UPDATE 2020-10: This update is based on a Volumio image for x86 (dated 2020-09-24). The interface is now littered with options that tell you "you must upgrade your plan to use this, go here to pay" when you click on them. The base server is still free and usable, but the frequent interruptions by offers to let you pay them money are making me pretty unhappy.

"Volumio" is a custom Linux distribution specifically for the Raspberry Pi (and also some other SBCs), which essentially turns your Pi into a music-playing appliance. It can stream music from a large variety of resources, or it can play locally stored music or music on network shares.

Getting it installed was simple:

  • download the zipped image file from https://volumio.org/get-started/
  • unzip the image
  • use dd to write the image to a microSD card
  • put the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and start it up

After that, I typed http://volumio.local/ into my PC's browser, selected a streaming radio station, and ignored it for the rest of the day.

As dearly as I love Linux, this is an unheard-of experience: I know nothing about the Volumio distribution precisely because it's so easy to use. I haven't had to debug anything: it booted, it ran, it did exactly what was advertised. I'm thoroughly impressed.