MicroNova has launched a crowdfunding campaign for AmpliPi — an open source, whole-home audio system powered by a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ and running a Python REST API and mobile-first web application.
"AmpliPi is a multi room/zone home audio controller and amplifier made for whole house audio systems with many zones," explains MicroNova co-founder Jason Gorski of the device. "It can play up to 4 simultaneous audio streams (Pandora, Spotify, AirPlay, etc) or sources (RCA inputs), each routed to one or many zones, all of which are configurable in real-time using the self-hosted AmpliPi Web App or its underlying REST API."
"It is expandable up to 36 zones using AmpliPi Zone Expanders. AmpliPi ships pre-configured and ready to go out of the box. Plug it in, connect your speakers, add your streaming audio accounts, name your zones, and begin enjoying smart whole-house audio in no time!"
The AmpliPi box features four analog RCA inputs, support for network streaming from DLNA/UPnP servers, Apple AirPlay, Pandora, and Spotify sources, and offers six stereo zone outputs expandable to 36 using optional add-on expansion systems connected via a dedicated zone expansion socket.
"The system is self-hosted on the Raspberry Pi and is privacy-centric," Gorski claims. "By design, AmpiPi doesn’t listen to you or spy on you — it just plays your audio! The way it should be. An internet connection is only needed for some external streaming sources, such as Pandora. The Python application running on the Pi hosts a mobile-friendly website and REST API used to control the system. The website is built on top of the REST API."
Inside the AmpliFi unit is an off-the-shelf power supply running to a power distribution board which drives a pre-amp, amplifier, and a control board driven by a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3+ system-on-module (SoM) — not, sadly, the considerably more powerful Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, though this is unlikely to affect day-to-day performance of the AmpliPi software.
The AmpliPi project is crowdfunding via Kickstarter now, with physical rewards starting at $499 under early-bird pricing — a saving, MicroNova claims, of $300 over the device's retail price. Delivery is expected to take place in May 2021.