Bluetooth Speakers

 A great feature is that you can easily connect a Bluetooth speaker or a Bluetooth headphone to the Network Music Player. First open up the Start page of the Player software by entering http://player.local. Unfortunately, most versions of Android OS are not capable of resolving a local web address. Instead you have to use the IP address of the player instead. How to find the IP address is described here.

Connect a Bluetooth speaker

When the Start page is open go to the Bluetooth page and scan for speakers/headphones...

The scanning will take quite a while – about 40 s. Also be sure that the Bluetooth speaker is on and that it is ready to connect. Often it flashes its lights and makes some beep noises when it is ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a while and some notification a pop-up menu will show up.

In menu pick the speaker you want to connect to… [click on the name of the speaker]

...then the Player will become connected and the Bluetooth Page will also be updated with the new speaker connection.

     
     
   
     
    
  
   
 When the speaker is connected it is shown on the Bluetooth page. You can disconnect the speaker by clicking on the orange cross button. You can always disconnect the speaker by turning it off. As soon as it is turned on again it will reconnect.

There can only one Bluetooth speaker or headphone connected at the time, but there can be many Bluetooth devices paired at the same time. The pairing of the speakers/headphones makes it very fast to switch between speakers and headphones.

    

     

      

     

            
    In this last picture you can see that there is no speaker connected, but there are three speakers that are paired and that can be easily reconnected without scanning.

    The Network Music Player supports Bluetooth 5.0 for receiving and transmitting. That version is supported by most modern phones. With this version comes a wider range and increased transfer capacity which improves sound quality up to be like CDs. Bluetooth is backwards compatible, so you can use older devices, but they might not always be able to benefit of these latest features. 

    You can also stream Bluetooth to the Network Music Player, how this is done is explained on this page. Streaming Bluetooth to the Player when it is connected to a Bluetooth speaker works. The audio stream is then directly transmitted to the Bluetooth speaker and the amplifier is muted. If there is no Bluetooth speaker connected, the audio will go through the amplifier instead and the connected wired speakers will deliver the music.

    A Bluetooth speaker is not a wired speaker

    The characteristics of a Bluetooth speaker is of course a little bit different than the ordinary wired ones.

    • Make sure that the Bluetooth speaker or headphone is on and that it is ready to connect. Often it flashes and make some beep noises when it is ready. It has also to be within a decent distance, not more than 25 m away. Also you have to figure out the Bluetooth name of the device (consult the instructions).
    • As stated above, there can be only one speaker or headphone connected at the time. Some more advance Bluetooth speaker systems comes with two speaker units and have multiroom capabilities that solve multi-speaker setups.
    • An already paired Bluetooth speaker will silently reconnect itself to the Network Music Player when it is turned on, if there was no previous Bluetooth device connected.
    • Some devices like computers can be both a speaker or a sender. Be sure to get that right in the settings of the device.
    • If you cannot find the wanted speaker after a scan (in the pop-up menu), scan again. Sometimes it takes a while for a speaker to announce themselves as Bluetooth devices. Note: that an already connected speaker (connected to another device) will not show up in the scanning result.

    The Network Music Player supports Bluetooth 5.0 for receiving and transmitting. That version is supported by most modern phones. With this version comes a wider range and increased transfer capacity which improves sound quality up to be like CDs. Bluetooth is backwards compatible, so you can use older devices, but they might not always be able to benefit of these latest features. 

    Streaming Bluetooth to the Player when it is connected to a Bluetooth speaker works. The audio stream is then directly transmitted to the Bluetooth speaker and the amplifier is muted. If there is no Bluetooth speaker connected, the audio will go through the amplifier instead and the connected wired speakers will deliver the music. 

     

    Even more...

    What you need

     

    What you need
    • Bluetooth or/and a Wi-Fi network to connect to. 
    • Use your iPhone or Android phone, PC or Mac or Linux computer, iPad or Android tablet as remote controls and access your music through the apps you like. You also need a web browser like Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox to manage settings, connections and as an option manage USB playback. That is done through the web page http://player.local* - no download of special apps...
    • The music sources can be Spotify, webradio stations, podcasts or any music you play or stream on your phone, tablet or on your computers. You can also play locally stored music on an attached USB flash memory stick. 
    • As usual Internet access is required for your streaming apps.
    • Bluetooth speakers or Bluetooth headphones and in addition you can use any wired passive speakers.

      

    *) If you are using an Android device your browser may understand http://player.local and open the start page as intended. Unfortunately, most versions of Android OS are not capable of resolving a local web address. Instead you have to use the IP address of the player instead. How to find the IP address is described on the Android page and it can be found here.

     

     

    Android

    Android - stream with Bluetooth

    The most convenient way to stream your apps with Android devices is to use Bluetooth. When you stream you control every aspect of listening with the app, like setting the volume, play/pause, next and so on. 

    The Network Music Player supports Bluetooth 5.0 and that version is supported by most modern phones. With this version comes a wider range and increased transfer capacity which improves sound quality up to be like CDs. Bluetooth is backwards compatible, so you can use older devices, but they might not always be able to benefit of these latest features. 

