous.

I still haven’t played with any of the connected Internet streaming music services. I tried to get the Volumio page up on Chrome running on my Android phone, but no dice (too long to respond) which surprised me. Of course, there’s an app for that, but it got poor reviews. I would only use my phone to bump over to the next song, like if “I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again” came on and my Mom was over for a visit, so the interface could be awfully simple.

I wish I could get the music to somehow be routed over to my PC’s too though. That would be awesome, but I understand that the DAC’s connected to the amplifier and amplifier’s connected to the Niles, but my lonely little PC speakers are just hooked to my stupid Windows computer. And finally, the most technical question, which I will post elsewhere, when I look at my client status on the Asus router, for the Volumio it says "2 clients are connecting to RT-AC66U through this device. I hope that’s “normal”?