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Plastic Player: A Playful Analog Interface for Digital Music #MusicMonday

A big thanks to Brendan Dawes for writing in about his fantastic new project.

I’m a big fan of digital music, especially Spotify. The ability to dial-up a much loved song I’ve not heard for ages or discover new music are just some of the benefits I never tire of.

Yet the lack of physicality to this digital medium has always left me wanting. I still own vinyl and a turntable and I love the ritual of physically flicking through what to place on the platter and then wait for the needle to drop on the spinning vinyl.

So having had this idea sketched out in many sketch books over the years I thought it was about time I made an attempt at bringing these two things together.

The system consists of two main components — a Raspberry Pi running PiMusicBox connected to my 50 year old B&O stereo, and an Arduino Yun with an NFC shield. The “albums” are created from a box of slide mounts I’ve had hanging around for a long-time with tiny NFC stickers on the back to identify each album or play-list. When I drop an album in place on the device the Arduino Yun identifies the tag, matches it to a specific album, makes a backlight come on and then over Wifi communicates with the PiMusicBox API to play that album or Spotify playlist.

Read more.


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