Floppy Stereo was an attempt to create a music jukebox for personal use. It is constructed out of a salvaged computer, LCD display, USB number pad, and multiple floppy diskettes*.
Many years ago I began to convert my music collection from compact disk to compressed audio files. This afforded me the benefits that come with audio files, but I felt the experience was missing something. Previously, I would select a jewel box from my collection, open it up, insert the disk, and play it. With everything on a hard drive, playing the same track was reduced to a few clicks.
I missed the selection, the album art, and the dusty trays and hand-written CD-Rs. I was also reminded of another format that had recently gone away: the 3.5" floppy diskette.
The FloppyStereo attempts to recreate that ceremony within a single device. An album's playlist file is stored on the appropriate floppy disk. When it is loaded, the playlist is read and retrieves the songs from my MP3 collection. Pushbutton controls are wired to a USB keypad. The software I wrote listens for the specific key-presses and sends the message to the jukebox software.
The result adds tactile and thoughtful interaction to an otherwise diminished experience.
*Some people have asked me about the hardware and software involved. Happy to help:
The LCD itself is made by Crystalfontz, who I am happy to recommend http://www.crystalfontz.com/product/CFA634-YFB-KU.html
The music is driven by WinAmp and the WinAmp LCD Plugin by Markus Zehnder http://www.markuszehnder.ch/projects/lcdplugin/
The controls are RadioShack buttons soldered to a generic USB numeric keypad. An AutoHotkey script I wrote takes the number keys and turns them into button presses on WinAmp http://gist.github.com/62457