Checklist

Here is a summary of the different articles I wrote on this blog.

What’s the goal?
To control the playback of Spotify over your hifi-set comfortable and wireless from your tablet or smartphone, using Spotify Connect. This way you don’t stream the audio-signal from your tablet of smartphone like with bluetooth, but your tablet or smartphone only gives the signal to the other Spotify Connect device to stream the audio from that device.

Now, that “other Spotify Connect device can be a hifi-set of wireless speakerset which support Spotify Connect. But, those devices are expensive, and probably you already have a hifi-set, so you don’t want to buy a new one just for Spotify Connect support.

The great thing with Spotify Connect is that you can use it from/to any Android device, so also another (old) smartphone, tablet of Android mini-pc. So let’s see what we exactly need to setup a system which you can leave on all the time, is connected to your existing hifi-set and acts as a “Spotify Connect server”.

1. an Android device to use as Spotify Connect server
Could be an old smartphone or tablet you don’t use anymore, or you can buy a very cheap Android mini-pc (around 40 euro’s). A power-source is needed also off-course, often micro-usb.

2. an external DAC/soundcard (optional for smartphone or tablet or more advanced Android mini pc’s)
If you have an Android mini-pc, than you probably need an external DAC or soundcard, because there is no audio-out. You can buy very audiophile sounding usb-DAC’s from Hifimediy for example, which are automatically recognized by some mini-pc’s like the MK808II. It gives your Spotify Connect server really good sound!

If you have a smartphone or tablet you already have an audio-out, but often not the best sound because of low cost soundcards used in those devices. So than you can still choose to connect a usb-DAC via a OTG-cable. Problem is that not all smartphones and tablets support external DAC’s, so you better google your device to see if it support external soundcards.

It is reported that some USB DAC’s are not working with Android Mini PC’s without a powered USB HUB, because those USB DAC’s are designed to work with laptop’s or computers, and therefor consume more power that the USB port of an Android Mini PC can deliver.

The audio-out from your smartphone or tablet, or from the external DAC is connected to the audio-in from your own hifi-set.

3. Spotify (only)
If you want a “Spotify only” device or “dedicated Spotify server” than you can reset your device to factory defaults, and than only install Spotify. Make sure Google Play Store automatically updates Spotify, so you don’t have to maintain the system all the time.

4. music quality settings
Make sure the music quality settings in Spotify are set to “Streaming: extreme quality”, especially if you have an external DAC. This way you have the best sound!

5. install an autostart app
To make sure Spotify is started when the Android device is (re)booted. Autostart and staY! is a great app for this task, because it also makes sure Spotify is restarted if Android decides to kill the app because of low memory. And it also let Spotify stay on the foreground, so it is always available to connect via Spotify Connect.

6. the control device
And off-course you need another smartphone or tablet to control Spotify with. This could be your daily smartphone or tablet with off course Spotify on it. From the Spotify app you start your music. When you touch the Spotify Connect icon, you can choose the “Spotify Connect Server” (the other Android device) in the list you see there. From that moment the music outputs to that device, and to the audio-out from that device.

That’s basically it. I’m exited about this because it is such an easy solution to use another android device as Spotify Connect server instead of buying expensive hardware to make this possible. That’s why I wrote this small blog. Now all you need is some good music and some spare time. Enjoy!

If you want to share your experiences with this system or have questions about it, please post a reaction here. I’m pretty bussy, but probably will find some time to respond 🙂

 

4 thoughts on “Checklist

  1. Really nice project, didnt know this possibility and started using it immediately with my Android tablet.

    Like the idea of using a Android stick. Would be nice to activate the source via HDMI on my reciever when Spotify is started. Do you know if you can control the HDMI signals of the stick?

    1. Hi Arjan, great to hear you like my blog! Could you be more specific about what you want, I don’t exactly understand.

  2. Are these Android driven mini pcs easy to find in Europe? a quick search on internet didn’t give me much results. Have you tried different models? Are they sold by Google, like the Nexus phones or the recent Chromebook computers?

    1. OK. Maybe it’s a bit late to reply but I guess you could find these kind of devices at dealextreme ( http://www.dx.com ). They have free shipping worldwide, the only con is that shipping can take quite a while (3-4 weeks). Hope this helps!

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