House keeping

I received several notifications from folks out there related to sKit and its evolution.

I'd like to lay out the (my) overall situation a bit more.

RPi5 based Streaming - My Masterpiece

I'd like to introduce you to the result of my latest audio streaming project. 

Spoiler alert: It's the best RPi based compact streaming solution I've been able to build to date.

What are we actually looking at?

NEWS: Lyrion Music Server just launched

Lyrion Music Server (LMS) a new kid on the block ?? 

Hmmmh. Not really. 

Raspberry Pi 5 - NEWS: Allo HATs revived

Just to let you know.

I had opened a Trouble Ticket related to the serious Allo driver

issues ( on RPi5

about 3 weeks ago.

Raspberry Pi 5 - The audio interface situation

I am usually doing a little regression testing on new hardware and new software, simply to see if my own operating system works flawless.

Over years this business was stable. With the introduction of RPi5 things changed.

Raspberry Pi 5 - M.2 NVME SSD

Why M.2 NVME SSD on a RPi5???  

We might intend to create an even better audio streaming giant !?!?  ;)

I am always looking for increasing efficiency on the system. Efficiency? An M.2-NVME SSD attached via PCIe - it can't get any faster - except you use 100% RAM drives.  

The usual USB route for SSDs adds another layer and a Sata/USB or M.2/USB conversion on top. There's a good chance that we can increase the efficiency of the overall system by going the M.2 route. Beside that the USB DAC remains the only device attached to RPi USB. And perhaps we can save some $ on USB filter gadgets. Yep. Plenty of good reasons.

LMS-squeezelite - great corrections on the way

Are you running squeezelite with a super large replay buffer??? 

I am recommending such a setup in public for several years - since the beginning of squeezelite-times to be exact. I've been running and suggesting full-track-ram-caches even before squeezelite times all over the places and even got disbarred from the JR River Media Center forum for proposing such a BAD thing - around 15??? years back.  Meanwhile full-track caching is a pretty common way to handle tracks in the streaming world. 

Truth to be told. There were some slightly annoying flaws associated to full-track-ram-caching in the LMS-squeezelite environment... ...and there's been a recent change. And I thought it is worth to write about it.

Raspberry Pi 5 - a new audio streaming giant

Since mid of November 2023 I own the recently launched Raspberry Pi5 with 8GB RAM. Not that I was unhappy with the RPi4 based setup. Though after looking at the specs and knowing what higher performance gear can bring to the table, there was no way not to try the new toy. 

Note: Before you run and order the device, you might want to read the whole article. In any case also order a cooling case at the same time! The RPi5 needs cooling!!! 

Chattin' with Chat - my first contact

ME and ChatGPT - some interesting, some funny dialogs I'd like to share

A pretty amazing machine that ChatGPT.  Enjoy.

Touch Toolbox on github

Once in a while I am still receiving inquiries of fellow audio folks asking for my Squeezebox Touch Toolbox.

Squeezebox Touch, a device that's been sold until 2011, if I recall correctly. The Toolbox is pretty much of same age. Time is flying by. It feels like a different life back than. 

Fun fact. I am sure that this ancient Toolbox will still have a slight impact on modern DACs. Yep. Unfortunately we still face similar challenges on our digital gear after all these years.

My new desktop streaming system (DIY)

The winter season, a great time to do some hardware work. Doesn't happen that often around here - hardware work.
Why not getting rid of a bare board DAC and a bare RPi and build a nice looking desktop streaming solution!?!?  That idea triggered this little project...

RPi kernel developments - 2023

Hi folks.

The foundation has updated its kernel tree a short while ago. It seems they plan to switch to kernel version 6.1 during the year. Usually the foundation goes for  LTS (long term support) kernel versions.

A lot of RPi related stuff had been merged into the so called mainline kernel tree of 6.1 over time. That's the master tree maintained by Linus Torvalds. The more stuff the foundation can transfer to mainline the less effort they and the developers will have to maintain two kernel trees. And the users should greatly benefit by getting much faster newer kernel versions and related features. Especially accessing performance relevant developments asap are of great value for embedded system like the RPi.

What's new on 6.1 ?

A lot.

RPI4 - All Lights OFF - Update

Not much going in RPi land these days. It's unbelievable that a whole industry branch gets dragged down currently.

However. Many of us still run and maintain RPis. I'd like to make you, the tweakers, aware of a recent change in the RPI firmware.

RPi Power Gadget - UcPi

IanCanada recently released a new gadget called UcPi.

It's basically a supercap power buffer for the RPi. It follows a to me new approach - I just called it "HAB" -- Hardware Attached to Bottom. To accomplish it IanCanada makes use of spring contacts to connect to the soldered GPIO power pins at the bottom of the PI board.

Over at github you'll find the manual that also lays out this or that application:

Audiophonics sells the product:

I do use cap buffers to improve the RPi power rails for years with good results.
Therefore I consider the UcPi a promising gadget. However. @ $/€79 plus feet on top I consider the pricing a bit steep.

Further it seems to take a while to get the supercaps charged, which might make operation of the module slightly annoying, especially if you don't run an AlwaysOn system.

Beside that it's recommended to use a quality PS for charging. Another argument that weakens the UcPi proposition. Of course - the lack of a case is another bummer.

Anyhow. I do think for those who run quality RPi implementations with PS like Allo Shanti, iFi iPower or alike the UcPi should enhance the overall performance of the setup without being too complex.

If anybody out there have already tested the UcPi, please let us know.


soundcheck's Purifi amplifier

Let's talk a bit about amplifiers. I owned numerous devices. Commercial and DIY. Jeff Rowland, Anaview Abletec, Hypex,  T-amps, SMSL and the list goes on and on. I tried many of those ebay Class-D modules. I tried all kind of power supplies (connex/hypex/linears, ...), I tried several full digital amps. and I compared these to even more amps owned by audiophile friends of mine. 

Oh dear. What a career. I swapped Class-D output transformers with Mundorf coils, replaced rectifiers, cabling, fuses connectors, power cables and the tweak list goes on and on.

And finally I got hooked up to a  Purifi Audio Eigentakt 1ET400A Stereo Eval1 amp integrated into a Ghent Audio case.

I am running this amp for more than a year by now. Puh. What a journey.

Gustard V18 vs. Allo Katana - a 2022 assessment

For almost a year or so I am running an IMO excellent Gustard A18 DAC.  The Gustard builds around the top of the line AKM AK4499 and Accusilicon clocks.  The DAC received quite some nice reviews confirming my experience with it.  Most reviewers saw that DAC challenging much pricier rivals. Until now I was never in doubt about the overall DAC performance...

audio@advise passes 1.000.000 site visits


...just figured that the site visit counter of blogger passed the 1.000.000 for audio@vise!!!

I thought it'd be worth mentioning. 

sKit and pCP81 - regression test successful

On December 5th  pCP 8.1 was released.

I just did a sKit regression test on my RPi4. I used the 64 bit version.

And I did a maiden installation.

It all went OK. Not a single hiccup! Great.

Releasing 1.4 for test

I just uploaded a seriously modified version 1.4 of

(UPDATE Nov-12-21 - I uploaded 1.4.2-beta. It comes with a few minor corrections, slightly enhanced stability and traceability)