A simple touch interface for Music Player Daemon and more

mpd-controller

[Andrew] recently got the authorization to install Linux on his work PC, and he was looking for a way to control his music without relying on keyboard shortcuts to do so. Additionally, he wanted an unmistakable visual cue when he received messages in Pidgin, so he decided to build an external input/notification box.

The control box, quite literally, is a cardboard box in which [Andrew] crammed some components he got way back when from the crew at Seeed Studio. A Seeeduino serves as the brains of his control panel, interfacing with his PC over USB. He uses a set of 4 touch sensors and a potentiometer to control the MPD, allowing him to easily switch tracks, pause his music, control the volume, and lock his computer with a simple touch. A side-mounted RGB LED lights green to show that the system has received his commands successfully, pulsing a bright blue whenever a message arrives via Pidgin.

While the case isn’t exactly pretty, it is small, recycled, and takes up very little desk space. [Andrew] says that it works great, and he has made his code available on github if anyone is interested in using it.

Comments

  1. Frederik says:

    I am using a cheap IR remote ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-Remote-Control-PC-Multimedia-Wireless-For-XP-Vista-/270826348818?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0e822112 ) which behaves like a standard HID keyboard combined with triggerhappy ( https://github.com/wertarbyte/triggerhappy ) for controlling mpd, works perfectly.

  2. tony says:

    I am a fan of the cardboard box.

  3. m!nus says:

    I’ve got a HID remote as well but I have the problem that most of the keys just map to normal keys (cursor keys, m for mute, etc). Any idea how to hack it? Maybe it’s possible to load a different keyboard layout for it.

  4. Malikaii says:

    Enclosure improvement suggestion: SparkFun box.

  5. PlastBox says:

    Haha, I did almost the exact same thing roughly 10 years back. Wanted to switch tracks and keep tabs on msn while playing Diablo II LoD, so I stuffed 4 buttons and two leds into a sawed-apart plastic bottle and connected it via the parallel port. Control was done via a VB6 program (I know, I know! I was young, it was simple, just a prototype/hack, etc).

    Oh, also made a chorded keyboard using cardboard, aluminum foil and duct tape. ^^,

    Now, the day after I pre-order Diablo 3, I see this. Love the cardboard!

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