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Raspberry Pi project – Car Audio improvement

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Update 2013-05-24:
Thanks to Laurent, I now know more about the audio capabilities of the Pi. Sad news is that the on-board audio output ain’t that great (to say the least :p). One possible solution could be to use an USB sound card or

A second solution would be to hook an A2DP adapter to the RCA inputs of the car, such as this one from Logitech.

Although the second solution seems overall better (possible to pair different devices to the A2DP adapter and stream anything to the car’s audio system of relying on the presence of an USB stick on the Pi, I think I’ll go with the Pi at first (otherwise all the fun is gone :p).

My current idea is to use an USB sound card, maybe with the addition of an USB Wi-Fi / Bluetooh adapter so that I can obtain at least the same functionalities as with the A2DP adapter. I found some, tutorials to do what I have in mind. I’ll check that out in the coming days.. :)

Some other links that might be useful (to me that is :p):

In my last posts, I’ve explained what I currently do with the two Raspberry Pi I own. In this post, I’ll describe one project I now have in mind that I will probably start working on in the coming days.

My goal with this project is to extend the audio system of my car.

Currently, all I can do in my car is to either listen to CDs (classic or MP3, which is pretty standard by now) or the radio. Apparently, I can’t stream music towards the car using Bluetooth because either my car, its specific firmware version or my bluetooth device does not support the correct Bluetooth profile (A2DP protocol).

Rather boring eh? Clearly, the Raspberry Pi could help here ;-)

Fortunately, my car has an RCA stereo socket that I can take advantage of.

For starters, my idea is to have the Raspberry Pi hooked up on the RCA socket and automatically playing any audio files it finds (either on the SD card itself or on any plugged in USB disk). So that I don’t have to worry too much about it, I also want it to do that without any interaction, meaning that from the moment it is booted up:

  • it should start playing the music it finds
  • if a USB device is plugged in, it should scan it for audio files to queue

Optionally, it should remember the last played song and start from there, or it could just play songs randomly. For this first phase, I think that console music players such as these might help me get started: cmus, sox, …:

  • http://archive09.linux.com/feature/124907
  • http://www.tuxarena.com/2011/12/10-console-music-players-for-linux/
  • http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1699260

Later on (and if I’m not satisfied with what I’ve described above), I have additional ideas:

  • since I want to learn electronics, I could add some switches to support basic controls (play, pause, next, previous)
  • since I also have music on other devices with Wi-Fi, I could add a USB Wi-Fi dongle and be able to send music towards the Rpi
  • if I have the USB Wi-Fi dongle, I could also find ways to remotely control music playback using a smartphone
  • I could try to find a way to plug into the car’s display system and use it, like that thing does:

As with any project, the possibilities are endless and so are the possible paths from start to finish. We’ll see how I get there! ;-)

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  1. Raspberry Pi project: Car Audio Improvement: http://t.co/O2iSaiTuKw

    Comment by dSebastien — 2013-05-22 @ 23:23
  2. RT @dSebastien: Raspberry Pi project: Car Audio Improvement: http://t.co/O2iSaiTuKw

    Comment by OliFilou — 2013-05-24 @ 09:44
  3. How hard is it to hook up a touch screen LCD and create a gui (as basic as possible) and create a media player and source browser? I’m thinking about a similar project but my ambitions are greater – how about making the whole dashboard an LCD touchscreen?

    Comment by fozzi — 2013-06-20 @ 18:04
  4. Well I can’t say much about that, never done it even if I’m interested (I can’t seem to find more than 24 hours in my days).

    Although, having an LCD touch screen display is way at the bottom of my wish list for this project. If I can control my audio box remotely using a phone, it’s good enough for my needs.

    Comment by Sébastien — 2013-06-20 @ 20:31
  5. Hi!

    There is one more way for you to play good quality audio from the PI: use hdmi to analog audio adapter. I have ordered myself one from ebay(http://www.ebay.com/itm/281035186817?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649).
    As for media center, the best choice is XBMC.
    I am also working at a car PC project using Raspberry PI and untill today I have XBMC media center with 7 touch screen and Navit for navigation.


    Comment by Andrei — 2013-08-06 @ 11:14

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