The personal ramblings of Jon Carlos mobile & web developer and technology enthusiast.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Bose Sound Dock Pi MusicBox using Raspberry Pi a viable sonos alternative in 2 hours

So my wife's very old CD player broke the other week and I promised her I get a replacement. I looked in to 30 pin bluetooth adapters and even bought one but it really did not scratch the itch that provided a room based music player like you would have with Sonos.

During this period a good friend Matt Brailsford posted this project he'd started:

That made me think I have this old Bose Sound Dock that's been lying about for a couple of years and I have a Raspberry Pi maybe I can hack these 2 things together. So I had a quick chat with Matt and he introduced me to Pi MusicBox, this awesome project is basically a headless (has no screen, keyboard or mouse) streaming music player. You can upload your own music to the memory card or you can add a Spotify Premium account and there you have it a streaming music player.

The main issue I had to overcome with the Bose Sound Dock is that it does not have a jack to plug in to the Raspberry Pi only a male 30pin Apple connector. I looked in to this issue and found a great video on YouTube that explained exactly how to modify the sound dock to add a jack.

Once this modification was complete it was a case of downloading Pi MusicBox and installing it on a memory card. This took somewhere in the region on 10 mins and as I described earlier this is a completely headless system so the configuration is all done via a text file you open it up insert the details for your wifi and Spotify account and that is. Power it up, plug it in and there we go.

Sonos like functionality with things that I had lying about in my house that took under 2 hours to hack together. Awesome!

If you'd like a complete guide on hoe to create a Pi MusicBox look no further Christoph Buenger has provided one for you

Friday, 6 February 2015

JazzHands for iOS and Android using Xamarin

It's been a while since my last post but I've been very busy working on many projects.

I've been doing a lot of cross platform mobile development using Xamarin and during this we were looking at animation frameworks we found a fantastic one developed by IFTTT for iOS called JazzHands.

We thought this framework was great but having done everything in C# we decided that it would cool to convert it to C# and see if we could share code between both iOS and Android.

So we started with a straight conversion from Objective-C to C# found at It performs just as well as the original and so we pushed this up to the Xamarin Component store

By this point we did not have a working version in Android so we continued the development and managed move the calculations in a shared project and implement the keyframe animations. You can find the project at

When I get some more time I'll update the iOS version so it works with the new 64bit unified API and add the new Android version to the component store.