A Music Server on Your Raspberry Pi

If you are looking to create a music server on your Raspberry Pi (RBPi), Volumio may be a suitable choice. Although several websites give perfect instructions for setting up the RBPi as a media center for watching films and video series, very few provide solutions for audiophiles who would prefer to have a server dedicated to music.

Volumio is available as a Raspbian distribution. Using the application, one can manage the entire music library on a single device attached to the RBPi. Being very easy to use, Volumio supports all types of audio files—Vorbis, AAC, FLAC, mp3, and more. It even works with several DAC expansion cards. The team behind Volumio maintains it providing updates at least once a month, and this shows their seriousness in supporting this wonderful product.

The best way to get Volumio is to download it from their website. It is available as a Raspbian image, and it is necessary to download the image and decompress it. You will need a micro SD card to flash the uncompressed image—use one with a 16 GB capacity. Flashing requires a PC running Linux, Windows, or MAC. There is no need for an Ethernet cable, as Volumio works with a Wi-Fi connection.

It is advisable to use an RBPi3 with Volumio. On the first run, Volumio proceeds to install the application, which can take up quite a few minutes. In the selection presented, choose Wi-Fi and Volumio will try to connect with a network. If it does not find any network, or the network is inaccessible, Volumio will proceed to create its own hotspot. You can access this hotspot from your PC with the name Volumio and password volumio2. Typing the IP of your RBPi3 or the address volumio.local/ will take you to its web interface.

Once you are able to connect to Volumio on your PC, visit the Network tab, and move to the Wi-Fi Network section, where you can enter the code of security. Now you are fully equipped to run Volumio on your RBPi3, and add all your songs.

This is again a very simple process, and the recommendation is to have an external hard drive for this. Simply store all your songs on the external hard drive and let the RBPi3 use it. Navigate to Browse, then to Music Library, and select USB, which will allow you to see the hard drive. Alternatively, access the contents of the hard drive directly from the Album or Artist sections. Another possibility is to use a Network Attached System (NAS). For this, you must access the section My Music.

Still another possibility is to play the titles of Spotify, and you can do this by adding a plugin. This requires you to navigate to the Plugins section, and installing it from there. Once the installation finishes, activate Spotify on the RBPi.

Volumio is compatible to DLNA and AirPlay. Therefore, it is possible to broadcast audio streams from an iPhone. As Volumio offers a digital output, adding a DAC expansion card to the Raspberry Pi brings further gain in quality and listening pleasure.