Raspberry Pi transforms old radio into audiophile grade network music streamer

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Alan Boris)

When it comes to top-of-the-line smart tech, you're bound to be met with a hefty price tag. However, it's projects like these from maker and developer Alan Boris that prove you don't need cash to live a life of high tech luxury, you just need a Raspberry Pi and maybe a soldering iron to create your own gadgets from scratch. Today we're sharing a useful creation put together by Boris who transformed an an old radio tuner into Audiophile Pi—a network music streaming platform.

If that name sounds familiar, you probably read our post last week when he covered his other Pi-based media project. Boris has a knack for sprucing up old hardware having recently put together a composite video player and housed the unit inside of an old VHS tape. But today's project is more audio-focused although they do compliment each other well.

According to Boris, the Audiophile Pi works by retrieving audio files from a nearby NAS device and playing them through whatever speaker system it's connected to. He used much of the original hardware including the housing as well as the front panel of buttons. Boris managed to salvage these and use them for input.

You don't need a high-powered Pi to pull this project off but network access is a must. In this case, Boris is using a Raspberry Pi 4 B but if you've got a smaller board like a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, it would work just as well. The Pi is connected to a HiFiBerry Digi2 Pro to handle audio output as well as to a 16 x 2 character LCD panel connected to the GPIO via SPI. The LCD screen tell us what music is playing or other device details like its IP address.

As far as software goes, Boris is using an open source tool known as moOode. This system has an API that's free to use and offers quite a few features that you can take advantage of to customize your experience. It also has tools in place that make it easy to drive the character LCD on the front panel.

If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project in action, you can see it in the demo video shared to YouTube by Boris. There's also a full project breakdown over at Hackster for anyone who wants to explore its creation in greater detail. Be sure to follow Boris for more cool creations as well as any future updates to this one. 

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.