Building my own audio station

Hello everyone,

I am a real newbie on Balena and I stumbled upon it after trying to create my own lorawan gateway. That is still ongoing but in the meantime I discovered that Balena offers a lot more and as I have another project idea, I thought that Balena might be the perfect solution. I want to combine my own home automation dashboard which runs in node-red to be displayed on a dedicated raspberry pi. It will also have an audio client with a dedicated user-interface that can play internet radio and spotify sources, also running in node-red. I have the flows ready to do that. The radio is just an html audio tag, the spotify client is a webpage in node-red which uses the web-api to control a running spotify client. This all works pretty good on an android tablet, including controlling the audio volume. My idea now is to create a new balena project based on balenaDash and add the node-red block and the sound block. Then I want to develop the flows in the project itself so they will be installed when deploying the image. An alternative would be to separate the ui and the streamer to 2 different PI’s, is that better?
I know it sounds like a long shot but I hope anyone of you can point me in the right direction whether this is the way to go. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance,
Ronald Brinkerink

I think your idea is great, and about the specific question of whether to use one or two Pis, it depends on the version, but a Pi 3 or Pi 4 should be capable of handling everything, and from a development point of view using one device would also be easier in my opinion.
I guess you’ve probably found the following refs, but for your use case I think you’ll find useful as starting points:

Get started on developing with Raspberry Pi 3 and Node.js - Balena Documentation for an intro
Multiple containers - Balena Documentation for an intro to the multi-container app, of which GitHub - balenalabs/balena-dash: Build a Raspberry Pi based desktop dashboard for stats, photos, videos and more! is an example.

Hth and good luck! Share your advance here if you want to!


Hey Ronald,

Just to add to Ramiro’s great suggestions, please check out this blog post that shows you how to load multiple apps on the same device: Two projects, one device: turn your Raspberry Pi into a multitool!

Also, we invite users building interesting projects to share their progress on this section of the forums: Show and Tell - balenaForums

There are many balenistas and community members sharing tips, talking shop, and supporting one another. Hope to see you there!