Wednesday, 01 March 2017 14:08

4PM Coffee: $5 Subsonic Media Server Edition

raspberry pi subsonic media stream player

I've done a bunch of posts here on 4PM Coffee about the Raspberry Pi builds I've done.

This one isn't any different. I got tired of always having to transfer music to the Raspberry Pi from my computer when I wanted to listen to a new song I'd purchased or something.

The trusty RunePi does a great job for when you're jacked in and right next to it, but what about when you want to go out and take your tunes with you?

Well, most people would have to transfer the music to their phone or portable music player.

I didn't want to have to do that.

The whole idea behind this is that I don't want to have to manage all my music on every device I have. I'd rather have a single source that all the music is on that I can stream to the other devices from.

I began a search for a better option about a week ago, and came up with something that really works well.

Subsonic is a free music streamer designed for personal use

What attracted me is that Subsonic has everything that the Rune Audio Pi has, but with the added ability to stream music and video (on the $12/yr paid version). Subsonic also has phone apps that enable you to stream the music right to Android or iOS devices. It is the perfect solution for my needs.

Subsonic on a $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

I was delighted to find out that you can actually run Subsonic from a Raspberry Pi Zero.

What I've found is that the Raspberry Pi Zero is the perfect server for streaming music all day long. I've said before it only costs about $5 a year in electricity to run 24/7 and is so cheap to buy as a platform that just about anyone could afford it.

The Raspberry Pi is outfitted as such:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero - $5 (Adafruit)
  • Sandisk Ultra 32GB MicroSD card - $8 (Office Depot)*
  • EDUP Wi-Fi adapter - $4 (Amazon)
  • Old 2.1A Android Phone Charger

*I had a 16GB MicroSD card installed when I took the photo, but swapped it out with the Sandisk Extreme 32GB card the same evening.

Rather than install Subsonic manually, I headed over to DietPi and downloaded their auto installer.

The auto installer will take care of all the installation and configuration to make the Pi run Subsonic.

The operating system takes about 2gigs of space, leaving you roughly 28GB of space for music files after the formatting and installation.

28GB isn't a ton of space for media, so I'll probably have to add a USB drive with more space later, but right now, I have 12 albums ripped at 320k and loaded, and there's still 21GB available.

I'll be creating a tutorial on how to build this setup this weekend, so stay tuned!


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