Turn your old speakers into wireless AirPlay speakers with a Raspberry Pi
Engineering student Jorgan Burgess is one of the many people out there who have come up with great ways to use the Raspberry Pi. Where some have taken toward creating Lego-encased Minecraft servers, Burgess went ahead and came up with a way to add wireless music streaming to his old speaker system.
Of course, you could always just purchase a new AirPort Express or Apple TV to get AirPlay streaming, but why buy when you can DIY? According to Burgess's website, this Raspberry Pi-driven concoction would set you back about £30 (about $49), at most—it's a fair bit less compared to what you'd pay for an actual set of AirPlay-enabled speakers.
As for the hack itself, it isn't too difficult to pull off if you have some understanding of electronics. Burgess used Shairport, a program that emulates the behavior of an AirPort Express, to make his creation function like an AirPlay receiver. Why Shairport? In his instructions, Burgess explained that he had flirted with a variety of other methods, including the usage of XBMC. Unfortunately, those came with frequent crashes.
The hardware requirements aren't too heavy, either. On top of the requisite Raspberry Pi, Burgess used an SD card, a USB Wi-Fi adapter, a Micro USB cable for power, an Ethernet cable for initial setup, and…not much else, really.
Although Burgess says that his setup is far from audiophile quality, there's still a lot to be said about extending the lifespan of your favorite electronics.