SD card

pCP Team 3 April 2021 pCP 7.0.0 Components
What SD card do you need for piCorePlayer?

SD card SD card adapter


  • Get the smallest SD card available, depending on price.
  • Invest in quality known brand SD cards from reliable suppliers.
  • Standard speed SD cards are all that is really required.
  • No need for industrial quality SD cards.

piCorePlayer is very small

At the time of writing, piCorePlayer’s initial image contains 2 x 64MB partitions, so the total size is 128MB. That’s very small for Linux distribution and audio player software.

  • If you want to load a couple of extra features, you may need to increase the second partition (root partition) a hundred megabytes or so.
  • If you want to use piCorePlayer for LMS, you will need to increase the second partition a gigabyte or two.

SD cards are big

At the time of writing, the smallest SD card commonly available is 16GB. This is vastly more space than required.

Standard piCorePlayer installation

You can see from the following pie chart, piCorePlayer takes up less than 1% of the SD card.

pie "Free - ~16GB" : 16000000000 "pCP - 128MB" : 128000000

LMS piCorePlayer installation with 1GB second partition

Even with 1GB for LMS you can see that only 7% of the SD card is used.

pie "Free - ~15GB" : 16000000000 "pCP - 128MB" : 128000000 "LMS - 1GB" : 1000000000

SD card speed

Once setup, piCorePlayer does very little, if any, writing to the SD card, so a normal speed SD card is all that is required.

If you have LMS installed (with LMS writing cache to the SD card), a SD card with faster write speed will speed up some functions but I don’t think you will notice a huge difference in day to day operation.

Fake SD cards

I have always bought SanDisk SD cards and have never had a failure. I suspect a lot of the reported SD card problems on the Raspberry Pi may be a result of people buying poor quality or fake SD cards from unknown sellers.

SD cards do eventually wear out, so be cautious if you are repurposing an old SD card.

Avoid the pain, only buy quality SD cards from a well known, reputable suppliers.

SD card reliability

Genuine, quality, branded SD cards have proven very reliable. I don’t think there is a valid reason to buy an expensive industrial SD cards.


I occasionally have issues with the SanDisk SD to uSD adapters. The symptom is; the SD card does not appear to the operation system. The usual solution is to swap to another SD to uSD adapter.


I found some cheap USB to SD card adapters are extremely slow. Both examples were fixed to a 1MB/sec transfer rate. The solution was to use another type of USB to SD card adapter.

Adding a third partition

More information

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