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Author Topic: Quick Start Guide for Installing JRiver Mediacenter 26 on a Raspberry Pi  (Read 16796 times)

mwillems

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This guide to performing a fresh install of JRiver's ARM build for the Raspberry Pi version 1 B+, Raspberry Pi version 2, or Raspberry Pi version 3. 

Mediacenter works best on a Pi 2 or 3, but will work on the Pi 1 B+ (especially if you overclock), but the experience is limited. The steps to get MC running on the Pi are somewhat similar to getting it running on a normal linux system, with a few tweaks.

Setup

Hardware/OS setup:

Install Raspbian onto an SD card using the downloaded NOOBS image from the Raspberry Pi website. They have good instructions for install there: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/noobs/

Configuring Hardware:

At first boot the Pi may show a config utility (called raspi-config), if it doesn't show, it is now available through the launcher menu at the top left of the desktop (it is called raspberry pi configuration in the preferences sub-menu). For easy use of mediacenter, I recommend a) making sure that the Pi is set to boot into a graphical desktop environment by default, b) choosing the audio output you want by default (HDMI or the Pi's built in audio output*), and c) thinking about whether you want to choose one of the overclock* options in the advanced options. Once you've picked your settings, reboot.

Notes:

Audio: the Pi's HDMI output works great, but the built in stereo jack is not the highest quality output in the world. I wouldn't recommend using it for actual listening. If you have a USB DAC, just ignore that for now, this option is only about the behavior of the Pi's built in audio outputs.

Overclocking: Overclocking can potentially shorten the life of your Pi or cause instability. However, because the Pi now comes with built in thermal throttling, you can overclock some models of Pi using the raspberry pi utility as described above without voiding your warranty. Overclocking makes a huge difference in performance for the Pi 1; I did not find the Pi 1 usable at stock settings, YMMV. Overclocking is less important for the Pi 2, but it definitely improves performance. AFAIK, the Pi 3 does not support out of the box overclocking.  I have not personally encountered overclocking related instability with about four different Pis, but that doesn't mean you won't. If you decide to wait to overclock you can get back to the built in configuration utility any time by running the raspi-config utility from the menu in the upper right hand corner.  I haven't tinkered with the Pi 4 but would be interested in hearing about anyone's overclocking experience.

Software Preparation:

After rebooting, you should be looking at the Pi's desktop. If your Pi isn't plugged into to an ethernet line, take a minute to configure your wi-fi adapter to get internet access. Once that's done, open a terminal by clicking on the icon that looks like a computer monitor. Enter the following into the terminal:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

After you enter the line, you'll be prompted whether to install updates to packages; press "y" to confirm. It may take a little while for the packages to download and install. Now enter the following into the terminal

Code: [Select]
cd /boot
sudo nano config.txt

This will show you the file config.txt in the text editor nano. You'll see a lot of information in the config file already, scroll down to the bottom of the file using the direction keys on your keyboard and enter the following two lines exactly as shown:

Code: [Select]
framebuffer_depth=32
framebuffer_ignore_alpha=1

Then save the file by pressing Ctrl+O, then enter. Then press Ctrl+X to exit, and you should be back at the terminal. Now close the terminal and reboot the pi.

Installing MC:

After the reboot, it's time to install MC:

Code: [Select]
wget -q "http://dist.jriver.com/mediacenter@jriver.com.gpg.key" -O- | sudo apt-key add -
sudo wget http://dist.jriver.com/latest/mediacenter/mediacenter26.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mediacenter26.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mediacenter26

After installation completes, you should see MC in the application menu in the upper left hand corner under "sound and video." Open MC, and you're off! 

Installing a License:

JRiver offers a 30-day trial, but to keep using the software you'll need to buy and register it. Currently a JRiver for Linux license or Master license will work. There are several ways to install a JRiver License, but the easiest way is to enter your registration code in the JRiver GUI.  That should work, but if it doesn't, try doing it on the command line as follows:

When you purchase JRiver, you receive an E-mail with an .mjr file. Download that file to your Raspberry Pi's Downloads directory (the one created above). Then open a terminal by clicking on the icon that looks like a computer and enter the following command:

Code: [Select]
mediacenter26 /RestoreFromFile ~/Downloads/"Media Center26 XXXXX-YYYYYY.mjr"

Replace the X's with "Linux" or "Master" (depending on your license) and the Y's with the numbers from your .mjr file, but otherwise enter the command exactly as shown. 

