Play web radio from your phone to any stereo with this DIY project

Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 12:05pm

StereoA new project from Hack a Day and featured by Lifehacker shows how to stream web radio content from your smartphone to just about any stereo system.

The solution involves making a Bluetooth/IR receiver, which requires healthy doses of patience and soldering skills. But if you're up to the challenge, find out more from Lifehacker here and Hack a Day here.

Craft a wireless in-car receiver out of Bluetooth headphones

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 9:35am

Bluetooth headphone hackLifehacker today features a DIY project that converts a pair of Bluetooth headphones into a wireless audio receiver for your car.

That would enable you to stream any audio content -- including tunes from Internet radio apps -- from a smartphone to your car stereo. Perfect if a new Ford model with SYNC is a little beyond your budget.

That said, "it's certainly a lot of work," warns Lifehacker. But if you're up to the challenge, you can find everything you need from Scrapyard Electronic here. Lifehacker's article is here.

Intrepid hacker builds a Nexus 7 tablet into their car dashboard, great for web radio

Friday, August 10, 2012 - 11:30am

Nexus 7 in-car dash hackThe Nexus 7 is the latest and greatest Android tablet and one brave soul has hacked it into his 2008 Dodge Ram dashboard. Android Community calls it "quite possibly the most amazing in-dash entertainment system" they've seen. The tablet can be removed from the dashboard, but while it's docked it can playback media right to the car's stereo.

Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 doesn't connect to the web on its own, so one would need to tether the device to a smartphone or mobile hotspot to stream web radio. But that's no different than the slick OEM options rolling out from Ford, GM, Toyota and other automakers.

Android Community has more coverage and a video walk-through of the hack right here.

Build a radio in a bottle this weekend

Friday, July 27, 2012 - 12:20pm

Radio in a bottle projectIt won't play Pandora (or even FM radio for that matter), but this DIY radio-in-a-bottle project featured by Lifehacker is a great way to spend a weekend. Besides apparently not being a terribly difficult project, the radio also requires no power source.

"Whether you want to build it out of nostalgia, to learn some new skills, or to pass skills on to the next generation, this is a fun and inexpensive way to do it," writes Lifehacker.

You can find their coverage here and the radio-in-a-bottle project here.

Lifehacker offers tips on how to (cheaply) integrate a smartphone into your car

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 11:30am

Car stereo of todayNew cars have a myriad of ways to connect to your smartphone and play web radio, but if your vehicle is even just a few years old, you may not have all the bells and whistles needed. How to connect your smartphone to a "dumb" car stereo?

Lifehacker offers some tips, pointing out some cheap USB adapters, clever tricks and even handy office supplies that can help make your car smartphone-friendly. Or, if you're feeling crafty, you could always turn your ashtray into a makeshift smartphone dock (RAIN coverage here).

Here's a preview that may put a chill down some radio folks' spines: to get the best reception out of an FM transmitter connected to your smartphone, Lifehacker suggests removing your car antenna! Though with apps from TuneIn or iHeartRadio installed, maybe that's not such a big deal...

Find Lifehacker's tips here.

DIY project converts a car ashtray into a smartphone dock

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 11:05am

iPhone ashtray/dockThe cars of tomorrow will likely rely on smartphones for a plethora of features, including streaming web radio. But perhaps your car of today isn't quite up to the task.

You can help make your car a bit more smartphone-friendly with a new DIY project spotlighted by Lifehacker. It's a way to turn a car's ashtray into a dock for your smartphone.

"All you really need for this project is a bit of scrap plastic, an old dock connector for your phone, and a few tools," writes Lifehacker. "When you're done, you'll have the perfect spot to put your phone, no messy cables required."

You can find Lifehacker's coverage here and the "how to" instructions at Instructables here.

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