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Voyage MPD


By punkytse - Posted on 02 November 2010

Voyage MPD is a special edition of Voyage Linux that makes embedded hardware (e.g. ATOM, ALIX) become your favourite digital music player and Computer-Audio-Source (CAS) system.

Latest versions:

Snapshot Build:

Older versions:

Installation shall follow the existing getting start guide / Live CD getting start guide

Latest Voyage MPD is based on upcoming Debian 7.3 "Wheezy" and Voyage Linux 0.9.2. It contains the following features:

  • MPD 0.18.4 with Yan's real-time patch
  • USB Audio Class 2 support (allowing 24bit and up to 192Khz sample rates). It works best on XMOS chipsets
  • 3.10.11 kernel, with latest ALSA driver from the kernel
  • DSD playback by DoP (DSD over PCM) support in MPD - special thanks to exD Audio for certifying DSD support and their donation of development unit.
  • lirc and lirc driver for remote control
  • WebGUI modified from Meshlium Manager System

See also another release announcement at Computer Audiophile (Thanks Nick L.):

Many thanks to Yo Kubota (in Japanese) and Shin (in Korean and Japanese) for publishing excellent Voyage MPD guides.

Voyage Store now offers Voyage MPD Starter Kit which includes Voyage MPD, ALIX.3 board with aluminum enclosure. This kit works best as a Computer-Audio-Source (CAS) system which offer high quality audio playback, with low power consumption, silent and at a very low cost.

Voyage MPD now undergoes active development. We would like to hear your comments about Voyage MPD. Please post your feedback to the community mailing-list.

USB Audio Class 2.0 supports

Generally, any sound devices that supports standard USB Audio Class 2.0 (UAC2) interface will work under Voyage MPD. Here are some UAC2 devices (write-up by Nick L.):

  • Wavelngth Audio - It offers 24/192 and 32bit/192 DAC modules. Also offers Wavelink HS is a USB to S/PDIF adapter that is Class 2.0 USB audio, so you can connect to a standard DAC that can handle 24/192 data.
  • Ayre QB-9 - This is the DAC that is known to work with Alix/Voyage MPD setup. Handle 24/192 and is a very excellent sounding DAC with an amazing zero-feedback output stage. DAC has only 1 input: USB. Probably the best value for a serious audiophile at $2750 USD. *** Some user reported issues in using MPD with QB9 in UAC1 mode. If you encounter problem when using QB9, please change the USB mode to UAC2 in QB9.***
  • dCS - Considered by many to be the top of the line audio equipment. Currently offers 24/96 Asynchronous USB input but does have 24/192 coming out very shortly. The Debussy DAC will be upgradeable to 24/192 in April.

There are some USB DACs that are known not working with Voyage MPD:

  • North Star Design "Essensio" - it is a 32 bit / 192kHz device and seems to use propitiatory driver on Windows and MacOS X but not using USB Audio Class 2.

Screenshots

MPD shown at top:

top - 04:31:20 up  2:02,  1 user,  load average: 0.29, 0.34, 0.26
Tasks:  64 total,   1 running,  62 sleeping,   0 stopped,   1 zombie
Cpu(s): 47.9%us,  0.7%sy,  0.0%ni, 50.8%id,  0.0%wa,  0.7%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:    247268k total,   228828k used,    18440k free,     1620k buffers
Swap:        0k total,        0k used,        0k free,   200792k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
 2537 mpd       20   0 56468 9.8m 2340 S 47.4  4.1   0:07.05 mpd
 2545 root      20   0  2316 1088  868 R  0.7  0.4   0:00.25 top
    4 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.3  0.0   0:51.11 sirq-timer/0
 1080 root     -51   0     0    0    0 S  0.3  0.0   0:17.05 irq/4-serial
    1 root      20   0  2016  668  580 S  0.0  0.3   0:02.47 init
    2 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd
    3 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sirq-high/0
    5 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.03 sirq-net-tx/0
    6 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.19 sirq-net-rx/0
    7 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.11 sirq-block/0
    8 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sirq-block-iopo
    9 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:03.01 sirq-tasklet/0
   10 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sirq-sched/0
   11 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 sirq-hrtimer/0
   12 root     -50   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:10.52 sirq-rcu/0
   13 root      RT   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 posixcputmr/0
   14 root      10 -10     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.01 desched/0

gmpc connects to Voyage MPD:

MPod connects to Voyage MPD:

WebGUI in progress - modified from Meshlium Manager System

Mini setup recipe

I have my music library stored on another Linux server where the music files are accessible via NFS mount. So edit /etc/fstab and add NFS mount entry:

# remountrw
# vi /etc/fstab
192.168.1.101:/home/public /mnt/public  nfs rw,noatime          0       0

(Anyway, it doesn't need a NFS mount. If you have your music library on flash or thumbdrive, it also works.) Then create a /mnt/public directory on Voyage MPD and mount to NFS server:

# mkdir /mnt/public
# mount -a

Since MPD set /var/lib/mpd/music as default music library path. We now create a symlink that points from default library path to our NFS mount point.

# ln -s /mnt/public/Music /var/lib/mpd/music/public

Now change the default settings of MPD by appending the following lines to /etc/mpd.conf

# vi /etc/mpd.conf
follow_outside_symlinks "yes"
follow_inside_symlinks "yes"
zeroconf_enabled "yes"
zeroconf_name "Voyage Music Player"
mixer_type "software"

and remove this line so that you can access mpd remotely.

#bind_to_address "localhost"

Then restart MPD by:

#/etc/init.d/mpd restart

Now update music library, add all songs to playlist and play.

# mpc update
# mpc listall | mpc add
# mpc play

Now you can access Voyage MPD remotely using gmpc or MPod (iPhone) by specifying server address and port, i.e. <Voyage MPD IP>:6600

Note: The above setup are tested with the following hardware configurations:
1. ALIX.1 with on board CS5535 audio
2. ALIX.2 with SoundBlaster Play! USB adapter.
3. ALIX.2 with TrendsAudio UD-10.1 Lite USB Audio Converter
4. VirtualBox with built-in AC97 audio

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