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]

18 thoughts on “How to build your own dedicated Pandora radio

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. “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. “

      1. To be fair, pianobar is an amazing piece of software that you won’t find a last.fm alternative to, let alone the pandora project being amazing.

        Set it up to use MPD and your own music library, however, and you’ve got me sold.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. when you say part of the difference do you mean $5 on usb sound and $3 on spi IO expander? deffo worth $70 price difference

      for something that runs on $30 TP-Link router

  7. 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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