The power supply finally came in! I rushed home to finalize the physical part of the build. Easy peasy.

With everything assembled and plugged in, it was time to load the new operating system onto the MicroSD card (you can see it poking out just a bit from the front of the case in the above picture). I originally picked one of the purely music-player oriented projects but realized two things:

  1. This thing’s going to route through the TV via HDMI anyway.
  2. Of the library managers that aren’t MediaMonkey I’ve ever worked with, Kodi is the only one to let me make a smart randomized playlist using the Mood tag in my music files. (I use the Mood tag “BGM” to indicate appropriate background music tracks for light social gatherings, such as board game nights.)

So I switched to OSMC, which is a Raspberry-Pi-specific build for Kodi. Once I got that loaded onto the SD card, I hooked everything up and pressed the power button. Lo and behold!

Could it really be that easy?

Well, no. I mean yes, but no. My next tasks were to install Samba (it’s an option inside of OSMC itself so that’s handy), update the IP to a fixed location so we can reliably reach the share from our computers, format and mount the 120GB SSD, copy over the music library, convince Kodi to load the music library, and create the first test BGM playlist.

Results, though:

Would I recommend this to other tinkerers who want a living room music player that doubles as a shared network music library source? If you don’t mind dealing with tiny fiddly bits and are comfortable with some Linux command line shenanigans… yes. So far I’m quite pleased.

I wish the Pi version of Kodi had visualizations. I’m going to miss that.

Now to uninstall Kodi from the Amazon Fire TV box… maybe tomorrow.