While most of our tech interactions these days are entirely digital, there is something to be said for the more tangible interfaces of the past. Switches, dials, and buttons all provide a pleasing tactile feel that just can’t be found on a touchscreen. And, as anyone who has used a modern infotainment system knows, physical controls are often easier and faster to use.
Boris was fed up with modern methods for playing his music, and decided to build something more reminiscent of the cassette tapes he had as a kid. The physical act of simply inserting the cassette of a desired album seemed more reliable than fiddling with touchscreens or Siri. The problem, of course, is that very few of us have collections of physical media these days. We’re all just using services like Spotify to manage our massive music libraries.
To get the best of both worlds, Boris built a RFID-based music selector using a Raspberry Pi Zero W. Each RFID card is tied to a specific album, artist, or playlist. The card reader acts as a USB keyboard, and when a card is scanned its UID is entered and followed by a carriage return. That’s then used with a PHP library for controlling Sonos to play the proper music. The result is both low-cost and straightforward, and would be a quick an easy project if you’re tired of dealing with modern music selection.