PiPod: the Raspberry Pi Zero portable music player

We’ve seen many Raspberry Pi-powered music players over the years. But rarely are they as portable (and snazzy) as the PiPod by Hackaday user Bram.

PiPod Raspberry Pi music player

Portable music

My biggest regret in life? Convinced I wouldn’t need my 160GB iPod Classic anymore thanks to Spotify, I sold it to CEX for a painfully low price. But not only was I mistaken as to how handy it would have been to hold on to, the money I made doesn’t seem to justify parting ways with such an iconic piece of technology no longer available to purchase anew.

Which is why the PiPod project from Netherlands-based Hackaday user ‘Bram’ caught my attention instantly.

The PiPod

I made this music player because I wasn’t satisfied with the current playback methods that are available. The music streaming services available started to feel like radio stations with the same music repeating, they are also depended on an online internet connection while there might be offline functionality it is still limited by the available storage on your phone.

We hear ya, Bram.

With his mind set on creating a music player of their own to overcome the limitations on offer without having to pay hundreds of Euros for high-end portable devices, Bram got to work.

The PiPod, now in its third iteration, offers users a range of functionality and can be made fairly cheaply using Bram’s custom PCB.

PiPod Raspberry Pi music player

For the display, Bram uses a 2.2″ TFT screen connected to a Raspberry Pi Zero. As can be seen above, the screen offers all the information you could ever require of your media player despite the low 320 by 240 resolution.

For music playback, the PCB also includes the PCM5102A a 24-bit I2S DAC that offers a high-quality audio output accessible via a 3.5mm jack. And for power, Bram has done his homework, incorporating a series of components to protect the device from overcurrent, thermal overload and various other power-related concerns.

PiPod Raspberry Pi music player

The music interface itself uses VLC for backend playback and PyGame at the frontend, and all information and code for the project can be found on the Hackaday project page, including the 3D-printable files for the rather snazzy casing and its fantastic dock.

PiPod Raspberry Pi music player

Such snazziness

We’re sure Bram’s PiPod isn’t the only portable music device with a Pi inside. What have we missed? Share yours with us in the comments or on social media so we may bathe in their glory and give them the attention they deserve.



Misel avatar

What would be the easiest way to get the thingiverse files to a 3D printing service like shapeways?

I imagine it like a service that I could simply point to this file and tell it to print in material X. Then I pay and wait for it to be shipped to me.

Victor M Caraballo Garcia avatar

yes basically, i have a local 3d printing service in Puerto Rico, i usually do custom jobs, i create 3d models and print them as the client wants them, and from time to time i print requests from a existing files, it can get expensive depending on the material the client wants.

tudza avatar

I would download the files from Thingiverse and then upload them to Shapeways, if you want to use Shapeways. There might be cheaper alternatives.

Thingiverse has links to places that will print things for you. Don’t know if it is still available, but the site I went to from there listed local people that printed odd jobs for people. I went by their house and picked up my stuff.

Dominik avatar

Awsome project. And it even plays Foo Fighters. What more could you ask for…

Silviu avatar

For my music player I call mpv from a bash script. Mpv is very light on resources.

Feel free to use it, for me it rocks: https://github.com/iugamarian/bshplyr

Xorbius avatar

Is HDMI accessible? Would it be possible to use it as an MP4 player? (rehacks-not-included, understood).

I am looking to replace obsolete mp4/player and like your work.

eerr avatar

clockwork are better

why big machine, why not vocore or other small computer
only for music?

Sanjeet avatar

What a cool project!

Also, check out my first full Raspberry Pi project, R3-14: a personal robot assistant, integrated with SiriControl and Google Assistant, among other features: https://thereallycoolstuff.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/my-personal-assistant/

Simon Long avatar

“My biggest regret in life? Convinced I wouldn’t need my 160GB iPod Classic anymore thanks to Spotify, I sold it to CEX for a painfully low price.”

I still deeply regret selling my original first-generation iPod – it was such a thing of beauty from the device itself to the packaging (a perfect cube). I learned, though, and still have several other generations of iPod stashed away, although my main portable player is now a Sony Network Walkman, which does Bluetooth and supports microSD cards for more storage.

If you do want an iPod Classic, though, there are ways of getting a better-than-new one; last year I got one of the companies who do repairs and upgrades on old Apple products to make me a custom 256GB Flash-based iPod Classic out of all new parts. Didn’t cost any more than a 160GB did from Apple originally!

Yves Walravens avatar

Maybe this was an option to replace the Ipod:
Works wit micro SD up to 256 GB.

Steve Dawes avatar

Tried this…. bought it through Tindie.

Its rubbish! The O/S only boots about 1 in 3 times.

When it does boot the s/w see’s tracks multiple times. I cut down to only having a single album in my music library and the problems persist. I have tried different SD cards etc.

The 3D print files are also poor. The orientation is crazy! …./ and the buttons do not fit. I have resized them and messed around but the end result is poor.

Comments are closed