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The MacroPad Jukebox

MacroPad RP2040 + Raspberry Pi + some code = Rock and Roll. A severely over-engineered music player

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the old way of listening to music. You know: from your own collection, in order, one album at a time. No randomness, no infinite playlists, no album of the day, no ads, and no algorithms. When I got my hands on an Adafruit MacroPad RP2040 I knew what I had to do: make my own ugly and over-engineered music player. I present to you the “MacroPad Jukebox”.

With this gizmo, I can play my offline music collection the way I like it.

The music collection is loaded onto the Raspberry Pi and arranged in a series of playlists. I use a large sd card for both the OS and the music files, but an external USB drive would also work. As long as the files are accessible to the media player.

The media player is VLC. This media application has an amazing number of features for customization. One of my favorites is the Remote Control interface that allows me to fully control the application via a TCP socket.

The MacroPad RP2040 controls the playback of the music collection by sending commands to a small service in the Raspberry Pi. The rotary encoder controls the selection of the album. The keypad has the usual playback controls: play, pause, stop, etc.

Finally, I can connect the Raspberry Pi audio output to my favorite speaker or headphones. I can even use it in my car!

In this guide, I provide all the code and the instructions to assemble my MacroPad Jukebox. After that, I explain in more detail how all the pieces work.

Bill Of Materials

- Raspberry Pi
- Adafruit MacroPad RP2040
- Data Cable USB C to A
- Power Cable micro USB
- Wired headphones or speaker with 3.5mm cable.
- Micro SD Card”

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