From initilal setting and to music playing with Alix or APU.

For the users who are new to EasyMPD, this document explains all process from initial setting and to music playing.

You do not need to worry. It is not too difficult to build a network music player. Anyone who can understand the concept of network player a little, can easily build and can use the network music player. You don't need to hesitate to try and you don't need to buy the expensive pre-existing products that exceed thousands dollars in price. EasyMPD will help you can obtain the network player with PC Engines' Alix and APU, that will give you better sound quality and easier use than other pre-existing product even with low cost.


If you don't have Alix or APU board yet you can purchase it at PC Engines homepage.

  1. You should buy 2D2 Alix board or APU to use EasyMPD. The item number is "alix2d2", "apu1d" and "apu1d4". It is recommended to puchase APU board if possible. APU board is more faster than Alix and mSATA SSD or SATA HDD can be directly connected to APU board.
  2. The item numbers for aluminium enclosure are "case1d1u" for Alix and "case1d2u" for APU.
  3. If you want wireless network connection you can buy miniPCI wireless card, "wlm200nx" for Alix and miniPCI express wileless card, "wle200nx" for APU.(antsma for antenna and pigsma for pigtail cable of antenna)
  4. And you may need AC adapter 12V 2A or 18V 1.5A.(Jack inner diameter 2.1 mm for Alix and 2.5 mm for APU, outer diameter 5.5 mm, center positive.) You may can get this from your local market.
  5. CF (CompactFlash) card over 1GB for Alix and SD card over 1GB for APU. You may can get this from your local market as well.
  6. Go to see how to assemble the enclosure of Alix.

Concept of Alix or APU network player and how to configure.

If you are totally new to the network player or do not have any concept of it, you'd be better to read this document of how to configure Alix network music player before start.
   Go to read.

The requirements for Alix or APU network music player.

  1. PC Engines' Alix or APU board in which EasyMPD is installed.
  2. You need a DAC which has UBS input. If your DAC has no USB input you should purchase a DDC.
  3. An internet router.
  4. USB exteral HDD or the computer or NAS that shares their music file folder to network. If you are using APU board you can use SATA HDD ro mSATA SSD instead of USB external HDD. These storages are for music files you have.


Alix or APU network music player can work in "MPD Player" mode or in "DLNA/UPnP Media Renderer" mode. You can choose one of the two modes in initial Setup Wizard. And you can switch to another mode easily at any time when you want. Below is a brief description of each mode.

  1. MPD Player - This is a commonly used method in Alix or APU network player. A music player program called MPD brings and plays the music files from the network shared folder on another computer or NAS in your network. It provides stability in use and high quality of sound, but you have to register the network shared folders of computer or NAS, which stores your music files. You can do it easily with help of EasyMPD if you make the shared folder settings correctly in your computer or NAS. And if you have a external USB HDD and you attach it to Alix via USB, you can even use Alix network music player without registering any network share folder. (If you are using APU board you can connect SATA HDD or mSATA SSD directly to APU board instead of USB external HDD.)

    Note, DLNA/UPnP Renderer is available in MPD Player mode as well. You can use both MPD and DLNA/UPnP if you will choose MPD Player.

  2. DLNA/UPnP Renderer - If you are already using DLNA/UPnP Media server in your computer or NAS you can choose it instead of MPD player. In this mode you don't have to register any network shared folder. But if you don't know what DLNA/UPnP Media server is, you should choose MPD Player instead of it.


If you decide to choose one of the modes, You must continue to follow the steps for each mode as below.

  1. If you choose MPD Player:
    Step 1 -> Step 2 -> Step 3 -> Step 4 -> Step 5 -> Step 6 (Step 7 and 8 are just for reference.)

  2. If you choose DLNA/UPnP Renderer:
    Step 1 -> Step 2 -> Step 3 (Step 7 and 8 are just for reference.)


Important!
If there are two or more LAN ports on Alix board, LAN cable from router must be connected to the ethernet port located near to the power connector on Alix.
In case of APU board, the router should be connected to the ethernet ports located farthest from power connector on APU. Pleas see following images.



Important! Even if you are going to use Alix or APU with wireless connection, the Initial Setup Wizard should be done with wired LAN connection.


[Step 1] Download and install EasyMPD to Alix and APU (You can try with 30 Days Free version or can purchase the license.)


You can use 30 Days Free Trial Version before purchasing. Go to download and install 30 Days Free version.

Or you can purchase license for the official version without expiration.Go to see how to purchase EasyMPD license and installation.



