Raspberry Pi – a sub-$50 pint-sized portable computer – is an extremely versatile device, and as such it can quite often save you money if you have some technical know-how. Jordan Burgess has used it to add AirPlay to a speaker that otherwise lacks the feature, and while the audio quality might not be the best, it works perfectly and means you don’t have to buy extra hardware to make it work – like an Airport Express.
It requires a USB wifi adapter (as Raspberry Pi doesn’t have built in WiFi) and obviously you need an SD card for the Raspberry Pi to run from (such as this one, which comes with an operating system already set up to run a Raspberry Pi), but that’s basically it. It also uses Shairport, a pretty cool piece of software that makes Apple devices believe it’s an official AirPlay Device, when it obviously isn’t.
Clearly a Raspberry Pi AirPlay speaker does have its downsides, but it also has one HUGE benefit that could make all the difference – price. Raspberry Pi units and accessories are also now available with free shipping from Amazon.com.