Internet Radio Channels Come to Life in Retro Cassette Form

Internet Radio Channels Come to Life in Retro Cassette Form

Nostalgia and technology merge in a unique project that brings internet radio to a charming cassette-shaped device. A recent build featured on Hackaday offers a delightful blend of old and new, allowing users to access a vast library of online radio stations with a playful retro twist.

Key Highlights

  • Cassette-Inspired Design: Evokes the classic audio cassette look.
  • Internet Radio Functionality: Accesses thousands of worldwide radio stations.
  • Transparent OLED Display: Simulates a cassette tape window, provides a user interface.
  • DIY Element: Involves 3D-printed parts and a custom PCB.

Internet Radio Channels Come to Life in Retro Cassette Form

Inside the Cassette Radio

The heart of this project lies in an ESP32 microcontroller, responsible for handling the internet radio streaming over Wi-Fi. To keep things compact, it relies on a small lithium-polymer battery for power. A MAX98357 Class D amplifier and a speaker salvaged from an old smartphone provide the audio output. The clever design even aligns the display graphics with those printed on the PCB, offering a visually striking effect.

The Appeal of Specialized Devices

While smartphones can easily stream internet radio, this DIY project showcases the allure of dedicated devices. There’s a particular charm to a gadget designed for a single, well-defined purpose. This cassette radio offers a tangible experience, providing an escape from the multitude of distractions on a smartphone.

History and Nostalgia

  • The Cassette’s Rise and Fall: Briefly explore the history of cassette tapes, emphasizing their cultural impact. You could mention how they revolutionized portable audio and the mixtape phenomenon.
  • Why the Nostalgia Appeal? Discuss psychological reasons for the continuing appeal of retro technology. Touch on the emotional connection to simpler times or the tactile satisfaction of physical media.

Project Details and Maker Culture

  • Project Accessibility: Assess the difficulty of replicating this project. Is it suitable for beginners, or does it require more advanced maker skills?
  • Open Source and Collaboration: If available, highlight the potential to find code, schematics, or 3D print files on platforms like GitHub. This underscores the collaborative spirit of the maker movement.
  • Maker Community: Briefly mention online communities for DIY electronics enthusiasts such as Hackaday, Reddit, or dedicated forums, where similar projects and support can be found.

The Maker Movement and Retro Tech

The cassette radio project highlights the ongoing influence of both the maker movement and the enduring appeal of retro technology. Makers continue to creatively repurpose older forms, infusing them with modern functionality. The popularity of such builds underscores how the nostalgia for past technologies often intertwines with the desire for unique, personalized gadgets.

Where to Find the Project

If you’re intrigued by this creation, you can find the complete project details on the Hackaday website [[invalid URL removed]]. The project offers inspiration for anyone interested in combining DIY electronics, retro design, and the diverse world of internet radio

Opinion: A Fun Blend of Past and Present

The cassette-inspired internet radio cleverly unites the past and present. It serves as a reminder of both the creative potential of the maker community and how the appeal of retro design often goes hand-in-hand with the desire for a more focused, distraction-free technological experience.

About the author


James Miller

Senior writer & Rumors Analyst, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world of technology. You can contact him at