[Step 2] Open EasyMPD WEB GUI(management web page)

All settings and any changes of settings are available on the web with just mouse click. EasyMPD provides Web interface for user to handle Alix easily in web browser. We call the Web user interface "EasyMPD WEB GUI (Web Graphic User Interfaces)".
You can open EasyMPD WEB GUI with several various ways. But the easiest way is that you enter "easympd/" in address bar at the top of web browser and hit enter. Please do not omit "/".

If you cannot open the WEB GUI with this method then please Go to see other ways.
When the WEB GUI opens, it will ask you a username and a password. The initial default username is "root" and the password is "easympd".


[Step 3] The initial Setup Wizard

If it is the first time you open EasyMPD WEB GUI, The Initial Setup Wizard will start automatically. Then you can follow the instruction of Setup Wizard. You can finish the initial settings of Alix network music player easily with help of this Setup Wizard.

Alix network music player can work in two player modes, in "MPD Player" mode or in "DLNA/UPnP Media Renderer" mode. You can choose one of the two modes in this initial Setup Wizard.

If you choose DLNA/UPnP Renderer in the Setup Wizard, below step 4 and 5 are not applicable to you. Instead, you can see below three links to documents about DLNA/UPnP. (If you choose MPD Player, below links are not applicable to you. Go straight across to step 4.)

  1. Using Alix as DLNA/UPnP Renderer - Using foobar2000 as DMS and DMC.
  2. Using Alix as DLNA/UPnP Renderer - Using foobar2000 as DMS and using smartphone as DMC
  3. Using Alix as DLNA/UPnP Renderer - Using JRiver as DMS


[Step 4] How to install and setup MPD Client

If the Setup Wizard ended successfully in step 3, let's listen to music using Alix. Now you will need a remote control to control Alix. As a remote control, you can use your portable device such as smartphone and tablet PC or you can use a standard computer such as desktop and laptop computer. MPD Client is the program that is used to control Alix in those devices.

There are many different types of MPD client programs for each devices, so you can select a program which can be installed at the device you want to use to control Alix.

Below is the list of the MPD Clients programs that are commonly used. Please click the links below if you want to see how to install and setup the MPD Client program.

  1. MPod, MPad - MPD Client programs used in iPhone, iPad.
  2. DroidMPD, MPDroid - MPD Client programs used in Android based smartphone or tablet PC.
  3. GMPC - MPD Client programs used in Windows PC.
  4. Cantata - MPD Client programs used in Windows PC, Mac OS X.
  5. MpcOSX - MPD Client programs used in Mac OS X.
  6. Theremin - MPD Client programs used in Mac OS X.
This example video will help you to understand about MPD Client.

As like all other music player programs, MPD also creates and manages the database for tag and path informations of music files.

If you finished the Initial Setup Wizard successfully, EasyMPD orders MPD to scan the registered music directories and to create the database automatically. But if the change of music files in the registered music directories occurs after the Initial Setup Wizard, MPD cannot detect the change and will not update the database automatically. So you should manually let MPD update the database. You can do it with MPD Client program. You can see the way how to update database with MPD Client program in above links as well.

Please go to Step 5 if you want to know about MPD database more.


[Step 5] Understanding MPD database

Most problems occur in use of Alix network music player are due to the lack of understanding MPD database. You might need to know about MPD database for your pleasant music life with Alix.
Please see below solutions if you failed to create database or it will take too much time.
  • a. You should suspect that there is a corrupted music file that is stored in the registered music directory.Go to see more.
  • b. If you registered the shared folder from Windows computer as a music directory and you have installed "JPlay" on your computer, you should use another computer for file sharing. JPlay seems to have a bad influence on file sharing. It is recommended not to install JPlay on the file sharing computer. Sometimes this problem will not be solved even if you uninstall JPlay fron your computer.
  • c. If you are using Windows 64bit computer for file sharing, it is recommended to disable firewall on the computer.


[Step 6] Check the status of Alix with LEDs.

You can check the status of Alix with the three LEDs in front of Alix. This link explain how to know the status of Alix with the LEDs. It is recommended to know how to read the LED's signal. It will help you to use Alix easily.


[Step 7, for reference] Troubleshooting

Please search the case of your problem in this link before contact us. Most problem can be solved with this troubleshooting list.


[Step 8, for reference] Compatible DAC or DDC for Alix

If you let us know whether your DAC is compatible to EasyMPD or not via e-mail, We will update this list. And it will help for other users. Thanks.