NOTE for advanced users: This will not work correctly if you try to do it via ssh, because Mediacenter needs a display/xserver in order to run.  If you have used the headless/VNC setup
instructions below, try connecting to the pi using VNC and using lxterminal to register your license.

Setting Thread Priorites for Improved Performance

MC now automatically configures thread priorities for users in the system's "audio" group.  Make sure your user is in the audio group by running the following command:
Code: [Select]
sudo usermod -aG audio pi

After your next reboot, Mediacenter should have improved thread priorities.

Audio Setup:

If you're using the Pi's built in audio output (HDMI or stereo), it should just work provided you did the steps above. If you have a USB DAC, you'll need to configure MC to address it just like in normal MC for Linux. That means looking under options --> Audio Devices and looking for a hardware device (an entry for your DAC that has something like "front:" or "surround:" in the name). 

Updating:

To update mediacenter (and the rest of your Pi OS) just enter the following line on the terminal:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Troubleshooting Audio

If you followed the steps above and are not getting audio output via HDMI, try the following:

Alsamixer:
In the terminal "alsamixer" and you will see a volume bar (a "graphical" mixer displayed using ASCII characters).  Check whether the volume is muted by looking at the bottom of the column: if you see "MM" press the "m" key to unmute and then press escape to exit.  If you see "00" then the output isn't muted and that's not the problem (press escape to exit)

Monitor/DVI issues:
Many monitors expect/request a DVI input, which results in the Pi not sending sound to those monitors by default.  To find out if that's what's causing your problem, open a terminal, and type

Code: [Select]
sudo nano /boot/config.txt

and then find the line that reads

Code: [Select]
#hdmi_drive=2

 Remove the "#" symbol, and leave the rest of the line intact.  If your file doesn't have that line for some reason, you can just add the line at the end of the file.  In either case, save the file by pressing CTRL+O, and exit nano by pressing CTRL+X. Then reboot the Pi and test whether you can get sound over HDMI. Changing that option in config.txt has resolved no-audio issues for several folks with screens that have those issues with HDMI support.

Pops and Dropouts:

Pops or dropouts can be caused by a lot of different things and can be tough to troubleshoot.  Some users have found that adjusting CPU frequency scaling can help on RPi 2's (RPI 1's won't benefit from this tweak).  The following link explains how to set your RPi 2 to stay at maximum CPU frequency (using the performance CPU governor: http://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php?topic=95578.msg676554#msg676554

Some notes on getting the most out of MC on the Pi:

The Pi is not a full-featured computer so things will take longer to do on the Pi than on a normal computer. Be patient especially during startup or right after. It might take ten or even thirty seconds for mediacenter to start after you click the icon (depending on whether you have a pi 1 or pi2 and your other settings). Video is not currently supported.  Other than that issue, everything I've tested works pretty well. 


An Important Note Concerning Power:


Pi's are very sensitive to not having enough power; if you plug in too many power hungry USB peripherals it can cause the Pi to reboot or turn off (and corrupt the sd card!). The safest way to resolve this is to use a good powered USB hub and plug the peripherals into that. The best part is that the Hub can also power the Pi itself, so you still only have one wall plug! Some USB hubs won't work very well due to back-power issues, but a recommended list of hubs is available here: http://elinux.org/RPi_Powered_USB_Hubs.  To be clear, if you're just plugging in a usb keyboard/mouse and a wi-fi adapter you should be fine with the normal power supply; it's things like external hard drives and USB DACs that need more juice.

Additionally, if you don't want to use a USB hub, you may be able to power more peripherals by adding the following line to your config.txt:

Code: [Select]
max_usb_current=1

That line allows the Pi's USB ports to supply more current to peripherals, which has allowed several forum members to use an external Hard Drive without using a USB hub.  [Thanks to Hilton for finding and testing that option.]

