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This app note shows you how to stream multichannel audio over the network to a multichannel miniDSP processor or interface, such as the Flex HT or U-DIO8. We will be using a Raspberry Pi 4 as the streaming endpoint to interface the miniDSP unit to the network, and UPnP/DLNA as the network audio software.

Notes:

  1. You will of course need multichannel audio content. We will provide a few options below.

  2. The setup described in this app note works with stereo audio too. If you only need stereo audio, you can instead use a stereo processor such as a miniDSP 2x4 HD, DDRC-24 or Flex. In that case, however, be sure to check out our all-in-one SHD Series streamers.

  3. miniDSP doesn't provide support for hardware and software that aren't miniDSP products. This application note demonstrates the use of miniDSP products together with other products.

Contents

What you'll need [Top]

For this app note we will be using the Raspberry Pi Model 4 running the RoPieee software. If you already have an older Raspberry Pi 3, give it a shot, as use as an endpoint doesn't require much compute power or memory.

Raspberry Pi with miniDSP Flex HT

In addition to the Raspberry Pi, you will need a suitable power supply, a micro SD card, and a case. We used the Argon ONE case shown in the photo, which is a very sleek option, but there are plenty of other choices. If you haven't used a Raspberry Pi before, you may prefer to buy a kit containing these extras together with the board.

(If you're having trouble finding a Raspberry Pi, check out rpilocator.com. You could also consider one of the other boards listed on the RoPieee download page, such as the ODroid C4.)

You will of course need a multichannel miniDSP processor that accepts audio over USB, such as the miniDSP Flex HT. You can also use our multichannel digital interface solution U-DIO8 if you don't need onboard DSP. (In this app note we will assume the Flex HT is being used.)

1. Getting set up [Top]

  1. Download and install RoPieee on your Pi. We recommend that you simply read and follow the excellent documentation.

  2. Connect a USB cable from one of the Pi's USB ports to the Flex HT's USB input.

  3. On the Flex HT, select the USB audio input using the front panel control or remote control.

  4. Open the RoPieee configuration page (see the RoPieee docs) in your browser. On the Audio tab, configure it to use USB audio as output:

    Enable USB audio for miniDSP Flex HT from RoPieee

    On the Services tab, click on the UPnP/DLNA subitem and check that it is set like this:

    UPnP settings for miniDSP Flex HT from RoPieee

    On the System tab, give it a unique name to help you identify it. We used "flex-ht-pi" for ours:

    Set name of miniDSP Flex HT in RoPieee

    (Note that if you rename the Pi, you will need to load the RoPieee configuration page at a different address. For example, in our case this is http://flex-ht-pi.local.)

2. Set up Kazoo[Top]

Download and install Linn Kazoo from the Linn Software & Apps page. It runs on Windows or Mac.

Start Kazoo. Click on the title bar to select the Pi connected to the Flex HT:

Select the miniDSP Flex HT from Kazoo

And... that's it! The next sections describe how to select music to play.

3. Play from UPnP server[Top]

If you already have a UPnP server with music files on your network, add it to Kazoo as follows.

  1. Click on the hamburger icon (top left) and then go to Settings (lower right).

  2. Select the Media Servers tab. You should see your server here. Select it with the checkbox and click Close.

    Enable UPnP music server in Kazoo

  3. Click on the hamburger icon again. Your server should appear here. Click to select it.

    Select the UPnP music server in Kazoo

  4. Your library will appear as a listing of albums. Click on one and then click the Play button.

    List of multichannel albums in Kazoo

4. Play local files[Top]

To play local files (files on your computer), you can install a local UPnP server and access them from Kazoo that way.

  1. Download and install the Linn Kazoo Server from the Linn Software & Apps page. It runs on Windows or Mac.

  2. After installing, there will be a new icon in the menubar (Mac) or taskbar (Windows). Click on it and select Configure Kazoo Server. To add the folder containing your multichannel music files, go to the Library options and click the "+" button:

    [screenshot]

    Add file location to Kazoo Server

  3. Now you have a UPnP server! In the Kazoo app, select the Kazoo media server and play files as described in the Play from UPnP server section above.

Wrapping up [Top]

And that's it! Have fun, and please feel free to share your experiences with multichannel streaming in our community forum.

Appendix: playing Qobuz multichannel [Top]

It is possible to play multichannel music from the Qobuz streaming service to the Pi over UPnP/DLNA. However, it requires extra steps that may not be so simple, so we decided not to include it as part of this app note. For anyone that might want to try, here is the gist of it:

  1. In the Qobuz app, search for multichannel albums and add them to your favorites. See the Roon app note for more information.

  2. Install BubbleUPnPServer somewhere on your network.

  3. In the BubbleUPnPServer configuration page, turn on OpenHome for the Pi.

  4. In Kazoo, select the OpenHome version of the Pi and log into Qobuz (from the hamburger icon).

You will now be able to access your Qobuz favorites from within Kazoo and play them to the Flex HT via the Raspberry Pi.


 

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