Tag Archives: squeezebox

AirPlay and more with the Raspberry Pi 2 and Squeezeplug

Read about the new Raspberry Pi 3 with Wifi and Bluetooth.

Squeezeplug has partnered with Max2Play and delivers a powerful system that can manage and play music in many ways and is configured through the Max2Play web interface. The system supports the new Raspberry Pi 2 B and previous models.raspberry-pi-2
Raspberry Pi 2 B
The new high powered Pi has a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and 1GB ram. It is considered to be 6x faster than the previous model but has the same price as it had. This makes it a great option for a small footprint media renderer.

airplayAirPlay works
Many features are activated out of the box, like Shairport, so you can AirPlay to it from the start.

The raspberry pi shows up as an AirPlay unit directly after the first bootup with squeezeplug and it works fine to AirPlay to it from Spotify. I have connected the Pi to my Onkyo receiver through HDMI. The sound quality is good.


You reach all Squeezeplug setting in the web interface, where you can map to samba shares, install additional plug-ins and activate things like DLNA, Squeezebox server and Kodi server. You can even activate an Equalizer if you want.

DLNA works
The DLNA client renderer is activated in the web interface. I use the BubbleUPnP app for playing music from a local DLNA server through the Pi and it works fine.

Audio output
Raspberry Pi 2 has HDMI for digital output and 3.5mm for analog output. Squeezeplug supports both outputs and the default is HDMI, if connected. You can also choose one of them.

Be sure to follow the steps described in detail on their web http://www.squeezeplug.eu/. The steps basically are:

  • Download image file from their homepage and write it to a micro sd card.
  • Insert it into the Raspberry Pi.
  • Attach a LAN cable.
  • The system will boot when you insert the power cable.
  • Access the web interface from another computer through http://max2play so no need for an attached monitor or keyboard/mouse.

Sometimes the Pi loses HDMI connection with the receiver which leads to tiny drops in the playback. It is irritating when it happens and needs to be fixed before the setup can be considered perfect.

Software alternatives
You can install Shairport on an existing Raspbian installation. The OSMC distro, that replaces the Raspbmc distro, is based on Kodi which also have AirPlay capability. Volumino is another linux distro for Raspberry Pi 2 that turns it into a music player with support for AirPlay and a bunch of other features.

Logitech drops Squeezebox and launches UE

UE Smart RadioIn a surprise announcement, Logitech disconnects its Squeezebox line of products. Moving forward, Logitech will not develop solutions that are backwards compatible with Squeezebox. Instead they now make a fresh start with a more streamlined system that installs easy and has a updated UI.

Logitech has bundled a bunch of products under the UE brand (headphones, bluetooth speakers, air play speakers..) but we will focus on the streaming part.

UE Smart Radio is part of a new eco system for multi-room streaming from Logitech. The eco system consists of:

* A cloud service back-end system that serves the Smart Radio with requested content.
* A iPhone/iPad/Android remote app
* The UE Smart Radio that can play services like Spotify, Internet Radio stations and local network audio.
* Optional UE Music Library service on a local computer/NAS to enable local network audio.

More details about UE Smart Radio.

The Radio works fine in a multi-room setting with different radios representing different zones.

Current Squeezebox Radios can be upgraded to the UE Smart Radio software in a few months.

Even though the Smart Radio is a competent device, it does not serve everybody´s needs, primarily due to the lack of a digital audio output. That was covered in the Squeezebox lineup by the Squeezebox Touch, which complemented the Radio wery well. Logitech has not announced any device to fill this gap but a Logitech engineer has more or less confirmed that a replacement digital out is coming in a forum post.

Update 28/9
Logitechs product director, Ariel Fischer, has made a blog post where he clarifies that the Squeezebox products and services (mysqueezebox.com, controller apps) will continue to be supported.

New Multi-room contenders

The interest in smart music solutions is huge, wetter it be as part of a home automation system, a stand-alone wireless multi-room system or simply be able to stream from your phone to a set of speakers.

The mainstream market leaders, Sonos, Logitech Squeezebox and Apple AirPlay seems relatively unthreatened at the moment. But new solutions are constantly being planed and developed. So lets have a look at some of the new contenders.

Xbox Music and SmartGlass

When Windows 8 launches this autumn, Microsoft is also launching their renamed Music service (Previously Zune) and their new media sharing solution, SmartGlass. If you have an Xbox Music subscription (and Live gold for Xbox) you will be able to play that music across the Microsoft board (Windows 8, Xbox and Windows Phone 8). You probably cant play it on Android and iOS devices even though they can be used as remotes for playing the music on a Xbox. Xbox ability as a dedicated music zone player could be disputed on grouds like high noice (non slim versions) and high energy consumption. But IF the remoting and zone handling would be implemented nicely, they could have a chance.

Samsung Music Hub

Samsung launched Music Hub at the same time as their new flag ship phone, Galaxy S III. It has a big online catalog of music that can be streamed and a matching service for music already owned. So both a Spotify and iTunes match contender. But only supported by Samsung Galaxy S III for now. Samsung plans to incorporate Music Hub in their TVs, fridges, phones and so on. From a multi-room perspective, they need to implement a proper zone player that can be connected to existing setups or stand-alone. Playing music through fridges and TVs just don’t cut it in the long run, though fun complements.

Google Music

There has been reports that Google is working on devices for streaming media, including audio. They would presumably, connect to their already existing music streaming service, Google Music and have an open platform for others to contribute to.

Sony Music Unlimited and HomeShare

Music Unlimited is a subscription service (as Xbox Music, Spotify, Music Hub) that lets users stream music and also upload/match owned music a.la iTunes match. It is supported by a broad range of Sony products like phones, playstation and blu-ray players. They also have a new iPhone app. The downside of Sonys broad offering is that it lacks clarity, from a multi-room perspective.