Maker Terence Eden has constructed a mobile music player with a difference: It's powered by a Raspberry Pi and loads its songs from floppy disk, for the ultimate in lo-fi beats.
"I have built the most inconvenient way of playing music! It is lo-fi awfulness and cyberpunk grungy," Eden writes. "Thanks! I hate it!
"It’s possible to fit half an hour of speech on a single floppy disk. The best band in the world are The Beatles, and their shortest album is A Hard Day’s Night – at 30 minutes, 45 seconds. Beatles audio was designed to be played over crappy AM radio in mono, so is well suited to being compressed using the latest audio codecs. OK, I also got sent a USB floppy drive to review and wanted to do something interesting with it!"
The hardware is handled by a fully-size Raspberry Pi single-board computer connected to the aforementioned USB floppy drive and a USB battery pack for power — "all held together with rubber bands," Eden notes. "Classy!"
The audio is compressed using the Opus codec, in order to squeeze as much as possible onto a single double-sided high-density floppy diskette — at the cost, it must be noted, of fidelity. "Not much worse than fading medium-wave station," Eden opines, "right? RIGHT!?"
For anyone looking to replicate Eden's creation, instructions are available on his blog.