I’m planning to make an internet radio using my Raspberry Pi.

First off I plan to control it entirely using a web interface which I guess I’ll write. The popular alternative is to use MPD with one of its cli/web/Android clients. I don’t fancy all of the bloat of XBMC.

Eventually I may add an LCD display and a couple of GPIO buttons at least for play and skip. Edit: I’m really considering this now as I could do with an alarm clock that uses NTP, I could even get it to turn the display off at night until a GPIO button is pressed (which could double as a snooze button). I’ve bought an incredibly cheap (God bless ebay China!) HD44780 LCD module and header pins, jees I hope I can find my soldering iron!

I plan to be able to use internet radio stations as well as playing MP3 files from the NFS server and local storage on the SD card or USB stick.

I’ve bought a wifi dongle and USB soundcard as apparently the built-in 3.5mm line out is pathetic and suffers from popping. It will all be powered by a 7-port USB hub that I have a couple of already for my Pi.

Speakers will be the complicated part – I could go the easy route and get some USB-powered speakers which could be powered from the same hub, or I could use some old PC speakers and a DC-DC power adaptor to convert whatever the speakers use (12V?) to 5V for the Pi, thus still only using one mains plug. Edit: I’ve decided to go for these cheap’n’cheerful USB speakers which I’ll canabalise. Edit: the speakers are going back, they emit a lot of static when not in use – even on my laptop/desktop machines. I also noticed that the Pi’s 3.5mm jack does indeed suffer from popping and not being very loud.

Then finally I need to find a case to put it all in.

I’m going to get the system initially setup using my Model-B, but am thinking that eventually I could use a cheaper Model-A (and a smaller SD card) as I don’t need ethernet or 2 USB ports, or case. I wonder how well Debian+MPD+nginx would run in 256Mb though…..

So far the current cost is £22.19 for speakers, LCD, DAC, 802.11n dongle and 0.1″ header pins. That doesn’t include the Pi (£18.88 for Model-A) and some sort of case, and I already have the USB hub (about £4) and various USB cables, resistors/pots, GPIO cables, breadboard etc. Not bad considering a Logitech radio would be £130+ and not half as tweakable.