Wednesday, May 12, 2021

This 2004 iPod can stream music from Spotify

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The resulting “sPot” has both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing it to connect to both speakers and wireless headphones, in addition to a color display and a 1000 mAh battery. If you are an audio purist, you will hate this next part: The headphone jack on the top of the device is for show and does not work. At the heart of the device is the $ 10 Raspberry Pi Zero W. There is also a motor that creates haptic feedback when using the click wheel. To charge the device, there is a micro-USB port. While we would have preferred a USB-C connection, Micro-USB is definitely an improvement over Apple’s 30-pin connector (remember that?).

All in all, all of the components cost it less than $ 100. At $ 40, the most expensive part was the color screen that Dupont used to replace the original iPod display (the 4th gen model was the last to ship with a monochromatic display). Part of the reason it was so expensive was that most manufacturers don’t make screens that small anymore, because even the smallest smartphone screen is bigger than anything that comes with a click wheel iPod. The fact that the device works so well is due to a little luck. Dupont found ten years old Hackaday article which details the operation of one of the connectors inside the iPod. This allowed him to play the Click Wheel with all the other components.

The programming that powers the sPot is a mixture of software that Dupont wrote himself and an application called Raspotify, which allows a Raspberry Pi computer to access the streaming service through the Spotify Connect API. The front-end interface it coded even allows the sPot to search for songs – although, as you can imagine, without a touchscreen keyboard, it can take a while to type even a few characters.

If you have an old, unused iPod in a drawer somewhere and want to take on the project yourself, Dupont has uploaded a detailed preview to Hackaday. He is also downloading the software he wrote for the project at GitHub.

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