by Hollie Wegman ・ Office Hacks

Office Hack #8 — Mozilla Hi Fi Raspberry Pi

Envoy is all about making things easier and more fun in the office. In that spirit, we are proud to bring you our new Envoy Office Hacks podcast series. Every week, we deliver the coolest, most ingenious, and just plain fun fixes people have invented to improve efficiency and productivity in their workplace.

Today’s Office Hack is about a custom-made streaming solution for music in the workplace. Mozilla is the maker of the Firefox web browser, and they’ve tried ALL sorts of high-tech music services in their Mountain View offices. But the one that prevailed: a homemade hack.

Allow us to present… the Mozilla Hi Fi Raspberry Pi.

 

The Mozilla Hi Fi Raspberry Pi involves a micro-computer, a record player, and a whole lot of vintage vinyl. This most unusual streaming music solution came about accidentally.

A “Mozillian” picked up a record player with the intent of playing around with it at home but once it came out of its box at the office… it never left.

A few cheap records later and this new-old device became a smash hit at the Mozilla main office. The popularity of scratchy old LPs began to spread.

“People saw it and other people went to yard sales, and they bought a bunch of random crappy albums, and some people went through their album collections at home and brought a bunch of random crappy albums in. We kind of have this ‘whose who’ of stuff you’d find at the bottom of a crate in every thrift store.” Matt Claypotch, Mozilla

At first, the record player and its smooth sounds were limited to one area of the office; a louder, common area. But that limitation did not sit well with those vinyl-loving fans who wanted to enjoy the music in quieter spaces, through headphones. So, a little hacky ingenuity and this handy device facilitated group listening and private listening.

Matt Claypotch of Mozilla

Many long forgotten LPs were suddenly on heavy rotation again. Like this one…

And no collection would be complete without…


Perhaps the biggest unexpected benefit of this hack though, is how it brought the team together in ways not anticipated.

“I think the thing that’s made it so popular here is the shared discovery aspect. We get excited when people show up with a new batch of albums. We sift through it. We try and find hidden gems, and there’s a cross-cultural aspect.” Chris Lonnen, Mozilla ### How to hack it


If you’d like to set-up your own custom-made streaming solution for music in your workplace, you’ll need the following:

Ingredients


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