posts tagged with the keyword ‘radio’


If you read about my Radio Milwaukee Radio and thought having just one station to listen to was rather silly, we can do something about that.

One station means no choices (and no controls) but with multiple stations we need a way to select which one you want to hear, and there are clients that can make that possible. Since the Raspberry Pi is on our home network via WiFi, that means any other device on the network can control it.


I first tried MPD-Web-Remote, which looks great on iOS devices, and fine in any WebKit-based browsers, but I’m a Firefox fan, and it looks like total crap in Firefox, so I kept looking…


I prefer MPD-Webinterface, which looks good in Firefox, and not as great on iOS devices. Of course, since these are just web applications running on the Raspberry Pi you can install as many of them as you like. (You’ll obviously need to have a web server running on your Pi. I dropped Apache on mine along with PHP using the standard apt-get method.)

And since these are PHP web apps, you’ve got the source, and can edit the CSS as you see fit, so customizing the look should be pretty simple.

Want more options? There’s a giant list of MPD clients on the Music Player Daemon Community Wiki.

And hey, if you’re wondering how I got 3 stations listed instead of just one, compare the original code to this code:

mpc clear
mpc add
mpc add
mpc add
mpc play

This creates a playlist with 3 items, and will start playing the first item in the list, so put whatever you want as the default first. This list will play the 88.9 Radio Milwaukee stream until you select another one.


You can even add new streams (temporarily) using the MPD-Webinterface. At the bottom of the interface is a text field, just paste in a stream URL and hit return to add it to the list. (I pasted in for WMSE 91.7) I said ‘temporarily’ because only the three that are hard-coded in our bash script above will survive a reboot/restart.

Oh, keep in mind you need the actual stream URL, not the playlist URL, which is one that usually ends with a .pls file extension. Normally you’ll need to view the source of a .pls file to see the stream(s) listed within it.

That’s it for now kids… have fun with your Raspberry Pi Radio!


Radio Milwaukee Radio

I started working on this project months and months ago, so I should probably share what I’ve got so far… as always, it’s a work in progress.

If you live in Milwaukee and listen to the radio, you’re probably familiar with 88.9 Radio Milwaukee. I’m certainly familiar with it, as it’s a great station, and not just for the music, but for their pieces that spotlight the great things happening in Milwaukee.

Since I don’t actually live in Milwaukee right now, it’s a little difficult to pick up the broadcast at home, but no worries, since they stream it over the Internet, we can use a Raspberry Pi (a cheap single-board computer) to play the stream.

Radio Milwaukee Radio

All we need to do is add some power and some speakers (and a little bit of code) and the Radio Milwaukee Radio is ready to go!

I used this post to figure out how to run a script at system startup. Since the Raspberry Pi runs Linux, I’m comfortable mucking around on the command line via SSH, others might not be, but since the worst thing you can do is destroy the entire system and have to re-load it onto an SD card, the risks are small.

Oh, and here’s the script.


mpc clear
mpc add
mpc play

MPD is the Music Player Daemon, which deals with playing the stream, and MPC is the Music Player Client which controls the MPD server. The script tells mpc to clear whatever it’s doing (just in case) and then add the 88.9 stream, and start playing it.

(It’s a bit more complex that just that, as there are some startup services that need to be added, but I still need to clean up that code.)

I’ve seen a lot of complex Raspberry Pi radio streaming projects, and while I’ve also played around with different clients to control things remotely via a browser running on a phone or tablet, I wanted to keep this really simple, and create a single-purpose device that did one thing… play the awesome stuff I hear on Radio Milwaukee.

(I also put together a short video showing it in action.)

Note: I also wrote up a post about laser etching the logo on the Milwaukee Makerspace site.


WNYC 3D Printed Guns

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by a reporter from WNYC for their New Tech City show about 3D printed guns.

I know a lot more about 3D printing than I do about guns, but since the two have intersected, the media is looking for people with knowledge in both subjects, and I guess I know enough about both to talk intelligently about it. :)

We are not yet at the stage in home 3D printers where you can just download and print a working gun. It may be 10, or 20, or 50 years out, but don’t worry about it, because the one thing I’ve heard numerous times in talking to various members of Milwaukee Makerspace is this bit from Have Blue:

The one point I try to make (and that they generally fail to grasp) is that if it eventually becomes possible to download a file from a website, feed it to a printer, and have a fully operable handgun a few hours later, the technology will have already impacted our lives in far more incredible ways.

Just think about that… We’re already making progress on printing human organs. Imaging printing a medical device that could save someone’s life, or medication, or your next mobile phone, or food, or any specialty tool you need. It’s potentially World Changing, so to focus on guns alone is just silly.

You can check out the episode on their site: 3D-Printed Guns and Violent Video Games, or listen using the embedded player below.


Lake Effect

Remember last year when the Chipstone Foundation issued the Tool at Hand Challenge and I created a piece called Plastic Sun? Well, during the event I was interviewed by WUWM and the story aired on Lake Effect this past weekend.

You can check out the archive and if you want to hear my segment, here’s an MP3.




This post from NPR, Radio: The Port In The Storm, got me thinking about radio, and while I’m pretty well entrenched in the world of podcasts and my own music library, I do still love radio, and the interesting thing is, I think we’ve increased the amount of radio we listen to in our household this year.

Part of the rise of radio in our house might be due our dumping cable TV. We didn’t completely dump TV, as we still get the local channels, but it’s not that 500 channels (and nothing to watch) world we’re used to. We still use Netflix and Amazon, and we still record a few shows using an EyeTV Hybrid, but overall, our TV consumption is down, and our radio listening is up.

It’s mostly Radio Milwaukee and NPR, and the quality of both of those tends to outdo the TV we’d usually watch. It was just too easy to flip on the TV and let it play whatever… even with a laptop out and browsing/working, vapid television in the background isn’t that useful, and good radio is a better alternative.

I’d be interested to know if others who “cut the cord” ended up just replacing all their TV watching with online video alternatives, or if radio is taking some of their attention.

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