The Raspberry Pi shouldn't need any kind of presentation, being probably the most popular device among DIYers since it landed on the market in the February of 2012.
If you still don't know it, it is a wonderful low cost, credit-card sized computer that fits in the palm of your hand, yet packs enough power to run a lot of applications.
Among all its possible uses, we love one in particular:
listening to music.
Because it will change the way you listened to music until now.
The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is the second generation Raspberry Pi. It replaced the original Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ in February 2015. The board is six times faster than the previous model but it's selling for the same price – $35.
Its credit-card size that fits in the palm of your hand allows you to hide it wherever you want, making it a very discrete presence in your listening room. There are also lots of enclosures available on the market, of you can build a custom one if you like DIY.
Remember those hot and noisy music servers with fans constantly running and collecting dust inside them?
That annoying background noise while you were trying to enjoy the subtle nuances of your favorite album?
Luckly those times are finally gone.
It's power consumption usually stays around 3-4 Watts under heavy load, something ridicolously low when compared to a common x86_64 PC powered by external PSU. If ecology matters to you while listening to good music, this is the way to go.
Once connected to your local network (via Ethernet or WiFi), the Raspberry Pi can be used like a headless server which does not need a monitor or a keyboard connected to it. Thus it can be remotely controllable from a smartphone, a tablet or a notebook.
You will need a software which has to be easy to install and use, and which allows you to play music from the Raspberry Pi and control the playback and the system configuration from remote.
RuneAudio is a free and open source software that turns your Raspberry Pi into an Hi-Fi music player. It will make it perform as an high fidelity digital source.
It's a system based on a custom-built Linux distribution, which has been specifically tailored around the scope of high quality music playback. Unused aspects of the typical operating system have been stripped away. Many system parameters have been tweaked to optimize the performance and get the best results possible from the hardware.
Such a system should also be easy to use for everyone.
RuneAudio offers a handy web interface which lets users control the playback and configure the system settings, with no need to have previous experience with Linux nor use the command line. The web interface is platform agnostic and responsive (it adapts to screen size), which makes it accessible from every kind of device (desktop computers, notebooks, tablets and smartphones) with a modern web browser installed.
Installing RuneAudio on Raspberry Pi is as easy as writing a disk image file (.img) to a SD card and then plug it into its card reader slot. It will only take some minutes and requires no particular skills.
RuneAudio is open source and collaborative, and many coders, makers and music lovers have been involved in its development. A project like this could not evolve as well as it does without passionate and dedicated contributors.
You can download RuneAudio for free from the download page of the official website.