Magic Record Stand Can Play Your Records For You

Vinyl remains a popular format, despite taking a huge hit in popularity for a couple decades while CDs ruled the roost. It has a charm that keeps it relevant, and likely will continue to do so until everyone who grew up with a record player dies out. In the meantime, [sp_cecamp] has come up with a great way to experience your collection, with the magic of modern technology. It goes by the name of Plynth.

Fundamentally, it’s a small record stand with an excellent party trick. The prototype consists of a 3D-printed body, which holds a record sleeve at an attractive angle for display. A camera built into the base then images the artwork. The first image taken is run through the Google Vision API, and further images are then run through OpenCV to identify the record. This data is then passed to the Spotify API to play the track. The whole process takes a couple of seconds, and the music is then pumped out of whatever streaming device is connected to the rig.

It’s a fun way to play your old records, and would be a welcome change to those tired of screaming at Siri to play Weezer (Blue Album), not Weezer (Green Album). For those interested, [sp_cecamp] has thrown up a site to gauge interest in the project, and may make a limited production run in future.

Of course, you could instead just go about building your own turntable. To each their own!

21 thoughts on “Magic Record Stand Can Play Your Records For You

    1. Vinyl degrades as it’s played. Can’t be prevented, like practically every other analog medium (LaserDisc an exception?). With this, I can see preventing wear and tear on the album itself.

      I’d personally put a small NFC tag reader into the base and have it playback my local files, but for commonly available tracks this could be a good idea.

    2. Every record store should have it so clients will not degrade while listening.
      Your kids can play records without risking scratching. So can your guests. Especially after two or three drinks – exacly before they get excited abut your vinyl collection.
      Wonder of there is smartphone app for it? Could save some time at markets with second hand LPs.

  1. I would have this for the MRs but to work with CD’s and it could read the barcode on them for simplicity
    She whas embraced digital music but still likes the CD’s for the physical & artwork.

    Cool project.
    Scores highly on the “is it a hack” scale.

  2. Does this qualify as “fake” news if the header claims “plays the record” and the text then says:
    > This data is then passed to the Spotify API to play the track.
    … because, obviously, this only plays the TRACK, not the RECORD.

    Anyway: I have seen an optical vinyl player working pretty well, so it’s not like vinyl records always degrade when being played back.

    1. It will all even out eventually. Right now artists are paying a karmic debt for the 90s when a new popular CD cost over $80 (which would be what, $120 in today’s money?) and the marketing was so thick that all the kids (and many adults) felt they just HAD to have them. They still have a while yet to pay for that one. If ever an industry could be said to have created it’s own downfall…

      It’s too bad for new artists who didn’t reap those benefits then. But this article is about things that are available on vinyl so they are rather off topic anyway.

      1. Blasphemy! A listener cannot own a copy of a work to listen to for free at will! The artist, the artist’s bratty descendants, the record labels and the MPAA must get paid every time anybody even thinks of the tune, let alone plays it from the moment of recording until the heat death of the universe! What are you, some sort of bloody pirate‽

    2. The truth is that hard copy mediums also hardly pay the artist. What really pay is playing live. Some bands would even quit releasing albums (ex. The Prodigy) because it’s time consuming and risky – releasing singles (and giving them for free at youtube) is more likely to bring income and promotion.

      Streaming maybe don’t pay the artist but allow him/her/them to reach more audience. I would never even heard about some artists if it wasn’t for internet. Major labels stopped being interested in artists and music somewhere around mid 90.

      To be clear. I am still buying vinyls and CD. And most of them I first hear on streaming.

    3. You know, once upon a time, musicians earned their keep by playing music in front of audiences. Few became rich that way. Then along came the recording industry and created the means by which musicians could potentially get very rich (along with the record companies) by selling records, and raising the public perception of musicians to be some sort of golden gods who deserved to be showered with money. Then came file sharing and music streaming, and suddenly record companies are irrelevant and musicians are back to earning much of their living performing in front of audiences.

      The idea that musicians deserve some huge amount of money for writing and recording music is based on a temporary market condition when record companies were the gatekeepers. Why should making a song that provides a few minutes of pleasure (if you don’t hear it too many times) entitle someone to spend the rest of their lives flying around in private planes, cruising on yachts, and just having fun?

      Why doesn’t the work you do get rewarded that way?

      I like the idea of musicians giving away their recordings (or streaming them) to become popular so that they can sell a lot of tickets to their concerts…

  3. In the current vinyl world most source material gets to the presses in another country via CD era digital format. The production of some I have heard in a pub that plays vinyl (punk grungy rock) doesn’t benefit from the format at all. It might as well be streaming online.

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