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I have an Raspberry Pi+ that I bought to use as a music server. Initially I tried using a 64gb micro SD card (San Disk Ultra 64 GB Class 10) as a storage medium but that didn't work, so I used an 8gb micro SD card instead, which allowed me to install Raspbian and generally mess around with RPI. I'm powering it off a Pimoroni PiHub using the LAN port. It's a nice system.

However, I keep coming back to the fact that my music collection only takes up 40gb and that I should have enough room on that 64gb card to run something like OpenElec AND store all my music. To that end I have bought a PiDAC+.

The question is, how do I use the 64gb card as a boot device for a good music player (OpenElec?) and/or whatever distro I choose?

EDIT Can I get around the apparent inability of my RPI to boot using the 64gb SD by reformatting the SD in a different file system, such as ex4 or exFAT instead of FAT32? Or should I be partitioning first? (NB I am a Linux newbie.)

OR Should I keep the existing 8gb card as boot device and add the 64gb in a micro card reader?

  • you should be able to partition the 64gb card and then mount any additional partitions. Start by googling how to create partitions, then how to auto mount partitions. – rob Dec 5 '14 at 11:27
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Apparently SD Card Formatter goes in and formats the card as ExFAT instead of FAT32 by default, because of its huge size. To get around this, on a mac for example, open Disk Utility, select the card and Partition it in two, formatting both halves as FAT32.

Then go round and copy the contents of NOOBS folder (unzipped NOOBS package) to the first partition of the SD Card.

Go ahead and put it in. It should start now, give it a couple of tries. The Pi 2 is very fast using this Hama card (does about 80mb/s read, and 20mb/s write with a reasonable iops, it feels like a snappy hdd) The actual setup, installing Raspbian took a little over 6 minutes. Wow!

NOTE: The first time it starts NOOBS will actually automagically resize the two partitions back into one for you. Voila... a FAT32 64GB card running on a Raspberry Pi 2 (this will work I think on the Raspberry Pi 1 too, but I don't have one to test)

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After a year of trial and error, I have found a solution that works for me and that is stable enough for me to feel confident in recommending it to others.

First, the combined OS and media player software is Volumio, which is a Debian-based solution. I downloaded the entire distro in a package and wrote it to the micro SD card using Win 32 Disk Imager under Windows 10.

That took up hardly any room on the 64Gb card, so next I resized the root partition, which turned out to be very easy. This post on the Volumio site was concise and worked for me. I was then able to copy my music files over to the micro SD card.

I had a few issues with Wifi but eventually got it going, though ultimately ethernet (my house is wired for Cat5) had noticeably better performance, so I switched to that.

It all works well. My music library and internet radio all play fine using the Raspberry Pi, the PiDAC+ and a Topping TP21 amplifier (I have a much cheaper D-class amp that is also pretty good) driving Monitor Audio bookshelf speakers. I access Volumio on either my smartphone, a PC or a tablet and it shows the same interface, suitably scaled for the device.

It's not the highest of fi, but it sounds good enough, is flexible and reliable and it doesn't require a PC to be on all the time. A system like this would cost a fraction of something like a Sonos or other proprietary system.

So yes, the Pi can play music and play it well.

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