When I was a teenager I had this sweet stereo in my room with an Aiwa receiver and some crazy big Yamaha speakers. All through my 20’s I lugged those big Yamaha’s to about 6 different apartments in New York until finally I decided they were just too big for a Manahattan apartment. Today, I have a slightly larger place in Queens but I still don’t have a real stereo set up anymore; I just don’t spend enough time in one room of my apartment for it to make sense. What I really need is a way for the stereo to follow me around as I’m cooking, playing with my kid, folding laundry, or playing a board game with my wife at the dining room table. And of course, since all my media is on a harddrive it would need to be able play stuff from my computer, either streaming or synched.There are, of course, many ways to solve this. There are products like the squeezebox, or sonos, but I don’t really want speakers in every room. It would just take up valuable counter space and require a lot of management (should I turn on all the speakers or just some?). Or I could get one of those boomboxes that have a dock for an ipod. But then I’d have charge and sync another ipod. Or I could use my existing ipod, but it would inevitably not be docked with the boombox when I wanted to use it and I would have to go searching for it.
It seems like there is the possibility for a new device here, something like the old transistor radio my grandfather used to carry around the house to listen to the ballgame, only updated for digital media and streaming content. Imagine an airport express with a rechargable battery and integrated speakers.
This product is most definitely already in the works (in fact, here it is), but in the spirit of DIY Tarikh and I decided to try to hack together a prototype out of an airport express and a tivoli pal.
The tivoli pal is great little radio designed by Henry Kloss. It’s basically a small am/fm receiver with an aux in plug, and a pretty good speaker that runs off a long-lasting rechargable battery. It nicely fits in one hand and can be taken from room to room. The trick was to get the airport powered off the rechargable battery in the pal. Then you just need to connect the stereo out from the airport to the aux in on the pal.
After some experimentation, soldering, drilling, and a bit of hot glue, we have one working. Some links:
Update: just saw the Olinda — really smart.