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How to Build a High Quality Music Streamer Using a Raspberry Pi For Beginners

Many people want a better way to stream their music than using an RCA plug directly into their phone, as I did for many years. Or, much worse… Bluetooth ☹.

I decided to purchase the Raspberry Pi 4 and follow the steps to build a music streamer that I can use with Spotify, Tidal, Quobuz, and my music library via Volumio. Since I originally wrote this article, the prices of Raspberry Pi have increased significantly due to the global chip shortage and supply chain issues. You can find them on sale from time to time.

Overall, the results were not only audibly better, but the process is so much easier than dealing with unnecessary cables or the lack of quality from Bluetooth connections.

Here is the step-by-step process I took to build my music streamer:

Step 1: Buy the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B here

Step 2: Unbox everything and put together the Raspberry Pi; check out this video for instructions on how to put it together and this one for an upgraded version

You can use a variety of cases; however, I do like this one

You will also need a power supply, and I suggest this one from iFi

Step 3: Now that you have put it together, it's time to load Volumio, it's the software I am using as my operating system for the Pi, onto your memory card. To do this, you have to wipe everything off the card.

The SD Card association provides a very robust SD Card formatting tool. You can use the tool from the SD Card Associations website. Once you are on the website, you will find a download link for the SD Formatter for either Windows or Mac located at the bottom of the page.

Once you've downloaded the software, go ahead and plug in your SD Card into your computer, I use this SD Card reader from Anker

It will ask you questions and then prompt you to wipe the card. Ensure you select the correct drive to avoid accidentally wiping the wrong one.

Step 4: Installing Volumio is reasonably straightforward; first, go to Volumio's "Get Started" page and download the latest image for the Raspberry Pi.

You will need software to write this image to your SD Card. I will utilize Etcher, an exceedingly popular program explicitly used for this process. You can obtain Etcher from the Etchers official website. The software is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.

Once you have downloaded and installed Etcher, open the program.

Click the Select Image, then browse to the image you downloaded from the Volumio website.

Select the drive you wish to burn the image onto, and go ahead and flash the drive!

Once you have finished this, please take out your SD Card, put it into your Raspberry Pi, and Power it on!

Step 5: If you want to use the Wi-Fi option that the new Raspberry Pi boards offer, then you will need to follow a few more steps.

It takes about 5-6 minutes on the initial boot of the software.

Once it's booted up, go to your PC and open your Wi-Fi connections, you should see a mobile hotspot that says Volumio.

Click on it and type the password: volumio2

Once connected to Volumio's temporary Wi-Fi hotspot, go to http://volumio.local in your web browser. Once you have browsed to the address, you should be greeted with a welcome screen that will take you through the steps to set up your Volumio account.

It will prompt you to enter your actual Wi-Fi password and connect to your home Wi-Fi from this portal. Now Volumio can connect to your mobile from your Wi-Fi.

Step 6: Download the Volumio app to your iPhone or Android mobile phone. Once the app has loaded, you can click on the Volumio device you have now activated. From there, you can control the Volumio OS from your mobile phone.

And you are done! Congratulations on building your music streamer. If you are more of a visual learner, check out the video I did on this device here.

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