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Setup of audio players/server

Snapcast can be used with a number of different audio players and servers, and so it can be integrated into your favorite audio-player solution and make it synced-multiroom capable. The only requirement is that the player's audio can be redirected into the Snapserver's fifo /tmp/snapfifo. In the following configuration hints for MPD and Mopidy are given, which are base of other audio player solutions, like Volumio or RuneAudio (both MPD) or Pi MusicBox (Mopidy).

The goal is to build the following chain:

audio player software -> snapfifo -> snapserver -> network -> snapclient -> alsa

About the notation

In this document some expressions are in brackets:

  • <angle brackets>: the whole expression must be replaced with you specific setting
  • [square brackets]: the whole expression is optional and can be left out
    • [key=value]: if you leave this option out, value will be the default for key

For example:

-s "spotify:///librespot?name=Spotify[&username=<my username>&password=<my password>][&devicename=Snapcast][&bitrate=320]"
  • username and password are both optional in this case. You need to specify none of both of them
  • bitrate is optional. If not configured, 320 will be used. Same for devicename

A valid usage would be for instance:

-s "spotify:///librespot?name=Spotify&bitrate=160"


To connect MPD to the Snapserver, edit /etc/mpd.conf, so that mpd will feed the audio into the snapserver's named pipe

Disable alsa audio output by commenting out this section:

#audio_output {
#       type            "alsa"
#       name            "My ALSA Device"
#       device          "hw:0,0"        # optional
#       format          "48000:16:2"    # optional
#       mixer_device    "default"       # optional
#       mixer_control   "PCM"           # optional
#       mixer_index     "0"             # optional

Add a new audio output of the type "fifo", which will let mpd play audio into the named pipe /tmp/snapfifo. Make sure that the "format" setting is the same as the format setting of the Snapserver (default is "48000:16:2", which should make resampling unnecessary in most cases)

audio_output {
    type            "fifo"
    name            "my pipe"
    path            "/tmp/snapfifo"
    format          "48000:16:2"
    mixer_type      "software"

To test your mpd installation, you can add a radio station by

$ sudo su
$ echo "" > /var/lib/mpd/playlists/einslive.m3u


Mopidy can stream the audio output into the Snapserver's fifo with a filesink as audio output in mopidy.conf:

#output = autoaudiosink
output = audioresample ! audioconvert ! audio/x-raw,rate=48000,channels=2,format=S16LE ! wavenc ! filesink location=/tmp/snapfifo


Pipe FFmpeg's audio output to the snapfifo:

ffmpeg -y -i -f u16le -acodec pcm_s16le -ac 2 -ar 48000 /tmp/snapfifo


Pipe mpv's audio output to the snapfifo:

mpv --audio-display=no --audio-channels=stereo --audio-samplerate=48000 --audio-format=s16 --ao=pcm --ao-pcm-file=/tmp/snapfifo


Use -novideo and -ao to pipe MPlayer's audio output to the snapfifo:

mplayer -novideo -channels 2 -srate 48000 -af format=s16le -ao pcm:file=/tmp/snapfifo


If the player cannot be configured to route the audio stream into the snapfifo, Alsa or PulseAudio can be redirected, resulting in this chain:

audio player software -> Alsa -> Alsa file plugin -> snapfifo -> snapserver -> network -> snapclient -> Alsa

Edit or create your Alsa config /etc/asound.conf like this:

pcm.!default {
	type plug
	slave.pcm rate48000Hz

pcm.rate48000Hz {
	type rate
	slave {
		pcm writeFile # Direct to the plugin which will write to a file
		format S16_LE
		rate 48000

pcm.writeFile {
	type file
	slave.pcm null
	file "/tmp/snapfifo"
	format "raw"


Redirect the PulseAudio stream into the snapfifo:

audio player software -> PulseAudio -> PulsaAudio pipe sink -> snapfifo -> snapserver -> network -> snapclient -> Alsa

PulseAudio will create the pipe file for itself and will fail if it already exsits, see the Configuration section in the main readme file on how to change the pipe creation mode to read-only.

Load the module pipe-sink like this:

pacmd load-module module-pipe-sink file=/tmp/snapfifo sink_name=Snapcast rate=48000
pacmd update-sink-proplist Snapcast device.description=Snapcast

It might be neccessary to set the pulse audio latency environment variable to 60 msec: PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60


Snapserver supports shairport-sync with stdout backend.

  1. Build shairport-sync with stdout backend: ./configure --with-stdout --with-avahi --with-ssl=openssl --with-metadata
  2. Copy the shairport-sync binary somewhere to your PATH, e.g. /usr/local/bin/
  3. Configure snapserver with -s "airplay:///shairport-sync?name=Airplay[&devicename=Snapcast][&port=5000]"


Snapserver supports librespot with pipe backend.

  1. Build and copy the librespot binary somewhere to your PATH, e.g. /usr/local/bin/
  2. Configure snapserver with -s "spotify:///librespot?name=Spotify[&username=<my username>&password=<my password>][&devicename=Snapcast][&bitrate=320][&onstart=<start command>][&onstop=<stop command>][&volume=<volume in percent>][&cache=<cache dir>]"
  • Valid bitrates are 96, 160, 320
  • start command and stop command are executed by Librespot at start/stop
    • For example: onstart=/usr/bin/logger -t Snapcast Starting spotify...


Snapserver can start any process and read PCM data from the stdout of the process:

Configure snapserver with -s "process:///path/to/process?name=Process[&params=<--my list --of params>][&logStderr=false]"


Audio captured from line-in can be redirected to the snapserver's pipe, e.g. by using:




parec >/tmp/snapfifo (defaults to 44.1kHz,16bit,stereo)

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