July 22, 2024
Music Assistant 2.0: Your Music, Your Gamers

At this time, precisely 5 years in the past, I, Marcel, began engaged on Music Assistant . What started as a fast script, to sync my playlists so I may change between streaming suppliers, grew right into a beast by itself.

Music Assistant is what I’d wish to name a “music library supervisor” – it offers you full management of taking part in YOUR music in your gamers. Identical to House Assistant centralizes all of your units and companies to work collectively, Music Assistant does the identical along with your music sources and sensible audio-playing units.

To simply play with Music Assistant with out studying what it’s (sure, we all know you!):

Rainbow Connection

What is Music Assistant?

Your music, your players. Click and play. It should be as simple as that.

From source to Music Assistant to speaker

Connect and play anywhere

Music Assistant allows you to quickly connect some of the most popular streaming providers like Spotify and Tidal, along with your native media information. Importing your appreciated tracks, artists, albums, and playlists, all displayed with the right art work.

It helps essentially the most ubiquitous streaming protocols and devices like Airplay, Forged and DLNA, letting you play media on virtually any gadget – if an outdated speaker doesn’t help new companies, Music Assistant can convey it again to life.

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Unified music library with advanced features

Your local and cloud libraries will be seamlessly merged together. If you have the same track on multiple place, it will appear once while helping you find the highest-quality version. You can even have multiple accounts from the same provider, allowing everyone in the house to have their playlists in one place.

It can group supported players for synchronized playback. It also supports advanced playback features such as crossfade and volume normalization – regardless of whether the device supports them.

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Built for Home Assistant

Connecting this with the Home Assistant integration – automation and voice control supercharges the whole experience.

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Start me up

How to install Music Assistant

After many years of development and testing with the amazing community, we can finally say this is ready for daily use.

Even though Music Assistant is an HA Add-on, it can be installed from start to finish via HACS . You merely set up the combination, which can mechanically set up and handle the add-on for you. The combination permits you to management your units with automations and voice management.

Music Assistant is distributed as a House Assistant add-on – our technique to simply prolong your House Assistant set up with third get together purposes. To put in it as a Docker container, comply with the MA installation instructions .

Fight the power

Why Music Assistant?

I started Music Assistant out of frustration about the mainstream available options;

  • You buy into an all-in-one ecosystem (such as Sonos), and then it’s up to that ecosystem to decide which music sources to support now and in the future.

  • You choose a music streaming provider, and then somehow that streaming provider decides where/how you play their music.

  • You want to switch between streaming providers and keep your carefully curated playlists, regardless of which provider you want to play it with.

  • You still have your CD music collection that you’ve painstakingly ripped into high-quality files on local storage, and you want to play them, maybe even mix them with choices from streaming providers.

  • Or maybe you fall into the category of users who don’t want any subscriptions and have a carefully curated local media collection you want to play on these shiny new playback devices.

When we pay for our music or devices, we shouldn’t be limited by arbitrary limitations. We are slowly moving into a world of greater walled gardens and more vendor lock-in, and it’s time we took back control. 

Tidal on a Google Home

I spent a long time and a good bit of my money looking at existing solutions to fill these gaps. They were either expensive, closed, or lacked the home approval factor – or a combination of all of these.

Freedom of choice

Connecting any sources and play anywhere

Music Assistant connects to your favorite streaming providers and local music files, letting you play them on almost any connected playback equipment from the past 20 years. It’s basically a translator of music protocol A towards speaker/player protocol B.

For instance, I have a traditional amplifier + speakers setup in my living room that allows for high-quality music playback, where I can sit down and hear every detail. I also have Sonos speakers in a very noisy kitchen and some DIY speakers that can only accept Airplay. I can play my music to all of these speakers without being tied down to any single ecosystem.

Some people might say that the best way to prevent all that frustration is by buying into an ecosystem like Sonos which takes care of this for you entirely. While I am a big fan of Sonos (and I will recommend them to friends and family for ease of use), I am not a big fan of the vendor lock-in that comes with it. If Sonos or a streaming service decide to part ways, I don’t have to be locked out of my music. Also, they don’t make speakers at every price point, meaning you don’t get the advantages of the new higher-fidelity or more affordable hardware out there.

Come together

Unifying all your music in one library

In the same interface as I can stream my kids’ music to their speakers, I can stream my Hi-Res favorites to my high-fidelity setup. It is an all-in-one interface. Gone are the days of needing five different apps to get playback going in multiple parts of the house or switching who is connected just to access their playlists.

When you search in Music Assistant, it searches all your libraries. Every streaming service, or the local files you add, are available to choose for playback.

We are family

Built for Home Assistant

Music Assistant has always been closely linked to Home Assistant (more on that below). I now even work for Nabu Casa , partly due to my work on Music Assistant (however now I’m the Matter man). 

Due to this robust hyperlink, House Assistant seamlessly hyperlinks with Music Assistant, unlocking a number of superior options. MA gamers are uncovered to HA and may be managed by way of your dashboards, automations, and scripts. This enables HA customers to regulate their music gamers and entry MA’s highly effective music search perform. Gamers can present TTS (Textual content-to-Speech) bulletins and may be managed by House Assistant related voice assistants.

Liner notes

So, I started working on Music Assistant exactly five years ago , at first for my very own private use. It began as a studying train – due to it, I discovered asyncio Python programming in addition to the Vue frontend framework. I had the challenge on GitHub simply to host the code, nevertheless it was probably not meant for use by others.

In some unspecified time in the future, it turned clear to me that there was an actual demand, and I posted some information on how you can set up it, which gained just a little consideration. In June 2022, we launched the 1.0 model of Music Assistant, and it was nonetheless in tough form however already appropriate for a lot of customers. We even organized a Livestream, “Let’s get Loud ” hosted by House Assistant, to advertise audio support for ESPHome and the tremendous cool issues you’ll be able to construct while you mix these three open-source initiatives.

Model 1.0 was not the whole lot we hoped it will be. It had some structural bugs, particularly working as a customized element in House Assistant. HA was created to provide the greatest expertise for automating your private home; it was by no means optimized for real-time audio streaming. On prime of that, sooner or later, the dependencies of each initiatives bought so conflicted that Music Assistant stopped working fully within the March 2023 launch of HA.

Six months after its preliminary model 1.0 launch, the challenge was starting to appear to be it was going to die, so I made a decision to begin over and return to the drafting board. The engine of MA wanted to be its personal remoted element, chargeable for providing you with the absolute best expertise of streaming music (the place audio high quality and latency are crucial), and the HA-side needs to be chargeable for automating your home and music.

So, the Music Assistant Server was born. It’s a standalone utility that you could run in docker (or House Assistant add-on), all related to HA by way of a HACS integration. The challenge was break up up into a number of self-contained components. 

Music Assistant Server has its personal net interface, a contemporary interface written in Vue. Due to HA’s add-on system, this net interface may be securely accessed from HA. The net interface is a Progressive Net App (PWA), so you may as well go to it straight and install it on your device . We even have an (experimental) desktop app .

Over the previous 12 months, we have now been iterating on this with a powerful variety of beta testers. So, whereas technically it is a 2.0 launch, to me personally that is the primary actual launch, as that is lastly one thing that feels good and has the fitting basis. What can be tremendous is that we attracted contributors to the challenge, of us serving to create and keep music integrations whereas offering help or translations. Much more thrilling there are some actually large options and streaming companies on the horizon. My honest due to everybody who has helped convey this launch dwelling.