How to build your own dedicated Pandora radio

This mix of modern and retro acts as a standalone Pandora client. It’s certainly a radio upgrade, falling somewhere in between the passive listening of traditional broadcasts, and the complete control of music players that use playlists.

Inside the wooden case a BeagleBoard does most of the work. It’s running Ubuntu 12.04 on which pianobar, a command line interface package for Pandora is running. Those components alone would make a pretty nice listening experience, but since Pandora rolls different music into the mix it’s nice to be able to see what you’re listening to. The four-line LCD is wide enough to display plenty of information. It’s being controlled by a PIC24 microcontroller which also monitors the controls on the top. As you can see in the video after the break, the user interface offers almost everything you could want. It’s easy to switch stations, and you can still register your preferences on each track being played.

[via Twitter]


  1. cknopp says:


  2. Panikos says:

    So good. I woder if this client can be ran on the raspberri pi. beagleboard is a bit expensive fr a radio. Love the clicky buttons on this, i hope he includes part numbers

  3. Michael Rogers says:

    I’ve got a raspberry pi running as a headless NAS/torrent box. This would be a perfect addition to that and give me an excuse to stick it (RPi, external hd, and powered hub) in a pretty enclosure. I did not know about pianobar at all. Thank you.

  4. anthony says:

    a raspi should handle that no problem

  5. Ren says:

    Nice cabinet!

  6. taktoa says:

    I did this a few years back with a Linksys NSLU2 (kind of a spiritual ancestor of the RasPi/BeagleBoard) and a cheap DealExtreme USB sound card, though it was nowhere near as polished as this guy’s project.

  7. sawo says:

    “Dear Pandora Visitor,

    We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative. “

  8. cde says:

    Have beaglebone, waste time using a pic to control a character lcd and some simple buttons? The bb has digital gpio that can be used for this, and analog iirc. Dumb desgin.

  9. Justin says:

    Beaglebone should be able to do the same job. It’s half the price but doesn’t have the plug and play IO connectors, so you’d spend part of the difference on a pcb with audio output and LCD connector. Beagleboard was a good choice for this.

  10. Michael Rogers says:

    On second thought, I don’t know that I want speakers vibrating in the same enclosure as my mechanical hard drive, and I don’t want to step down my storage space for an ssd. I guess I need a second RPi!

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