    ... or stream your Spotify app, the Player is integrated with the Spotify app so you can choose Player as an device within the Spotify app. That requires a paid premium account. If you only have the free basic Spotify account - stream Bluetooth!

     

    Find the IP address - find it with the Fing app

    When you want to do some settings of the Network Music Player itself (not your apps) or you want to do some USB playback  - then you access the Player's web pages. The web address for the start page is http:/player.local

    Unfortunately, so far most versions of Android OS cannot resolve the local URL  http://player.local to an IP address. That is pretty annoying since you have to find and enter the actual IP address of the Player into the browser’s address bar, every time... The format of an IP address for private networks most often looks like this: 192.168.n.nnn.

    To find the IP address you need to do a network scan. That is not as complicated as its sounds. There are quite a large selection of network scanner apps available on Google Play.

    Retro Audiophile Designs recommends Fing as the way to find the IP address, since it is easy to use, well-proven and the basic version is free. It can be downloaded from here.

    How to use Fing

    All network scanners works basically the same way. They scan the network and lists the IP addresses of all connected devices. In that list you will find the name PLAYER and its current IP address. 

    Open up the Fing app and you will see that it has already identified the network you are connected to. Click on the “Scan for Devices” button. In the resulting list that pops up after a few seconds scroll down to PLAYER and note the IP address. You can also see that the hardware manufacturer is Raspberry Pi which is correct. [in the picture below the Player is connected both with Wi-Fi and cable]   

    Often your router will assign the Player the same IP address when you restart  or turn on the Player again. The IP address will definitely change if the router is re-configured or restarted or replaced. Then you have to scan again... 

    Note: iOS, macOS and Window devices are able to find local URLs on private networks (i.e. your home network) - so if any of those are around you can easily find the IP address on the start page http://player.local .

      

    iPhone

     iPhone - stream with Airplay

    With an iPhone or iPad or a Mac you can easily stream from your apps to the Network Music Player using Airplay over Wi-Fi. Be sure that you have connected the Player to your home Wi-Fi network first.

    The best way to stream with Airplay is to first start to play music on your iPhone using any of your music apps, pod casts apps or radio apps or music streaming apps (like iTunes , Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, Pandora etc.), then go to the iPhone’s Airplay menu. This is the procedure to stream with Airplay:

    On the iPhone you will find the menu by sliding your finger from the top right to the bottom of the home screen (for older iPhones instead slide from the bottom to the top). Then you will see that the iPhone itself and the player are available in the list of Airplay receivers. Click on player and the connection is set up.

    Airplay is supported by all Apple iOS devices, but there are also Airplay apps available for Windows and Android that you can download. Check out Google. iTunes uses Airplay on computers as well and it can be installed on your Windows or Linux computer and even on Android devices.

    Bluetooth works too

    It is really easy to stream with Bluetooth. As always when you stream, you control every aspect of listening with the app, like setting the volume, play/pause, next and so on.

    The Network Music Player supports Bluetooth 5.0 and that version is supported by almost all iPhones around. With this version comes a wider range and increased transfer capacity which improves sound quality up to be like CDs. Bluetooth is backwards compatible, so you can use older iPhones like iPhone 5, but they might not always be able to benefit of these latest features. 

    ... or stream your Spotify app, the Player is integrated with the Spotify app so you can choose Player as an device within the Spotify app. That requires a paid premium account. If you only have the free basic Spotify account - stream Airplay or Bluetooth!

     

    Open up the Player Start page - http:/player.local

    Access the Player software by entering the URL http:/player.local in a web browser and the Start page will open.

    Note: If you are using an Android device your browser may understand http://player.local and open the start page as intended. Unfortunately, most versions of Android OS are not capable of resolving a local web address. Instead you have to use the IP address of the player instead. How to find the IP address is described on the Android page and it can be found here.

    Start page

    At the Start page you can:
    • Check what the Player is doing.
    • Set the volume. [Should be 100% if you are streaming - lower this only when doing USB playback.]
    • Manage Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB Playback and additional settings.
    • Check how the Player is connected.

     Bluetooth page

    On this page you can pair and connect or Bluetooth speakers or headphones. If you want you can turn off the Bluetooth service and all Bluetooth connected devices will be disconnected. You can also manage any Bluetooth connected source devices, like smart phones, that might be streaming Bluetooth to the Player. You can even disconnected on this page.

    Wi-Fi page

    Here you manage local network connections, wireless (like Wi-Fi) or wired (attached LAN cable). The Player has a special access point, a hotspot, which is a Wi-Fi network on its own. It is called Player and the IP address on that network is 10.0.0.10. It is mostly used during setup.

    Settings page

    The most important settings here are the restart streaming services and restart the Player software. 

    USB playback

    The USB playback consist of three page. The Playback page, Playlist page and the USB page. Note: the volume control on this page is the same as the one on the Start page. It can not be 100% for USB playback, that is too loud.

    Here is an example how it can look like:

     

     

     

    Initial set up [link]

    Click on this link: Initial setup guide