RFID Music Player Gets The Whole House Pumping

RFID tags are normally used for pedestrian tasks like tracking shipping crates or opening doors to workplaces we’d rather be absent from, but they can also be cool and fun. [hoveeman] demonstrates this ably with a tidy jukebox project.

The build is based on a Raspberry Pi Zero, secreted away underneath a table with a USB RFID reader attached. Atop the table are a series of RFID cards upon which [hoveeman] printed the artwork from his favorite albums using a special caddy in an inkjet printer. Through some Python code and shell scripts, when scanning a card, the Pi Zero is able to trigger all the Google Home compatible devices in the house to play the album selected at the same time.

It’s a visually enjoyable way to cue up some music, and likely more reliable than most voice assistants, too. We can see this being particularly useful for Weezer fans; with the band’s many self-titled releases, Siri and the Google Assistant typically fail to play the right album on request. We’ve seen other beautiful RFID jukeboxes before, but one player that really sticks out ditched the RF and just uses computer vision with vinyl albums as the ID.

11 thoughts on “RFID Music Player Gets The Whole House Pumping

  1. I really think RFID has a lot of potential that can’t quite be used till it’s totally ubiquitous.

    A lot of just plain annoying uses of course, but it’s the perfect way to replicate the experience of older physical media.

    I’d love to see RFID fake floppy disks, I just don’t know what they would actually be good for.

  2. Nsync? Seriously? :)

    The music tile is a neat concept. It brings back some of the physical part of listening to music. Although, real albums (vinyl) gives you large format cover artwork and lyrics. Maybe add a QR-code on the back of the tile that takes you to a site with album information/lyrics?

    Been thinking of making something like this. But I had the idea of using rfid tiles for genres. That way I wouldn’t have to make hundreds of tiles. Just pop on that death metal playlist for the romantic dinner I’m having with my date later.

  3. We’ve done something similar with our film collection. Cards exist for every film we own across various platforms (Plex, Google Play Movies etc), scan the card either on a dedicated reader or a phone when in the house and the film will start playing. Originally put it together to make it easier for children to see what films we have, but also works great for guests who wouldn’t be aware of the platforms we use etc.

    Picture of some of the cards:

  4. So it plays the album through all connected devices in the house? I could see this being useful for parents, just grab the proper card and all thorough the house you hear, “Kids! Dinners ready! Get your asses down here!”

  5. wow – did not realize someone had done this for audio and video (Peter Brewer’s comment above). I was thinking of doing exactly the same thing for my Mother In law who is in her mid 80s and severely arthritic. She finds it very hard to use closely spaced remote buttons and Smart TVs, and this would be just what the doctor (had not) ordered. Alexa etc are ruled out too as she has developed some speech slur too.

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