Raspberry Pi Part 2 - It'sa me! Mute-io!

In Part 1, I managed to set up a Raspberry Pi, turn it into a RetroPie and then completely cock up various network settings that meant I couldn't connect to it to do anything with it. I was in a bit of a mood, annoyed at myself, when along comes heavenly salvation.

Everyone needs a Player 2, and when not talking about Pokémon, she has soothing words of encouragement (and not so soothing words - I can be a bit of jerk when I'm focused on getting something done). More importantly for the project, she has a USB memory card reader that I desperately need.

Graciously giving up a bit of her limited lunch break to go and grab it for me (I believe I owe her a Ponyta card or two), I run through the road map of what I need to do in my head - reformat the card (to be doubly sure), reinstall the RetroPie image, reconfigure my controller, then hope I have an IP Address at the end of it.

Don't take photos of TV screens

Fun Times

It really is that simple when you don't stray outside the guides like I did trying to set the wireless up. With no problems at all I'm back to where I was before, only this time I finally have an IP Address. My Raspberry Pi is on the network and I can start moving some ROMs across.

All these systems and more are available for emulation

With an app like Cyberduck at the ready, navigating the file structure is a breeze. Drag and drop what you need to where you need it. I'm not going to do any bulk moving today however - more needs to be tested before I commit to that.

With a SNES controller in hand it makes sense to test a SNES game, so I transfer Super Mario Kart, a game that holds some childhood memories ('You don't need a brake button' springs to mind).

Scraping metadata can make your experience much better.
And don't take photos of TV screens

When a folder has a ROM inside it, that folder appears on the EmulationStation menu, and should you feel the need to flesh out any metadata such as box art, release dates, scores and descriptions, you can either scrape the data from the web or input it yourself.

I remember the chore of setting up movies and TV shows in Plex, even with metadata scrapers. Once you do the hard work on the back end, your experience as a user on the front end will be so much better. But, if you just want to get to your ROMs, transfer them over and get playing.

Though this didn't turn out too bad, don't take photos of TV screens


Do you hear that? No, neither do I, because that is the sound of no sound coming through my TV. Yes, the volume is up, yes the custom volume in EmulationStation is up, no nothing is muted... Time to go Googling.

Thankfully, this is a common problem, or common enough for there to be a setting in the configuration files that you can try to resolve the problem, at least. Delete a '#' so RetroPie reads the command, reboot and we try again.

It is successful. I have sound. I'm racing around Super Mario Kart, trying to remember the controls and avoiding the banana's. I have succeeded in setting up a RetroPie. Just the finishing touches left to go.

The case is tight, and it all makes the most wonderful of creaking, snapping sounds while it goes on, but eventually the Raspberry Pi sits snugly inside. It's a dust magnet already. Cases are cheap, come in a variety of styles, you can build your own or just leave it open. It's completely up to you. For the moment, it'll sit in front of the router, next to the TV, awaiting a gaming session.

Final Word

There were some troubles but that really should have been expected. Thankfully, it is easy to set up, especially if you aren't going to bother with editing all manner of configuration files, or trying to make your life harder with solutions that only create more problems (cough, WiFi, cough).

Importantly, the RetroPie community is on the increase. There are resources, tutorials, support forums, and of course the wider Raspberry Pi community can help you out too, should you get stuck.

At the end of the day I have one working RetroPie, one working controller and one working game. I pray they are all still working next time I turn it on, but that's not enough. What does the future hold?

For starters, Player 2 needs a controller, so I'll have to set that up. One game (and one system) will only go so far, so I'll also need to transfer ROMs across. I've got plenty of space, even on an 8gb card, but should that come to be a problem then a larger card or fewer games are my options, both of which are easy to arrange.

To wrap things up, there's work to do in order to have the device that I'm happy with, but it's the start of something great, I can sense it.

Will there be a Part 3 to this? Who knows. I look forward to seeing what this future holds.

Update: Yes, there will be a Part 3.