Volumio Streamer Configuration Tips

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by Woland, May 19, 2021.

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Help prioritise the tip writeups.. which would you value most?

  1. Securing Volumio

    12.3%
  2. Binaural (headphone) add-in

    14.0%
  3. DSP add-in

    19.3%
  4. Room Correction / REW add-in

    17.5%
  5. Optimizing pi hardware for audio

    50.9%
  6. Comparison of pi vs PC

    21.1%
  7. Amplifier auto power-on, power-off

    3.5%
  8. LastFM integration

    1.8%
  9. Spotify

    15.8%
  10. Streaming from PC/Mac to Volumio

    43.9%
  11. Streaming from Android to volumio

    17.5%
  12. Streaming Tidal / Qobuz

    38.6%
  13. API

    7.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    It's clear from reading SBAF that people are missing out on a lot of the potential from Volumio or frustrated because it doesn't do what they want out-of-the-box. This is my second or third attempt to create a writeup of Volumio tips. The writeup has proven to be too grand an endeavor and my earlier draft has disappeared, so I'm starting a thread and will aim to consolidate tips at a later stage.

    When I initially raised the possibility of this thread, some suggested putting it under Pi2AES or Raspberry Pi based streamers, which reflects a common misunderstanding about Volumio - it isn't necessarily tied to any hardware. So I'll try to get the basics about this software out-in-the-open first.

    I'm not affiliated with Volumio, and I don't claim to know everything about it. But I have used it a lot and customised it quite heavily. And no-one else has stepped up with a similar thread, so you're stuck with me and whoever else joins this thread.


    [​IMG]
    Volumio interface via a phone browser


    Volumio is :

    Debian Linux operating system, customised for use as an audio source / audio streaming. It's important to know this because many of the tips about getting more from Volumio are about customising Linux. It's also important to understand that by adding a Volumio streamer to your network, you're adding a computer that can be used to help in other ways, such as by monitoring and controlling your audio, network or home. A downside is that Volumio introduces security risks because, like any computer, it can be taken over by someone else and used to monitor or otherwise compromise its home network. One of the main tips I will share is about securing Volumio to reduce the risks.

    Confusing. Visit the website, and you'll find lots of different things labeled Volumio. There is the software, some hardware that runs Volumio software "Primo", MyVolumio Plans etc. Start out with Volumio Free, available at https://volumio.org/get-started/

    Extendable.
    Volumio gets you started with the main services. A lot of issues or wishes for extra functionality that I've seen in SBAF forums can be met using Volumio plug-ins. Some of these are shown in Volumio under the plug-in menu, like the ability to keep a playlist between reboots, Spotify Connect functionality etc. Some require a subscription, like HTTPS connectivity. Some of the best add-ins have to be obtained externally, such as the DSP add-ins and headphone cross-binaural filter.

    Multi-platform. Although it is most commonly used on a Raspberry Pi, Volumio is also excellent for repurposing an old PC or Mac notebook, where the screen and keyboard can be used to control playback. The Volumio website indicates support for a range of other small devices also.

    [​IMG]

    A tiny and inexpensive Volumio USB streamer (Pi Zero)


    USB or HAT.
    Running from a Pi, laptop of whatever, Volumio can output via USB or other hardware. If you have a USB-first DAC, like a Schiit Modius or most Chi-Fi, then you can get great performance without worrying about 'Hardware On Top' HATs like HiFiBerry, Pi2AES etc. A Raspberry Pi Zero USB streamer can add a lot of functionality to an audio system, and should cost less than US$20 to set up. Setting up Volumio on an un-used old laptop should cost nothing. The HAT's are mostly about getting different kinds of connectivity, like Optical, Coax, AES etc and can be added later if you like the base system.

    [​IMG]
    Volumio on a 10-year old laptop. More than capable of upscaling to 384k etc

    One of many similar operating systems. Some of the tips I'd like to discuss are easily adapted to other streamers, some are not. I've tried other Pi and PC streamers, and returned to Volumio because of the ways I have been able to customise it to my needs.


    OK, that's an introduction done. I'll start the tips next time.
     
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    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  2. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Tip: Setup SSH Access and change password

    Getting access to a Volumio shell command is necessary for a lot of the other tips.

    1: enable the SSH (Secure SHell) as described here: https://volumio.github.io/docs/User_Manual/SSH.html

    [​IMG]

    Make a note of the specific ssh command that gets you to this shell.

    2: Think up a password to go with your SSH command.

