Morrolinux's Pirate radio (PiFmRDS implementation with Bluetooth and mp3 support) for all Raspberry Pi models. Exclusively tested on Minimal Raspbian (ARM).
mpradio has been redesigned and wrote from scratch in python. We moved here
- Resume track from its playback status hh:mm:ss across reboots (CD-like expirience)
- Shuffle on/off
- Customizable scrolling RDS to overcome 8-chars limitation
- Skip to the next song by pressing a push-button (GPIO-connected on pin 18)
- Safely shutdown by holding the push-button (GPIO-connected on pin 18)
- Stream audio over FM or 3.5mm Jack (Bluetooth speaker via jack audio output)
- Send mp3 files or zip/rar albums to the Pi via Bluetooth
- Bluetooth OTA file management on the Pi with applications such as "Bluetooth Explorer Lite"
- Read metadata from the mp3 files
- Multiple file format support [mp3/wav/flac]
- Read Only mode for saving sdcard from corruption when unplugging AC
- PiFmAdv (optional)(experimental) implementation for better signal purity
- Control pipe commands during playback (explained below)
- Update just mpradio by sending mpradio-master.zip via Bluetooth (Update via App will be soon available)
- Bluetooth companion app for android (Work in progress...)
- Display Android notifications over RDS?
- Automatically partition the sdcard for a dedicated mp3 storage space (instead of using a USB drive)
- Due to a design flaw in BCM43438 WIFI/BT chipset, you might need to disable WiFi if you experience BT audio stuttering on Pi Zero W and Pi 3: https://github.com/raspberrypi/linux/issues/1402
- Boot can take as long as 1m30s on the Pi 1 and 2 due to BT UART interface missing on the board.
Reducing systemd timeout with
echo "DefaultTimeoutStartSec=40s" >> /etc/systemd/system.confshould help
First make sure your Raspbian is up to date:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -y full-upgrade && sudo apt-get -y install git
git clone https://github.com/morrolinux/mpradio.git mpradio-master
cd mpradio-master/install && sudo ./install.sh
You can just download and flash a full raspbian-mpradio.img image from here. Be aware even the "latest" image could be "not so latest", but certainly will work. Just wait for it to reboot twice on first use.
mpradio will always be running automatically after boot once installed. No additional configuration is needed.
However, you can change the FM streaming frequency (which is otherwise defaulted to 107.0) by placing a file named pirateradio.config in the root of a USB key (which of course, will need to stay plugged for the settings to be permanent)
[PIRATERADIO] frequency=107.0 btGain=1.7 ;gain setting for bluetooth streaming storageGain=1 ;gain setting for stored files streaming output=fm ;[fm/analog] for FM output or 3.5 mm jack output btBoost=false ;Enhance Bluetooth audio. This might add a little latency implementation=pi_fm_rds ;[pi_fm_rds/pi_fm_adv] - pi_fm_adv has a much cleaner sound [PLAYLIST] persistentPlaylist=true ;do not play tracks twice unless all of them have already been played resumePlayback=true ;(resume track from where it was upon reboot) require persistentPlaylist to be enabled shuffle=true fileFormat=all ;which file formats to search for. [mp3/flac/wav/all] [RDS] updateInterval=3 ;seconds between RDS refresh. lower values could result in RDS being ignored by your radio receiver charsJump=6 ;how many characters should shift between updates [1-8] rdsPattern=$ARTIST_NAME - $SONG_NAME ;Pattern which is passed to eval() to produce title EG: $SONG_YEAR - $ALBUM_NAME
Optional: Protect your SD card from corruption by setting Read-Only mode.
use utility/roswitch.sh as follows:
sudo bash roswitch.sh ro to enable read-ony (effective from next boot)
sudo bash roswitch.sh rw to disable read-only (effective immediately)
It (should) work out of the box. You need your mp3 files to be on a FAT32 USB stick (along with the
pirateradio.config file if you want to override the default settings).
You can safely shut down the Pi by holding the push button or via App, and waiting for about 5 seconds until the status LED stops blinking.
If you enabled "persistentPlaylist" option, your Pi will never play the same song twice before consuming the full playlist.
This means if you add new songs on the USB stick, with "persistentPlaylist" enabled they won't be played until the current playlist is consumed. You can "rebuild" the playlist (looking for new recently added files) if needed:
- Via App
- Boot your Pi with USB stick unplugged. (The current playlist will be erased.)
- Safely shutdown your Pi
- Power on your Pi once again, with the USB stick in it.
- You're done! (
mpradiowill rebuild the playlist, indexing the new files as well)
Also, please remember that (though it would be probably illegal) you can test FM broadcasting by plugging a 20cm wire on the GPIO 4 of your Pi.
You can perform certain operations while
mpradio.service is running by simply writing to
- Play a song on demand:
echo "PLAY /absolute/path/to/song.mp3" > mpradio_ctl
- Skip the current song:
echo "SKIP" > mpradio_ctl
- Seek the track forward or backwards:
echo "SEEK +10" > mpradio_ctlor
echo "SEEK -10" > mpradio_ctl
- Play all songs within a folder (via media scan):
echo "SCAN /absolute/path/to/folder/" > mpradio_ctl
Bluetooth companion app
I'll post the source code once it's mature enough, but you can test an alpha (0.2) version here
NB: I haven't handled all corner conditions yet, so crashes may occour. (Make sure your Bluetooth is on and your Pi is paired, before even starting the app)
cd mpradio-master/install && sudo ./install.sh update
Or, if you prefer to be explicit:
cd mpradio-master && git fetch origin && git reset --hard origin/master && cd install && sudo ./install.sh
Uninstallation / Removal
In order to remove
mpradio along with the packages that come with it:
cd mpradio-master/install && sudo ./install.sh remove
This has the effect of removing dependency packages whether or not you still want them. If you would like to keep the packages that
mpradio depends on, run the following instead:
cd mpradio-master/install && sudo ./install.sh uninstall
Debugging / Troubleshooting
mpradio is launched as a service (via systemd) upon each boot.
To check whether the service is running or not:
$ sudo systemctl status mpradio
To start or stop the service:
$ sudo systemctl [start/stop] mpradio
Bluetooth connection logs are found at
If the Raspberry Pi is not showing up as a Bluetooth device, check whether the interface is UP, and that the
bt-setup script is running:
$ sudo systemctl status bt-setup
If you are having issues with pairing Bluetooth for audio, please also check if
simple-agent service is running:
$ sudo systemctl status simple-agent
If you are having issues with Bluetooth not connecting once it's paired, please check whether
bluealsa is running or not:
$ sudo systemctl status bluealsa
A simple schematic of how things work together:
Warning and Disclaimer
mpradio relies on PiFmRds for FM-Streaming feature. Please note that in most states, transmitting radio waves without a state-issued licence specific to the transmission modalities (frequency, power, bandwidth, etc.) is illegal. Always use a shield between your radio receiver and the Raspberry. Never use an antenna. See PiFmRds Waring and Disclamer for more information.