I noticed that a lot of people are asking about video performance capabilities and things along those lines, but they all seem to be either streaming their videos through Ethernet via Youtube, etc or pulling them off of their SD card.

When people pull them off of their SD cards I hear a lot of them saying things like "my 2 gb SD card". I have over 64 Gb of music and video files on a flash drive and am wondering if I can run those files through XBMC or something. I want to be able to run through my files and select certain songs or videos to watch specifically and have it be fast enough to be of use to me.

I have not purchased a Raspberry Pi yet but upon doing research could not find an answer to this question. I have no doubt in my ability to program the device. but I was wondering if anybody had thought of doing the same thing to eliminate as many potential problems as I could.

My plan is to run the Raspberry Pi as a computer in my car that will play music videos, movies, and act as an iPod essentially through a mounted LCD on my dash. I want whatever program I run to be controllable by a wireless mouse without needing to use a keyboard at all.

I want to be able to start my car, let it warm up, and by the time I pull out of the driveway be able to play videos. Any suggestions or comments on the Pi's ability for this?

1 Answer 1


I'll try and answer all your points. I've edited your question a little, hope you don't mind.

  1. First of all, a piece of info you may not know but is vital: the operating system of a Raspberry Pi is installed and run off of an SD card, which are the little cards that digital cameras normally use. You install a file called an 'image' to set up the card to run on your Pi. Instructions are available elsewhere.
  2. You will want to install and run one of the XBMC images. There are currently three: RaspBMC (currently the most popular, possibly the best - http://www.raspbmc.com/), OpenElec (http://openelec.tv/) and Xbian (http://xbian.org/ which is the most cutting-edge).
  3. Having a store of music and video on a flash drive is absolutely fine - the Pi will recognise it as a storage device and it will come up in the XBMC interface.
  4. XBMC has a variety of ways to play your media, including playlists which should give you enough control over what you want to play.
  5. For remote control, the Pi works well with things like the Rii wireless keyboard/touchpad mouse (http://www.amazon.co.uk/RII-ProMini-Wireless-Keyboard-TouchPad/dp/B003UE52ME) and should be hot-pluggable and work without any messing about.
  6. In terms of starting your car etc... You should be aware that it takes between 30 secs and 2 minutes for the Pi to boot up and start XBMC. It all depends how quickly you pull away as to whether this is a deal-breaker for you.
  7. Powering the Pi shouldn't be a problem - you will likely either power it from the cigarette lighter using a USB adapter or else a 12V-5V regulator wired into the car's power systems. You will be able to use a rear-view/reversing display wired into the car as your monitor as most of them use composite video inputs (which the Pi can provide via the yellow plug on the board).

Hope that answers most of it! Any lingering problems, feel free to contact me on here or via my blog (http://www.recantha.co.uk/blog)

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