A while back my RaspberryPi arrived to much anticipation. I wasn’t 100% sure what I was going to do with it. I’m still not.
Currently it’s acting as a kind of semi-interactive jukebox in the common area of my house. It’s hooked up to some speakers, a screen and a network connection. It runs Raspbian and I have installed and configured mpd (Music Player Daemon) and gmpc (Gnome Music Player Client). The music is mounted via NFS from my file server and the RaspberryPi is quite capable of handling the task. While the initial tag cache (file database) generation does take quite a while on my large-ish music collection, the day-to-day requirements of being a jukebox are well handled by the Pi. At the moment it does not see as much use as I would like as although attempts have been made to make it as user-friendly as possible, it is oftentimes easier for people to simply plug their own music sources (iPods, phones, etc) into the speakers. That way they already “know” their own music collection and are comfortable navigating it.
The hardware setup consists of an old widescreen LCD display, a RaspberryPi, some Logitech desktop speakers and the inner-workings of an Asus Xonar U1 USB sound adapter (that’s the exposed circuit board you can see). It’s all held together with a bit of blutac and some ingenious cable routing to make it a bit tidy.
When I can think of something else/better or can find more use for a setup like this, I will invest in something like this so that I can connect an old laptop LCD I have lying around and then fashion it into some kind of custom-built enclosure to really give it some polish. The limiting factor with these cobbled-together solutions is that none of the screens I have suppor touch. It is possible to buy a large, good touch screen, but when the potential use cases of the device are so niche, I really have no reason to do so other than “because I can” — which sometimes is good enough, but this time, isn’t.
At any rate, I will leave it as is for a while — until I think of something else for it to do.