Really unhappy with BalenaSound and I regret having bought Raspberry Pis for this

I only have problems with this setup. The list of issues is just too long that I don’t feel like bothering with this anymore

  • the delay varies from 2-20 seconds
  • sometimes the sound is crackling
  • sometimes playback just stops and you have to restart the services
  • I can not reconnect from my Linux laptop. I always have to remove the device via bluetoothctl in the Bluetooth block and then search for it again. No issues with any other Bluetooth devices.
  • Booting and starting all Docker containers takes quite long on a Pi4 even. I don’t even see why this project is offered for the Pi Zero, because it is a painful experience and not fast enough to playback in sync anyway.

I have spent some money on the Pis and that I don’t have any other use for atm. I really wish I would have spent this on some other solution like a Sonos speaker or the Arylic amplifier board. Projects like this should run on microntroller and not an a microprocessor with a complete OS behind it. It is just overkill and does only result in longer bootup and more points of failure.

@jclsn I’m sorry the project didn’t work out so well for your use case right now. It’s worth remembering that balenaSound is a free and open source project maintained by people in their free time to give back to the community. It’s not perfect and is under constant development. If what you really need is a turnkey commercial solution that just works (like Sonos) it’s definitely not the place to invest. I’m sure the issues you describe can be resolved eventually by anyone willing to contribute the time and effort required though, then it might be worth another try in the future. :slight_smile:

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I really love open-source solutions and many things I can fix myself, but in this case it was just too much. Maybe it is just a bad version currently, but I think that the modular approach with the block containers is not a good solution here. It is no fun to try and fix things when you have to wait minutes and minutes for containers to start.

I just bought two Arylics Up2Stream devices for 70€ each and am very happy with them. They have like 1-2 seconds of delay during multi-room playback max and have many other features and a preamp that is reacts instantly when changing the volume. Even with pre-Covid prices you could not beat that price together with a HifiBerry. Still not on a Sonos level, but very nice. They also run Linux apparently and I believe their SoC is way way less powerful than current Raspberry Pis.

Maybe consider to ship Balena Sound on a single image! Else you will have countless moving parts that can easily break. For a timing-critical application this is just a flaw in design imo.

Anyway, it was not my intention drag anyone’s work here in the mud. I will still consider your other projects.

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