Oct 3, 2012

LCD and Pandora on raspberry pi

Went to town on the raspberry pi this week while I stayed with my friend John in Eureka.
The picture shows my new Pi in a laser cut case I made at TechShop SF last week. On top is a TextStar tiny LCD showing one of 4 screens, this one the wireless USB adapter's IP address. See the post at jeremyblythe.blogspot.co.uk, "Raspberry Pi with TextStar Serial LCD Display" on how to set this up with python.
I used adafruit's nice Occidentalis v0.2 release for the main software, based on Raspbian Wheezy Debian. This has a lot of good packages already built in, including ssh. I just used my Mac Terminal program to set the Pi up over Ethernet initially.
To get pandora going, I used pianobar. The install is simple:
sudo apt-get install pianobar
Set up the config file for automatic login and you're good to go.
To get streaming radio on the Pi, I installed mpd, the Music Player Daemon. This is an easy install also:
sudo apt-get install mpd mpc
See the article at www.t3node.com/blog/streaming-audio-with-mpd-and-icecast2-on-raspberry-pi for setup.
Getting the Pi to work with the popular mpd iPhone client, MPoD, was a bit of a challenge. MPoD could see the Pi via avahi/bonjour, but not connect to it. John found out you have to have bind_to_address for "local host" commented out for MPoD to be able to connect to it.


  1. This is a neat project. If I understand it correctly, your Raspberry Pi plays the Pandora stream. Can you skip a Pandora song from your iPhone like this?

    I currently have a Google TV box hooked up to play Pandora in my backyard (via a receiver in my house and outdoor speakers). Sometimes my wife doesn't care for the song Pandora picks, do you think I could I replace my Google TV box with a Raspberry Pi that would allow us to skip songs from our phones?

    1. Hi Brian
      Thanks for your comment.
      How I do it now is very geeky. I open a terminal session from an ssh client on my phone.

      However , I did a quick Google and at least one person had a web page solution for controlling pianobar. Here's the link:
      Looks like this has dependencies for tornado, which I have never used. But, looks do-able with some work.

    2. Addenda:
      Sadly, there is no iPhone app for pianobar. However, I did find the nice pianobar remote app in the Google Play store. This played on my ancient HTC EVO (Android 2.3, I think) and the Nexus 7. Some setup required on the raspberry pi.

      Here's a description of the app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pianobar.remote&hl=en