**I have recently compared Picoreplayer & RaspyFi v1.0. It turned out the RaspyFi is easier to setup and the sound quality is better, please visit the following thread for detail:
There is my first post and contains a lot of my experience and feelings. Should you really want to know what is the Squeezebox Touch (SBT) replacement, please go directly to the “Squeezebox Touch replacement - Raspberry Pi + PicoPlayer” section.
I love music but not rich enough to buy Hi-end Hi-Fi gears, therefore, I always like to try small inexpensive tweaks to improve my listening experience. Let me introduce my gears first:
- Lenovo Notebook (Source), with Foobar2000 and JRiver Media Center as the players
- Audio-gd DI-V2 (Async USB to Coaxial Converter, TE8802 chipset)
- Audio-gd NFB-10SE (Balanced DAC and Headphone Amplifier)
- Sennheiser HD650 (Headphone with tailor-made balanced jack)
My Lenovo Notebook connects the DI-V2 via USB cable, DI-V2 connects NFB-10SE via BNC adapter, HD650 connects NFB-10SE via balanced cable. I have no golden ear nor have much experience with Hi-end equipment. To my ears, my setup was quite alright, but until recently, I found that I was very very wrong about the satisfying sound produced by my system. To the experienced ear of my colleague, the sound was blurry, lack of dynamics. He laterally told me the sound was unbearable. He then lent me his portable CD player and I hooked it up to my DAC using a cheap plastic optical cable.
Holy XXXX, even that little old junk beat my way pricey source. My entire CAS dream was shattered into pieces at once!! After I realized the deficiency of my source, I modified a coaxial cable and picked one of the best old CD-ROM to make it as a CD Transport. Wow, I never know my favour music and my system could sound so good.
CD is good, I know, but most of my music is stored in my computer. Even I would pay for a CD Player, I don't have money and space for CDs. It is also troublesome to change CD. Not to say that renders my DI-V2 useless too. In the quest of finding PC replacement. I found different possible solutions:
- IPad with USB adapter
- Squeezebox Touch
MAC should be good, I know, but too pricey.
IPad with USB adapter does not compatible with my DI-V2.
Squeezebox touch should be the best since I know it is compatible with my DI-V2. However, it is now discontinued and I could not call it inexpensive even for a 2nd hand one with no warranty.
Worst of all, I don’t know if any of them could sound as good as a cheap CD-ROM. I do not wish to spend a few hundreds on those I am not certain, What could I do??
Squeezebox Touch replacement - Raspberry Pi + PicoPlayer
After a lot of searching, I found a solution - Raspberry Pi + PicoPlayer.
(All my gears connected together)
Raspberry Pi is a $35 Linux computer. I know this well before it is manufactured and I know I should able to use it to play music someday. For its simple design, no moving parts, there is very small interference/noise compared to ordinary computer. I received it about a year ago and tested for a while. The result was no good at all and it is too complicated to setup.
One year later, thanks to Triode, the brilliant mastermind that creates “Enhanced Audio Output app” for Squeezebox Touch. His app enables Squeezebox Touch to connect DAC via USB including my DI-V2. He then wrote a piece of software called “Squeezelite” which could emulate a Squeezebox Touch. Later, another brilliant mastermind, Steen, takes it a step further, he puts Squeezelite into a bootable image and simplifies the setup procedure, and it is called “Picoplayer”. Picoplayer is a tailor made bootable image for Raspberry Pi.
Too technical??? It simply means "Raspberry Pi + PicoPlayer" now becomes a "Squeezebox Touch". For merely $35, you now have a Squeezebox Touch, works exactly like a real one. Nothing less, nothing more, you could play music via your Logitech Media Server, control it via Android / Iphone.
How to setup Picoplayer:
The setup procedure is very well documented in Steen’s Picoplayer website:
The setup procedure will be somewhat like this:
1. Install the Logitech Media Server (PC/Mac/Linux/NAS)
http://downloads.slimdevices.com/nightly/index.php?ver=7.8 (Beta - I installed this version)
2. Downlod "willem1" version (Becuase I think this version is the best so far)
3. Burn the willem1 image into your SD card using "Win32Diskimager"
4. Connect everything together. If you don't have much computer knowledge, it is better to connect your Raspberry Pi to a monitor, using keyboard to config.
5. After you boot up the picoreplayer, enter "tc" as the username, "nosoup4u" as the password. Then enter "picoreplayer" and press return.
6. Assume you have Internet access, press "1" to update the software first (squeezelite)
7. In this version, press "3" to list detected USB DAC. Use the name start with "front:" for setup
8. Press "4" to enter your setup parameters. For me, I use "-o front:CARD=AudioAsynchr,DEV=0 -n Picoplayer"
9. Press "5" to restart the picoreplayer
10. Go to the LMS interface to play music (Web/IOS/Android)
-a ::16 -o front:CARD=AudioAsynchr,DEV=0 -n Picoplayer
The settings above limit the playback to 16bit only and this is a temporary workaround for My DI-V2.
The -n PicoPlayer is the name that will show in your LMS, it could be anything.
With Willem1 version and my USB DAC, it works well without the need to limit to 16bit
One of the best thing about this combination is its simplicity. If you have a little knowledge about computer, you should able to set it up within 10 to 15 mins. From there on, you could simply switch on and off the Raspberry Pi to play music without further setting.
This is the hard part. I don't know how to describe the sound precisely.
The most noticeable is the music becomes very clear, which should be contributed to very little background noise. It is a all-round improvement, the details, the treble, the bass are better. I compared it with 6 different PC and Notebooks with Windows XP and Windows 7. None of them are even close to it. Wonderfully, my HD650 does not lack of bass anymore.
1. There is occassionaly "zap" noise. Not a big problem though.
If you use PC as source, You must try my solution. It is cheap, wonderfully sounded and easy to use. Moreover, if you don't like the sound, you still have a Multi-purpose Linux Computer to play with.
Edited by fourwed - 9/17/13 at 8:39pm