First, many thanks for the developers, BalenaSound is a fantastic idea!
In my case, however, I experience some peculiar issues that I did not find solution for (yet). I have a 3-device ecosystem, for the sole purpose of running BalenaSound. They are all 4Gb Raspberry Pi 4Bs, and they have 32Gb Kingston SD cards and IQAudio DAC Pro hats, with original Raspberry AC adapters. Flashing was done under Ubuntu, for under Windows 10 it was impossible to do. As a sidenote, it would be useful to put that in the ‘getting started’ tips, for I was quite desperate when I bought all these just to find out that I cannot flash the cards even with Balena Etcher under Win 10. I found a workaround, so it is all right now.
I use Spotify and Airplay mainly, bluetooth is not my go-to for sound quality reasons. My devices are connected to the network by WiFi, and I would not connect them by LAN (different rooms, no intention to ‘wire about’ the entire appartment), so please no such tips.
I try to summarise the remaining issues that make me perplexed:
- One of my devices tends to shutdown randomly for no obvious reason, while the others are working well. It can happen anytime within a timeframe of 2 days or 10 minutes after restarting the device.
- The same device tends to be partially “off” the ecosystem: I mean when I send music to it either by Spotify connect or through Airplay, it works, but only that one device. The other two remain silent, as if the signal was not ‘shared’ with them. Why is this partial? Because if I send music to another device, the ‘flawed one’ gets it just all right. This issue also happens randomly - sometimes no such problem, sometimes it is there
- Even if the same device works all right, sometimes there are stutters, short periods of silence in the music played by the other two devices, while the flawed one plays perfectly. It seems also to be random.
- General problem: after a few tracks, there is a short ‘stutter’ at the beginning of each track in continuous play in Spotify Connect. It is not very good, especially when listening Pink Floyd or similar albums that are one contionuous pieace of music. But it is also annoying by ordinary tracks.
- Lag varies greatly. Sometimes only a few seconds, sometimes (apparently after a longer period of running, say, a day) 10-15, or even more, independent of the mode of cast (Spoti or Ap). I never got as low as 1-1,5 second that, apparently, was discussed in by others being so bad. I would be happy with such a low input lag… I understand it is due to some built-in characteristics of the system, and I accept that lag cannot be eradicated completely, but I would be happier with a lower duration, and it also gives me the feeling of an unstable system. As it is, apparently, based on the above points.
I could narrow it down more or less to one SD card, but a few times, it happened with others as well. Since the last update, however, it seems to be just the one.
I have reflashed the image to the same SD card multiple times. For a while (2 days tops) it works well after a reflash, but never perfectly. I switched cards between Pis, and found that it is probably related to the SD-card or the OS. But what made me perplexed that on time I experienced the same issue with another card that worked well in another device, put in the ‘flawed’ one. So I am out of options, and don’t really know what is the problem here. My guesses:
- SD card problem: but then why did it happen in the same device with another card that worked well in another device? I would not want to throw out money for buying a new card if it is not sure that that’s what causes the issues.
- Hardware problem (faulty Pi): but then why does it happen with another device that works well with another card, if I put in it the ‘flawed’ card? I do not want to return the Pi until I am not completely certain it is the reason for the issues, for I should pay double shipping costs then that are not something I would want to do for no reason.
- OS problem: but then why does it work (usually, but not always) with other card/device pairs?
I am no IT or programming expert, so all I could do to narrow down the ‘source’ of the issues is moving the cards around, once I even switched the place of two devices.
Excuse me for the long elaboration, and thank you for your kind help.