    If you followed the instructions above, you should be logged in. Use the passwd command to change your password from the initial one of 'volumio' to your desired one. That gives a much improved level of security. We can do better, and I may cover that in another tip.

    [​IMG] !

    3. You can use the 'exit' command to logout of your volumio.
     
  3. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    Hi,

    My biggest issue with Volumio is that I cannot use the song ratings from Foobar (1-5)? I give ratings to all my song tracks. Is there a way to do it?

    Cheers
     
  4. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Tip: Optimizing Raspberry Pi System Configuration (Part 1)

    The Raspberry Pi 3 is very overpowered for the demands of volumio. By lowering the speed (underclocking) the system, and minimising the activity of unused parts like the GPU, we can reduce power consumption and perhaps even noise / jitter on the outputs.

    These settings are based on Archimago's CRAAP™ settings for Raspberry Pi 3s running piCorePlayer

    You can read his reasoning at http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/01/measurements-raspberry-pi-3-as-usb.html

    Other Raspberry Pi's may require different settings - do post if you find ones that work well for other models.


    Setting Raspberry Pi 3/4 Settings

    1. ssh into your volumio

    2. edit the userconfig system configuration file

    Code:
    sudo nano /boot/userconfig.txt
    
    if that doesn't work because nano editor is not yet installed, do this and try again.

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install nano
    
    Now you have nano editing userconfig.txt, add these settings:

    Pi3
    Code:
    # Archimago's CRAAP Pi 3 Settings...
    # http://archimago.blogspot.com/2017/01/measurements-raspberry-pi-3-as-usb.html
    arm_freq=800
    sdram_freq=400
    core_freq=400
    gpu_freq=300
    over_voltage=-2
    over_voltage_sdram=-2
    gpu_mem=16
    
    # Force max current to USB 0=OFF (600mA) 1=ON (1.2A)
    max_usb_current=0
    
    Pi3B
    Code:
    # Archimago's CRAAP Pi 3 B+ Settings...
    # http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/11/musings-raspberry-pi-3-b-touch.html
    arm_freq=1000
    sdram_freq=500
    core_freq=400
    gpu_freq=300
    over_voltage=-3
    over_voltage_sdram=-3
    
    # Force max current to USB 0=OFF (600mA) 1=ON (1.2A)
    max_usb_current=0
    
    Pi4B
    Code:
    # Archimago's CRAAP Pi 4B Settings...
    # http://archimago.blogspot.com/2020/10/musingshow-to-raspberry-pi-4-touch.html
    # October 14, 2020
    
    # CPU speed control - normally 1500MHz, min 600
    arm_freq=1200
    arm_freq_min=300
    
    # CPU voltage control - SYSTEM DEPENDENT!
    over_voltage=-3
    over_voltage_min=-4
    
    # SDRAM control, normally 3200 - again, watch system dependent voltage
    sdram_freq=2400
    sdram_freq_min=300
    over_voltage_sdram=-3
    
    core_freq_min=200
    gpu_freq_min=200
    
    gpu_mem = 256
    
    # Keep it cooler! Throttle at max 75C.
    temp_limit=75
    

    Your screen should look like this (don't worry if you have different lines starting #)

    [​IMG]

    then control + x to exit and y, enter to save

    then
    Code:
    sudo reboot
    
    to reboot and logout. When it restarts, play and listen for the additional refinement in your volumio-sourced sonic bliss.

    While you're doing that, you really should read the relevant Archimago blog post and tweak the over_voltage settings for your specific system too.
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2021
  5. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Just confirmed this also works with moOde. Nice config.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    @Woland: Thank you so much for this. I've learned a few things already and am looking forward to more.
     
  7. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    If you're connected via Ethernet and have nervosa about noise coming from the radio signals, you can also disable wifi and bluetooth (edit as appropriate for Pi 4).
     
  8. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    I would like help setting up Volumio the way that I have J.River setup. I use the Audeze Reveal VST plug-in and the built-in parametric EQ. The built-in P.EQ isn't as flexible as J.River (Missing shelfs)

    Is there any way to get either of those to work on Volumio?

    Thank you for the writeup!
     
  9. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    brutefir software can be installed as a convolution engine to apply Audeze FIR filters. Brutefir is fiddly to setup, and I'll cover it in a future tip.

    Alternatively, some HiFiBerry audio HATs have a DSP hardware add-on that should be able to do the job. Read more about it here: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2021/02/review-measurements-hifiberry-dsp-add.html
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  10. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    Therefore I suppose that a Pi 4 is even more overkill for running Volumio. Pi 4 was suggested in the Pi2AES Dummies Guide and it's what many of us are using.

    Someone added a comment in Archimago's blog that they applied his Pi 3 CRAAP settings on a Pi 4, and it worked. I figured it's on the internet so it must be good :p. So I applied the settings on my Pi 4 running Volumio/Pi2AES and I can confirm that everything is still working as before. On initial listening, I can't say that I hear a difference (sounds great before and after). I don't have anything to measure temperature, but the case and ports feel a bit cooler.
     
  11. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    If I can P.EQ - I can live without Reveals extra features. That is my most important feature and then only thing keeping me from switching. I just remember there were no shelf filters.
     
  12. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Thanks for this! I rarely get to ssh into anything these days so just that is fun. I can’t say I hear a major difference after applying those changes but they certainly can’t hurt. I look forward to seeing what else you bring to the thread.
     
  13. Wooder Ice

    Wooder Ice Rando

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    Thanks for posting these tips. It encouraged me to change my Pi 4 from Moode to Volumio and I was able to find the Pi 4 specific CRAAP settings on the Archimago blog.
    http://archimago.blogspot.com/2020/10/musingshow-to-raspberry-pi-4-touch.html
     
  14. Metro

    Metro Friend

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    For quick reference, these are Archimago's Pi 4B settings (file location may depend on software).
    Volumio: /boot/userconfig.txt
    RoPieee: /boot/config.txt
    (check for other software)
    Code:
    # Archimago's CRAAP Pi 4B Settings...
    # October 14, 2020
    
    # CPU speed control - normally 1500MHz, min 600
    arm_freq=1200
    arm_freq_min=300
    
    # CPU voltage control - SYSTEM DEPENDENT!
    over_voltage=-3
    over_voltage_min=-4
    
    # SDRAM control, normally 3200 - again, watch system dependent voltage
    sdram_freq=2400
    sdram_freq_min=300
    over_voltage_sdram=-3
    
    core_freq_min=200
    gpu_freq_min=200
    
    gpu_mem = 256
    
    # Keep it cooler! Throttle at max 75C.
    temp_limit=75
    
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  15. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I tried the same aetting on my Pi B+ and it was a improvement.

    You don't need Volumio for these settings. They also work with moOde or any Pi for that matter.

    Mostly what the settings are doing is keeping the Pi rom using the switcher to power manage foe more power. Basically keeping it at a low idle.

    The older Pi's. (like the Pi A) also don't have as much switching power management, keeping the Pi even lower noise. Although these don't have WI-FI or BT built in, I turn this crap off anyway.
     
  16. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    @Woland thanks for the tips. Got Volumio configured no problem but my Ropieee box is problematic. The simple thing I got around is that it expects "su" instead of "sudo". But I'm unable to edit the config. It says there's no "root" user. Any experience with this?
     
  17. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    If your computer will read the card (ok for me on Windows 10 despite an error message saying I need to format), the config file is just an ASCII you can edit with a text editor.
     
  18. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Tip: Optimizing Raspberry Pi System Configuration (Part 2)

    These steps continue the philosophy of stripping away un-necessary functionality to have less going on, and less that can get in the way of streaming.

    Turning off LEDs
    Flashing LEDs might cause current to fluctuate elsewhere in the system. That is more likely to matter if your pi is streaming to USB or powering an audio HAT.


    To turn them off... for good.

    ssh into your volumio and edit your pi config file.

    Code:
    sudo nano /boot/userconfig.txt
    
    Add these lines

    Code:
    # Disable Ethernet LEDs
    dtparam=eth_led0=14
    dtparam=eth_led1=14
    
    # Disable the PWR LED
    dtparam=pwr_led_trigger=none
    dtparam=pwr_led_activelow=off
    
    # Disable the Activity LED
    dtparam=act_led_trigger=none
    dtparam=act_led_activelow=off
    
    I've tested this on Pi3, Pi4B and PiZero

    [​IMG]
    Lights out on the Pi
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  19. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Thanks @Biodegraded I've read that Volumio overwrites that file occassionally, so edits might be lost. Could you test with a few reboots and see?
     
  20. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    I've had the Archimago edits in my configs since 2017 on one card and 2019 on another and they've never been overwritten by hard boots (UPnP with Volumio as renderer in both cases).

    Edit: both cards 2019 - forgot I had to replace one.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021

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