Mission and Philosophy
Volumio project was born in late 2013, just after the release of the first Raspberry PI model. I was personally frustrated by the lack of valid solutions to emancipate digital music playback from ordinary PC, usually loud, big and unconvenient machines to place in a living room. As an afternoon project, I developed a minimal audio-oriented Linux Distribution called RaspyFi and made it available via a small blog. To my great surprise, it gathered lot of attention and a very constructive response.
This initial low committment project evolved during the years, becoming what is now Volumio, and turned into a full-time committment.
Volumio is now a company, INTUITU, which still retains the original principles of the project, and trying to continously improve project’s quality, impact and outreach.
Our guidelines are:
- Keep the project as open as possible. We strongly believe that Free and Open Source Software is beneficial not only for ethical and philosofical reasons, but also will make our project better in the medium and long term. Volumio has originated, during those years, lots of forks. Which in turn generated competition, which in the end increased our efforts to push our standards to higher levels.
- 3 main product features: sound quality, ease of use, ability to play any kind of music source. Volumio is often referred as a “no-frills” Audiophile Music Player, and this is one of the most appreciated aspects of it. As in many other engineering and social fields of applications, simplicity is the ultimate sophisticacy and we’re committed to keep it that way (even if we focused a lot on aestethics, since its an important part of the usability experience).
- Develop a sustainable monetization and growth plan. Volumio as a company helped various OEMs engineer and develop tailored music solutions. This not only helped the project financially, allowing us to work on it on a full-time basis, but lots of the improvements and modifications were incorporated in the software stack you can download for free. In parallel, the shop and premium subscriptions will help the project with a stable revenue income, granting the assurance our customers, partners and users to have an ethically proven and financially solid company to rely on.
- Foster critical thinking and user education on audio matters. There’s no other field in technology that relies on myths and weak informations as the audio industry. Our goal is to promote a scientific, where possible, approach to digital audio.
The cornerstone of our OEM strategy, and a great benefit to our users, is our brand new update system. We developed it from the ground up, with dedicated servers, to allow a seamless update system across a variety of devices. The main benefits of this mechanism are:
- Automatically check if new updates are available and notify the user.
- The updater will recreate a 1:1 copy of the remote update, and download only what’s different. This ensures rock solid results and diminish drastically download times. An average update is applied in less than 5 minutes on a DSL connection.
- User data (playlists, music, settings) are retained with every update
- Updates can be applied also via USB stick if no internet is available
- Ability to restore the device to its factory settings.
- System will not brick even if power is removed during an update process.
- System updates can be customized with branding and specific functions for OEMs.
We’re strongly convinced that this is the gold era of digital music playback. The recent interest and availability of many small Single Board computers are really a great occasion to develop low cost, good sounding and environmentally sustainable audio players. That’s why our focus will be on developing Volumio for devices like Raspberry PI, UDOO, Cubox, Odroid and similar.
We also develop a specific X86 version that is suitable for desktop computers, laptop, thin clients etc.
Our device maintenance strategy will be mainly directed to supporting Raspberry PI and X86 platforms, while others are going to be supported on a best effort basis or by community members.
Volumio2 Backend is released under GPL V3. Please note that you are required to comply with this licence, so you must accept to make the Source Code available to anyone requesting it, and to give proper credits.
A significant part of Volumio’s awesomeness comes from its vibrant community. Suggestions, code contributions, critics and feedbacks have shaped Volumio to its current state. Therefore we commit to:
- Have transparent community dynamics
- Avoid flamings and off-topic sensible matters
- Promote discussions on a merit basis