I have a television with HDMI input. I also have a bunch of mp3s. What I'd like to do is this:

  1. Put all the mp3s on the SD card in my Raspberry Pi.
  2. Plug the raspi into the television with HDMI.
  3. Have the raspi play the mp3s over the HDMI port, so that the sound comes out of the television.
  4. Have some sort of basic visualisation on the screen -- just the name of the playing song and artist will be fine for now.
  5. Control what's playing on the raspi from a mobile phone.

In particular, the phone does not have to control anything that appears on the screen; the phone itself can and should list the available songs, allow creating playlists, and so on.

Also, I do not want the raspi to stream music over the network; the network connection to it is not reliable enough. It will play purely local things from the SD card.

I'm fine with having the phone act as a simple "remote control" for the screen, and for the screen to actually show what's going on, show playlists and so on, but that's not critical.

I can think of a couple of ways of doing this:

  1. put volumio on the raspi; use any one of fifty Android mpd clients on the phone; find (or write) a trivial full-screen mpd client which displays the currently playing song and run it on the raspi
  2. put raspbmc on the raspi; configure it to play local music; use an xbmc mobile app to control xbmc on the Pi

Are there any better ways I haven't thought of? Is there any reason why I should go for one of the above ways rather than the other? I am currently running raspbian+xbmc on the Pi to play videos, and I've noticed that I have to reboot it quite often because it gets wedged...


3 Answers 3


I'm using RaspBMC + Yatse (on my android phone) to control it. Unlike the official XBMC android app, Yatse shows the current playing song (or movie) and the playlist, and also adds a "send to XBMC" to youtube app via the share menu.


I tried various things: XBMC, which doesn't seem to handle music very well and all clients are very much oriented towards video, which will confuse my users; Volumio, which would not let me install pygame for package conflict reasons I do not understand. I did not try Squeezebox, although it looks interesting. What I eventually did was use PiMusicBox by @wouter-van-wijk and then wrote a tiny pygame script to render to the framebuffer and be an mpd client with python-mpd. This has solved my needs admirably... now all I need is to find a nonconfusing Android mpd client...

  • Do you have any new insights on mpd and respective clients? I am about to do something similar for an audio-only music box PI.
    – Ghanima
    Sep 10, 2014 at 13:19
  • All Android clients are not excellent, but needs must, etc. The tiny pygame script is github.com/stuartlangridge/dadmusictv. The web UI for PiMusicBox is not too bad on mobile.
    – sil
    Sep 10, 2014 at 22:17

Maybe you can use a dedicated XBMC linux version like OpenELEC ... it's more stable than a raspbian + xbmc, an other way : http://www.raspyfi.com/ , but they don't have a visualisacion for TV.

i supose you want use a HDMI output the the numeric sound, the are some alternative the a sound of quality with raspyfi, and you can control the soft by mobile :)

  • Volumio is the continuation of raspyfi, which is why I was looking at that :)
    – sil
    Jun 23, 2014 at 9:26
  • It looks like ProjectM might be a useful visualizer, but I'm not sure it works on the raspi, and while it's pretty, the pulseaudio version does not display song titles :(
    – sil
    Jun 23, 2014 at 10:24

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