Use your Raspberry Pi as a Hi-Fi Player

If you use your Raspberry Pi (RBPi) in combination with a USB DAC and RuneAudio, it will become a Hi-Fi music player providing surprising sound quality. RuneAudio is a free and open source software that you can use with the single board computer for running the custom-built Linux distribution. The RuneAudio and RBPi combination replaces the PC or the laptop that you normally use as a digital source for music.

Like other open source projects, RuneAudio also came to be born due to personal needs. The developers were not very happy about having to use the laptop as a digital source, its absolute sound quality and ease of use. They started the RuneAudio project and encouraged people to download it, try it free and contribute to the development.

Project RuneAudio has two distinctive goals: One, to provide exceptional sound quality and two, make it easy to use for everyone. The developers are using the RBPi and other supported platforms for deriving the best results. For this, they are using Arch Linux as the base for their RuneOS and optimizing it as best as possible for audio reproduction.

For making project RuneAudio easy to use for everyone, the developers have built a handy web interface – RuneUI, that lets users control the playback and system settings, without any need for touching the Linux command line. With a cross-platform web-interface, the responsive RuneUI adapts to the screen size automatically. That makes it accessible from all types of devices, whether you are using a PC, notebook, tablet or a smartphone. All you need to do for installing is to write an image file to your SD card.

To install, first you will have to download the latest RuneAudio image for your RBPi from the official webpage. Next, extract the contents of the zipped file with a utility for manipulating compressed files such as Unzip on Linux, Zipeg on Mac or 7-Zip on Windows. That will leave you with a raw disk image file (an extension of .img).

The raw disk image file has to be written onto an SD card. You may follow these guides on Linux howto, Mac howto and Windows howto. Before you plug-in the SD card into your device, make sure the card’s write-protection is turned off. After the card has finished writing, unmount it safely and plug it into your RBPi.

Plug-in a USB DAC into the RBPi USB port (you can simply plug in the analog jack if you do not have a USB DAC). You can also plug-in your USB storage or your USB hard drive. If you are using a hub for the USB devices, it is strongly suggested that you use an external power supply for it. Now plug-in your Ethernet connector, plug-in the power supply unit of the RBPi power it on.

That’s all. RuneAudio boots up your RBPi for the first time, and acquires an IP address. Open a web browser on your Android mobile and run RuneAudio from http://runeaudio.local. You should be in RuneUI now. If you want to see this being done, you can view the videos that can be found online.