Music Player Daemon on the MusicPal

Some time ago I recived a MusicPal as a gift. Out of the box the device is great fun, and made a very good present. The device is designed to work as an internet radio, It can connect to a wireless network and stream radio from various internet radio stations. However the device does have a few limitations when you want to play your own music. The device can connect to Media servers that use the UPnP Media Devices Protocol and the device is operated using two rotary knobs. For me the combination of these two features is the major design flaw in the product.  I don’t want to walk over to the device, twiddle some knobs and play a tune that is on my laptop, instead I want to select songs from my laptop and queue them up for playing on the device. There are two remote control applications for the MusicPal, one which is accessible through a web interface, and another which is Windows™ software. However both of the remote control applications are useless, all one can do is pause music, you can’t select a new song to be played, change the position of playback or even fast-forward and rewind!

Well a while ago,  I found a blog from someone who goes by the name of Nerdy Toad who was trying to run Music Player Deamon on his MusicPal.  At the time he had only managed to make a test sinewave come out of the devices internal speaker, and we worked together to see if we could get output from the line-out of the device. We were somewhat unsuccessful. However, about half a year later, someone called Maz took our research further. He was able not only to get sound fully working on the device, he was also able to patch Music Player Deamon to work on the device aswell.

For anyone else who has a MusicPal and wants to use it in conjunction with Linux you will need to do the following. First you have to enable the telnet interface for the device. You can enable it via a hidden web interface page:
http://musicpal/admin/cgi-bin/debug

You can then telnet to the device, login as root, and issue the following command.
wget http://musicpal.v3v.de/cifs/cifs.ko

This will get you a kernel module will will allow you to access a samba share on the device. This is important because the device has very limited disk space, and so its preferable to put mpd, config files, etc. In a samba share. Of course you will probably have your mp3 files in a samba share aswell. You will need to create an smb.conf on the machine that you will be sharing files from, (not the MusicPal). This is my smb.conf

[global]
server string = masala
security = SHARE
guest account = giles
[mpd]
comment = mpd
path = /home/giles/mpd
guest ok = Yes
read only = No
[music]
comment = Music
path = /home/giles/Music
guest ok = Yes

In my setup I have mpd on the machine sharing music, this is because of the limited space on the MusicPal, so still on this machine download the mpd binary

wget http://musicpal.v3v.de/mpd-testing/mpd.tar.gz

Then expand the gzip into the mpd directory. You will have to modify the mpd.conf file so that the directories are correct. Once you have done all this, you can mount the shares from the MusicPal telnet session

mount -t cifs //192.168.2.4/mpd /tmp/mnt/mpd
mount -t cifs //192.168.2.4/music /tmp/mnt/mpd/music

Finally from the telnet session you can launch mpd. Back on the client you should now be able to connect to mpd via your favorite mpd client program.

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