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HiFiBerry AMP+ as a Squeezebox Server Running Spotify

I was thinking about buying a Sonos speaker system for my house, then I realized I could build an open source setup for a whole lot less money using components we have in the shop!

We have been selling HiFiBerry's line of Raspberry Pi audio addons for almost 2 years now, and our customers love them.  So we thought these would make a perfect platform for our new home audio system.

We will specifically take you through the steps to get Spotify working.  Please note that this does require a Spotify Premium account.

We will build this system using Max2Play's excellent software for the Pi.

Step 1:

Decide what kind of system you want.  If you simply want to hook up speakers, you will want a HiFiBerry AMP+.    If you want to connect to your own amplifier / stereo, you can use the the DAC+ RCA or Digi+.  The RCA uses two RCA cables for speaker right/left and the Digi+ uses a toslink fiber optic connection or digital RCA.

For our system, we chose to use the AMP+ since we had a few nice speakers sitting around collecting dust.

Step 2:

Install the hardware.   We used one of our excellent High Pi cases which is designed to fix any HiFiBerry add-on board.  

Step 3: 

Download the Max2Play image here.  To install the image, check out this handy guide from the Raspberry Pi foundation.  

Step 4:

Get ready to boot your device!  We recommend having your Pi connected to your network with an Ethernet cable. This will allow you to easily connect to your Pi.  You can always setup WiFi later.  We also recommend connecting a monitor to the device via HDMI so you can see what is happening.

Step 5:

Connect to your Max2Play device by navigating to http://max2play/.  If this does not work, you can get the IP address of your device by clicking the icon in the lower left on your Pi, select Xterm, and type "ifconfig".  You can then navigate to that IP address from your regular computer.

Step 6:

Click "Squeezebox Server" on the top menu bar.

Then select the latest nightly version and click "squeezebox server start install". This will take some time depending on your internet connection.

Step 7:

Open the Squeezebox Server Webadministration:

This will open up a new window.  Now you need to login to your squeezebox account or create one.   Assuming you have an account, put in your credentials and click the tiny "next" button at the lower left.  

The setup will ask you to navigate to the folder with your music.  Since we are focused on Spotify, we are skipping this for now.  Just hit next and then finish.

Now you should see "Logitech Media Server" at the top left, and a settings button at the lower right.  Click the settings button.

Step 8: 

Select "Plugins"

Select "3rd party Spotify Plugin" by Triode:

 Click "Apply" at the lower left

Now navigate back to http://max2play/ and select Settings / Reboot and click Reboot.

 Step 9:

Once your system is running, go back to your Squeezebox Server Webadministration page.  

Click "settings" at the lower right, and select "Spotify" from the drop down at the top left.

Agree to the terms and conditions, and then you can login by entering your username and password.  Hit apply at the lower left.

To test, you can run the self test shown towards the bottom of the screen.

Step 10:

Last but not least!  We did all the above, and everything seemed like it was working, but we were getting no sound from the AMP+!  It turns out there is a little checkbox labeled "Disable Build-In-Audio on RPI3".  Once we checked that box and rebooted, we started getting amazing sound out of our AMP+!

Controlling it:

You can use the Logitech Media Server to control everything, but I find the interface a little hokey.  There are a handful of apps out there that you can use, and for $10 or so, iPeng seems to be the best one.  

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Max2Play - August 10, 2017

Hi Craig,

Congrats on a great article!

If you want to check out our newest Spotify implementations, check out Spotty by MHerger. It’s a new Squeezebox plugin that was built to counter the ending support for the official Spotify under Squeezebox. We edited our HowTo on Spotify to show this new plugin and how to set it up. It uses the Spotify app to once certify your premium status and then just works.

The other option for Spotify is our own Plugin Spotify Connect. It works like our other Audio Players, except here you can just enter your login credentials in the web interface, select your audio output device, click start and it shows up in your Spotify as a new device, named after your Max2Play device.

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