A DIY Music Streamer 02

A DIY Music Streamer – Planning your project

This page will help you to organise your streaming system and what you will need to get it set up and make it work.

What you need – Essentials


We’re mentioning software first as we are going to talk about two pieces of software for your media player which have very different features and uses.

The Raspberry Pi uses a micro SD card for its primary operating system and you can either download and install this onto an SD card yourself or we can supply a loaded SD card ready to go on our online shop.

Both software packages are complete with Rasbian OS Linux operating systems stripped to the bone to make the Media player as responsive as possible.

Both software packages can be operated in two distinct ways

Headless – The media player uses no internal display and you control everything from a conventional web browser on a computer phone or tablet. You can also use an dedicated app but you don’t need to as the web interface works well even on some older devices. Re-purpose last years mobile phone as a dedicated remote control!

Screen based – In this case you connect the media player to a display (TV) using the Pi’s built in HDMI port or the Raspberry Pi 7in touch screen. You can then use a remote control or the touchscreen to control the media player directly which makes life a lot easier sometimes. If you are contemplating a screen bases system you really need to use a Pi 3 or 4!

MoOde Audio

The moOde music player (don’t confuse this with a commercial product with a similar name) is a complete dedicated software package for playing music! and is the best choice for a high quality digital music player.

The moOde player works very well in “headless” mode but can be used in “Display” mode as well

You can find out a lot more about moOde Audio here (opens in new tab)


Kodi is a full on Digital media player which will not only play audio files but also video and still pictures as well. It can work for music “headless” but to use it properly you would normally use a TV to play video.

Because Kodi is a much more demanding piece of software it should only be used on a Raspberry P1 3 or 4 and if you want to display HD or 4K video you really need a 4!

More information on Kodi can be found here (opens in new tab)


A Raspberry Pi (duh)

The Pi comes in many flavours but you will need network connectivity which rules out most of the “A” models so here’s a list of what will work and in what circumstances

Depending on your software choice (see below) most models of Raspberry Pi will work but the main raspberry Pi boards are easier to set up then the little Zeros which need wireless network connection as they have no wired network port. This is only an issue if you don’t know much about setting up the Pi on a wireless network.

Here’s a list of Raspberry Pi’s that will work for this project, what software to use and the modes that work

Pi ModelHeadlessDisplayNotes
Zero “W”mo0de – yes
Kodi – no
mo0de – no
Kodi – no
WiFi only
Limited computing power
USB1 (micro connector)
1 Bmo0de – yes
Kodi – no
moOde – no
Kodi – no
No WiFi
Wired network only
2Bmo0de – yes
Kodi – music only
moOde – may work
Kodi – no
No WiFi
Wired network only
3Bmo0de – yes
Kodi – music only
moOde – yes
Kodi – yes (no HD)
Wired and WiFI network
4Bmo0de – yes
Kodi – music only
mo0de – yes
Kodi – yes
Wired and WiFI network
400 (a 4B with a keyboard – good for fiddling with 🙂mo0de – yes
Kodi – music only
mo0de – yes
Kodi – yes
Wired and WiFI network
Pi models and software recommendations

All the raspberry Pi’s above will operate with both moOde and Kodi for testing purposes but will be slow and almost unusable in practice.

You can find out more about Raspberry Pi’s here (opens in new tab)

Other essentials

A suitable 5V power supply

we recommend you use the official Pi power supply recommended for that model.

A USB keyboard

You have to type stuff during setup – difficult without a keyboard!!

An HDMI display
Not essential for setting up moOde but very useful for testing and troubleshooting.
Very difficult to initially set up Kodi without a display.

A DAC of some sort (USB or Hat)

You will need one of these to get an analogue audio signal into your music system.
We’ll use an Audioquest Dragonfly (USB) and a HiFi Berry DAC (Hat) in our examples.
Kodi users have the option of HDMI audio so dont need a DAC
The onboard audio out of the Pi is horrible but can be used if just testing or mucking about.

An SD card for the software

You will need a micro SD memory card for the operating software.
The minimum size you should use is 8GBytes if you are using a separate storage medium for your media.
For small music collections you can also use the SD card as the media storage. This has the advantage of making the media player self contained.

The average CD size is about 650MBytes and with Flac lossless compression you can halve this figure to about 325MBytes.
So allowing for a system size of 8 Gbytes, a 256Gbyte SD card can hold 248 Gbytes of data which would be around 760 CD’s

If you intend to download the software and create your own SD card you will need a computer with an SD card reader and some software to create the SD software card. (more on this on the getting started page)

Alternatively we have a loaded SD card available to buy here in our online shop if you don’t have access to a computer.

So time to get hold of a Raspberry Pi and micro SD card and lets get started

Previous – Overview

Next – Preparing the SD card