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Raspberry Pi Audio Receiver

A simple, light weight audio receiver with Bluetooth (A2DP), AirPlay 1, Spotify Connect and UPnP.

⚠️ A note on Raspberry Pi OS 10 (Legacy)

The current version of Raspberry Pi OS (2021-10-30) is based on Debian 11 (Bullseye). This version does not contain the BlueALSA package (bluealsa) anymore. This repository now uses PulseAudio instead of ALSA. This may or may not work on slower devices like Raspberry Pi 1 and Raspberry Pi Zero.

For these devices, you might want to try HiFiBerryOS for similar functionality or stick with the debian-10 branch, which works with the "Raspberry Pi OS (Legacy)".

Features

Devices like phones, tablets and computers can play audio via this receiver.

Requirements

  • A USB Bluetooth dongle (the internal Raspberry Pi Bluetooth chipset turned out as not suited for audio playback and causes all kinds of strange connectivity problems)
  • Raspberry Pi OS Buster Lite (2021-10-30)
  • Internal audio, HDMI, USB or I2S Audio adapter (tested with Adafruit USB Audio Adapter, pHAT DAC, and HifiBerry DAC+)

Again: do not try to use the internal Bluetooth chip, this will only bring you many hours of frustration.

Installation

The installation script asks whether to install each component.

wget -q https://github.com/nicokaiser/rpi-audio-receiver/archive/main.zip
unzip main.zip
rm main.zip

cd rpi-audio-receiver-main
./install.sh

Basic setup

Lets you choose the hostname and the visible device name ("pretty hostname") which is displayed as Bluetooth name, in AirPlay clients and in Spotify.

Bluetooth

Sets up Bluetooth, adds a simple agent that accepts every connection, and enables audio playback through PulseAudio. A udev script is installed that disables discoverability while connected.

AirPlay 1

Installs Shairport Sync AirPlay Audio Receiver.

Spotify Connect

Installs Raspotify, an open source Spotify client for Raspberry Pi.

Read-only mode

To avoid SD card corruption when powering off, you can boot Raspberry Pi OS in read-only mode. This can be achieved using the raspi-config script.

Limitations

  • Only one Bluetooth device can be connected at a time, otherwise interruptions may occur.
  • The device is always open, new clients can connect at any time without authentication.
  • To permanently save paired devices when using read-only mode, the Raspberry has to be switched to read-write mode until all devices have been paired once.
  • You might want to use a Bluetooth USB dongle or have the script disable Wi-Fi while connected (see bluetooth-udev), as the BCM43438 (Raspberry Pi 3, Zero W) has severe problems with both switched on, see raspberrypi/linux/#1402.
  • The Pi Zero may not be powerful enough to play 192 kHz audio, you may want to change the values in /etc/asound.conf accordingly.

Wiki

There are some further examples, tweaks and how-tos in the GitHub Wiki.

Disclaimer

These scripts are tested and work on a current Raspberry Pi OS setup on Raspberry Pi. Depending on your setup (board, configuration, sound module, Bluetooth adapter) and your preferences, you might need to adjust the scripts. They are held as simple as possible and can be used as a starting point for additional adjustments.

Upgrading

This project does not really support upgrading to newer versions of this script. It is meant to be adjusted to your needs and run on a clean Raspberry Pi OS install. When something goes wrong, the easiest way is to just wipe the SD card and start over. Since apart from Bluetooth pairing information all parts are stateless, this should be ok.

Updating the system using apt-get upgrade should work however.

Contributing

Package and configuration choices are quite opinionated but as close to the Debian defaults as possible. Customizations can be made by modifying the scripts, but the installer should stay as simple as possible, with as few choices as possible. That said, pull requests and suggestions are of course always welcome. However I might decide not to merge changes that add too much complexity.

References

License

MIT

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Raspberry Pi Audio Receiver with Bluetooth A2DP, AirPlay, UPnP and Spotify Connect

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