Plynth scans album art to kick off Spotify playback
There are occasions when you might want to listen to some music but can't be bothered – or are not able – to power up the turntable and break out the vinyl. Product developer Jono Matusky wanted a way to play his albums while working in his studio, without needing to keep popping into another room to change sides or set up multi-room streaming. The Plynth is the result.
The device is very much in the prototype stage and has only a passing resemblance to the mockup pictured below. It's built around a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ computer board rocking a camera module, currently housed in a 3D-printed enclosure.
The user places an album cover in the Plynth, which rests back at a suitable display angle, and the camera snaps a photo, the Pi "dewarps" it and then identifies the album using a combination of the Google Vision API, OpenCV and the Spotify API – the lattermost used to playback the music through a wirelessly paired speaker.
The Plynth won't fit into everyone's lifestyle – it might be useful for people who live in shared accommodation, for example, but not so much for vinyl lovers who live alone in a single room apartment – but it's a clever use of technology and it will be interesting to see how it develops.
Matusky says that a future iteration promises the ability to match pretty much any image with an appropriate album, so users could have the camera scan a concert poster and fire up a suitable playlist on Spotify, which would widen its usage appeal.
An alpha web application has been developed so that folks can get a feel for the kind of experience Plynth will offer and Matusky is planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign later in the year to get the Plynth into the hands of users. In the meantime, the video below shows the latest Plynth prototype in action.
Source: Jono Matusky
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