A friend recently mentioned he used Volumio on his Raspberry Pi and was hoping to get PeppyMeter running in order to display meters whilst playing music through Volumio. I have used Volumio myself for a number of years, though on a now discontinued Odroid C2. I had also not heard of PeppyMeter before, but it looked interesting, and threads on the Volumio forums and elsewhere indicated it was possible to use PeppyMeter with Volumio.
While it does turn out to be possible, the process turned out to be more challenging than I thought and took longer then expected even though I had factored in Hofstadter’s Law from the start.
What follows are my notes on the process I went through to get it working.
This is a long post, so I will start with a summary of the steps before getting into the details.
The path of least resistance for me was to do this a Raspberry Pi, in my case a pi-top Ceed.
As a result of using a beta version of Volumio for this, plugins required need to be installed manually at the command line.
Getting PeppyMeter working with Volumio 3, requires two Volumio plugins be installed:
Touch_display (I was working with v1.3.0).
PeppyMeter (I used version from balbuze’s alsa_modular branch)
Base Volumio Setup
Not going into too much detail here as there are many detailed guides available on how to install Volumio for use. Step 2., below, is dangerous and there are other ways to achieve the same end.
I downloaded the compressed volumio image and unzipped it.
I dumped the image to a microSD card using dd command, being extra careful to make sure the of= drive specification was truly that of the microSD card and not one of the other drives in my machine. Be really careful, as sending image to wrong drive usually is a catastrophic event.
Removed microSD from my workstation, placed in Raspberry Pi, and powered it on.
When booted, I connected to the Raspberry Pi over the network via a web browser and completed configuration via the First Config Wizard.
Visited the /dev page of the Volumio device and made sure Test Mode and SSH were both set by clicking on the True and Enabled buttons for each.
I then returned to the Settings System page for the volumio in the browser, checked for updates and applied what was offered.
Finally I rebooted the device and played some music to be sure the device was working as expected with a base image and no plugins.
In general the process for installing plugins is:
Make ssh connection to device running Volumio, connecting as the volumio user.
Download the needed plugin.
Make a directory to expand the plugin downloaded.
Expand plugin into the created directory.
Enter the directory and run command to install plugin.
When plugin shows on Installed Plugin view in the Volumio web interface, press at the command line to end the plugin install script as it will not exit on its own.
Exit the install directory, delete the install directory and the downloaded plugin.
Volumio Plugin Install Overview
This plugin is required by the PeppyMeter plugin or simply to convert Volumio from a headless device to one which will drive a display device displaying the Volumio browser GUI in kiosk mode. Install this first.
Press Ctrl-C when activity in shell has ceased, and web GUI Settings>Plugins>Installed Plugins shows PeppyMeter for Volumio as installed.
If all went well,the web GUI under installed plugins should look something like this.
Activate the plugin by clicking on the switch to toggle from off to on, red indicator in GUI should turn green, and if Volumio device has an attached screen, PeppyMeter should appear overlaying the Volumio web GUI.
Review the settings for the touch display plugin, and set as appropriate.
PeppyMeter Plugin is best suited for 7” screens where it can better overlay the Volumio GUI. Image above is from 10” screen.
Not all PeppyMeters are available at all resolutions.
Once plugin is installed, it is fine to remove the downloaded zip file and the directory it was unzipped to.
If when playing music an ALSA error appears, as root, try issuing a modprobe snd_dummy. If that does not resolve the error, you can disable or uninstall the PeppyMeter plugin to return to a Volumio setup, albeit without PeppyMeter. This is where I ran into a full stop setting this up on Odroid C2, as the dummy sound card driver is not a module or built in to the current Volumio image for C2. Once I get a UART adapter, I will pursue building a new kernel
Once set up and working it probably makes sense to create an image from the microSD card as backup to speed recovery if ever needed. I find dd the best tool for this, but there are other options.
The reasons I went with Volumio 3 Beta setup are ALSA architecture is significantly improved and the current Volumio 2 image at time of this writing has a library from a newer version of Debian injected into it making it impossible to add some required components using apt or dpkg.
Chrls is currently a technology transformation leader at one of the oldest American investment banking services holding companies, headquartered in New York City. Previous roles at current employer include project manager, front office support, retail and enterprise global Windows server support. Currently residing in Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau and enjoying life, family and open source.