Thumbs-Down Songs on Pandora with Your Mind

[Steven] likes music. Like many of us, he uses Pandora to enjoy the familiar and to discover new music. Now, Pandora means well, but she gets it wrong sometimes. [Steven] has had a Mindwave Mobile EEG headset lying around for a while and decided to put it to good use. With the aid of a Raspberry Pi and a bluetooth module, he built a brainwave-controlled Pandora track advancing system.

The idea is to recognize that you dislike a song based on your brainwaves. The Mindwave gives data for many different brainwaves as well as approximating your attention and meditation levels. Since [Steven] isn’t well-versed in brainwavery, he used Bayesian estimation to generate two multivariate Gaussian models. One represents good music, and the other represents bad music. The resulting algorithm is about 70% accurate, so [Steven]‘s Python script waits for four “bad music” estimations in a row before advancing the track.

[Steven] streams Pandora through pianobar and has a modified version of the control-pianobar script in his GitHub repo His script will also alert you if the headset isn’t getting good skin contact, a variable that the Mindwave reports on a scale of 0 to 200.

Stick around for a demo of [Steven] controlling Pandora with his mind. If you don’t have an EEG headset, you can still control Pandora with a Pi, pianobar, and some nice clicky buttons.

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Dedicated Pandora player plus AirPlay built around the Raspberry Pi


[Shaun Gehring] wanted an Internet radio player. Although he did have some troubles along the way, the final project turned out very well. Housed inside this case which used to house a spindle of bland CDs is a Raspberry Pi that plays Pandora radio and serves as an AirPlay receiver.

The GPIO header of the RPi makes this project a lot easier. [Shaun] used Adafruit’s breakout board to solder connections for the six buttons and the character LCD screen. Plug some speakers into the audio jack and the hardware end of the deal is finished. The software side of things is very similar to the BeagleBone Pandora player we looked at in September. It uses a Linux distribution (Rasbian Weezy) and the Pianobar package.

Pianobar is very versatile. You can control it using a First-In First-Out file. Once [Shaun] figured out how to use mkfifo to set up the file, he was able to control it from a script by monitor button presses and echoing the associated command to the FIFO. The finishing touch was to add AirPlay support via the shairport package.

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.

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Adding video out to the Open Pandora

There’s very few users out there who actually have their hands on an Open Pandora Console. But the ones who do might find this hack useful for getting TV out up and running. It’s actually not hard at all, but if you don’t want to alter the hardware on the device you’ll first have to find a cable plug that will fit the EXT jack. This proved more difficult than it needed to be, since TI carries the connector but only sells them in multiples of 2200. A group buy was organized and we’d bet you can still get in on that action.

The connector in question carries TVout1 and TVout2 conductors. These correspond to the Luminance and Chrominance signals needed for the S-video protocol. But [MarkoeZ] wanted to use a composite connection. Turns out that’s not hard either, he hooked up the ground from the plug to the ground of the RCA jack, then connected both video lines to the center conductor, making sure to add an inline 470pf capacitor on the Chrominance side. Check out the demo video embedded after the break to see the final product.

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Chumby One becomes a 3g router

[bunnie] has taken a few moments to show us how to turn our Chumby One into a 3g router. As it turns out, there is an easter egg that allows it to communicate with certain models of 3g dongles. There’s no GUI for this trick, so you’ll be doing most of your configuration via SSH. That shouldn’t be a problem for this crowd though. The Chumby One just got a lot more appealing.

Pandora case prototype

The last time we checked in on Pandora it was just being shown in dev unit form. Embedded above is a video of the first case prototype. It doesn’t have any components yet, but it definitely looks like a good formfactor with a lot of potential. The Pandora is a Linux based portable game console with an 800×480 touchscreen.

[via Gizmodo]

Pandora dev unit unboxed


[skeezix] has got his hands on one of the first Pandora dev kits to make it out the door and took a few photos. This is 1 of the 20 MK2 devboards that were produced. Although, not final it certainly is close to the version they’ll be shipping. Pandora is a Linux based portable game console. The main chip in the clamshell device is a TI OMAP3530. It has OpenGL hardware acceleration and an 800×480 touchscreen. A QWERTY keyboard is included along with analog and digital game controls. WiFi, bluetooth, USB host, TV-out, and dual SDHC card slots round out the package. The team has already presold 4000 devices.