Create your own radio station with the HiFiBerry DAC+ ADC and Icecast
With the DAC+ ADC you can now sample input from any device that has an analogue audio output: your CD player, a microphone, your keyboard – and many more. One cool thing you can do with it is to build your own web radio. You can use this just at home with mobile phones and PCs connecting to a stream from your Raspberry Pi or even on the Internet.
There are several ways to stream audio over the network:
- protocols for local audio distribution like Airplay, Roon or the squeezebox protocol
- protocols designed for commercial installation and studios like AES51 or AVB
- internet streaming protocols
In this guide, we’ll show how to create an internet streaming server. This is basically the same setup as web radios use.
Internet streaming services uses very little bandwidth and work well even on unstable connections. Another advantage is that it will work with basically any web radio on the market, but also devices like PCs, tablets or mobile phones. You don’t need a specific software for it, but only a web browser.
The major disadvantage is buffering. To make sure short-term interruptions or congestions won’t interrupt the music, the client will buffer quite a lot of music. Therefore there will be a long delay from the audio input to the player (it can be tweaked a bit)
Building the streaming server
Note: This guide comes “as is”. Software versions, configurations, file locations might change in the future. While we try to update the guide, we can’t guarantee that it will work at any time on every system. There is no individual support for this, but feel free to post questions or tips for improvements in our community area. The guide is to be used on Raspbian. For other
systems, you might have to adapt it.
This guide describes every step you should to to install and configure the necessary software.
We have documented every step to make it easier for you to understand what is needed. If you don’t want to copy/paste each step, there is a script that does everything for you in one step. Just copy/paste the following lines to a terminal session on your Raspberry Pi (this will only work on Raspbian!)
U=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/hifiberry\ /hifiberry-tools/master/install-streaming bash <(curl $U)
Sound card configuration
First you need to configure your system. If you’re using the DAC+ ADC, you might need to update your kernel using the script that we provide.
U=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/hifiberry/\ dacadckernel/master/update-kernel bash <(curl $U)
The main component of the web radio is Icecast. This is an streaming server designed to stream audio and video streams over the Internet. It offers a lot of advanced features, but we’ll use only the basics for this project.
Setting it up is easy:
sudo apt-get -yq install icecast2
To stream audio from the sound card input, you will need an additional software. For Icecast, the easiest way is to use Ices:
sudo apt-get install -yq ices2
Users, logs, …
While you could run this software as the standard user (pi) or even root, it is recommended to use a separate user for this. You also need to create the necessary directories for the log files.
# Create streaming user sudo useradd icecast -g audio # Set correct permissions sudo mkdir -p /var/log/icecast2 sudo mkdir -p /var/log/ices sudo mkdir -p /var/icecast sudo chown -R icecast /var/log/icecast2 sudo chown -R icecast /var/log/ices sudo chown -R icecast /var/icecast
Configure the services
Icecast and Ices both use XML configuration files. These can be quite complex. Therefore, the easiest way is to use the default files we provide:
# Install config files cd /etc sudo mv ices.xml ices.xml.bak D=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/hifiberry/hifiberry-tools sudo wget $D/master/conf/ices.conf sudo mv ices.conf ices.xml sudo chown icecast ices.xml cd /etc/icecast2 sudo mv icecast.xml icecast.xml.bak sudo wget $D/master/conf/icecast.xml sudo chown icecast icecast.xml
You might have a look at these files. There are passwords configured to administrate the server and add sources to it. The password uses here is “hifiberry”. If your server is reachable from the Internet, you need to change this. Make sure you change the password in both configuration files.
Everything is ready now. You could just start Icecast. However, Icecast will not start after a reboot. Therefore, you need to make sure Icecast is started automatically.
# Icecast systemd integration sudo rm /etc/init.d/icecast2 cat <<EOT | sudo tee /lib/systemd/system/icecast2.service [Unit] Description=Icecast2 After=network.target [Service] User=icecast Group=audio ExecStart=/usr/bin/icecast2 -b -c /etc/icecast2/icecast.xml PIDFile=/var/icecast/icecast.pid Type=forking [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target EOT sudo systemctl daemon-reload sudo systemctl enable icecast2 # Ices2 startup cat <<EOT | sudo tee /lib/systemd/system/ices2.service [Unit] Description=Ices2 After=icecast2.service [Service] User=icecast Group=audio ExecStart=/usr/bin/ices2 /etc/ices.xml [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target EOT
Start the services
Now let’s test if everything is working.
sudo systemctl start icecast2 sudo systemctl start ices2
Check if the services are running
systemctl status icecast2 systemctl status ices2
Connect to the streaming server
With a PC in your network, just point the web browser to http://ip-address-of-your-raspberry-pi:8000/hifiberry.mp3