Can I use my Librelec Pi as a music storage?

  • I get so confused with a lot of this.

    I have not long been using my Pi4 as Librelec and am loving it.

    I see that I can access recorded stuff over my local network.


    I was going to set up another pi as a music storage device that I can play on other devices.
    But I realised how little resources playing music from a central storage place uses.

    (I set up an old mini itx board and it hardly touched the sides of it)


    I haven't got as far as adding external devices to my libreelec pi yet.
    I plan on doing so.

    I thought maybe, as this pi is always on, I could add another drive for my music storage.


    I am aware that I will need to think about power. Especially as I was planning on using 2.5" hdd due to their low second hand cost.
    Oh, plus USB ports.


    I take this is something people do is it?
    Or does it push the pi too much?


    Thanks.

  • see that I can access recorded stuff over my local network.

    I take this is something people do is it?
    Or does it push the pi too much?


    Definitely something you can do. Check out things like DLNA which help make it happen, but there are tons of other ways to achieve it as well. The load on the Pi is quite minimal.

  • Definitely something you can do. Check out things like DLNA which help make it happen, but there are tons of other ways to achieve it as well. The load on the Pi is quite minimal.

    Great, thanks.


    That will be fun.


    Is DLNA what LE/Kodi uses?


    I spent a fair amount of hours the other week setting up an old mini itx with Open media vault before I realised how little resources it needs.
    I really didn't understand what i was doing and eventually realised I don't need all that OMV complication, I just need to file share from somewhere.


    Doh!


    I will wait until I can get my bigger brain out of the drawer and have a crack at it all.
    I am thinking i need a usb power bank or expansion board...... or something.

    • Official Post

    Or does it push the pi too much?

    The RPi4 as a file server can do that all while it's in dreamland.

    Personally I'd stay away from DLNA/UPnP, too much of a hassle.


    Next question is what to use as a file server.

    You could use LibreELEC and its built-in SMB server,

    but you could also use Raspberry Pi OS or Ubuntu (Server), if you also want to use/try NFS or something else.


    Using a 2.5" HDD is one thing, I'd go for a SSD with a SATA/USB3.0 adapter cable.

    Less noise, no overheating issues, less power draw, less chance of a disk failure, no spinup/spindown problems.

    Simple SSDs are pretty cheap these days.

  • Is that the words I need?
    'file server' ?


    Once i realised i didn't need the itx, I was going to set up a pi4 as a stand alone file server.
    As you say, stick rpi OS lite or something on it and i saw suggested samba I think.


    Then I realised the pi would be being completely underutilised and if I can squeeze it on my LE pi even better.

    No need for an extra pi running.
    If it is on my LE pi, then the decision is made for me isn't it?
    Use LE. Or are you suggesting running a second os on the same pi?


    I did start on the lines of a 2.5" to USB cable. I think it was faulty as something made a right mess of some of my things.
    Destroyed an ssd a torch and was messing about with my dac which seems fine now. etc etc

    I agree with the SSD thing for sure.
    I like quiet. Although, I was wondering whether the HDD would make much noise as it is always on and only playing music.
    I like the idea of low power draw too.
    I still think I might need some more hardware as I was thinking i would want two drives.
    One for the tv, the other dedicated to music. I only have one spare USB slot atm.
    I was also wondering about the extra heat that might be created. Somewhat concerned.



    I do have a 2.5" 750GB HDD kicking about already.
    Plus second hand 1TB ones are only about £20.
    As opposed to 70-80 for used 1TB SSD.
    (open to being convinced however)

    • Official Post

    Is that the words I need?
    'file server' ?

    I read "ITX" and 2 RPi's, and thought 1+1+1= ... It's a habit I guess.


    But sometimes a separate RPI "server" is handy. I still use an original RPi 1B as my Pi-Hole anti-ad solution for the whole network. Of course you could combine several tasks into 1 overall device, but RPis are low-powered. The example I tend to use is from the 3-in-1 box from back in the days: a radio + amplifier + record player all in one cabinet. If one of those parts goes kaputt, the whole cabinet needs to go to the repair shop.


    Of course you can run multiple stuff on a tiny server such as a RPi, just make sure you have proper backups of everything. And using already available hardware like HDDs is obvious, and gives a great oppertunity to test what software combinations suits you best. A spinning HDD can create some heat depending on its usage. Notebook HDDs are designed to handle higher temps. But if the hdd is too hot to handle, that's not a good thing. ;)

  • Hmmmm, now i am more undecided.
    I agree with the whole modular aspect actually.


    I am just about to replace my tv.
    I am just working out whether to get a monitor and (I have the libreelec externally already obvs) and i want to make some better speakers so i then need to think about the amp.
    Like you say, if one thing then goes pop, or wants upgrading, I don't have to throw the whole thing away.


    I was hoping to keep costs and clutter down, but you make a good point.
    A pi doesn't cost a lot to run for the year does it?


    I just had a thought actually.
    To keep the cost down, can I use a pi zero with an hdd?
    Would that work?
    I imagine even a zero can manage sharing files?

