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  1. #1

    HiFiBerry for Wired Whole Home Audio via LMS

    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning a home renovation, and have been looking into options for whole home audio. Wifi is nice, but while I have all the walls open, I want to wire everything that makes sense to get wired. So I'm looking at the idea of putting a couple of ceiling-mounted speakers in each of the major rooms, and looking at HiFiBerry amps with Max2Play software to run it. I'm planning to just run speaker wire to a cabinet, where I can have a bank of Pis. I'd like to get some opinions on some aspects:

    • The only real options to control such a system seem to be apps like iPeng, the web interface, or something like OpenHab. I use iPeng now, but I don't find it intuitive, and my family doesn't understand it. I'm thinking of having a wall panel here and there, where maybe I can run a skinned web interface or something cobbled with OpenHab. Any thoughts?
    • As far as I can tell, if Logitech shuts down my squeezebox.com, I can still run everything, and I will lose features like TuneIn and Deezer. At least until someone develops replacement plugins. Does that sound right? Any related concerns?
    • I was looking a Max2Play because, while I like to tinker, I don't have time to be a full-time tinkerer. (I prefer a system that I can mostly set and forget.) I don't even mind subscribing to their "premium plugins" if that gets me tested software compatibility. Any experience or thoughts on that? Or preferred alternatives?


    I currently run four SB radios and two Duets, and have been mostly happy with them. I imagine using Pis with a wired network will make them more reliable, and the current wifi units can serve as additional control devices. I'd like to hear about any experience with this sort of thing.

    Thanks,
    Michael

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    United States, Florida
    Posts
    12,400
    a few thoughts:

    1. if using rPi's and hats (which I love!), I recommend piCorePlayer as your OS/LMS server/Squeezebox Player. Definitely set and forget and well supported. I know nothing about linux or any of the underneath the hood stuff, and I've set up several of these just by following instructions here (30 minutes or less from start to finish)
    https://www.picoreplayer.org/
    https://docs.picoreplayer.org/
    (look at menu items on left side of screen for the last link)

    2. If walls are open, in addition to speaker wires back to central location ALSO run ethernet (Cat 6) to every room back to central location. Maybe even two runs, with wall plate in a couple of different locations per room.

    3. you can attached pi screens to some of the rPis and have the same sort of touch panel controls you have with a SB touch. Very nice.
    Last edited by garym; 2020-12-19 at 17:18.
    Home: Pi4B-8GB/pCP8.x/4TB>LMS 8.1.x>Transporter, Touch, Boom, Radio (all ethernet)
    Cottage: rPi4B-4GB/pCP7.x/4TB>LMS 8.1.x>Touch>Benchmark DAC I, Boom, Radio w/Battery (Radio WIFI)
    Office: Win10(64)>foobar2000
    The Wild: rPi3B+/pCP7.x/4TB>LMS 8.1.x>hifiberry Dac+Pro (LMS & Squeezelite)
    Controllers: iPhone11 & iPadAir3 (iPeng), CONTROLLER, Material Skin, or SqueezePlay 7.8 on Win10(64)
    Files: Ripping: dBpoweramp > FLAC; Post-rip: mp3tag, PerfectTunes, TuneFusion; Streaming: Spotify

  3. #3
    Thanks a ton for the tips! I somehow missed this reply up until now!

    Regarding the idea of putting a touchscreen on the Pi and getting a SB Touch-like interface, how do you get the interface? Does it come with Pi Core player, or do you use the LMS web ui?

  4. #4
    Ah, I found it. It looks like PiCore Player uses Jivelite. I hadnĺt heard of that one, so Iĺll go read about it.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Cheshire, UK
    Posts
    5,928
    If you are going for as professional as possible install then you might want to consider using a wall mounted tablet and the Material apk instead of Pi / Jivelite screens. This has the advantage of being able to undertake other tasks as well as controlling LMS
    VB2.4 storage QNAP TS419p (NFS)
    Living Room Joggler & Pi4/Khadas -> Onkyo TXNR686 -> Celestion F20s
    Office Joggler & Pi3 -> Denon RCD N8 -> Celestion F10s
    Dining Room SB Boom
    Kitchen UE Radio (upgraded to SB Radio)
    Bedroom (Bedside) Pi Zero+DAC ->ToppingTP21 ->AKG Headphones
    Bedroom (TV) & Bathroom SB Touch ->Denon AVR ->Mordaunt Short M10s + Kef ceiling speakers
    Guest Room Joggler > Topping Amp -> Wharfedale Modus Cubes
    Everything controlled by iPeng & Material on iOS

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brussels, Belgium
    Posts
    363
    Quote Originally Posted by optimumchaos View Post
    Ah, I found it. It looks like PiCore Player uses Jivelite. I hadn’t heard of that one, so I’ll go read about it.

    Thanks again.
    Just did that at home in 2 bathrooms, inceiling speakers, 2 Pis with Hifiberry AMP2 hidden in a closet and 2 others with a screen to control them. It runs great and looks neat. The only negative point is that Jivelite interface is looking a little bit outdated compared to Material skin.

    Have bought the official screen case: https://thepihut.com/products/raspbe...uchscreen-case
    Transporter, Touch, SB3, SB2, Duet, Booms, Radios, piCorePlayer --- iPeng & Material --- LMS 8.0.1 - 1606928904 on Pi4 4GB - Max2Play --- Qobuz

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Waihi Beach, New Zealand
    Posts
    248
    This thread just popped up in a search for something else, and you're probably way past the design stage by now. But in case it interests you, in 2006 we designed our house from scratch and included a 'dark cupboard' where all the electronic stuff lives. Technology has changed a bit since then so some of our choices would no longer be available. A couple of really good choices were to run ethernet from the cupboard to every room, and to run TV cables to every room - all inside the ceilings and walls and in place whether or not the equipment is also installed.
    At the heart of the set-up is a Speakercraft MZC66 matrix switching amplifier - that connects sound and vision from any of the six inputs to any combination of the six outputs. They aren't made any more, and the move seems to be towards wifi or Bluetooth as the carrier for the goal of wireless entertainment distributed throughout the home. Our TVs and home theatre are served by HDMI cables, using extenders over ethernet where needed. All speakers are wired and served from the MZC66 in the cupboard - apart from the home theatre room which has its own Yamaha receiver, also in the cupboard, to drive the surround sound and hi-fi speakers.
    And we get to pick what we want to see or hear with wireless smart remote controls, or apps on the phone for Logitech Media Server.
    If any of that interests you enough to want more detail, feel free to message me and I'll pass on what I can.
    Digital: Raspberry Pi 3B; piCorePlayer 8 + LMS 8; HifiBerry DAC+DSP > Yamaha RX-V2700 > Jamo speakers
    Analogue: HifiBerry DAC+DSP > Speakercraft MZC-66 > whole house
    Library: External USB drive
    Android: Squeezer app

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