I was previously using Audiocast M5 devices to distribute audio around the house in sync, either by sending it an airplay audio feed or by running one of the supported Spotify or Tidal Connect features that can run onboard. Sadly, there is no way to use 'line in' on the M5 devices to distribute a live audio feed from my HiFi where I listen to lossless Apple Music. And Apple Music does not support 'connect' like Spotify or Tidal do.
So I thought about getting a Raspberry Pi to act as an audio server, so I have set it up with ST, Liquidsoap and Icecast to send audio to my internet radio sets instead. Although they are not in sync anymore as Audiocast was, it does sound a lot better thanks to the processing done by ST! It also runs much better on 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS (it's no longer called Raspian)
I have been able to use my iPhone to stream from the Pi to Airplay but it introduces a 12 second delay! I have Audiocast connected to bigger speakers in the kitchen and the sound quality was very punchy and consistent! It sounds great now!
To do/wish list:
- It would be nice to be able to set up another output on the Pi so it also sends the audio via Airplay to the Audiocast devices, asides from the Icecast output.
- Switch to a better codec than MP3 such as AAC. A kind forum member suggested BUTT which does the job, but it causes the audio to stutter like hell as it seems to impact on the CPU. I need to figure out how to output AAC+ or similar using Liquidsoap perhaps.
- A very nice to have would be visual VU meters for input/output and maybe other graphs like the ones from the multiband compressor, AGC etc... perhaps have a small screen attached to the Pi which will allow this to be displayed.
- Enable live audio from the output jacks so I can monitor it locally through a set of speakers.
- Transmit the audio to Zeno.FM so I can hear the audio outside of my LAN. I tried to do this in Liquidsoap to send to the external server but all I get is silence.
- Stream from Apple Music locally on the Pi (if it does not impact CPU load and audio quality) - or have the Pi accept a stream from another Pi? At the moment I am using a DAP to provide the audio.
- Investigate other presets that work best with 320K MP3/AAC outputs. Dutch Moose seems to work well at the moment but I'm always open to try others out.
Anyway, if anyone is interested in the rollercoaster ride to get this working, feel free to check my other thread - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=32372
It may help others who want to try the same thing!