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From old laptop to raspberry pi or alternative


spacemen12
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Hi,

The old laptop that I was using as media center died. The setup was modest:

AMD processor from ~2011

8 gig ram

external hard drive 3tb connected with usb 2.0

Software: Ubuntu Linux + clementine

DAC: HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC ES9023 96kHz/24bit

Music: a collection of FLAC files + radio (ICI Radio-Canada Première | Émissions, horaire, fréquences radio)

 

I will be able to rescue to external hard drive and the usb dac at least.

 

I am looking for a cheap replacement, so I am interested in best bang for buck up to 300$, but it can be really cheaper.

 

I am looking at raspberry pi with hifiberry. A bundle with case and power supply is around 150$. I am wondering with that price range, or a bit more, if I could get better sound (post dac). I am open for other options (both software and hardware). I would also like to still be able to connect to my usual internet radio station (see link above).

 

I have a bunch of XSPF playlist that I would like to keep and use without modification.

 

On a side note, that laptop was also my backup server for other usb drive, the printer server. If I use volumio, or similar software, will I be able to still perform those tasks?

 

I am looking forward to your suggestions.

 

Best regards,

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The old laptop that I was using as media center died...I am looking for a cheap replacement, so I am interested in best bang for buck up to 300$, but it can be really cheaper.

I have and love a Pi, a Beaglebone Black, and an Asus Chromebox in various rooms (in addition to more traditional Windows & Linux computers). I haven't personally used any of the Hifiberry options (they now offer a DAC, an optical module, and an amplifier), but others have reported very positively about them. The Pi itself is really cool and a great music player (I run JRMC on my 3). It's a bit primitive as a full service computer, though (e.g. response to JRiver controls is a bit sluggish). So I don't think it's a very good "only computer". But you can get great music from a Pi, a 'bone, or any of the latest small computers like my Chromebox or any of the cubes for peanuts.

 

On a side note, that laptop was also my backup server for other usb drive, the printer server. If I use volumio, or similar software, will I be able to still perform those tasks?

Volumio is both an OS and a music player. When I flashed it onto the eMMC in my 'bone, it booted directly and appeared to be the only available program - so I don't think you could run anything else on a device loaded with and booting to Volumio (although I could be wrong). It was a very nice player, but it wasn't directly accessible as a zone in JRiver (which I need to play the same source material in every room simultaneously on my network).

 

I haven't tried running a print server from any of my little boxes, so I can't answer you from experience. As I said above, my Pi is definitely slower than any of our "real" computers (except my wife's bloated 2006 Gateway laptop running XP). I strongly suspect that the Asus Chromebox (which cost me $179 at Microcenter) would do a fine job for you as a replacement for your old laptop if all you want besides music is a print server and access to a USB HD - it's Celeron powered, easily and cheaply expandable with more RAM and an SSD, and it has multiple USB ports and intergral WiFi plus HDMI. I have ours behind our master bedroom TV and I use it with a cheap wireless mouse and keyboard as a general computer when I want to do some work while relaxing in bed. You're not limited to the Chrome OS, either - I'm currently running Ubuntu on mine and have successfully run several Linux variants just to see how it works. You can also load Daphile on a USB memory stick and insert it when you want to boot Daphile (which is a very fine audiophile player - it's real beauty on a machine like a Chromebox is that you don't have to load it onto the computer).

 

There are several inexpensive DACs you can use, e.g. the newest Dragonfly is both inexpensive and excellent. Several on CA have praised the Chromecast audio device, too. As for a player, Clementine is fine, as are MPD, Amarok, Lollypop, and DeaDBeef (all of which have been on one or more of my machines in the last 2 years and work very well).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Volumio is both an OS and a music player.

I am thinking of the same setup on a PI3. The only part that I don't know though is whether I would be able to run a Roon Bridge. Do you fellas know?

Thanks,

Ahmed

Lenovo TS140(XEON E3-1225 v3 3.2GH) Win 2012 R2 4GB RAM RoonLab Audio Optimizer PPANG USB Card Larry's HDPlex-> CA DacMagic Plus -> AudioResearch DS225 Audioquest XLR -> Sonus Faber Olympica 2 Kimber Speaker Wire->(Main)RPi2 -> RoonBridge -> Onkyo TX-NR609 -> 7.1 In Wall Polk Audio SVS Sub (Home Theatre)

Allo Digione Signature -> HK Signature 2.0 -> Carver THX Amp -> NHT Zero + SVS SB-1000 (LivingRoom)

 

 

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I am thinking of the same setup on a PI3. The only part that I don't know though is whether I would be able to run a Roon Bridge. Do you fellas know?

Thanks,

Ahmed

I believe Roon Bridge was created for this purpose. According to the Roon community forum, "Roon Bridge for ARM is targeted at ARM development boards: small, low-power microcomputers based on the ARM-chipset, usually running Linux off a micro SD-card."

 

good info on Roon for ARM from the Roon community

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  • 2 weeks later...
I run a RoonBridge on my pi and I definitely recommend it!

 

My understanding is that RoonBridge will not work with Volumio. You need to be able to install things onto the OS card, and Volumio doesn't give permissions to do that.

 

Yup, found it out in the harder way. Installed Raspbian jesse Lite per documentation from the Roon site and it worked out just great. Also I am thinking, if you have a Roon, you would not need Volumio.

Lenovo TS140(XEON E3-1225 v3 3.2GH) Win 2012 R2 4GB RAM RoonLab Audio Optimizer PPANG USB Card Larry's HDPlex-> CA DacMagic Plus -> AudioResearch DS225 Audioquest XLR -> Sonus Faber Olympica 2 Kimber Speaker Wire->(Main)RPi2 -> RoonBridge -> Onkyo TX-NR609 -> 7.1 In Wall Polk Audio SVS Sub (Home Theatre)

Allo Digione Signature -> HK Signature 2.0 -> Carver THX Amp -> NHT Zero + SVS SB-1000 (LivingRoom)

 

 

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