Music from a Pi

The Problem:

  • Getting a no-hassle, reliable, sonically good-enough way to play music through the kitchen stereo: an old NAD L75 amp driving some older Celeston 3 speakers.


  • 3.5mm stereo jack into the NAD amp. Works well, and sounds good. Supports all the sources we have, including XBox music and Spotify. Bit of a pain from the wire trailing around the kitchen to whatever device was driving and not always convenient to be directly connected.
  • Bluetooth adapter (like this for example). Works well (once a little driver-hell moment has been passed). Supports all the sources we have and delightfully no wires.
  • Raspberry PI directly connected via it’s audio out with Music Player Daemon. Works surprising well (I’d read the audio output was poor). Actually, with one of the clients, it’s rapidly become the preferred way to listen to music. Even Flac-encoded music. Downside is that it’s limited to stuff stored on the NAS.  No internet radio or music streaming services (although may be an option for web radio).

Things Learnt:

  • The Pi makes a great little streamer, even with Flac encoded files, for the setup it’s being asked to drive at least. I’m much happier with it than  Zune, iTunes, JRiver and various other alternatives tried over the holidays. The family can all interact with the current playlist too. Fun.
  • Bluetooth for random sources, including the odd YouTube video, was really useful. Maybe something like a D3020 with aptX Bluetooth than can also act as a USB DAC for the Pi (if it’s supported)???

MPD/Pi set-up:

Posted while listening to Beaumont Hannant, Texturology.


Streams for internet radio stations are also supported – just add as items to a playlist. Radiofeeds has a list of URLs for the UK.

Update 2:

Grab BBC radio streams from Download the .asx file, open it up in a tex editor and use the mms:// URI

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