Home > DIY, FOSS, Volumio > DIY Net Player

DIY Net Player

Something I wanted to share is a device I recently built. It is a complete net player for music files, served by a NAS. It’s now finished and “in production” now, so here is my report.

The cherry ear net player, based on raspberry pi and HifiBerry Amp+.

The cherry ear net player, based on raspberry pi and HifiBerry Amp+.

Hardware

The device is based on a Raspberry Model B+ with a HifiBerry Amp+.

Cherry Ear backside with connectors and power supply

Cherry Ear backside with connectors and power supply

The Amp+ is a high-quality power amplifier that is mounted on the Raspberry mini computer, shortcutting the sub optimal audio system of the raspy. Only loudspeakers need to be connected, and this little combination is a very capable stereo audio system.

Software: Volumio

On the Raspberry runs a specialised linux distribution with a web based audio player for audio files and web radio. The name of this project is Volumio and it is one of my most favorite projects currently. What I like with it is that it is only a music player, and not a project that tries to manage all kind of media. Volumios user interface is accessible via web browser, and it is very user friendly, modern, pretty and clean.

It works on all size factors (from mobile phone to desktop) and is very easy to handle. Its a web interface to mpd which runs on the raspi for the actual music indexing and playing.

Volumio User Interface Example

Volumio User Interface

The distribution all is running on is an optimized raspbian, with a variety of kernel drivers for audio output devices. Everything is pre configured. Once the volumio image is written to SD-Card, the Raspberry boots up and the device starts to play nicely basically after network and media source was configured through the web interface.

It is impressive how the Volumio project aims for absolute simplicity in use, but also allows to play around with a whole lot of interesting settings. A lot can be, but very little has to be configured.

Bottomline: Volumio is really a interesting project which you wanna try if you’re interested in these things.

The Housing

I built the housing out of cherry tree from the region here. I got it from friends growing cherries, and they gave a few very nice shelfs. It was sliced and planed to 10mm thickness. The dark inlay is teak which I got from 70’s furniture that was found on bulky waste years ago.

After having everything cut, the cherry wood was glued together, with some internal help construction from plywood. After the sanding and polishing, the box was done.

Sizes

Sizes [cm]

The Raspberry and Hifiberry are mounted on a little construction attached to the metal back cover, together with the speaker connector. The metal cover is tightend with one screw, and the whole electronics can be taken off the wood box by unscrewing it.

At the bottom of the device there is a switching power supply that provides the energy for the player.

How to Operate?

The player is comletely operated from the web interface. The make all additional knobs and stuff superflous, the user even uses the tablet or notebook to adjust the volume. And since the device is never switched off, it does not even have a power button.

I combined it with Denon SC-M39 speakers. The music files come from a consumer NAS in the home network. The Raspberry is very well powerful enough for the software, and the Hifiberry device is surprisingly powerful and clean. The sound is very nice. Clear and fresh in the mid and heights, but still enough base, which never is annoying blurry or drones.

I am very happy about the result of this little project. Hope you like it🙂

Categories: DIY, FOSS, Volumio Tags: , ,
  1. Sinclair
    July 13, 2015 at 10:42

    It looks great! Am not a good DIY man so have to ask: the speaker terminals and the powersupply you got separate or they part of the Amp+ ?

    • dragotin
      July 13, 2015 at 11:10

      No, speaker terminal and the power supply are not part of the Amp+. However, I bought the powersupply as a recommended one at the Amp+ reseller. And I can recommend it: It’s compact, does not heat up and delivers enough energy.

      • July 13, 2015 at 11:19

        Well I am VERY far away from any reseller so just toying with the concept. So you would have to get terminals + supply and solder them on somehow? The box I can manage, it might not look as good as yours but I can do. But when it comes to soldering and so on I got like the thumb stuck in the middle of my hand.

  2. dragotin
    July 13, 2015 at 11:26

    Well, I am sure you would find a speaker terminal that does not need soldering but has a screw terminal. The Amp+ comes with screw terminals by default. So that part is easy. Find you neighbor with basic electronics skills😉

  3. Carlton Brooks
    July 21, 2015 at 02:45

    Can you show a picture of the inside of the unit.

  4. Kajoka
    August 5, 2015 at 13:42

    cool stuff!

  5. Psycik
    September 28, 2015 at 21:02

    So you have the hifiberry on here to power the speakers? I’ve never found out if you could also add a 3.5″ LCD screen as well as the hifiberry so you don’t need to use the web browser to access it.

    • dragotin
      September 28, 2015 at 21:07

      There is a version with amp from hifiberry, see here.

      yes, you probably can add a LCD as well, as most of the GPIO pins can still be used, even with hifiberry. However, you have have this stamp size screen, and still any kind of input device. So better go and buy a nice little tablet😉

  1. July 13, 2015 at 15:18
  2. July 15, 2015 at 11:09

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