Glen Akins wanted a simple way to stream Pandora and Spotify via Chromecast Audio players, and an easier way to identify new songs and artists without using an app. His Pixel 2 wasn’t cutting it for what he wanted, so he designed a 14-segment scrolling LED album display that he could glance at to discover what track, album, and the artist was currently playing. Akins' project uses Mopidy to play tunes from his locally stored collection and Spotify and uses Pianobar to stream his Pandora stations, which is done via a Linux-based system.
Akins' Spotify and Pandora Wireless Track/Artist/Album Display was brought to life using several different pieces of hardware, including Audionate Dante input and output adapters to stream audio via Ethernet throughout his home. The display portion of his project features two separate boards, with each containing four Kingbright dual 14-segment 0.54" LED displays, which are driven using a Maxim MAX6954 multiplexed LED display driver. The device also contains a controller board and a Particle Photon module for Wi-Fi, which wirelessly connects to a pair of different WebSocket servers to grab the music data for the display.
All of the hardware Akins used is packed into an anodized aluminum enclosure with a red acrylic front plate, which he designed using Autodesk Fusion 360 and Front Panel Express. On the software side, Akins states, “I use Pianobar’s event command interface to execute some C code that relays new track information to a very simple server running in node.js. This server has a simple HTTP web server for receiving track information from the C code and a WebSockets server that, in turn, relays the received track information to any connected clients.” Akins has uploaded a detailed walkthrough of his project on his blog complete with schematics and links to the code he wrote, for anyone interested in recreating his build.