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  • Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

    I have spent the last week testing the Raspyfi software running on a out-of-the-box Raspberry Pi board. I have it mounted to a Synology 213j NAS via a wifi connection (USB) and a low budget Schiit Modi DAC on the other USB port. My overall impression is that its fairly easy to set up, however has significant reliability and playback issues. I have had to restart the mpd server a couple of times and it can not handle any lossless 24 bit audio streams without some interruptions and audio crackle. From what I have read, this is an inherent limitation with the existing USB firmware on the Pi.

    I have implemented most of the "fixes" on the forums but they have not corrected the streaming issues. The only thing I can reliably stream is MP3 content.

    Anyone else using the RaspyFi implementation with better success? Any other recommendation for a small footprint streaming server? Possibly running Voyager mpd or other streaming software that would work well with a NAS and lossless content?

    I know several people on here are running JRiver or Squeezbox. Squeezbox is no longer available and I don't want to invest in a large server or mini mac since I already have a well populated NAS. I would be interested to know if there are other options people are using with success.

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!

    Mike

  • #2
    Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

    By 24 bit lossless stream do you mean a raw 24 bit stream or one that requires decompressing to a 24 bit stream? If the latter does the decompression require a floating point coprocessor which is missing on your Raspberry Pi?

    One option you may have is to use the processor on your NAS instead of the Raspberry Pi if it is more capable. It is likely to involve a fair amount of messing about but might be a one box solution depending on how the audio is controlled and where the stream goes.

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    • #3
      Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

      If you just want to stream your own files I would check out vortexbox. surprised it doesn't get more metion as it is simple and does lossless

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      • #4
        Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

        These are FLAC files encoded at 44.1/24 up to 96/24 streamed directly to the Schiit DAC. It is purely a performance issue related to the USB bus throughput (at least according to the developers ) and the community is actively working improvements. I am more curious as to other's success implementing it and if not are their other similar products/software people have turned to...short of having to buy a server or mini Mac.

        I have seen there is now also a version of Voyager mpd available for ARM processors that may be a way to get a small footprint implementation.

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        • #5
          Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

          I have been looking for an embedded solution that doesn't require "computers" on each end of the stream. For instance I can stream SPDIF wirelessly at 24bits and 48kHz using some cheap hardware, but I would really like to do this at 96kHz and I haven't found an inexpensive solution that I can implement in the way I want with multiple receivers and a single transmitter. This would be for use in wireless speakers and subwoofers and it should be lossless, one reason why I am currently using SPDIF. Is there anything out there that works in this way and does not have to go through a TCPIP stack?
          Charlie's Audio Pages: http://audio.claub.net

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          • #6
            Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

            Originally posted by limelight76 View Post
            These are FLAC files encoded at 44.1/24 up to 96/24 streamed directly to the Schiit DAC. It is purely a performance issue related to the USB bus throughput (at least according to the developers ) and the community is actively working improvements
            I am not disagreeing that there is a problem but it seems odd that a 480 Mb/s USB bus is having problems passing a 4.6 Mb/s (2*96k*24) audio stream. You have no interest in using your NAS directly?

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            • #7
              Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

              I would be open to using the NAS. It's does have USB connections and some apps that allow you to manage content (create play lists,etc). I will have to do some research as to whether I can stream directly from the Synology NAS to the DAC.

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              • #8
                Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                Originally posted by limelight76 View Post
                I would be open to using the NAS. It's does have USB connections and some apps that allow you to manage content (create play lists,etc). I will have to do some research as to whether I can stream directly from the Synology NAS to the DAC.
                The SoC (system on a chip) on your NAS is likely to be more capable than the one on the Raspberry Pi but I haven't checked. It is almost certainly running Linux and so what is required is to find out how to login and install the software you want to run. This page might be a starting point but I shall leave the digging to you. Some NASs are usable and some are not. It will require you to have some understanding of how software works on Linux.

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                • #9
                  Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                  Andy,

                  Thanks. Yes your are correct in the SoC on the Synology NAS is more capable (1.2 Ghz Armada vs 700Mhz Broadcom) ARM. It also appears the latest version of the Synology OS allows you to install Logitech Media Server directly on the NAS. I may go that route and see if I can get the Schiit DAC to work via its USB ports.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                    Originally posted by andy19191 View Post
                    I am not disagreeing that there is a problem but it seems odd that a 480 Mb/s USB bus is having problems passing a 4.6 Mb/s (2*96k*24) audio stream. You have no interest in using your NAS directly?
                    I've always wondered if the problem was the fact that that ARM chip on the Pi only has one USB connection. The board has a USB hub that serves up the two external ports and the USB Ethernet. I.e. not only is the USB doing DAC duty, it's also doing your TCPIP as well at the same time. Too much?

                    I was going to read flac files from the SD card and see if that was more reliable, but disassembled my bedroom sound system and stole my Pi to control my BBQ.
                    Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

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                    • #11
                      Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                      Originally posted by limelight76 View Post
                      Andy,

                      Thanks. Yes your are correct in the SoC on the Synology NAS is more capable (1.2 Ghz Armada vs 700Mhz Broadcom) ARM. It also appears the latest version of the Synology OS allows you to install Logitech Media Server directly on the NAS. I may go that route and see if I can get the Schiit DAC to work via its USB ports.
                      If you have trouble getting the Synology NAS and Schiit MODI DAC to play nicely together using asynchronous USB audio class 2, perhaps the RaspiFi will work as the player with the NAS running LMS, the two connected with hardwired ethernet. That reduces the processing on the RPi and removes some of the traffic off the USB, might fix the problem. Consider also trying a powered USB hub to power the USB powered Schiit MODI DAC.
                      "Our Nation’s interests are best served by fostering a peaceful global system comprised
                      of interdependent networks of trade, finance, information, law, people and governance."
                      - from the October 2007 U.S. Naval capstone doctrine
                      A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower
                      (a lofty notion since removed in the March 2015 revision)

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                      • #12
                        Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                        This box looks to be more capable than the RasPi:
                        http://cubox-i.com/

                        And it has a high-end DAC daughterboard available:
                        http://cubieboard.org/2013/10/18/g2-...or-cubieboard/

                        I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
                        "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

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                        • #13
                          Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                          Originally posted by JRT View Post
                          the two connected with hardwired ethernet. That reduces the processing on the RPi and removes some of the traffic off the USB, might fix the problem.
                          The Ethernet is actually a USB Ethernet running off the same USB port as your audio, doesn't remove any traffic.
                          Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

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                          • #14
                            Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                            Probably does not meet your small footprint requirements, but FWIW I have this setup:
                            DLink DNS-320 >> D945GSEJT >> Juli@ sound card >> amp + speakers

                            The mainboard is running Voyage MPD and talks to the NAS via wireless network. All files on the NAS are FLAC encoded from redbook CD and I haven't had any issues with skipping or having to fiddle with buffers.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Raspyfi, Linux MPD, and other streaming options

                              Slightly OT, but reading this prompted to again bemoan the single thing I didn't like about the ROKU the son-in-law gave us, which was the lack of access to our Windows server, I was wrong. I found PLEX that has a ROKU channel and the server side PLEX installed and played nice with Server Essentials R2. So anything that l have on the server can be had on the ROKU. It streams 1080p just fine. Also installed on my Windows 8 phone and it works fine.

                              Brightened up my Monday!

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