Tuesday, February 19, 2013


We have been using various SqueezeBox radios for several years now.  These allow us to listen to our local library of music, and streaming radio throughout our house.  We have had a NAS installed in our house for years (initially a Windows Home Server, now a ReadyNAS) and these were great to run the Logitech Media Server software, as we didn't need to leave any of our PCs up and running.

Recently, we have been transitioning to cloud services for storage, from the NAS.  We use CrashPlan for backing up our Macs and PCs.  Since we have been transitioning to Chromebooks, I have copied all of our files to Google Drive.  All of our movie content exists on the NAS, but since we have been using Vudu and Netflix for watching movies, we haven't played this content.  Since we haven't been really using the NAS for anything other serving content for the Squeezeboxes, this seems like a waste.  The electricity needed for a NAS with five 2TB drives, is overkill just to serve our music.

The +Raspberry Pi  is a great solution for this.  It is a small ARM based computer that uses 3.5 watts of power.  The SqueezePlug distribution has every thing needed for a media server, including the Logitech Media Server software, and this distribution supports the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi connected to switch with USB thumb drive for
media storage
The Raspberry Pi is just a bare board, so I also got a case. Once put together, the software installation was very easy. All that is required was to flash the distribution image onto an SD card, and boot the Raspberry Pi while connected to a monitor via HDMI.  Once booted and the ssh server was configured, the HDMI connection wasn't needed anymore, as everything could be done over the ssh connection.

Since the SqueezePlug distribution includes a Samba server, I was easily able to copy all of my music to the Raspberry Pi. The throughput of the copy was pretty bad.  During the copy, I was getting read throughput of about 8MB/s, but the write throughput went down to about 100Kb/s.  This is probably because the Raspberry Pi only has one USB controller, and the Ethernet port is using a USB to Ethernet adapter on the hub.

Raspberry Pi on top of powered down ReadyNAS Ultra
Once all of the music was copied the the Raspberry Pi, I was able to play music on our SqueezeBoxes.  I was able play four simultaneous streams. I did encounter one problem with some radio streams.  One of our local radio stations has a 64kbs AAC stream.  With the default settings, there were audio dropouts while playing the stream.  I solved this by changing the radio station buffer to 6 seconds, from the default 3, in the advanced network settings.

We now have turned off our ReadyNAS, and haven't had a problem yet.  I am now thinking about how else I could use the Raspberry Pi around the house.

Update: The developer of SqueezePlug has uploaded a tutorial in English.


  1. How easy was it to set up the Samba server?
    Are there any security issues introduced by doing so?
    I use Squeezeplug, LMS and Squeezelite on the same RPi at the moment connected by HDMI to my HiFi but I would like to be able to stream that music to other devices e.g. PC, android device, iPhone.
    Any tips for a noob ? Would Inedd to install the samba server ?

  2. Setting up the Samba server was very easy. It is one of the server options provided in SqueezePlug. For security issues, samba does open some additional ports, so there is some risk. For me, the benefit of being able to easily copy music to the Raspberry Pi outweighs any potential security risk.

    For playing your content on your PC, you can use SoftSqueeze http://softsqueeze.sourceforge.net/. This will use the LMS that you have already installed.

    For playing content on your android device, you can use the TVMOBILI server, that is included with SqueezePlug. There are several UPnP player applications available on the Google Play store


Unlocking Raspberry Pi Potential: Navigating Network Booting Challenges for Enhanced Performance and Reliability

I've set up several Raspberry Pis around our house for various projects, but one recurring challenge is the potential for SD card failur...