I’ve had a Volumio music player for a while: pretty good overall, but sometimes a bit prone to corrupt filesystems. Checking the website, there was a new version, so I thought I’d try it. It was….interesting. Cleverly done, with squashfs filesystem images and a data partition to save data, but using it gave me a few issues. First of all, the original Raspberry Pi model B I was using turned out to be too slow: the initial setup took 20 min to complete, and playing audio was glitchy as it couldn’t shift data down the USB fast enough. Changing to a Raspberry Pi2 fixed that, but then it dropped off the network. With no HDMI monitor nearby, this was impossible to troubleshoot, so I tried an alternative: I had a HP thin client lying about, and Volumio has a x86 experimental version, so with a CF-IDE converter and a CF card to replace the tiny flash disk in the HP, off I went. Working out a few bugs in the BIOS that make booting the CF and not trying to boot the external USB drives that just contain music took a while, but it worked, quite well, with 2 problems- firstly, the web interface and the view through Cantata didn’t agree, and secondly…

It dropped off the network. The interfaces were there, just unconfigured. Being as this was a PC, I could get a monitor on it to show that. I wasn’t in the mood for digging though, and started looking about for an alternative, considering maybe building something, and came across various options: the music player Linux distribution thing seems to have sufferred/benefited from forks and options aplenty, just like the firewall ones did. There’s Volumio, Archphile (which now seems to be unmaintained), Audiophile Linux, and others.

I settled on Runeaudio, which, it seems shares a lot with Volumio, both coming from Raspify. I’ve got a lot of admiration for what had been done with Volumio 2, with some very, very clever features (like enabling a self-configuring wifi hotspot if no Ethernet is connected at first boot, for instance, which is impressive) and a beautiful web interface, but RuneAudio does what I need, and does it very well and very slickly: I did think it had failed the other day, with MPD not running, but it turned out a power failure had turned the DAC off, so it couldn’t start without an output device. Turning on the DAC fixed it staright away.

Whether I stay with this depends on reliability going forward- watah this space.

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