How to Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Music Server with Volumio

Volumio Raspberry Pi Streaming Music

Fancy turning your Raspberry Pi into a music server where you can play any track, from any device on your network, plus content from popular music streaming websites? You’ll learn below how to transform your Raspberry Pi into a high-quality home music system, using Volumio.

Once you have Volumio set up on your Raspberry Pi, you’ll be able to stream all the major music formats, including FLAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, ALAC, and PLS. And, just to make sure you have a wealth of music at your fingertips, we’ll also show you how to stream music from Spotify.

What you’ll need

To complete this tutorial, we’ll be turning our Raspberry Pi into a headless music server that’s connected to the network via Ethernet, which means we won’t be needing many of the peripherals typically associated with Raspberry Pi projects.

To create your headless music server, you’ll need:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • SD card
  • Power cable that’s compatible with your Raspberry Pi
  • Ethernet cable
  • Audio device, such as a speaker or stereo, or a USB audio card
  • Amplifier module – optional but recommended
  • Laptop or computer to flash Volumio to your SD card

Once you’ve assembled your tools, you’re ready to turn your Raspberry Pi into a home entertainment system.

Installing Volumio to the Raspberry Pi

The first step is downloading Volumio and flashing it to your Raspberry Pi.

This tutorial flashes the system image using Etcher, as it’s free and cross-platform. If you haven’t already installed Etcher, head over to the balenaEtcher website and download the latest version.

  • On your laptop or computer, head to Volumio’s Get Started page and download the latest version for the Raspberry Pi.
  • Insert your SD card.
  • Launch the Etcher application.
  • In Etcher, click “Select image” and choose the Volumio file you just downloaded.
  • Click “Select target” and choose your target boot medium, which in this instance is the SD card.

Etcher will now flash the system image to your SD card.

Boot your Raspberry Pi

You’re now ready to start your Raspberry Pi:

  • Remove the SD card from your laptop or computer and insert it into your Raspberry Pi.
  • Attach the ethernet cable to your Raspberry Pi.
  • Plug your Raspberry Pi into a power source.

The device should now boot automatically. Please note that the first boot of Volumio can take a few minutes to complete.

Connect to Volumio’s temporary Wi-Fi hotspot

As part of the setup process, Volumio generates a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot to configure the Volumio software. On your laptop or computer, open the network settings and select the “Volumio” Wi-Fi hotspot.

As part of the setup process, Volumio will generate a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot.

When prompted, enter the password “volumio2.”

You can connect to the Volumio hotspot from any Wi-Fi enabled device.

As soon as you’re connected to this temporary hotspot, a popup should appear prompting you to configure Volumio.

A popup should appear, prompting you to configure the Volumio software.

If this popup doesn’t appear, go to http://volumio.local/wizard to launch the Volumio setup wizard manually.

You’re now ready to configure your headless music server:

1. Choose your language and click “Next.”

2. Give your device a unique name and click “Next.”

Give your Raspberry Pi a unique name, so you can spot it on the network!

3. You can now configure your audio output, which will vary depending on the audio equipment you’ve attached to your Raspberry Pi.

Volumio Raspberry Pi Choose Audio Output

4. Specify whether you require access to Volumio’s full set of configuration options or a more streamlined set of options. You can change these settings in Volumio’s System menu at any point, so to help you get Volumio up and running as quickly as possible, you may want to opt for a simplified menu.

To make the setup process easier, you may want to limit the options you have access to.

5. Volumio’s Wi-Fi hotspot is only temporary, so Volumio will now request access to your home network. Select your network from the list and enter your password when prompted.

You’ll be disconnected from the Wi-Fi hotspot as Volumio connects to your home Wi-Fi network.

Stream millions of songs via your Volumio server

You should now have access to the Volumio console.

You can access millions of songs, including Spotify's entire catalogue, via the Volumio console.

There’s a few different ways to stream music via Volumio.

1. Transfer files wirelessly

After Volumio has been online for a few minutes, the other devices on your network should automatically recognize it as a network storage. You can connect to Volumio from any other Internet-enabled device using the password “volumio2” and the username “volumio.”

Once you’re connected to Volumio, you can transfer music wirelessly using drag and drop and then access and play these files via Volumio.

2. Remotely access a network device

You can stream music from any network drive that’s connected to your home network:

  • In the Volumio console (accessible at http://volumio.local), navigate to “Settings -> My Music.”
  • Find the “Network Drives” section and click “Add new device.”

Volumio will now scan your network and display a list of available network drives. Find the device that contains your music, connect to it remotely, and you’re ready to start streaming music!

3. Use the Spotify plugin

With over 217 million active users, Spotify is one of the world’s most popular music streaming services. You can access Spotify’s entire catalogue via your Volumio server:

1. In Volumio’s menu on the left, select “Plugins.”

2. Select “Music services.”

3. Find the “Spotify” plugin and click its accompanying “Install” button.

Volumio has a dedicated Spotify plugin, that you can use to access millions of songs.

4. When prompted, select “Enable plugin.”

5. Once Spotify is successfully installed, click the “Installed Plugins” tab.

6. Find “Spotify” and drag its accompanying slider into the “On” position.

7. Click the “Settings” button.

8. Enter your Spotify username and password, then click “Login.”

9. If you have a free Spotify account, it’s recommended you disable “High Quality” audio.

10. Click the “Save” button.

Volumio should now connect to Spotify, and you’ll have access to Spotify’s huge and ever-growing collection of music.

If you only use Spotify to listen to music, you may want to install Spotify Connect on your Raspberry Pi instead.

Jessica Thornsby
Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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