Pi's are also sensitive to sudden loss of power: cutting off the power on a pi without shutting down properly can and will corrupt your sd card. For that reason it's important to always shut down your pi appropriately. However accidental power outages do occur, so, as a best practice, consider backing up your sd card with a disk imaging utility once you've gotten everything working the way you want. Another more advanced approach is to hook up a rechargeable battery in between the power supply and the Pi to act as a buffer in case of sudden power loss, and configure the Pi to shut down gracefully when mains power goes out, but that's a more advanced topic.

Status of Features
What I've tested that works for me:

1) Local audio playback of FLACs and MP3s (Pi 1, 2, and 3)
2) Using the Pi as a library client (Pi 1, 2, and 3)
3) Using the Pi as a DLNA renderer (Pi 1, 2, and 3)
4) Controlling the Pi with gizmo or eos (Pi 1, 2, and 3)
5) Streaming to gizmo from the Pi (works on Pi 2 and 3, not on the Pi 1)
6) Normal window resizing
7) ALSA-compatible USB DACs
8 ) Using an external hard drive with the Pi (some additional configuration required for some drives)
9) A user has reported that DSD works on the pi (as of 2017)

What I have not tested:

1) Airplay, etc. (I have no macs or i-devices to test with)
2) The Pi 4

What is not working/supported:

1) Video Playback
Video playback now has basic support for the Pi 4.
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DrKNo

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I have problems with the RAM overflowing using MC on RasPi and tremote, more details are here:
https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/index.php/topic,123889.0.html
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mwillems

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DrKNo

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Disabling library sync on the Pi solved it! Thank you mwillems!
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erviv

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To restore a licence using debian stretch a current mjr file I have found that with MC open that double clicking on the mjr file , saved to my rpiís desktop, works, similar to how it works on MAC. I have done this to the last few upgrades successfully. I know that in earlier versions, of either MC or raspian that I needed to restore the licence from the command line terminal as described above.

unfortunate;y neither double clicking or using the restore from command installed my licence in debian buster.  with the command line I get the following msg. i tried moving the mjr file to downloads folder and re-copying it from my NAS.  It is the same file that worked just fine on my stretch rpi.

CRegistrationHelper::RestoreFromFile: bInstalledOk is false, error = Failed extracting license from file.
Could not restore license from file /home/pi/Downloads/MC26-Master-477065.mjr
Thoughts?
I could always try inputting my registration code and using up another restore.
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mwillems

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Are you running the latest version?  One of the earlier 26 builds had registration issues, but the latest one works here using either method.
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erviv

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Yes I am running the latest version of MC26. -  version 20
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erviv

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I have not seen anymore suggestions on why running from the command line wouldnít work, or double clicking on the mjr file. So I have gone ahead and input my registration code in the install licence panel.  That worked, but it used up one restore.
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bob

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.mjr files expire after 14 days so you can't use an old one.
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erviv

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Thanks Bob. The mjr file was only one day old, and the file was the same as the one I used successfully with MC on my raspian stretch rpi.
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gpongrac

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Happy to report that I was successful in getting MC 26.0.29 running on the current raspbian buster distribution (2020-02-13) on a Pi 4.

This is running headless and is replacing MC running on an old Mac-mini that died recently.  Getting headless to work correctly required only that some HDMI parameters in the raspbian boot/config.txt file be configured correctly.  These parameters trick the Pi into thinking that an HDMI display is attached even though I don't have one.  Once this is done the VNC server that comes with the distribution will work correctly along with MC.

The relevant /boot/config.txt parameters I used are:

Code: [Select]
# force HDMI output mode (rather than DVI)
hdmi_drive=2

# make it appear that an HDMI display is attached.  Needed for headless
hdmi_force_hotplug=1

# set HDMI output group to be DMT
hdmi_group=2

# set HDMI output format to be 1280x1024 60Hz
#hdmi_mode=35

# set HDMI to 1600x1200 60hz
hdmi_mode=51


I went with 1600x1200 display size, but mode 35 (1280x1024) also worked.  Note that framebuffer_width and framebuffer_height are not used here.  Mode values for other resolutions can be found here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/config-txt/video.md

I configured the pi to run VNC and to boot into graphical mode and auto login the "pi" user via raspi-config.  Other than that it was a plain-vanilla install and configuration of the Pi software.

