Samstag, 15. März 2014

Nexus Q

I've bought a Google Nexus Q. If you don't know it, it's a small Android based music player, essentially a Smartphone (without phone or display) with integrated power supply and amplifier. 

Google announced it in the middle of 2012 and discontinued them early 2013. I knew that but didn't think much of it. I wanted one because I like designy stuff, and the matt-black aluminium sphere with the glowing ring (set in an 45 deg. angle) looked awesome. 

And I wasn't disappointed (yet) when I unpacked it, haptically and optically it's amazing. Only after trying to get it to work that part started. 

When Google discontinued the Q they pulled the plug on all support. That means the Q App does not run on Android 4.4. And they switched off the auth servers, so new users can't register their device (which is necessary to set it up). And to screw the few who have old phones and had their Q already running, they broke the compatibility with Google Play Music after All Access was introduced. The device wasn't even two years old then... WTF?!

All that meant I've had a cool looking paper weight instead of a cool looking music player. 

Not completely happy with the situation I've looked around want could be done... well, praise the Internet and the (comparable) openness of Android, I've found ways to use it as a network music player! 

I came up with the following setup: 

* Cyanogen Mod (I used the SPDIF version) 
* VNC and SSH server for remote management
* XBMC to play music from youtube and my home server
* Cheapcast to work as an Chromecast-like device (play youtube and google play music from mobile)
Not really needing another media center device in our living room, I've wired the Q up to our old Bose Lifestyle 5 in the kitchen - voila, party music center and another design piece parked on our sideboard.


Freitag, 14. März 2014


Made at a party in beautiful Mannheim (in not so beautiful Neckarstadt). 
Bigger here.