June 18, 2024

How to Turn a Raspberry Pi Into a Discord Radio Station

Do you run a Discord server and want to spice things up for your community? Imagine a constant flow of music, energizing conversations, and setting the mood for your server. With just a Raspberry Pi, you can create a 24/7 radio station streaming directly into a voice channel. So, let’s get started!

Hardware and Software Requirements

To turn your Raspberry Pi into a Discord radio station, you’ll need to make sure you have the right hardware and software.

The main requirement is a Raspberry Pi with enough processing power to run a desktop environment. This is necessary because we’ll be managing our Discord radio station using GUI software (Kenku FM – more about it soon). I’m using the latest Raspberry Pi 5 with 8 GB of RAM, but an older Raspberry Pi 4 with 4 GB of RAM can also do the job effectively.

I highly recommend installing Raspberry Pi OS on your Raspberry Pi, as it’s optimized for the hardware and provides a user-friendly desktop environment. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out our guide on how to set up Raspberry Pi OS on your Raspberry Pi.

Note: While other operating systems with a desktop environment may also work, keep in mind that things may look different than in my screenshots, and you may need to make some minor adjustments to the instructions.

Now that you have your hardware and software ready, let’s move on to setting up your Discord radio station!

Install Kenku FM on Your Raspberry Pi

To set up your Discord radio station, you’ll need to install Kenku FM, a desktop application designed to make sharing music in a Discord server as easy as possible. With Kenku FM, you can share local music or even audio from websites like YouTube and Spotify.

Prebuilt binaries for Kenku FM can be found on the official website, kenku.fm, or on the GitHub releases page. The best part is that you can pay whatever price suits you, including $0. If you’re using Raspberry Pi OS, you’ll need to download the version for Debian ARM. There’s also an ARM version available for Red Hat-based operating systems.

Kenku Fm Download Arm Version

Once you’ve downloaded the .deb file, right-click it and select the Package Install option. A confirmation window will appear, and you’ll need to click Install to proceed.

Install Kenku Fm Package

After installation, you should be able to find Kenku FM in the Accessories section of the Raspberry Pi menu (the icon in the top-left corner).

Connect Kenku FM to Your Discord Server

Assuming the voice channel that you want to turn into a radio station already exists (if it doesn’t, you can follow the official instructions on how to create it), the next step is to connect Kenku FM to your Discord server. To do this, you’ll need to create a Discord App and a custom bot, then set up the necessary scopes and permissions.

First, open the Discord Developer Portal and sign in to your Discord account. Click the New Application button in the top right, name your new application, and click the Create button.

Discord Developer Portal Create A New Application

Next, open the Bot settings page. If the bot doesn’t exist yet, click the Add Bot button, and confirm by clicking the Yes, do it! Then, you can select an icon for the bot, give it a unique name, and untick the Public Bot option to limit who can add this bot to a server.

Discord Bot Creation

Now head to the OAuth2 settings page, scroll down to the OAuth2 URL Generator, and enable the Bot scope in the Scopes section. Scroll down to the Bot Permissions section, and enable the Connect and Speak voice permissions under Voice Permissions. Finally, scroll all the way down and copy the generated URL.

Discord Bot Generated Url

To add your new bot to the Discord server you want it to be used in, paste the link you copied in the previous step into your web browser. Select the server you wish to add your bot to, click the Continue button, and then click the Authorize button. Complete the Captcha if needed.

Discord Connect Kenku Fm Bot With A Server

Using Kenku FM to Run a Discord Radio Station

You now have a Discord bot in your server with permission to play audio in voice channels. To supply the bot with music to play, you need to copy the bot’s token (navigate to the Bot settings page and click Reset Token to generate your token for the first time) and add it to Kenku FM (open the settings screen and paste your token into the token field). You can then click the Connect button and then restart the Kenku FM app.

Kenku Fm Discord Bot Token

Kenku FM offers two primary ways to share audio in Discord. You can use the Kenku Player interface to share local music files as playlists, or you can use the built-in web browser to stream audio from websites like YouTube and Spotify.

If you want to share local files, then you need to click the Plus (+) icon next to Playlists and create your first playlist. You can then open it and click the Plus (+) icon in the top-right corner to add your tracks.

Add Tracks To Kenku Fm Playlist

Once added, you can double-click on any track to play it. Make sure to select your Discord voice channel as the output in the left sidebar.

Kenku Fm Output To Voice Channel

If, on the other hand, you’d rather stream audio from websites like YouTube or Spotify, open a new tab in Kenku FM’s built-in web browser and navigate to the website you want to stream from. Start playing the audio you want to share, and make sure to select the output to your Discord channel in the left sidebar.

Kenku Fm Youtube Playback

To achieve the best sound quality, I recommend you to open your Discord voice channel settings and set the channel bitrate to the maximum value (it’s set to 64 kbps by default).

Discord Kenku Fm Playback In Voice Channel

Now, Kenku FM should be playing music or audio smoothly into your Discord voice channel. To continue improving your server, we recommend checking out this article on the best Discord servers, where you can find a tone of inspiration for engaging your community.

Image credit: DALL-E. All screenshots by David Morelo.

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David Morelo

David Morelo is a professional content writer in the technology niche, covering everything from consumer products to emerging technologies and their cross-industry application. His interest in technology started at an early age and has only grown stronger over the years.

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