Raspberry Pi Home Media Centre [gav-pi3 / 17]

Pi2 inside FLIRC Case

Since I had so may Rasberry Pis around, I upgraded my Mum's Media Pi from my one of the original v1.0 B models (now donated to Stirling High School) to a 2B (all of the 3s had more useful uses and the 2B was spare). She has gav-pi3.

The easiest way to get this up and running is with LibreELEC.

Kodi itself allows my Mum to watch any videos that are on the network, show photos, and even get the likes of YouTube and Ted Talks on her telly!

Kodi has exclusive use of the HDMI for video and audio.

For my own house, I used a Pi3 (gav-pi17, bought to replace a Pi that I thought had gone faulty, but turned out to just be a corrupt SD card). This also runs Kodi via LibreELEC but also has Music Player Daemon (MPD) in the background.

Fanmusic FM-6011

I originally gave MPD exclusive use of the audio stereo jack. However, after getting my Marantz NR1504 A/V Receiver, I noticed a massive difference in the sound quality of the same FLAC played through MPD -> stereo jack -> analogue amplifier input and Kodi -> HDMI -> digital input on amplifier (or indeed the amplifier reading the FLAC directly). So, I bought myself one of these: a Fanmusic FM-6011 USB S/PDIF adaptor. Now I have digital FLAC all the way to the DAC inside the amplifier... it sounds much better now!

Logitech DiNovo Mini

I've also got a cracking wee keyboard / mouse gadget for it for those times when the TV remote control just won't cut it.

Kodi is set up to NFS mount all of the media from within the programme. However, to get all of the media from the server for MPD, I've mounted my NFS export directly into the filesystem. If you want to store music directly on the Pi, then skip step 6a below.

It was extremely simple to set up...

  1. Plug an SDHC card into desktop PC (or laptop).
  2. Download and install LibreELEC to the card.
  3. Plug the SDHC card into the Raspberry Pi and power up, letting it re-size the SD card and then reboot.
  4. Install the Music Player Daemon: System -> Add-ons -> Install from repository -> LibreELEC Add-ons -> Services -> Music Player Daemon (MPD)
  5. Install as many add-ons as you like to Kodi. The SuperReop has literally thousands of them!
  6. From the desktop PC, SSH into the PC and do the following:
    1. Set up a mount service to locate music on your network.
    2. Edit the MPD configuration (note that there are actually two versions in different locations for some reason, but this is the one you want):
      nano ~/.kodi/userdata/addon_data/service.multimedia.mpd/config/mpd.conf
      The things that you'll want to change are the "music_directory" and an "audio_output" - I used the ALSA example to produce this:
      audio_output {
        type "alsa"
        name "S/PDIF -> Amp"
        device "hw:1,0"
        format "44100:16:2"
        mixer_type "none"
      }
    3. Reboot the PC (to start MPD)
  7. Sit back and play / watch / listen!

Specifications [gav-pi3]

Case: Generic pastic case
Board: Rapsberry Pi 2 (version 1.1)
SoC: Broadcom BCM2836
CPU: 32-bit Quad-core (ARM Cortex-A7, ARMv7-A arch) @ 900MHz
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV@ 250 MHz
RAM: 1GiByte LPDDR2 SDRAM
Storage: Sandisk Ultra, class 10 (8GByte SDHC)
Monitor: Sony TV

Specifications [gav-pi17]

Case: FLIRC with Pimoroni's Omni VESA mount
Board: Rapsberry Pi 3 (version 1.3)
SoC: Broadcom BCM2837
CPU: 64-bit Quad-core (ARM Cortex-A53, ARMv8-A arch) @ 1.2Ghz
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV@ 400 MHz
RAM: 1GiByte LPDDR2 SDRAM
Storage: Sandisk Ultra, class 10 (8GByte SDHC)
Monitor: Sony BRAVIA KD50X80JU (4k LCD TV)
External Sound: Fanmusic FM-6011 USB S/PDIF adaptor
Speakers: Cambridge Audio SX-120 (subwoofer) and
Kef iQ5SE (floor standing front speakers) and
Monitor Audio Radius 200 (centre speaker) and
Yamaha NS-P230 PDF (surround sound speakers, rear only)
All driven from Marantz NR1504 (A/V receiver & amplifier)
Keyboard / Mouse: Logitech diNovo Mini

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[ Page last updated Sun 11th Sep 2022 | viewed 812 times ]