After struggling for some time with installing PulseAudio, and getting MPC/MPD working with HTTP streaming on Raspian I have put together some notes (mainly for my benefit), but would appreciate any feedback from members of the community as to if I have missed anything.

I would class myself as an intermediate user, so I am sure some experts out there could suggest improvements.

I still have a few minor issues which I will document later this week. I will also add more on usage of MPC and streaming.

Kind regards, and thanks in advance for any feedback.


Raspberry Pi

PulseAudio & MPD/MPC Installation

Initial Installation

Start by entering these commands from the terminal to update your system

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Now install PulseAudio and the other required packages

sudo apt-get install mpd mpc pulseaudio pulseaudio-module-zeroconf mpg321 lame mplayer pavucontrol paprefs

Installing mplayer, mpg321 and lame will ensure that the MP3 codecs are setup, and that we can play MP3 files from the command line

At this point it is worth rebooting the system

sudo shutdown -r now
Configuring mpd

The configuration file for mpd is stored in /etc/mpd.conf

By default mpd will look in /var/lib/mpd/music for music files, and in /var/lib/mpd/playlist for .M3U playlists

Edit the mpd configuration file with the nano text editor by issuing the following command

sudo nano /etc/mpd.conf

Change the music_directory and playlist_directory settings to point to the location where your music files are stored

We also need to tell mpd to use the PulseAudio sound system rather than ALSA. Add these lines to the end of /etc/mpd.conf

audio_output {
type "pulse"
name "MPD PulseAudio Output"

Remember to save the changes to the file when you exit

Issue the following commands to set the correct permissions for the folder

sudo chmod -R o+r  (CHECK!)
sudo chmod -R o+r  (CHECK!)

For example if you use the default directory you would type

sudo chmod -R o+r /var/lib/mpd/music

At this point it is worth rebooting the system again

sudo shutdown -r now
Configuring PulseAudio

The first step is to edit the PulseAudio configuration file with the nano text editor

sudo nano /etc/default/pulseaudio

Add the following two entries to the end of the file


Step two is to make some changes to another PulseAudio file

sudo nano /etc/pulse/system.pa

Comment out the `load-module module-suspend-on-idle' by adding a '#' to the start of the line

Add the following two entries at the end of the file (Most home networks use '', but it is worth checking with your provider if you have problems

load-module module-native-protocol-tcp auth-ip-acl=; auth-anonymous=1
load-module module-zeroconf-publish

The final step is to convert the ALSA configuration libraries to PulseAudio

sudo nano /etc/asound.conf

Add these entries to the file

pcm.pulse { type pulse }
ctl.pulse { type pulse }
pcm.!default { type pulse }
ctl.!default { type pulse }

My Raspberry Pi is connected to our television via and HDMI cable, and I find the by default the sound does not work. To resolve this we need to edit the Raspberry Pi configuration file

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Add the following line to select HDMI audio mode


Save the file and exit back to the terminal

Adding HTTP streaming (Optional)

Edit the mpd configuration file

sudo nano /etc/mpd.conf

Add the following code to the end of the file and save

    audio_output {
    type            "httpd"
    name            "My HTTP Stream"
    encoder         "lame"
    port            "8000"
    quality         "5.0"
    # bitrate         "128"
    format          "44100:16:1"
Issues Resolved

I found that when I played sounds with MPD that the sound was played twice with a slight delay between the two outputs. The only way I could stop this was by disabling the 'ALSA' section in the MPD configuration file

Edit the mpd configuration file

sudo nano /etc/mpd.conf

Find the following section of code

    # An example of an ALSA output:
    audio_output {
    type            "alsa"
    name            "My ALSA Device"
    device          "hw:0,0"        # optional
    format          "44100:16:2"    # optional
    mixer_device    "default"       # optional
    mixer_control   "PCM"           # optional
    mixer_index     "0"             # optional

Now comment out this section as shown below

    #audio_output {
    #       type            "alsa"
    #       name            "My ALSA Device"
    #       device          "hw:0,0"        
    #       format          "44100:16:2"    
    #       mixer_device    "default"       
    #       mixer_control   "PCM"           
    #       mixer_index     "0"             

Save, and exit back to the terminal

If you have not already done so now would be a good time to copy some MP3 files to the music_directory specified in the 'mpd.conf' file

At this point it is worth rebooting the system

sudo shutdown -r now
Remaining Issues

closed as unclear what you're asking by goldilocks Jan 31 '15 at 21:19

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    I think it would be better if you could edit this to be a question about setting up mpd and pulseaudio and then answer it yourself. – rob Jan 27 '15 at 13:09

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