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RasPLex + HiBerry = great headless music device in less than 20 minteus.

Grayt_mediaGrayt_media Posts: 6Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

This is why I love Plex.

I thought I would share my learnings as after a couple of days of searching I was unable to find a single clear source of information.

I wanted to replace my Sonos speakers with a device that used RasPlex as I found the Sonos expensive and inappropriate solution. Everyone already knows how to use Plex in the house and we have it everywhere via RasPlex.

I used the RasberryPi with RasPlex (http://www.rasplex.com/) solution combined with a HiBerry+amp (https://www.hifiberry.com/products/ampplus/) as well as a few second have Bose cube speakers to build a very cool solution very quickly.

The only part that was not entirely obvious was managing the volume control for the HiBerry. This turned out to be super easy given the great Plex client available and the quality of the RasPlex.

After the bits arrived it all arrived it took less than 20 minutes including the problem resolution.

Step 0.

Install RasPlex on the Sim as described on the site.

Attach the HiBerry to the RasberryPi

Put in the SD card, attach the screen, a keyboard and power so you can complete the final configuration.

I changed a few setting like autologin, connecting to the wireless network etc.

Don't forget to change the Unit name to something meaningful.

Step 1.

Once installed edit the config.txt document in the root of your RasPlex This can be done directly from windows.

Comment out by adding a "#" at the start the dtoverlay line as shown below.
# Required overlay for LIRC to function
# dtoverlay=lirc-rpi

And uncomment or remove the "#" from the start of the dtoverlay line you will see a few lines below.

dtoverlay=hifiberry-amp 

Step 2.

I used this referance: https://support.hifiberry.com/hc/en-us/articles/205385241-Mixer-controls-on-the-HiFiBerry-boards

run the following command to set the default volume lower. If you test it before you have done this expect it to be LOUD.

amixer sset Master 70%

also run teh followign to staore your setting.

amixer sset Master 70%

I found I got an error and had to create the final directory.

Step 3.

Grab my phone, choose the new RasPlex player from the player list, hit your favourite song and go.

The phone volume controls will control the volume.

Step 4

Grab a low profile electronics box metal, paint it matt black, put your new headless audio player in it, attach your choice of fancy speaker.

Don't forget the "Better than Sonos" logo :-)

Meta-data: Plex, Rasplex, HiBerry+AMP, Volume control, headless audio

Answers

  • CoxeroniCoxeroni Posts: 465Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Nice solution. Is the hifiberry worth its money? In my living room I use OpenPHT connected to my amp with TV switched of for the same usage case. For other rooms, I am already happy with a portable BT speaker and my phone so right now I don't see the necessity for your setup in my house but maybe I overlook some killer features :D

    Anyway thanks for sharing your approach.

  • OttoKernerOttoKerner Posts: 25,100Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    If > @Coxeroni said:

    Nice solution. Is the hifiberry worth its money?

    If you are using the HDMI wire to get digital audio out of the RasPi, you don't need the Hifiberry.
    But if you plan on using it as a pure audio device, you probably want an analog audio out.
    For music, IMHO the 3.5mm analog jack sounds atrocious.

    Help others too - by reporting back with your results!
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    Use the SEARCH function before starting a new thread!
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  • CoxeroniCoxeroni Posts: 465Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited October 13

    @OttoKerner said:

    @Coxeroni said:
    Nice solution. Is the hifiberry worth its money?

    For music, IMHO the 3.5mm analog jack sounds atrocious.

    It is... Used the headphone jack for a short time for my daughter's music box that I built, terrible. I now use an arduino amplifier via I2S (hope that describes it right, I mean digital audio like the hifiberry uses) and a mono speaker which sounds much better than the headphone jack and costs 10 € together :D

  • OttoKernerOttoKerner Posts: 25,100Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    I can only speak about the Hifiberry analog out.
    This one is spec'd up to 96/24 and it is put together very well.
    It is good enough to plug it into a very high quality HiFi set, IMO.

    Help others too - by reporting back with your results!
    Have you checked the Documentation before posting a question in the forums?
    Use the SEARCH function before starting a new thread!
    No PMs unless requested, please! Do not use 'verbose' logging
  • jacriderjacrider Posts: 40Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    We run a few similar set-ups in our house.

    We have two rooms with in-ceiling speakers (from Monoprice.com) and have the speaker wires routed to the basement where we have a closet with all sorts of connections. We have two RPi3's with the HifiBerry Amps, named to the rooms they service. All works well for everyone in the house as they all use Plex for other media as well. The volume control on the app is really important for this to work well. Early versions didn't have volume control from phones.

    In our main living room, we have an other RPi3 with the HifiBerry Digi+ board that has an optical connection to our main stereo amp. Again, easy set-up and use by everyone in the house.

    All play a high quality audio library with mostly high-res FLAC files without hesitation or stuttering.

    We are very happy with this setup.

  • CoxeroniCoxeroni Posts: 465Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    How do you control the pies? Android or iOS? I found the remote control of OpenPHT with Android to not always work as I hoped, most hiccups are created when I start something via the app and then disconnect again but expect OpenPHT to continue playing. That does not work all the time.

  • jacriderjacrider Posts: 40Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I only use the Andrioid App. A couple of my kids use the iOS. Never tried the OpenPHT - never really needed to.

  • mrfunksmrfunks Posts: 5Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Im using this setup, but with a HiFi Berry Sdif Coax... board.
    the problem I have , is that some times , it wont play at all on rasplex, when sent remotely from phone, I have to select next track, then it works. Also notice that music stops, for no reason whilst listening to on iphone, on wifi. any thoughts?

  • Grayt_mediaGrayt_media Posts: 6Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I used the Android app on a Samsung S8. Love it.

    I am really happy with the whole solution. Even ordered some sexy extruded aluminium cases for $8 each from China to mount everything is with a silent 25mm fan just in case.

    FYI The store command in my first post should have been "alsactl store"

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