For all you nostalgics out there-- an old cassette recorder that plays Spotify.

Christina Drill
October 22, 2014

Ok, so check out this cassette player.

It looks like the kind you used back in the day to create mixtapes that you would send to your crush, right?

Well, it's 2014, so it's obviously something a lot cooler designed to look old, because duh.

There here is a Raspberry Pi-powered Spotify speaker with NFC (or short-wave)-based playlists created by a British inventor by the name of Matt Brailsford.

What's going on here is more than just the same thing that an iPod dock can do. The Raspberry Pi-powered speaker uses those NFC playlists embedded inside the cassette tapes to dictate which Spotify song is playing from a computer. The volume, play, next and stop buttons can all be controlled by the analog buttons on the cassette player itself.

Brailsford said he got the idea to create this fun contraption from the iRecorder, which is a speaker for the iPhone designed to look like an old cassette player. He wanted to bring back that feeling of pressing physical buttons, which he says have a "level of resistance when you press them," that you don't get anymore with touch screens.

So inside the old cassette player, a Raspberry Pi is running a version of MusicBox that has the Spotify streaming features built in. A customized module was written so that the button presses could still correspond to their original functions but also read the NFC tags that are stuck inside the cassettes. So when the Pi turns on, MusicBox loads, and is able to stream Spotify. Whenever a button on the player is pressed, the contraption performs that action. (Except for the "record" button-- it still works, but only as an on/off switch.)

This fun invention might not be the most marketable thing on the planet, but it is an exciting advancement in NFC technology. Brailsford hopes this will inspire other people working with NFC and Raspberry Pi to get creative with what the technology can do.

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