WE Player

WE Player, off

Since my youth I wanted to recreate this music-playing device.

I saw it in a movie with David Bowie: “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” At about minute 56 the player is shown briefly and he impressed me – as you can see .

World Enterprises Player in the movie “The man who fell to Earth”
World Enterprises Player in the movie “The man who fell to Earth”

By today’s standards it probably does not make any sense at all, but hey, tell this to someone who has a Vinyl record player with 20kg plate weight, so it is all about passion for exploring the exceptional…some of my very welcome followers will understand this.

I have now recreated this player device, not as a product, of course. I recreated it with the simple means and tools, spareparts and electronics that I had at home during the shortage of supplies and possibilities during the Corona Pandemic in March 2020.

The features are:

  1. Music File And Internet Radio Stream Player
  2. Control of the device via placed golf balls

Technically, it is:

  1. a Raspberry PI Zero W microcomputer with 128 GB memory, volumio software on Debian Linux and with custom python scripts
  2. a 125kHz RFID reading module with antenna
  3. 24 RGB LEDS, 12 of which are currently activated
  4. an Arduino Nano Microcontroller
  5. Golf balls equipped with micro-RFID chips (animal implants)

All built into a case with 3D printed elements and plexiglass rods, foil, mirror.

Bottom 3D-printed part with W logo, freely referenced to World Enterprises in the above mentioned movie and Way Forward Industries (Douglas Adams, The Electronic Monk)
Part of the holder’s ring for the golf ball
Implant chips mounted into the golf balls

The device is connected to power via a power supply and connects to the local WiFi network. It is also connected via cable to a hi-fi amplifier or active stereo speakers.

For simplicity, the player is also controllable wirelessly from a browser on a PC or mobile device. Music files and playlists can be transferred wirelessly to the player which connects to the local netrwork as a network drive. Bluetooth playback is prepared, but not yet in use in my setup.

The WE Player is controlled by placing various golf balls on the top ring. Each golf ball launches its own playlist, which accesses either local music or Internet radio streams. One special golf ball switches to the next song in a list, another mutes the device and ultimately there is a golf ball that shuts down the device before it is switched off.

Each golf ball triggers its own light color, which glows out of the device as soon as the ball is placed on the ring.