Migration of my music files from the Mac HFS+ filesystem to the Raspbian's ext4 filesystem was done by installing an Oracle openbox VM on one of my other Macs, installing a Raspbian x86 distribution into that VM, setting up openbox file-sharing between the hosted VM and the Mac host, and then copying files over using rsync on the Raspbian machine.
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ttirvnet

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Thanks for sharing @gpongrac.

I'm getting my own RPi 4 soon, so I'm happy to see you already got it working with MC and that it is working in headless mode as well.

Where are you sending the audio from MC, to a USB DAC perhaps or out via the HMDI? I'd like to know more about your setup. In my case I'll be sending the audio to a USB DAC.
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gpongrac

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I'm using the PI4 as a uPnP server and sending the audio files via ethernet->router->wifi to a Digione signature streamer, which outputs a high quality SPIDF signal to my Metrum DAC.  The sound quality is excellent this way, better than any USB setup I've tried.
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Awesome Donkey

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This seems to be a good place to post Pi news.

There's a new 8GB model of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/8gb-raspberry-pi-4-on-sale-now-at-75/

Also there's now a 64-bit build (which is an early beta right now) of Raspbian, which has been renamed to Raspberry Pi OS.

So that begs the question, ARM64 build of MC in the future, perhaps when the 64-bit OS matures a bit more? :P
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bob

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This seems to be a good place to post Pi news.

There's a new 8GB model of the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/8gb-raspberry-pi-4-on-sale-now-at-75/

Also there's now a 64-bit build (which is an early beta right now) of Raspbian, which has been renamed to Raspberry Pi OS.

So that begs the question, ARM64 build of MC in the future, perhaps when the 64-bit OS matures a bit more? :P
64 bit would be likely, we have an in-house one for a different ARM platform that seems good.
We will need to see release versions of the OS and some adoption of it before it would be worth the extra overhead of producing and maintaining another build.
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BryanC

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64 bit would be likely, we have an in-house one for a different ARM platform that seems good.

IdRock?
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bob

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squanto53

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I am really disappointed with my purchase of MC 26.  I thought for sure i would be able to watch videos.  I have a RPi 4 (4GB RAM).  Is there any possibility video playback may be supported in the future?
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BigCat

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I hope to one day be able to run JRiver on the Raspberry Pi 4 (or maybe 5, whenever it comes out) in 64-bit. I wish I could do it on my TV in sync with my main PC and other devices.

That would be nice.
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Hendrik

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As mentioned above, once the Raspbian distribution has a final 64-bit version out, and it has proven to  be reliable etc, we'll offer a version for that. :)
We're also interested in that, since the performance gain can be quite substantial, but at the moment there are too many open questions still.
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Hendrik

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I am really disappointed with my purchase of MC 26.  I thought for sure i would be able to watch videos.  I have a RPi 4 (4GB RAM).  Is there any possibility video playback may be supported in the future?

Update to 26.0.82 from the top of this board, we've just released a version with video support on the RPi4 this month.
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agzorig

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  • Lord, grant me the patience... RIGHT NOW!!!

As mentioned above, once the Raspbian distribution has a final 64-bit version out, and it has proven to  be reliable etc, we'll offer a version for that. :)
We're also interested in that, since the performance gain can be quite substantial, but at the moment there are too many open questions still.
Looking forward to this.
Thanks!
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LYC

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Updating:

To update mediacenter (and the rest of your Pi OS) just enter the following line on the terminal:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

May I know what is the code for solely updating mediacenter only without updating/upgrading the rest of PI OS ? Thanks in advance  :)
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BryanC

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 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install mediacenter26
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Kimota

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Thanks for sharing @gpongrac.

I'm getting my own RPi 4 soon, so I'm happy to see you already got it working with MC and that it is working in headless mode as well.

Where are you sending the audio from MC, to a USB DAC perhaps or out via the HMDI? I'd like to know more about your setup. In my case I'll be sending the audio to a USB DAC.

