RuneAudio: A Free Home Media Player

Looking for a free media player like those from long ago, like that old stereo system that blasted tunes while you were chilling at home? Check out RuneAudio.

RuneAudio: A Free Home Media Player
Image of my original Raspberry Pi used for this project

Depending on when you grew up, you might recall a media player or stereo system living somewhere in your house or perhaps at a friend's place. Generally, these contained components such as a radio tuner, cassette player, a single or multiple CDs, maybe even a plug in port for other media types. At some point in time, these things phased out of style and got replaced with portable media devices, namely cell phones and their streaming services like Spotify. If you've been wanting something like this, but don't want to use your phone due to other activities, here's something to try: RuneAudio. For those of you who value your online privacy (which you should), this is a great alternative to use a smart speaker.

I found RuneAudio when searching for a media player that can run on the original Raspberry Pi and that I can plug into the speaker set for the living room. Kind of like a set it and forget it type of thing, really. It meets all the requirements I have, such as low-consumption, headless, silent, and providing a decent quality of music. Best part is that it is so much more.

RuneAudio provides 6 different sources as options for music. You can enter in your webradio URLs, your Spotify information, the now defunct Dirble, and your Jamendo information. If you're like me and have physical media laying about or located somewhere locally, like a NAS or even various USBs, you have those options as well. I did have a bit of a time setting up the NAS to the RuneAudio, but after a bit of troubleshooting, it was user error. Be sure to read everything when setting it up, or check the main link posted below.

The interface is just short of beautiful. You can access this via web browser or your phone because all you need is the IP address of your device (the Raspberry Pi for me). The color of blue, black, and grey aesthetic is very nice, especially when you're in the dark and wanting to just chill. You know who you are. The Playback screen is the default screen you get welcomed to each time you access RuneAudio, which displays everything needed to control the system. The screen on the left takes you to the Library. If you've got a local media source plugged in, this is where you would access that. I've never tested the online streaming services, but I'm sure this is where they would show up. You can curate a playlist from this screen, in which you can manage when you access the Queue screen found on the right. This screen allows you to move songs around, remove, save, and load playlists. Pretty easy overall to navigate, you just need to explore.

Images of RuneAudio on the phone

I'm not going to go about installing and running this player because on their website, they have amazing, easy to follow instructions. You can also see what devices are supported in case you don't have an original Raspberry Pi. Best part of this entire thing: it's free. So if you've got older tech laying around, collecting dust, and you want to give it new life, give RuneAudio a try. If you've got questions about any part of this project, hit me up in our Discord and I will try my best to help you out. This is a really nice tech project to have in your home or office.