Building a Custom Linux Single Board Computer Just for Playing Spotify

If you want to connect an existing stereo or amplifier to Spotify, there are plenty of options on the market. You can even just order a Raspberry Pi and be done with it. [Evan Hailey] However, he went his own way and built his own Spotify Box from scratch.

[Evan] even made this wooden fence tidy, learning even more along the way!

Housed in a small, tidy wooden case of its own creation, the Spotify Box can turn any amplifier into a remote-controlled Spotify player via Spotify Connect. Choose the songs on your smartphone and they will be played from the Spotify Box as easy as that.

The project is based on Allwinner V3S, a system-on-a-chip with a 1.2GHz ARM-Cortex-A7 core, 64MB of DDR2 RAM, and an Ethernet transceiver for good measure. A high quality audio codec is also built in which makes it perfect for this application. It is thrown on a four-layer PCB of [Evan’s] own design, and associated with a Wi-Fi and BlueTooth transceiver, RJ-45 and RCA sockets, a push button and some LEDs. There is also an SD card for storage.

With a custom Linux installation prepared using Buildroot, [Evan] was able to get a barebone system running Spotifyd while communicating with the network. That done, it was as easy as plugging the Spotify Box into an amp and grooving to a few tunes.

Along the way, [Evan] learned all about building drivers and using onboard linux, as well as how to take a bare SoC and put it into a fully functional single board computer. When someone else says they “made” a Spotify player, they’re probably clearing their throat.

If you love retro computers, consider interfacing Spotify with your regular Mac instead!

[Thanks to Jay Carlson for the tip!]

About Jon Moses

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