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Raspberry Pi project — Car Audio improvement #3

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Update 2013-05-31:
I’ve received the hardware, time to play around! ;-)
In the meantime, I’ve created a repository on GitHub for this project. I’ll upload all the setup instructions, code, etc in there: https://github.com/dsebastien/audioPi.

AudioPi Hardware

AudioPi Hardware

Update 2013-05-28:
I’ve ordered the hardware I needed for the project:

Now I just hope that I’ll be able to plug them both in, given that both USB ports are pretty close and I guess that the sound card is a big large ;-)

After pulling my hair over the following schema for a few minutes:

Scary ;-)

I’ve read stuff about Linux’s audio landscape (graveyard?) for a few hours. It reminded me of things long forgotten and made me discover a lot I did not know about. Briefly said, I read about ALSA, PulseAudio, Jack, OSS, GStreamer (not enough yet), . This has been pretty instructive I must say ;-)

I now have a better view of what’s hot and what’s not and moreover, about the possibilities. My conclusions are that:

  • I want to output sound towards PulseAudio, which will then forward it towards ALSA & the sound hardware
  • I want to leverage PulseAudio’s RTP support so that I can use the system for multi-room audio

While doing my research, I’ve also read more about the Music Player Daemon project, and I think that it’s exactly what I need. Since it’s an headless music player with a client/server architecture, I can rely on it for the server side of things: actually playing the songs, maintaining the playlist, interacting with PulseAudio & ALSA, etc. I can also leverage the different plugins it provides, such as the output ones.

Another benefit of using MPD as backend is that it automatically broadens the usability of the solution since there are (LOTS) of MPD clients (e.g., CLI, desktop, web based, Android apps, etc), which is pretty awesome as it provides the means of controlling music playback from many different places.

On the other hand, I can implement the client API of MPD in my audio engine (A) in order to extend the possibilities, as explained in my previous post (e.g., A2DP support, LCD display, etc).

It’ll soon be time to create the project’s GitHub repo ^^
I’ll try to find some time to update the schema and the rest of the previous post.. ;-)

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