OSMC Hifi's approach (compared to dedicated Hifi MPD solutions)

First of all thanks for the whole work you’re doing. Great stuff !!

I’m running OSMC and Raspberry Pi2. Everything is working perfectly at this time.
I enjoy very much listening to music. I’m now starting to approach the High fidelity world.
As I think OSMC is pretty cool regarding Video, maybe it could become the ULTIMATE Media Canter both both Audio and Video.
With this idea in background I ordered a DAC from Hifiberry (should get it in the next 10 days).
After some research over the Internet and in on other forums, it looks like there are some HiFi oriented solutions for Raspberry. From what I understood some dedicated ‘MPD servers’ could be a good stating point. (Some distros name : RuneAudio, Volumio, etc…)

1st question to audio freaks.
Is OSMC a ‘good’ (from HiFi point of view) solution’ compared to distros mentioned above ?

2nd question (depending on the result of the 1st one ;-))
If other solutions are better and as i do not want to start playing with another Raspebrry, or to swap SD cards with two vaious distros, etc…
Could this MPD daemon run in parallel to OSMC ?
MPD would then use the HifyberryDac for Audio Output
OSMC would continue using HDMI for Video part?

As I have no technical background at all, your lights or informations are very welcome :smile:

Thanks ,


Well I am not an audio freak therefore can not answer your questions and just will watch this thread to see what real audio freaks are going to answer.
But unless you already have an existing MPD infrastructure I hardly can see any thing that Kodi can not do to satisfy audio needs.

It looks like something like offering Volumio could already be in the loop…

Maybe I posted too quickly. Sorry for this.
Anyhow, let’s see the Audio freaks answers :wink:

I don’t know if I’m the audio freak you are looking for, but I use my OSMC primarily for audio.
I have a Hifiberry DAC+ on my Pi2 and the sound output to my amp is pretty awesome. I made some listening sessions with a old-fashioned CD-Player directly connected to the amp and the same source played at the Pi in FLAC-format. As far as I can tell is: I didn’t hear mentionable differences (neither did my neighbors ;)).

Said that, I also want to watch videos with my Pi, simply play a Youtube video, watch TV-streams, etc. so I wanted a “media center” instead of only an audio center. Therefore i chose OSMC.

So the question for me is: what are you expecting from “MPD”? I have attached an HD to my Pi with the sources (audio, video), controllable from every device I own. If you need an Android-App, simply use Kore (official Kodi-app) or Yatse. If you want to control the output on the Pi with a Webinterface, I use Chorus2, very nice with handy features (see screenshots here: GitHub - jez500/chorus2: Official Kodi Web Interface). I didn’t try MPD yet cause I don’t see anything I can do with it I can’t do now. I watched MPD in action at a friend, and I don’t see much difference.
In addition I have a lot more options for the video-part.

The only thing I still messing around with is a good streaming solution from ie my laptop to the Pi. I use Win7, and at the beginning the integrated mediaplayer did the job. Although the Pi is still recognized as a streaming-target it doesn’t work anymore. I use UMS ( http://www.universalmediaserver.com/) for now, but the UI is not realy intuitive… but this is a bit off-topic cause MPD isn’t a solution for that afaik.

Maybe a bit off-topic, but I listen primarily to 24/96 flac’s directly through hdmi to my AVR, what is the benefit of a Hifiberry or such types of addon cards?

Just in short: HDMI is a digital output, so your AVR does the digital-analog conversion. But my Amp has only anlog inputs, so I need a separate DAC ( Digital-to-analog converter - Wikipedia). PIs build-in DAC outputting to the phone jack is not realy good, a USB-soundcard is better, and the best solution is a DAC connected via GPIO-pins. If you’re interested just google a bit. But in brief: With Hdmi, you won’t have much benefit :wink:

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Thanks vanMacG.
For sure Kodi is the best for the video part.
Using Android App, Webinterface and so on… This could exactly match to some of my needs (no need to turn on TV on, etc…)

So I’ll now more focus on the audio quality sound provided by Kodi compared to others HiFi oriented solutions such as RuneAudio, Volumio.
I just get my Raspberry DAC+ today and I’m now enjoying the better quality sound from through KODI / OSMC connected to my amp, while listening some flac files.
I’ll set up a second SD card with another software and check if I notice some mentionnale differences.
Of course i’ll let you know. (I’ll try to involve some relatives for my tests As my only personal judgement may be too subjective)


Very interested by your post.

Does your hifi berry connected to an ampli now ?

there is a real difference using the HIFI berry ?

I still does not not understand what the HIfi berry brings if you connect the OSMC to an ampli …

thank you

Raspberry Pi’s ANALOG audio output is bad because it has a very limited sampling rate or something like that (just google it).
If you use HDMI, thats no problem since audio goes digitally via HDMI.
But if your TV or audiosystem does not support HiFi, it is recommended to buy a HiFiBerry DAC which provides analogue ports.

So you only need it if your tv/audiosystem does not support HDMI.
For example, I use a RPi1 in my bedroom, connected to an old LCD monitor which has no speakers. I use 2 old Hifispeakers, so I bought a HiFiBerry Dac+ to connect them. Audio is much more clear and noise free compared to connecting them to the analogue port of the RPI.

Yes my Hifiberry is now connected to my Audio amp. This amp has no HDMI connector…
So in the past I used the built-in analog outpout from Pi. Since I use the hifiberry Dac, the sound is much better (deeper, brighter, etc…)


As I use the HDMI connection. I will have no improvement by using this HIfiberry.

I had the doubt. Now it’s clear

Thank you for all your answer

That was the exact reason I asked it as well :blush: