This Raspberry Pi Cassette Player Will Never Eat Your Tapes Because It Jams To RFID Cards

unwound tape
Those of us "Elder Millennials" and Gen X can easily harken back to the days of pencils fixing our music. Gen X has at least a few years more of experience of doing so, though. Well, Cabbage Patch Kids & Teddy Ruxpin owners, the days of your music being eaten by your tape deck look to finally be over!

Before you go calling into your favorite radio station to build your mixtape, you might want to take a look at this radical Raspberry Pi mod by Redditor waymonster. Using a Raspberry Pi 3, HiFiBerry DAC2 HD, and a Mifare RC522 RFIC Card Sensor, he created a totally tubular tape deck that runs entirely on requesting files from a local NAS housing his music database.

Though no instruction set was written up by the creator, it's not that difficult to figure out. Using code and information from the open source Raspberry Pi project, NFC Music Box, waymonster was able to wire the audio out to his HiFi system, and install an NFC reader into his cassette deck. The Raspberry Pi handles reading the NFC chip from the cards, which he associated with the songs on the music database. To add to the experience the creator even used a photo and label printer to give each of the NFC cards a unique look, specifically the Brother VC-500W.

To build this yourself you will need to know some wiring trickery, and, of course, you will want an old tape deck at hand. Here is the hardware you can use to do this project yourself. Be aware that there are other hardware recommended for the NFC Music Box as well, but these are the key components for this specific build.
There are definitely ways to expand upon this—while the example only shows one song per card, you could easily modify it so you have one card per album that then plays. You could also do things like tie this to a streaming music service where it would call the associated API to play the song. It could also be used to trigger a smart speaker to play the music you want. Though hearing Alexa or Google respond to you using the NFC card by saying "Playing [insert song here]" is not as immediately satisfying as just hearing the music after you load up your tape deck. So pull up your leg warmers and dance to the groove!
Tags:  DIY, Audio, mods, Raspberry-Pi