Scrobble Box

A stand alone computing device for scrobbling radio plays to

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The Scrobble Box enables me to scrobble ephemeral music from sources like radio with physical switches. I've been tracking my music listening habits on for a long time. Streaming services do a good job of reporting plays to, but there is no way to scrobble radio station listening. I recently created a program called SpinLast which scrobbles my radio station plays to, and then my wife had the suggestion for a physical scrobble box. Now I've created one, with the help of ChatGPT. We imagined and programmed it together, and I built it IRL.

The Scrobble box is a stand alone computing device with input switches and an e-ink display. It is purpose-built to scrobble (i.e. list music plays on from two different radio sources, KXLU and GUSH Radio. You can view the source code here.

I've been using for years to track my music listening habits. The current year's data is below. Streaming services can scrobble to, but there's an issue - I listen to a lot of music on the radio, and there is no official way to scrobble the songs I hear on the air, so I needed to make one.

My two favorite radio stations are KXLU and GUSH Radio, so I decided to create a physical box to sit on my desk with switches linked to each of those stations. When I flip on the radio station on my actual radio I can also flip on the KXLU switch, and just as easily turn them both off when I'm done listening.

The Scrobble Box is programmed in Python to scrape the websites that list the currently playing radio station tracks and scrobble them to The love button marks a track as loved in The box was built from parts that existed around the house, from an unused project case to household light switches and a leftover keycap.

  • 1 × Raspberry Pi Pico W Microcontroller with wifi
  • 1 × Adafruit 2.13" E-Ink Display E-ink display for displaying
  • 3 × Light switch Household light switch
  • 1 × Keyboard switch Red silent switch
  • 1 × Key cap One with a heart from a retro gaming set

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  • Introducing Scrobble Box

    Mx. Jack Nelson07/16/2023 at 06:54 0 comments

  • New screen, new Pi

    Mx. Jack Nelson07/15/2023 at 05:12 0 comments

    The Scrobble Box has evolved. Instead of a Raspberry Pi with a block of headers soldered on and a bunch of jumper wires connected to the headers on an Adafruit FeatherWing e-ink display, it now has a new Pi with no headers and a new regular Adafruit e-ink display, without all the hard-to-map-connectors featured on the FeatherWing. This simplified the wiring and gave me an opportunity to practice my soldering.

    I made an image of the last Pi and moved that over to the new one. Pleasingly and surprisingly when I rebooted, the screen displayed the "I am off" message from my code, so I know that all the solder points worked. They are a beginner's soldering attempt, but they worked. That was satisfying.

    Next I hooked up the love button, the KXLU switch, and the GUSH switch (which required a new addition to the code as well).

    And just like that she's back and scrobbling! Next will be some aesthetic updates, and wiring the third switch in the middle to control the power, so I don't have to open the box to turn off the batteries. 

  • A love switch

    Mx. Jack Nelson05/18/2023 at 22:51 0 comments

    I've been wanting a way to love (aka favorite) tracks on from the Scrobble Box. With some help from my lovely wife and my keyboard collection I now have a dedicated switch that will mark the currently playing track as a loved track on At the moment I have 715 loved tracks, and now I'll be adding more with this dedicated switch and heart key cap. Yes, it's crooked.

  • A proper box

    Mx. Jack Nelson05/17/2023 at 17:10 0 comments

    Today with the help of a Dremel and some hot glue I now have a mounted display in the scrobble box. The batteries are running the Pi Pico W and the E-Ink FeatherWing, so the box is completely wireless. I'm so pleased to be able to turn scrobbling for KXLU on and off with the flip of a switch and see what I've scrobbled as it happens. The next switch will probably launch the Vinyl Scrobbler webpage somehow. For now, my radio listening habit is fully trackable. 

  • We have a screen

    Mx. Jack Nelson05/17/2023 at 07:05 0 comments

    Version 3 of the Scrobble Box has a screen! It's an E-Ink screen, and it displays the most recently scrobbled song. Soon the screen will be installed in the box itself, for now it's sitting propped up on this screwdriver handle. 

    Wiring the FeatherWing to work with a Pi Pico W was a bit tricky, but it was possible. Here's my wiring diagram for the Scrobble Box display. 

  • The first solder

    Mx. Jack Nelson05/13/2023 at 04:49 0 comments

    Version 2.0 of the Scrobble Box is actually in a box. The box is a shell that my wife had lying around from another project, and the Pi Pico W is mounted inside on a knock-off Pop Socket with double stick tape. I mounted a battery pack I scavenged from a Circuit Playground Express kit to the bottom of the case so that the cover holding the batteries can still slide off. I cut off the connector end of the wires and soldered them to the Pi Pico W. I also soldered in the light switch. Now I have a fully wireless scrobbling switch in a box! 

  • A scrobble with the flip of a switch

    Mx. Jack Nelson05/13/2023 at 02:48 0 comments

    The first version of the Scrobble Box consists of a Raspberry Pi Pico W powered by USB and a light switch. When I flip the switch on, my program finds the most recently played track from KXLU's Spinitron page and scrobbles it to my account. This continues in a loop and scrobbles all the tracks that are posted to the KXLU Spinitron page, until the switch is flipped off, in which case it stops scrobbling.  

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Tom Nardi wrote 08/03/2023 at 01:57 point

Damn, I love the use of those AC light switches. Makes it look like the thing was pieced together with trash from the side of the road (in a good way). Such a wild contrast with the high-tech eink display below it. Really awesome aesthetics, and overall an unexpected take on the cyberdeck concept.

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Mx. Jack Nelson wrote 08/03/2023 at 17:39 point

Thank you! I found most of the parts around the house from other projects, and those amazing switches are from my wife's extensive collection of wall switches. They are very satisfying to flip. Something I love about the e-ink display is even though it's a high-tech component, it looks inviting in a low-tech way. There are no lights on this, by design. 

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