Nowadays I listen music on YouTube, Amazon Music and other streaming services. I haven’t moved my iTunes library from my old laptop for years. I still have a bunch of CDs, but don’t have a playing equipment anymore.

Except for a USB CD/DVD drive.

So I decided to combine the CD/DVD drive and a Raspberry Pi 3 to make a CD player.


First Raspberry Pi 3’s USB power is not enough for spinning a CD. My drive has a DC power input in addition to the USB port. Plugging the drive to an external AC/DC adapter is pre-requisite.

CD drives cannot play CDs anymore

Then I tried cdplay but it didn’t work.

$ cdplay
cdplay: ioctl cdromplaymsf: Operation not supported
$ sudo cdplay
cdplay: ioctl cdromplaymsf: Operation not supported

cdcd looked fine, but it didn’t play any music.

$ cdcd play; echo $?

It turned that CD drives nowadays cannot play CDs anymore. This Stack Overflow answer told me what “cdromplaymsf” means and the alternative such as mplayer.


But MPlayer frequently choked with Write error: Broken pipe.

$ mplayer cdda:// 
AO: [pulse] Init failed: Connection refused
Failed to initialize audio driver 'pulse'
AO: [alsa] 44100Hz 2ch s16le (2 bytes per sample)
Video: no video
Starting playback...
A:  15.5 (15.4) of 2530.4 (42:10.4)  0.1% 
[AO_ALSA] Write error: Broken pipe
[AO_ALSA] Trying to reset soundcard.
A:  17.8 (17.8) of 2530.4 (42:10.4)  4.4% 

Apparently the issue is coming from the fact that the CD drive is not that fast. Adding -cache like mplayer -cache 1024 cdda:// made the situation better.


I have a few ideas;

  • Getting rid of the drive completely and play MP3 or FLAC instead.
  • Building a graphical user interface.
  • Making my own streaming service. My work meetings are happening on my work laptop. I don’t want to plug/unplug my headphone for listening music.