As time passed, I became frustrated with the fact I had to convert all of the songs I wanted to play on my Internet radio/music file player to MP3s to play them. So, I started looking for a better solution that would allow me to
play many different types of music files. When the Raspberry Pi came on the scene, I figured out how to run a full
featured version of MPD which solved all my problems. Now, while I’m sitting in my favorite chair, I can listen to Internet
radio stations or play artists, albums, or individual songs from a Flash drive plugged into my Raspberry Pi.
In this article, I will show you step by step how to turn your Raspberry Pi into a remote-controllable Internet
radio/music file player.
With the high level of system integration on the
Raspberry Pi (RPi), you can make an Internet radio/music
file player with fewer parts than what would be required
using a repurposed wireless router. Figure 1 shows a
block diagram of the proposed system; Table 1 gives
some specifics as to the components required. For our
purposes here, I will assume your RPi will be connected to
an existing audio system (through an appropriate stereo
interconnect cable) or used with headphones, so we won't
worry about discussing amplifiers or speakers.
I will show you how to connect the RPi to your local
wireless network using an inexpensive (less than $6) USB
Wi-Fi adapter. However, you could run an Ethernet cable
from your RPi to your router and skip the Wi-Fi stuff
The two USB ports on the RPi Model B fit our needs
exactly with one port for the USB adapter and the other
for a Flash drive containing music. The Model A RPi would
not work for this application because it only has a single
USB port (unless you want to incorporate a USB hub into
your system). In any case, the increased amount of RAM
(512 Mbytes) on the Model B probably makes the MPD
server run better. The hardware connections to/from the
RPi are as follows:
1. Connection of the power adapter to the micro USB
port on the card.
2. Connection of the 3. 5 mm audio output to the
music system via the appropriate cable.
3. Insertion of the 4 GB or larger SD memory card
containing the operating system.
4. Connection of the USB Wi-Fi adapter to one of the
5. Temporary connection of a USB hub to the other
USB port. This will only be needed during the setup
process and will be removed when setup is
completed. Connect a USB keyboard and mouse to
the hub at this time. The USB hub will be replaced
with a USB Flash drive containing the music library
when setup is finished.
6. Connection to either an HDMI or composite video
monitor. The RPi will run headless; that is, with no
monitor required once the installation procedure is
TABLE 1. Required Hardware.
Raspberry Pi Model B
with power supply
SD Memory Card
4 GB or larger
Bigger = More Songs
I used an 8 GB device.
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