WHAT THE HECK IS THIS? Imagine a small box that fits in your palm that is a WiFi music organizer/player appliance with every digital output available (including the weird ones) to feed your external DAC and is controlled by your smartphone. This is it. The time is now to throw away your PC or laptop (keyboard, mouse, video monitor, USB de-crapifier, etc.). Using computers for music is like using Facebook for social media: it's for old people. Further reasons why: easy to assemble, dirt cheap, and sounds great. CONTENTS INTRO (HERE) WHAT YOU NEED TO BUY, WHERE TO BUY AND NEED TO HAVE ASSEMBLY PART I ASSEMBLY PART II DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL VOLUMIO "FIRMWARE" INITIAL STARTUP DAC SETUP AND WIRELESS CONFIGURATION INTRODUCTION This is a dummies guide to getting the pi2AES up and running with the Raspberry Pi 4 (RPi) in a simple and straightforward manner with pictures and parts lists. Whenever the topic of the pi2AES comes up, lay people such as myself enter a geeks’ den with discussions on battery power, linear vs switched power supplies vs multiple power supplies, operating systems, software players, LVDS vs RJ45 i2s, SD vs micro SD cards, etc. I knew of the pi2AES / RPi a while ago, but honestly had no idea of what it was because it was so confusing. Had I known conceptually what it was, I would have immediately gotten one up and running. I figured pictures are the best way to explain: BEFORE (for old people and losers) AFTER (for kewl people) Yes, the pi2AES/RPi replaces that pile of crap on top of the rack (yeah, I'm old school): ancient MacMini, Schiit Eitr, keyboard, mouse, video monitor, operating system, and software player. The pi2AES expands on that by offering all imaginable digital outputs from DACs today: LVDS i2S via HDMI, i2s via RJ45, Toslink optical, AES, and SPDIF (coaxial and BNC). Those who own the latest Chinese or PS Audio DACs with i2s input should take note. I selected the RPi for its AES outputs as I have an affinity for pro gear and my best sounding CD transports used AES. Before we progress, please note: there are a million different ways to put this thing together. I will only explain one way. A work that works for me and that I feel can be repeated by anyone. The last thing I want to happen is for lay people to be turned off by the numerous options, complexities, and unnecessary geek talk. Anyone should be able assemble the parts and get this up and running in an evening. (Well, I did forget to order the RPi – thank goodness Amazon can deliver the same day by 9pm). P.S. Anyone a Blake's 7 fan?