This multi-room audio system uses a Raspberry Pi & RFID cards to play your favorite tunes

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Outfitting your house with whole-home audio systems has never been easier thanks to the likes of Sonos, Chromecast devices and hopefully HomePod in the near future. But picking out your favorite music on the other hand, isn’t as novel or as simplistic as it could be. Now thanks to a custom multi-room audio jukebox based around RFID tags, there’s never been a cooler way to be serenaded by your go-to tunes.

This past weekend, smart home fanatic and Reddit user Hovee posted their latest project, an RFID tag-based jukebox with Google Home integration. It works by tapping a programmed RFID card bearing particular album art to a receiver, which in turn activates the home’s litany of speakers and begins broadcasting the desired tunes.

Hovee’s clever whole-home jukebox is based on Home Assistant, a popular open-source smart home platform that allows users to configure and automate a variety of systems and devices. While we’ve previously talked about how it can be leveraged to make a smart haunted house, this time the software has been put to a much more practical use.

The brains of the audio system falls to the lightweight Raspberry Pi Zero, which is more than capable of running Hovee’s custom additions. The Pi Zero then syncs up with the instance of Home Assistant and relays commands to the smart home system. In order to bring the unique contact-based audio selection into the equation, an RFID reader has been integrated to interface with the stylish album cards. On the audio end of the system, a Chromecast group filled with a variety of Google Home devices are enlisted to play whichever album is queued up.

If Hovee’s jukebox sounds like the perfect addition to your smart home, you’re in luck, as the developer has put their entire code repository up on Github alongside a list of components and a somewhat detailed installation guide.

Of course you’re probably asking yourself how useful this can actually be in practice. Well, it’s certainly not any easier than having Google Assistant spin up your favorite tracks, but for fans of physical media who don’t want to give up the luxuries of steaming, this seems like a unique and novel approach to get the best of both worlds.

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