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What is it?
Our products are network music players where new electronics have been retrofitted into 20th century design items. The player connects to Bluetooth and it connects also to your home network via network cable or Wi-Fi. You can connect Bluetooth speaker systems or Bluetooth headphones and in addition also connect your wired passive Hi-Fi speakers. It is easy to switch between the different speakers. You stream audio from your devices using your apps. The devices you can use are smart phones, tablets and Windows, Mac and Linux computers. Besides your apps, you can attached a USB flash memory stick and do playback of stored music files on there.
What you need to know
The network music player uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet LAN in order to work properly. This requires some basic knowledge to manage the connections, for example you must be aware of how to:
- Scan for Wi-Fi networks and connect to the appropriate network using passwords.
- Scan for Bluetooth devices and in addition; pair, unpair and connect, disconnect.
- If needed, insert a LAN cable in the RJ-45 jack in the back of the player.
If you use a smartphone you already know how to do this.
What are you able to do?
You can stream any audio app on your devices using Bluetooth or Airplay or UPnP.
With your Spotify premium account you can with the Spotify Connect feature use the ordinary Spotify app to stream music directly to the player without first passing through your phone.
Music files on the attached USB can be of the formats: MP3, FLAC, WAV, M4a, AAC, ALAC, DSD, MPC and some other less common digital audio formats are supported as well (as mentioned below the Player uses MPD – the Linux Music Player Daemon and hence supports all of MPD’s default applicable formats).
Airplay can be used for streaming from iPhones and iPads (or any device supporting Airplay) to the player. Works very well with iTunes on iOS and Windows.
This is an app free system - you don't have to download an keep track of yet another app... instead the settings like connections and the USB playback are managed through a web browser on your devices. Just enter http://player.local - if you have an Android device you must most likely use the actual IP address.
You can easily stream your music, favourite podcasts or listen to live web radio stations:
- Stream from your favourite apps: media players, music streaming services, play downloaded music, listen to podcasts or live web radio . . .
- Share the network music player with others - it is great to enjoy music together
- Share the player by connecting via Bluetooth - easy streaming
- Everyone that have a device connected to the same home network (Wi-Fi or cable) as the Network Music Player may manage the Player and do USB playback at anytime.
- Stream the music to a Bluetooth speaker or a Bluetooth headphone. In addition you can also connect wired passive speakers and switch between all the connected speakers.
What do you need?
- One of the following devices: iPhone, iPad or Android phones or tablets
- . . . or computers with Windows (PC), iOS (Mac) or Linux
- Web browser like: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari, Samsung Internet Browser or Mozilla Firefox
- Turn on Bluetooth on your devices
- Wi-Fi network with Internet access or a network cable to connect to the router of your network
- Audio apps for music, podcasts or radio . . .
- Music stored on digital formats on USB flash memory sticks
- Bluetooth speakers and Bluetooth headphones
- A pair of wired passive speakers, 4 - 8 Ω, minimum 50 W
Additional option that can be added:
- If you have a Spotify premium account you can use the Spotify Connect for a better integration of the Player and Spotify.
What do you get with your purchase?
Besides the Network Music Player, you will find the following accessories in the box:
- AC power cable
- AC/DC adapter, 120 V or 240 V AC to 24 V DC/3.0 A
- USB flash memory drive/stick containing the guides mentioned below, terms and conditions and licences.
The USB flash drive with the system software is already inserted into the special system USB port.
- One USB 2.0 port for playback
- One inserted USB 3.0 flash drive (for the system software)
- One RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN port (IPv4)
- Two Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz (IPv4) circuits, one with antenna and one used as a hotspot
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Spotify Connect enabled
- Airplay is supported
- Also possible to use UPnP for streaming
- The network music player can be used as a stand alone Wi-Fi hotspot (turned off when connected to a Wi-Fi network)
Four speaker terminal posts for left and right channels.
Bluetooth 5.0. The player will be able to connect to Bluetooth speakers and Bluetooth headphones (supporting Bluetooth 2.1 or higher). It will only be able to stream to one Bluetooth device at the time, but several Bluetooth devices might be paired and thus easy to reconnect to.
DC input 24 V 3.0 A.
Single card computer Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, Broadcom 2711 Quad-core Cortex-A72 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz CPU, and 2 GB LPDDR4 SDRAM RAM.
USB flash drive of at least 16 GB for system software and file system.
Class D amplifier IQaudio Pi-DigiAMP+, power output is 2 x 35 W (RMS) into 8 Ω. Impedance range 4 - 8 Ω. Remember that speaker sensitivity is just as important as impedance, should be at least 80 dB, preferably 85 dB or higher (the higher the better). It uses Texas Instruments chipset TAS5756m. The amplifier delivers full-HD audio up to 24-bit/192kHz playback, depending on the file format.
The Player’s software consists of specialized software running on a Linux operating system which is configured for the Raspberry Pi single computer board and the amplifier IQaudIO Pi-DigiAMP+. It includes well-known free open source software components as the Music Player Daemon for playback. Librespot for the Spotify Connect functionality, Bluealsa-aplay for bluetooth streaming, Shairport-Sync for Airplay streaming, and Upmpdcli for UPnP streaming.
Other important software system components are:
[Operating system] Raspberry Pi OS Lite (32-bit Debian Bullseye)
A Getting Started guide on PDF format. [28 slides]
A comprehensive manual on PDF format [39 pages] with the following topics:
- Getting started
- Set up connections
- How to stream
- Connect Bluetooth Speakers
- Tips and tricks
- Trouble shooting
- System specifications
The documents above can be downloaded for free at the Extras and Downloads section.
Other important matters:
The support page can be found here.
The latest software version can be downloaded here. Or order a new USB stick.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions can be found here.
Spotify mentioned above are not in any way affiliated with Retro Audiophile Designs. Spotify is a registered trademark by Spotify AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
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 - 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 - 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 pageAt 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.
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.
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.
The most important settings here are the restart streaming services and restart the Player software.
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