When I try to use the VLC media player GUI to start the stream, all the modes seem to include video, like v4l2. How do I tell it to only stream the audio card input?

The Raspberry Pi is next to my TV, and I want to be able to listen the TV audio using our Android and iPhone phones.

I want to use VLC media player because I have it on both my Android phone and PC, so I am familiar with it.

I am running on Raspberry Pi B+ with Raspbian using a cheap USB sound stick.

The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) utilities all seem to work.

  • what vlc command did you use? Aug 29, 2014 at 5:46
  • I used the VLC GUI and selected mode: v4l2. I'm used to running it on Windows where DSHOW seems to be able to send only audio. I have installed pulseaudio and am still trying to figure out how to get it to stream to the network.
    – Tom
    Sep 9, 2014 at 0:50
  • If I understand your question correctly, you want to send audio from the TV to the Raspberry using a cable, then stream it from the Raspberry to your phone–wirelessly–over f.ex. http? Did any of the answers work for you? I have a Raspberry that streams to my Sonos speakers using Icecast software, not VCL, if that interests you.
    – jgivoni
    Jan 30, 2016 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


You don't need to use v4l2 to capture sound through PulseAudio.

First of all, find the correct device for pulseAudio. If you're using PulseAudio as a daemon, run this command at the command line:

pacmd list-sources | awk '/name:.+\.monitor/'

You should get output such as:

name: <alsa_output.pci-0000_01_00.1.hdmi-stereo.monitor>
name: <alsa_output.usb-FORTEMEDIA_FM1083-00-FM1083.analog-mono.monitor>
name: <alsa_output.pci-0000_00_14.2.analog-stereo.monitor>

Then choose to output what you want from that list as the device for VLC media player:

cvlc pulse://alsa_output.pci-0000_00_14.2.analog-stereo.monitor

You can also use OMXPlayer which is shipped with the latest distibution of Raspbian.

Jack output:

sudo modprobe snd_bcm2835
sudo amixer cset numid=3 1
omxplayer -o hdmi [filename]

HDMI output (issue the first two lines if you used jack before - this is the default):

sudo modprobe snd_bcm2835
sudo amixer cset numid=3 0
omxplayer -o local [filename]

It uses the GPU to decode the audio files and supports a lot of various file types, like MP3, AAC, WAV, etc. Unlike VLC media player which still hammers the CPU. So this is more efficient software to use and is easier.

  • 2
    Can OMXPlayer create an http audio stream? I'm not quite sure how this answer fits the question...
    – jgivoni
    Jan 30, 2016 at 21:11

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