InstaBeat Started Out Of Spite

[Tom] teaches electronics with this small programmable MP3 player, but it didn’t get its start as a teaching tool.

As all parents are sometimes required to do, [Tom] was acting as chauffeur for his daughter and his friends. When he played the Beatles one of his passengers informed him that she was completely devoid of taste and didn’t like them at all. So he decided what the world needed was a Beatles appliance. This way all the ignorant plebs could educate themselves at the push of a button.

The machine is based around some SEED studio parts and a simple PCB. It was able to hold all 12 original albums and even announced their titles in a generated voice. Since the kit is easy to put together it was quickly re-purposed as a teaching aid. They get to learn the laser cutter and do some through-hole soldering.

He has plans to turn it into a more formal how-to workshop that anyone can duplicate.He’d also like to make a small software suite for playing with text-to-speech and hacking the speaker into other roles such as a multi meter.

27 thoughts on “InstaBeat Started Out Of Spite

  1. ” chauffeur for his daughter and his friends” you say “his friends” implying Tom’s friends but contextually you mean “her friends”. You might want to clarify the sentence.

    1. I agree. There’s something wonky about that one. And one of them mentioning that she was devoid of taste? Something wrong with that too. More like the kid complaining about the music not appealing to her. Besides I listen to WQXR-FM the only classical music station left in NYC, it’s an PR (Public Radio) station. And have an incredible collection of CDs covering practically everything from that genre. Including for laughs the Spike Jones collections. And you should see the looks I get when I mention what I listen to. It seems people were exposed to it in Music Appreciation. And of course Band. And had no idea what they were listening to, or playing. On my iPod I do have a few Beatles songs, those which are favorites. And it seems Amazon Alexa is a fan…..

    2. Maybe HaD is trying some AI to grab and paraphrase original content. Which is simply this:

      > This MP3 player was inspired by my kid’s friend. We were driving and I had the Beatles channel on. She announced she didn’t like the Beatles. So I turned it up.

  2. It’s not just baby boomers that listen to The Beatles… neither of my nieces were alive last century, both are quite big fans of The Beatles, as well as more modern acts like Queen.

    1. Eh.. I don’t hate them, but the Beatles are certainly a bit overrated and anybody who thinks all new music is inferior has lost their curiosity and is resigned to live trapped in nostalgia in their old age.

  3. the beatles are a hell of a lot better than that autotuned electronic crap that they have now. no beatles, no motorhead, no metallica. is that really the world you want to live in?

    1. Dont get me wrong I love the beatles, motorhead and metallica, but claiming that all modern music is autotuned electronic crap and thus objectively inferior is just being willfully ignorant. Different music genres from different times just aren’t directly comparable and each stands on their own merits. Just because you heard a handful of “modern pop/r&b/rap” songs doesn’t mean that is an accurate representation of modern music (especially if you only sample from the radio since most of the stations at least near me have gone far downhill over the years in musical diversity). There’s a ton of great modern music to be found online and in the indie scene, don’t discount them just because they are recent.

      1. i never made the claim that all modern music is autotuned. thats another thing wrong with this generation, reading comprehension is nil. there is a lot of newer albums in my collection completely free of autotune.

        it is still rare to find its use in metal, and if you do you can argue that they are posers and not real metal. there are still enough metal albums coming out every year that i have trouble keeping up sometimes.

        autotune has destroyed modern country music though. a genre that is supposed to be clean acoustic and natural. then they stick this layer of robospeak on top of it and idk what im listening to anymore.

        1. And apparently you generalize (notice I’m not saying everyone from your generation does this), trade logical arguments for personal insults, and have difficulty listening to thoughts that aren’t already internalized. I can read just fine (well enough to recognize that you don’t capitalize the first word of your sentences, which is odd for someone who supposedly champions literary skills), and finally I got the sense you insinuated it (if this is not the case then I do apologize). Let’s leave the ageism bs at the door please, I’m trying to at least respect you as an individual and not binning you into a generational group and using that as some sort of means to insult you personally, so please don’t try and pull that on me. Now with that out of the way, I cant comment on country music and it’s not my preference, but I do agree that autotune is rare in metal (I cant think of any examples off the top of my head). In the end though autotune is just an auditory tool, like guitar distortion amps. The use of them in and of themselves isn’t inherently bad.

  4. Mid 60’s is about when albums really started to get more of a for-profit, commercial product, than songs and art. Use to be albums were mostly the best of the artist, and you’d enjoy most every song. Someone got the idea that they could still sell a lot of albums, with just one or two hit songs, and a lot of filler. People would buy, because a band was popular, play the whole album, learn to like/ tolerate most of the filler songs over time. Some bands started just throwing together total crap, just to fill up albums, that were essentially just one hit song, which I tended to not like much, even if they had a few good songs.

    1. i chose those bands because it shows a chain of inspiration, how old music shapes the new. in this case lemmy was a huge beatles fan. motorhead in turn inspired metallica and thrash metal as a whole (overkill). you could even argue that the beatles contributed to what would become metal with helter skelter, which is pretty damn heavy and certainly could be called protometal.

      not sure how ac/dc fits in there, rather im not sure what their inspirations were. great band though.

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