Floppy disks, for some it brings back memories of a bygone age and for others it is just a save icon. But for Terence Eden the floppy disk became a means to listen tho his music, and with the help of a Raspberry Pi and a USB floppy drive. He built a “floppy-disk Walkman”.
In Terence’s own words “I have built the most inconvenient way of playing music! It is lo-fi awfulness and cyberpunk grungy.” Using a Raspberry Pi 3B+, an external USB battery and a USB floppy drive, Terence has created the means to play the music, but his method of reducing the file size lead him to use the Opus audio codec.
Using the Opus codec Terence compressed the entire 30 minutes and 45 seconds of The Beatles album “A Hard Day’s Night” into a 1.4MB file matching the capacity of a 3.5” floppy disk. The music is low quality but as Terence admits “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.”
Full build and the steps taken to recreate the project are on Terence’s blog. On their you will find his extensive to-do list for future additions to the projects which includes creating a circuit to control track playback, auto play disks as they are inserted, and to 3D print a case for taking the unit with him when jogging.
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Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".
Nice toy. Needs work on the shell to downsize it to a walkman.Reply