Last updated: 2015-01-28

(DRAFT: Instructions being reviewed. Works, but not reliably. Can make the Pi hang.)

This project will result in a Raspberry Pi running SqueezePlay, playing back via HDMI with a basic on-screen display. It's a little more work than installing Squeezelite on PiCoreAudio, which we described in another project. But the end result will be a squeeze player device that can be used either headless or with a screen display, whichever is more convenient at the time. Sometimes it's useful to have the name of the track on the screen, and to be able to control the playback right there on the device. Other times headless might be more convenient, when you're languishing on the couch with your tablet, too lethargic to reach for a mouse. SqueezePlay lets you do it either way, while Squeezelite is strictly headless.

SqueezePlay will stream music from your Squeeze Server (LMS) or via Internet apps installed on your Server.

The project requires:

  • A Rev. B Raspberry Pi, with 512 MB RAM
  • An HDSD card, with Raspbian installed. The SD card should be at least 4GB, Class 6+ preferred but it will work with a slower card. Just more slowly. You can load Rasbpian from the NOOBS kit, or simply download it from the Raspberry Pi download site (http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/) and flash it to the SD. Note: these instructions were written for the 2014-01-07 version of Raspbian. Other versions may be slightly different.
  • An ethernet connection, wired preferred, but a WiFi dongle will be fine if the signal is good.
  • A 5V regulated power supply delivering 2A or better. A good power supply does make a difference.
  • An HDMI cable to connect your Pi to the TV or Surround Sound Processor.

You know, of course that Raspbian is based on Debian Wheezy. But don't be tempted to download a random copy of Wheezy for ARM. Wheezy uses the ARMv7 instruction set while Pi needs the ARMv6 set. So even though your Pi is hard-float capable, it doesn't handle ARMv7 which is what standard Wheezy uses. Raspbian is ideal, which why it's the preferred OS for PI.

This project needs some command line work, but we'll make it as easy as possible by just giving you the straight road through - no complicated choices or byways. Even though we've made this as simple as we can, you might still think this seems helluva complicated compared with installing SqueezePlay on Windows or Mac. You'd be right. What is missing here is a fully developed installation package for Squeezeplay on Pi that simply pulls the app from a repository, sets up all the libraries and permissions and done. That's what happens in Windows and Mac, but not yet in any version of Linux I've tried to use. So if you start from scratch, there's some trial and error involved. However you're not starting from scratch: you're using the easysqueezebox approach which (honestly) will save you hours of messing around.

Here are the steps:

  1. Plug in your SD card, connect your HDMI cable to the Pi and to the TV (either directly or via your SSP). Connect a keyboard and a mouse, preferably via a powered USB hub. Boot it up.
  2. The opening splash screen gives you an opportunity to maximize the memory available on the SD card (option 1). Choose it. Then reboot.
  3. After reboot, fix some other options:
    • Choose the option to boot into the desktop as default user pi. (Option 3)
    • In advanced options (8), choose option A2 to change the hostname. This is useful if you have more than one Pi on your network. Change is to something like Pi_Squeezeplayer_01.
    • In advanced options, choose A6 to select HDMI Output. 
  4. Choose Finish on the options page and reboot. You should see the Raspbian desktop.
  5. If you want to use WiFI instead of wired, now is the time to set it up. 
  6. Raspbian has a GUI so you can find your way around, but for most of this we will use the command line. Launch the LXterminal application - the icon is on the Raspbian desktop.
  7. Although your Raspbian OS is new, there will likely be updates available. Not all these updates will be essential, but updating everything will do no harm and will ensure we catch any libraries that are missing or stale. In LXterminal type the following commands, or access this page on the Pi using Midori and copy and paste them. (NB Use Ctrl-C to copy in Midori, but use Edit/Paste to paste in Terminal. This OS is definitely a work-in-progress.) Wait between each command for everything to finish. This could take some time!
    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev libflac-dev libmad0-dev libvorbis-dev libvo-aacenc-dev libfaad-dev libmpg123-dev lua5.2-dev libtolua-dev
    • sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
  8. Now launch the Midori browser and follow this link to get the deb file, which is a standard debian package: 
    • https://code.google.com/p/squeezeslave/downloads/detail?name=squeezeplay_7.8.0~337_armhf.deb&can=2&q=
  9. The above link is to the most recent version at time of publishing, but if there's a newer one feel free to use that one instead! Download the deb pack to a place you can find it again, for example a /tmp folder that you've created. If you just click 'Save', then Midori will place the file in the folder /home/pi/
  10. If after you've downloaded it you can't find it (that happens) then search for it using this command: find / -name 'squeezeplay'
  11. When you've located the file, copy the exact path and file name, and run dpkg to install it. This is the command for the version we tested: 
  12. sudo dpkg -i /home/pi/squeezeplay_7.8.0~337_armhf.deb
  13. Now just some little commands to set access permissions and executability:
    • sudo chmod u+s /opt/squeezeplay/bin/jive_alsa  
    • sudo chmod u+x /opt/squeezeplay/bin/jive   
    • sudo chmod u+x /opt/squeezeplay/bin/squeezeplay.sh 
    • sudo ldconfig /opt/squeezeplay/lib
  14. Installation is complete. Now run it: 
    • sudo /opt/squeezeplay/bin/jive

Once you're happy with it, you may want to arrange it so that the app starts automatically when the system is booted. (Instructions TBD.)

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