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Raspberry Pi: Transform the popular single-board computer into an NFC-powered music player

The Vinyl Emulator brings the tactile feeling of vinyl to digital music. (Image source: Vinyl Emulator)
The Vinyl Emulator brings the tactile feeling of vinyl to digital music. (Image source: Vinyl Emulator)
A project has shown how to utilise the Raspberry Pi as an NFC-powered music player. Bringing a degree of tactility to digital music, the project combines an NFC reader with NFC tags to play specific albums, playlists or radio stations on Spotify.
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A project has transformed the Raspberry Pi into an NFC-powered music player. Called the Vinyl Emulator, the project combines a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ with an NFC reader, NFC tags and a Sonos speaker with some impressive results. Published on Hackster.io by Mark Hank, the Vinyl Emulator is built around the node-sonos-http-api package, which allows the Raspberry Pi to communicate with a Sonos speaker. Hank states in his build guide that any Sono speaker will do.

The aim of the project is to "replicate the tactility and collection-building aspects of vinyl" without having to spend loads of money doing so. The project also requires a Spotify Premium account, while all the components run to between £50 or £60.

Hank dressed the Raspberry Pi and NFC reader in a Sonos Bridge, which can be sourced cheaply on websites like eBay. The NFC reader and Raspberry Pi could be hidden using different methods, of course. The magic of the Vinyl Emulator comes in the way Hank has presented the various NFC tags that he has encoded to trigger various albums, playlists and radio stations on Spotify. As the photos and video below demonstrate, he attached the NFC tags to 10.2 x 10.2 cm pieces of card on which he had album artwork printed.

Overall, the project is a novel and affordable way to bring a sense of tactility to streaming music from Spotify. Hank has also uploaded the Vinyl Emulator files to GitHub if you are interested in making the project yourself.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 3640 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 07 > Raspberry Pi: Transform the popular single-board computer into an NFC-powered music player
Alex Alderson, 2020-07-16 (Update: 2020-07-16)