Now Look at What My Pi is Doing!

 

I completely under-estimated the capabilities of the $40.00 Raspberry Pi B+.  I was using it as an audio server only with Runeaudio.  I started wondering what else it might do.  After all, it has a HDMI output, so why not try serving more than just audio?XBMC on Raspberry Pi.

Enter XBMC, which has just undergone a name-change to Kodi Entertainment Center.   For the Pi, XBMC comes as part of a pre-configured complete operating system called Raspbmc that you write to the micro-sd card that the Pi boots from.  Plug in your ethernet cable, HDMI cable and power and you’re in business.

I’m pulling my movies off the same tired old Linux server that my music is on.  The little R.Pi plays it flawlessly.  No burps.  1080P.  Keep in mind this is an ARM processor with 512M of RAM.  That’s not a lot of juice in today’s terms. 

I will admit scanning in the movies and music libraries from the NAS machine took a little while, but once it was finished, the little machine performs smoothly and quickly.  I’m quite pleased.

I added some alternative skins, and made a few tweaks here and there, but the thing just works right out of the box.  So, instead of just music, I get my music, web video, my movies and even the weather.  

What fun!  Now excuse me while I finish watching The Bourne Ultimatum while using my iPhone as a remote.  

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My $40.00 Audio Server is Awesome!

Raspberry Pi B+
I always love being able to put together stuff using FOSS parts and low-dollar pieces that work.  This morning I started wondering if I could get some kind of low-cost music server upstairs in our living room.

I am very familiar with a Linux music server called MPD (Music Player Daemon).  It’s been around a long time and is widely supported across platforms.  I’ve been using it for years.  When I started my Google search, I included MPD as one of my criteria.

I ran across one very interesting project called Rune Audio  (www.runeaudio.com).  It seemed to meet every need I had.  The project builds a very nice MPD server on one of four certified hardware platforms.  I chose the Raspberry Pi purely for the price.

I was able to locate a Raspberry Pi B+ (the latest version) locally on sale, which was a bonus.  Regularly around $35.00, it was $29.99 plus sales tax.  I also purchased a USB sound adapter ($8) because I had read the onboard sound chip is only 10-bit.  I already had a 8Gig microSD card, a microUSB cable and a power supply, so I was set as far as hardware goes.

I downloaded the 0.3-alpha version of Rune Audio for my Raspberry, burned the .img file to the SD card, hooked up the HDMI monitor, ethernet cable and power and watched it boot flawlessly.

My music files (Apple Lossless .m4a) are located on an old headless Linux machine under the stairs.  I had to install the NFS server package on it, and following these instructions I got everything set up in a few minutes.

Once the NFS server was running on the file server, I was able to connect to it using the Rune Audio server’s web interface.  Rune’s internal MPD server immediately started indexing the music, and in a few minutes I was up and running.

I use MPoD on my iPhone to control the music in the living room.  I can also select my original MPD server if I want to stream music to my iPhone or iPad over our local home network.

I plan to add another Rune Audio Raspberry Pi server to our media room, so we can enjoy our music library there too.

It’s been a great day!

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