Pirate radio, HAM radio and streaming/music player projects involving the Raspberry Pi can be found ALL over the interwebs, in the hobby shops and between the couch cushions, but while most are opensource, none give us the tinglies like Audiophonics’ Rasptouch Audio Player.
The Bordeaux-based company designed their platform for audiophiles with Hi-Fi in mind, focusing on preference customization and software openness in a device with plenty of ports and streamer compatibility extendable via the Raspberry Pi 3 and I-Sabre Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) support.
The RaspTouch Audio Player is powered by the Raspberry Pi 3 and features a Raspberry Pi Official touchscreen for navigation and a choice in DACs- either the I-Sabre ESS ES9023 or I-Sabre K2M ESS ES9018K2M. The hardware is packed into an CNC’ed aluminum enclosure with screen mount, and features and illuminated on/off switch with ‘ATX-like’ power-management system to avoid operating system corruption when powering up or down.
The opensource design also gives you a host of options when it comes to media player software with support for piCore, Kodi, RuneAudio (comes pre-installed as an option) and Raspbian. The platform also supports a wide range of audio formats as well, including FLAC / ALAC, MP3, WAV, and X264 Video.
I recently had a chance to talk with Luis Gonçalves of Audiophonics to ask him more about their Hi-Fi platform. They knew they wanted to build on the success of other product and chose the Raspberry Pi to make that happen. “Our two latest DACs were developed to couple perfectly with the Raspberry Pi, which has a huge DIY community. Since DIY is the core of our activity, and after the success of our RaspDAC developed with the Raspberry 2, we decided to continue with the Raspberry products, integrating the Raspberry Pi 3 and the official touch-screen. Choosing to do so, we allowed our clients to choose the software solution adapted to their needs, with the huge Raspberry Pi community ready to help them.”
But the their plans are not to limit the possibilities to one platform. “The Raspberry Pi was the solution we started with, but we are not locked behind that door. We’ve tried other solutions, and the Raspberry Pi 3 provides the best results, but we are certainly open to use others solutions, and perhaps, in the future, we will make another High-Res audio player based on another platform.”
Being an audio component company, you can imagine they “have others projects coming soon. We can’t really talk about those at the moment, but we can tell you to keep an eye on us. What I can tell you is that we are getting some amazing feedback from the community and that is giving us some ideas for the future.”
The RaspTouch is currently funded on Kickstarter surpassing their target goal of $22,670. Those interested can pledge about $373 US for the complete kit, which comes fully assembled and includes a Rasptouch with an RPi 3, the official 7″ touchscreen, an ES9023 DAC with Linear PSU, Momentary Power button, and power adapter.