I've got an RPi4 (4GB) setup that I'm using for audio-only playback via HDMI output to a Marantz SR6013 receiver. It's working well - again, just for the audio. The RPi4 can decode DSD multi-channel to PCM 5.1 channel Dolby Surround. Not bad! I'm not using MC for video (yet). Maybe someday in the future...
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bob

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I've got an RPi4 (4GB) setup that I'm using for audio-only playback via HDMI output to a Marantz SR6013 receiver. It's working well - again, just for the audio. The RPi4 can decode DSD multi-channel to PCM 5.1 channel Dolby Surround. Not bad! I'm not using MC for video (yet). Maybe someday in the future...
You are getting 5.1 out the HDMI output without any kernel modifications?
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Kimota

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You are getting 5.1 out the HDMI output without any kernel modifications?
Affirmative. I'm using the stock distros and latest software from JRiver. No kernel mods, and I'm getting Dolby Digital Surround Sound 5.1 out of the RPi4 HDMI and into my Marantz SR6013. The Marantz AVR is (to my ears) properly decoding the signal and reports that it's playing back in DD 5.1 (FL-C-FR-SL-SR-SW).

See the screen capture of the MC26 DSP set-up I'm using on the RPi4. Note that the source is a DSF multi-channel file I ripped from a SACD. I set the output encoding to Dolby Digital with 5.1 channels (no upmixing or downmixing). That's HUGE for me to be able to play multi-channel DSD music from a NAS Music Server! So, yeah, it's not DSD bit-perfect output (someday...), but it's properly decoding/encoding into PCM 5.1 surround. Woohoo!  ;D
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bob

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Aha, I see what you are doing! So basically what's happening is that the multichannel output is being sent on 2 channels with Dolby Digital encoding.
I did that too for sending multichannel over optical. It's a handy trick.
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Kimota

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Aha, I see what you are doing! So basically what's happening is that the multichannel output is being sent on 2 channels with Dolby Digital encoding.
I did that too for sending multichannel over optical. It's a handy trick.

Being a relative noob with MediaCenter and multi-channel digital formats, I'm going to have to take your word on what's going on.

All I did was I kept trying different configurations on the RPi4 and MC26 until the 5.1 channel outputs matched the original DSD output in terms of which instruments were playing in which channels.

I guess I was being naive in thinking that MC26 was decoding the DSD 5.1 multi-channel music, then re-encoding the output into Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround PCM format. Or maybe that's what you're saying and I'm just lost...?
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bob

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I guess I was being naive in thinking that MC26 was decoding the DSD 5.1 multi-channel music, then re-encoding the output into Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround PCM format. Or maybe that's what you're saying and I'm just lost...?
That's exactly what it's doing, you are correct.
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cmg

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Hi
My current setup is:
Synology NAS with the audio files (mp3, flac and high resolution files) connected to the network by cable, a notebook connected to the network running JRiver and a streamer (Pioneer n50a) connected to the network also by cable. Files do not undergo any conversion.
My question is (and excuse my ignorance) if the notebook can be replaced by the Raspberry pi, running JRiver and, if so, if it is possible to import the settings.
Thanks in advance,
Regards
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jaiwant_alex

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Hi

I have been MC 26 running on RPI3 for sometime now, but i need to do a fresh install

I have followed the usual steps outlined on this thread but im getting the " E: Unable to locate package mediacentre 26" error

I thought it was a problem with the MC26 repository, so I tried a newer version (MC28) and got the same result

Do let me know if im missing something or if something has changed
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Awesome Donkey

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Are you spelling it mediacentre 26? If so it should be mediacenter26 as long as the APT repository is installed as well.
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jaiwant_alex

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Are you spelling it mediacentre 26? If so it should be mediacenter26 as long as the APT repository is installed as well.

I did check this and all the spellings are correct. Could there be a problem with the Linux distribution ? I had earlier installed on Raspbian, now im trying to install on Dietpi.
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Awesome Donkey

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As long as the APT repository is being used, it *should* work fine on Raspbian which is now known as Raspberry Pi OS.
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Okanochiwa

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What's your setup to connect Raspberry Pi to your NAS:
- Ethernet, Wifi, USB 3?
- Do you locally mount the NAS as a partition?
- Do you use minim server to load the NAS library into JRiver?

Thanks
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