  • I use my Pi4 as the media machine for my theatre, my torrent client, whole house file server with multiple drives, automatic scheduler of certain events, and it barely breaks a sweat.


    I didn't have to install any "external" software, just LE and some supported addons (all of which are discussed here in these forums).


    Your use case certainly doesn't require multiple devices. Only a need if you want them separate so your eggs aren't all in the same basket. Load isn't a concern at all.

  • I use my Pi4 as the media machine for my theatre, my torrent client, whole house file server with multiple drives, automatic scheduler of certain events, and it barely breaks a sweat.


    I didn't have to install any "external" software, just LE and some supported addons (all of which are discussed here in these forums).


    Your use case certainly doesn't require multiple devices. Only a need if you want them separate so your eggs aren't all in the same basket. Load isn't a concern at all.

    OK, thank you very much for that.
    Can I ask how you have it all set up?
    Hardware mainly.
    Do you have extension boards or usb hubs or anything?

  • Its pretty simple.


    Pi4 HDMI to AVR. AVR HDMI to projector

    Pi4 USB3 to SSD enclosure

    Pi4 USB2 to 2.5" enclosure (5400rpm drive)

    PI4 RJ45 to my network


    I have the boot partition on the Micro SD card but the OS on the SSD; that was required when I set this up. Now you can boot directly off a USB connected SSD so no need for a Micro SD at all.


    I don't use any hubs but if you wanted to connect several 2.5" spinning drives a USB3 *powered* hub might be helpful to feed the enclosures. If you go for 3.5" drives each enclosure probably requires its own power supply anyway so it wouldn't put a load on the USB.

    Edited once, last by mrtrev ().

  • Thanks for that.
    I am thinking i need extra power to run just the one hdd.
    But, just adding up the numbers I shouldn't do.
    Hdd 700mA
    Pi4 640mA

    Flirc 100mA

    2x tuners (can't remember.)


    But when I plugged the hdd in before it clicked which meant low power.


    But i have just remembered, I think the sata to usb adapter was faulty.

    I think it might have destroyed an ssd, when it was plugged into my pc, a usb torch broke plus i seem to have some lasting effects from it.


    So, possibly it was that, not the lack of power.
    I need to get a decent quality adapter, the last one cost me a few quid.

  • Do not underestimate the required power supply performance, otherwise you will notice strange functionality problems that can result in data loss.

    RPi 4B itself in fact needs 2x more current than you expect.

    Furthermore, in the case of rotary HDDs, it is necessary to take into account the peak power consumption at power-up, which is usually above the (quite low) limits of the RPI 4B USB ports. An USB "fork" cable (with a power plug, which can be easily made) or an USB hub with external power is then a must.

  • OK, thank you all for your inputs.
    I am going to hedge my bets.
    Things have changed a bit.


    I now have a pi4 in my hand.
    So I will use that separately.
    I am curious to see how well that works as a desktop actually anyway.
    I can leave it powered on all the time (as opposed to powering up my main pc all the time), play with using it as a file server, play with mounting hdd and ssd. See how the noise is and things like that. Gain a bit more experience playing.


    While leaving my LE pi unmolested. (for now)


    I shall be referring back to this conversation in the future.
    Thank you very much.

  • No problem. ;)

    RPi 4B is a fair-priced, great piece of HW with many use cases for a long time due to excellent support from vendor & community.

    But using RPi as desktop - it depends on RAM size you have. I own two RPi 4B but only 1 GB and 2 GB models. Both are not very suitable for a "full" desktop so at least 4 GB model would be much better.

    In every case - a boot from some SSD HDD connected through USB3/SATA adapter instead of SD card is necessary.

    With a good power supply and with a good cooling (there are several great ALU cases) it can be running permanently for sure.

  • It will be interesting.
    It is a slight side issue from the LE conversation.
    But, it will answer a few questions for me without messing with my LE pi.
    So is quite handy.

    Actually, i could even load LE on it and test it with my music as well couldn't I?


    I have been measuring power usage of things around the house (bit surprised how many watts opening a couple of browser windows is)

    This Pi i got is a 4GB RAM fortunately.
    I am interested to its power usage in real world.
    If it is as low as it seems, I might just leave it on as a music sharer which means I can jump on it rather than powering up the main pc.
    Just for little things .... like forum responses :), emails.

    I won't be getting rid of the main pc just yet :)

    My mum is in her early seventies and has seen the pi400 and is pretty interested, so it will give me a chance to see how well it works and see if it suitable for her. She really isn't a big user.
    I am interested how warm it gets with an hdd and running le and music.
    Also whether it is noisy using it as tv storage. As it is sequential reading and playing, I wonder if I will hear it.
    How noisy might it be. If it only has music on, and i leave it on, it mightn't be so bad. Dunno.
    I agree, I I have a little 40GB ssd that someone gave me that I am thinking of using as boot drive.
    So, it will give me a bunch of experience with a load of little things.
    I haven't really played with pi other than set them up to do a task.

    I will be a two LE machine man for a bit. Luxurious huh?