We’re busy replacing a customer’s ageing Sonos distributed sound system with a Linux Media Server (c/w SAMBA for remaining Sonos kit) c/w these tiny Linux-powered SBCs (single board commuters) as replacements. Granted, this is merely a prototype. This unit us based upon a Raspberry pi 4B c/w 8GiB RAM, a capacitative touchscreen and an external USB sound card. Though we may use some other SBC if Raspberry does not sort its supply issues PDQ. In any event, it’s dirt cheap and works remarkably well. Moreover, unless one is running upgrades or downloading new material, this system works completely independently of the internet.
Raspberry pi in special transparent case and capacitative touchscreen, sitting on top of a Quad series 4 Hi-Fi system: Quad FM4 VHF/FM tuner, Quad 44 preamp and Quad 404 current dumping power amplifier.
The Raspberry pi client (pictured above) runs an ARM64 version of Debian Linux. Being all 100% open source, we don’t have to worry about some foreign company deciding to obsolete key proprietary components or running software “upgrades” without our consent. Moreover everything in our system is replaceable with something else. Doesn’t require Windows networking. This does its business over https. And we can run upgrades on both the server and the clients remotely over SSH – with the customer’s consent, of course. Works an absolute treat! 🙂
As an aside, the Linux media server will talk to any device on the LAN with the necessary permissions. All it requires is a computing device with a reasonably modern browser (e.g Firefox, Chromium etc) and a decent media player (e.g. VLC, SMPlayer etc). Moreover, this system will stream video as well as audio. In addition to feeding our Sonos replacements, it can also be used with say a smartphone or tablet, feeding a decent Bluetooth adaptor connected the Aux input of any Hi-Fi system or any Bluetooth speaker…
1977-vintage Armstrong 626 tuner amplifier, fed by cheap android tablet via Bluetooth dongle. Music source is a Linux Media Server c/w LAMP stack, so all the computing device needs is a modern browser and media player, and Bluetooth. This device is running Firefox and VLC media player.The VU meter is just a bit of eye-candy provided by another app. Total cost, under fifty quid!