NOOB Suggestions

Hello. I’m very excited about this project. If I may make a couple of small suggestions which could help other noobs.

Inevitably, we all start somewhere. I suspect most of us start by following your great intro, some other version of it, or its original.

Which leads to recommendation one: Pump the forums. Tell people, in big clear letters at the top: “This is not going to work as described. When it doesn’t, check out our forums”. Or some variant of that. Nobody reads as far as your troubleshooting section, and they probably try to Google first. But, for some reason, in this case, Google isn’t as helpful as it should be (if you don’t believe me, check this search out. You’ll note that the balena forum response there is not encouraging and doesn’t scream “use the forums” at you - rather, your own anguished scream forces you back to google!).

Then, recommendation two: Perhaps a table of key gotchas - early in the document. I’ve been using a Pi 3B. Turns out that neither Airplay nor Bluetooth work with that device. Perhaps a wild guess, but I suspect a large fraction of folk playing with balenaSound are using a PI 3B. And hope to stream using either Airplay or Bluetooth. From your forums, I suspect that there may be similar issues with the PI 4.

Either way, it turns out that these problems can be reasonably easily solved. Well, Airplay anyway.

I’d be happy to edit your document - but I didn’t spot a link to a repo. So maybe that’s recommendation three: Let the community contribute to the documentation?

Anyway, I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ve got a working sound system again - and I really appreciate the time balena has invested in this project: thank you.


Thanks a lot for the detailed description of the issues you have faced, and your recommended solutions! I am going to loop in the balenaSound lead dev, and our content team to see how best we can incorporate your suggestions.

  • Wrt Raspberry pi 3b - yes there are some known bluetooth issues with that, and we have ensured that our FAQ is up to date with that information - but Airplay should work fine. Can you tell us what issues did you have with running that? Based on your second recommendation, I believe you didn’t get Airplay working right?

Thanks for engaging Anuj.

See this post: Airplay does not work unless I refresh Airplay service from the cloud app - #8 by mkp132

Indeed, on a fresh install (balena-cloud-balena-sound-raspberrypi3-2.80.3+rev1-v12.7.0), no wi-fi, the behavior documented in that thread manifests. Restarting the airplay service gets it up and running.

That thread suggests that the service does start - briefly. I didn’t experience that.


Thanks Renen, we appreciate the time and effort you’ve taken to document this. :slight_smile: