Classic iPods are the best company for music lovers, But they are not quite suitable for the modern age of music streaming. However, it does not apply to this device. A tinkerer guy named Guy Dupont has given his Classic iPods a new look with new features. He literally turned an iPod into a Spotify player.
It may look like an iPod from the outside but it got redesigned with some modern updates like raspberry Pi loaded with software custom-built to interface with Spotify. All these updates made with keeping that classic look of iPod style. Guy Dupont calls it the sPot.
Here are some interesting details that you need to know.
Guy Dupont uploaded a video on his youtube channel showing off the project how he turned an iPod into a Spotify player. In the video, he shows the entire process with clear details. You can check out from his youtube channel if you want.
Dupont says that he inspired when his mother-in-law presented him with a bag of the family’s retired iPods. In a hackaday post, he states that he had forgotten how good it feels to hold and use that iPod”. He decided to give it a new look, updating it with some new modern features. Including Spotify streaming, Bluetooth audio, and a search box. Now, you can search the whole library of Spotify and stream it.
Spotify player comes with Redesigning the Click Wheel
He says that the click wheel is the major contributor to the success of the original iPods or Spotify player. The device comes with a monochrome screen and the user interface was very easy to use. Jason decided he is going to add a clock wheel to his Spotify player project.
After some trial and error, by using a logic analyzer he observed that it doesn’t implement a common protocol such as I2C, maybe a calculated move by Apple to keep the controller under wraps. However, he figured it out anyway. As you see in the video after the break, by bit-banging the data in from the click wheel and then reverse-engineering the protocol.
However, it’s connected to an AVR ATtiny88 with feedback shown on a character LCD screen. Though we’re glad that Jason has tipped us off about his yet we don’t have any code available.
Spotify Player project hardware details
The Spotify player comes with a standard rechargeable li-ion battery. And it charged through a 500 ma Adafruit USB charger. Also boosted to 5V with the help of Adafruit PowerBoost Basic. Spotify player display and Raspberry Pi both run on 5V. The display directly connected to 5V and the Pi’s composite video output.
And the click wheel connected to the original iPod motherboard via an 8 pin FPC cable. Using an FPC breakout board, you can easily connect the click wheel controller’s 3.3V, GND, and Data. Also clock lines directly with the Raspberry Pi. One of the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins used to induce a small DC motor through a transistor for haptic feedback.
Quick haptic pulses were used in place of the iPod’s original click sound, which triggers whenever your fingers go through each of the click wheel’s virtual “steps”.
In the Spotify player, the iPod’s original lock switch converted to the device’s power controller. For easy use, the power boost module has an “enable” pin that can simply pulled low to cut all power.
Dupont selected Raspberry Pi Zero W inside the iPod because Spotify needs an internet connection. Which is something that lacks in most iPods. Also, it has a custom interface and Bluetooth audio. The Spotify player or sPot also requires a larger battery to power the Raspberry Pi, And he managed all of them to fit perfectly inside the original iPod case.
Raspberry Pi OS Lite installed as the Spotify Player OS. Not installing a full desktop environment, because the team not sure that really required in retrospect. The Pi Zero is more capable than you would expect.
Spotify streaming was surprisingly simple. It got Raspotify, it runs and handles everything once you’ve authenticated. While running the Raspberry Pi appears as a “Spotify Connect” device on your account. And you can instruct it to take over playback via an HTTP request.
Spot uses the Spotify Python library to authenticate, search Spotify’s catalog, and choose your favorite artists/albums/playlists. Also, you can send playback commands to Spotify servers.
Spotify Player uses Redis to persist/cache user’s Spotify data. Openbox to host the UI application, which starts automatically when the PI boots up. Also, it uses pi-bt audio for getting Bluetooth audio out of the Pi.
Dupont has provided the information that you need to make your own Spotify Player. He had posted all of the code required for the project on GitHub. For making the Spotify work he listed all the details of other Softwares on the Hackaday page.
Any additional help or guidance that you require is already available on the Youtube video. The video alone enough to get you started it also lists all the product parts details. The video from beginning to end, outlines and shows how an old iPod can be turned into a Spotify Player.
A classic iPod has converted into a Spotify Player by tinkerer Guy Dupont. Not only he added Spotify streaming also he added Bluetooth audio, and search. Search the entire Spotify’s library and stream it.