Ready to Play
Well, we’ve done it…we’ve gone bat-shit crazy. Our linux tinkering and obsession with Raspberry Pi micro-computing has led us to create the Tasty Pi, a Raspberry Pi-powered network audio player that we’ve installed in an elegant rack-mount configuration (although the svelte rack enclosure can easily be ditched in favor of laser-etched MDF case or a converted 19th century ornate clock).
Make Me One, Please?
Ok, we will make you one, for 300 American Dollars–it’s a labor of love, the parts cost about $150 and configuring it takes about 5 hours. Or, you can follow the instructions here and make it yourself. But if you want us to put everything together for you, we’ll build it from scratch in a few days, just email michael@ or matthew@, at this domain to make arrangements. Whatever you do, remember that this is a linux-based micro-computer, and while we have found it to be reliable, you might need to tinker a bit to get it working just right on your network.
Tasty Pi runs a standard Raspberry Pi Model B (amazon link) with the otherworldly HifiBerry DAC add-on board installed in an analog configuration. Shown below with the HifiBerry mounted, the HifiBerry delivers crystal-clear analog output up to 192kHz/24bit.
Software/Network Control With Volumio
We control our Tasty Pi with the revolutionary Volumio Music Player Software. Volumio gives us network access to a NAS drive and internet radio stations. The interface is browser-based, clean and fast, and runs in a responsive format, so it works elegantly on tablets and phones, too. Here is Volumio running our Tasty Pi, accessed through an ordinary browser on a iMac:
…and a Case Suitable for Mr. Fancy Pants
Of course, anyone can throw a Raspberry Pi in a bucket of liquid nitrogen or cobble together a cheap paper case. But isn’t your music more important? So, we searched for a more elegant, permanent solution for the discriminating Audiophile. First, we tried the bafflingly crappy MCM Electronics rack mount enclosure for Raspberry Pi, but it sagged under the weight of a few ounces; it’s pictured here, in all its majesty:
Next we tried a more robust solution, and hit paydirt: the Middle Atlantic UTR1 Rack Utility Shelf, a sturdy metal 1-space rack mount shelf, which offers good ventilation and plenty of mounting options, pictured here:
For a faceplate, we just needed a nice-looking anodized 1U blank, and we like the Raxxess AFT-1 blank, which we got from Sweetwater. It’s brushed and anodized which matches our existing equipment.
To assemble the case and Tasty Pi, we got a kit of nylon spacers and pc board screws from eBay.
The nylon spacers let us mount our board a few millimeters off the shelf…
We added a plate on top, which was a leftover from the crappy MCM rack shelf, but this probably isn’t even necessary. There’s plenty of room on the shelf for a second Pi, or even a small array.
Then we assembled our case with our faceplate and applied a decal. The Tasty Pi looks right at home in our rack alongside other components that cost much more–but do much less. For example, the Yamaha CD-N500, pictured in the rack space above our Tasty Pi, is accessible by an app, but not by a web interface like the Tasty Pi.
And here is the unit from the back of the rack…