Open-Source Office Audio Player Fri, Sep 14, 2012

I love tinkering around with computer stuff, especially when I can do it without spending money.  The Raspberry Pi (RPi), which launched a few months ago, appealed to me for this reason - it’s a little computer that costs only $35 and can do lots of cool stuff using only a few watts of power.  Here in the exfm office, we like music.  We sometimes like to listen to it loud.  Inexplicably, the Apple TV we have here doesn’t support analog audio out, so we’ve been without a good solution for a good collaborative audio player.  Today, I brought in a Raspberry Pi I’ve had sitting around for a while and - with a little technical know-how and Perl script patching - solved our problem.  We now have an audio player that is able to receive audio from anyone in the office running Mountain Lion (currently only a few of us, unfortunately) and play it out to our nice speakers.

What you see above is a Model B Raspberry Pi ($35), a Belkin powered USB hub ($10) and a cheap USB soundcard ($5).  The little computer is running the Debian Linux operating system and uses a program called Shairport to receive AirPlay audio and pipe it out through the USB soundcard.  Unfortunately, Shairport hasn’t yet been updated for Mountain Lion support, so you’ll have to apply this patch to make the setup work.

Pretty cool if you like to tinker and make cool things happen while saving a little cash (which I do).  If you have any questions about this or would like more detailed instructions, drop me an email.


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