Raspberry Pi computers have been used for many things, but one of the most common “everyday” uses is as a media server. If you’ve been on the fence about making one yourself, here’s a giant list of ways to accomplish this, including software tutorials, and lots of vintage and modern enclosures to put it in.
How to Install The Software
Whether or not your media center looks good, it doesn’t really do much without properly running software. These links should help you cover that issue.
- The folks at Lifehacker claim that their video tutorial can help you install XBOX Media Center (XBMC) software in under 30 minutes.
- Upping the ante, Make: claims that you can install XBMC in about 20 minutes (though pictures are used instead of video).
- Here’s a tutorial on how to setup your Pi to stream media off of a hard drive.
- This tutorial shows how to set things up using MiniDLNA.
- This tutorial claims to show how to build “the best” Raspberry Pi media server, and goes into how the whole streaming system works.
- Here’s how to install XBMC using a torrent client. Also, it’s the source of the great storm trooper photo above! [via Pinterest]
- This guide goes over the best Linux Distos for a media center, and includes the neat picture below.
- Another streaming option is Pi MusicBox, which touts itself as an option to turn your Pi into a “streaming music player for Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud, Webradio, Podcasts, and other music from the cloud.”
Vintage Pi Cases
Software is what you need to get things running, but what fun is it without a nice case. After all, you could just use a PC. Here’s a few vintage ideas to make the old new.
- As pictured in the photo above, a 40s-era radio can now find a new life as a media center.
- Here’s another “audio-only” Pi-Radio, and another that has a really neat dynamically-generated “frequency” dial selector.
- Further restricting things, you can now even make a Raspberry Pi radio that only gets BBC Radio 4. As an American, I’m not sure I see the appeal, but a neat hack nonetheless.
- This 1932 Pi radio, Mephisto II is certainly elegant, as pictured below. [via Lifehacker]
- Somewhere between a 1930s radio and an original iPod “restoration” would be this Spotify tape deck shown below. When a tape is put in, a different streaming playlist is selected (one per each side), and the buttons work as well.
- Seen in the video below, the Audio Infuser 4700 quite interesting, with a Raspberry Pi for WiFi streaming, a turntable, and a 5″ CRT on the front for waveform visualization. [via Hackaday]
- Although Mason jars are still produced, they still seem “old-timey” to me. Here’s a Pi enclosure made out of one!
A retro look is great, but sometimes you want your streaming and media tools to look like they came from the 21st century. Here’s a few that are unashamedly current in design.
- If you’re OK with simply buying a case, here’s a neat one that includes a fan (pictured above), or another that conveniently mounts to the back of a TV.
- As seen below, if it’s thin enough, why not put a media server inside of a former thermostat.
- If you’re short on tools, why not just make a case out of LEGO blocks, or even an Altoids tin?
- The “SqueezeBerry” music player looks vaguely “retro” in color, but is made from wood found in the garage.