Category Archives: Music

My record collection

MyVolumio and Tidal subscriptions – Are they worthwhile?

I’ve made some changes to my JustBoom/RaspberryPi – including updating to the latest version of Volumio. Over the holiday break I signed up for a 4 month trial of Tidal’s Hi-Fi plan. To access a Tidal plugin on Volumio, and subscription to MyVolumio was required, so I signed up for the trial, and ended up getting a 1 year Volumio ‘Virtuoso’ subscription. My only motivation for getting the subscription was for the Tidal Hi-Fi plugin.

So far my experience with Tidal is less than stellar, and I doubt that I will keep using it beyond this initial 4 month trial. The sound is very good, but the Tidal apps aren’t. On AppleTV it’s very buggy, and whether I use the app on my phone or on AppleTV I really dislike having to endlessly scroll past a pile of content that I have no interest in, to get to my stuff. I mean, they do ask what interests you – why isn’t that shown first? Maybe it just takes a little more time to learn what I actually listen to. We’ll see.

The one thing I do appreciate in the Tidal interface within Volumio is that I don’t have to go through all the stuff I have no interest in. I only see what I have added to my collection, but I haven’t seen a way to add to my collection from within the app – I have to go to the Tidal iPhone app or AppleTV app to do that.

The other MyVolumio ‘benefits’ with their Virtuoso plan include:

  • remotely control Volumio devices outside your local network.
  • CD playback and ripping.
  • Music & Artist credits.

The Music & Artist credits might be interesting, but not enough to warrant a subscription.

It’s not clear whether the upcoming upgrades (multi-room playback and automatic updates) will only be available to subscribers, and I haven’t seen any timelines on when those new features will be available. Regardless, they probably wouldn’t be enough for me to commit to continuing my initial 1 year subscription.

Will see how it goes over the next few months…

volumio File Share Type and Options settingsOne thing I finally got around to after getting a new iPhone, was getting my sources set up again. They seemed to have become corrupted when restoring apps to the new phone.

Connecting to a shared Music library on my Mac proved to be a little tricky.

I found it necessary to set File Share Type to “cifs”, and adding “vers=3.0” to Options.

The message that popped up prior to those two changes could be more helpful I think. It also seemed to disappear to quickly. Or I could just be getting old.

Once the other fields were completed, including my username and password to access my shared library, I saved the settings and Volumio immediately began to index my collection. Hooray!

LibreElec & VPN on Raspberry PI

Tried out a vpn service for my Raspberry Pi media devices, called PureVPN. Their app works great on OpenElec, however OpenElec doesn’t run on the current Raspberry PI 3B+ hardware, and there is no indication that it ever will.

PureVPN
LibreElec does support the current hardware, however the PureVPN app doesn’t support LibreElec. I contacted PureVPN support, and they were unable to provide any timeline as to when their VPN app would support LibreElec, and I’m not willing to use older Raspberry PI hardware to accommodate PureVPN’s requirements. I was able to get a refund with minimal hassle. If it wasn’t for their inability to support the hardware/software I wanted to use their service on, I would probably still be using their service, as it was a very good value.


I found another vpn service, called Ivacy, and it does install & function. I found that some of it’s configuration settings, such as split tunneling were not intuitive, and their notifications as to when it’s connected and when it’s not connected were not very obvious. I experienced regular connection drops – seemed like every hour, the connection would drop. Getting a refund a week after signing up was straightforward and appreciated.


Now I’m using NordVPN, and I’ve found the connections to be much more reliable – and there seem to be a greater number of servers in some regions to connect to. While it’s not the least expensive option out there, I think the reliability is well worth the extra expense.

Building a new PI with DAC

Purchased a Justboom DAC Hat a while back, along with a PI 3B+.  Was going to install OpenElec, but found out the latest distro isn’t compatible with the Pi.  I ended up going with LibreElec, which has been working great with it.

I did solder the IR receiver onto the Justboom DAC but found it wasn’t responding to a couple remotes – I have a Flirc dongle that worked fine though, so I have Lirc disabled for now.  I might spend more time trying to get it working later, so I can use the Flirc dongle elsewhere.

#dtparam=audio=on
dtparam=audio=off
dtoverlay=justboom-dac
Have been very pleased with the sound quality of the JustBoom DAC – makes my vintage AR-210’s sound amazing!  I also have an old pair of Wharfedale Diamonds that also sound awesome – just lacking some bottom end – but for a tiny speaker, they are still awesome!