An OrangePi for my audio system

Posted by jplesset on February 20, 2016 under Audio Technology, Computer Audio, Computers | 2 Comments to Read

What’s an “Orange Pi”? If you’re a geek, you’ve heard about “Rasberry Pi”. If you’re not geeky enough, then here’s the short explanation. An Orange Pi is a single board computer, about the size of a deck of playing cards. Costs about $35. Comes with a 4-core ARM processor, and can run Android or several flavors of Linux.

I’m running Ubuntu Linux 15.04 on mine. Everything I needed to install, that I had on my old PC in the audio system is also available for free, so the total cost is just for the hardware. $35.00 for the board, $15 for the “wall wart” power supply, and that’s all you need. I spent another $4.00 for the clear box for it.

The good part? It’s small, silent, and plenty powerful for the job of managing well over 5000 music cuts, managing the crossover to the subwoofers, and feeding another output un-filtered for the rest of the house. Oh, yeah, I use a USB sound “card”, same one I used before, cost me about $25.00. Yes, I’m kind of cheap, when it doesn’t really matter… It sounds great, I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

The bad part? The documentation to get it running is really poor to none. It took me nearly a month to get it all working, mostly figuring out how to get the right configuration for the board in the Linux OS. They figure you know to copy the right “boot” file. If you don’t know, then the network isn’t recognized, the drive isn’t recognized, etc. *sigh*

Once I could talk to it over the network and not plug it into our TV to see it, things went really well. I used standard Ubuntu commands to install:

ecasound

sox

mpd

ladspa plugins

and a bunch of other stuff. All up, I see the system using just 9% of the  processor, leaving 90% idle.  What else can I load on this thing?  Hm.   Another post, later.

 

Yes, if you’re interested, ping me. I’ll help.

http://www.orangepi.org

  • R "Texx" Woodworth said,

    I seem to have found my old cohort from Scorpion Technology! (Would LOVE to reconnect!)

    Ive been designing a rather complex audio routing system, implement mostly in hardware.
    After looking at the Orange-Pi, a fair amount of the hardware could be done in SW instead.

    I had already given up on the Raspberry-Pi but the Orange-Pi has enough more resources that I should probably set up a testbed and try it.

  • jplesset said,

    I was pleasantly surprised with how much I could do with the OrangePi. The music server/crossover uses very little of the resources, about half of what it does use is the dithering in SOX….

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