Berlin winter is famous to be quite cold (ok, let’s be honest, I’m a tech addict and can’t help the urge of hack around from time to time) so recently I’ve spent some fun time tinkering a bit with this Internet Of Things idea: how to make my flat a little bit more automated and have fun while adding this competely superfluous automation?
First world problems
One of the things I’ve been missing from my dear Sonos system is a proper RSS integration with Spreaker: I love RSS feeds, they are simple and easy to use, and Spreaker is so kind to provide one for every show I like. With SoCo library is trivial to write a Python based CLI tool to add an HTTP URL with the mp3 to play, but I’m notoriously lazy, I don’t want to open my laptop, fire up the browser, right-click for copying links to the clipboard, and type commands in the terminal unless strictly needed; all I want in this case is to be able to open the Sonos app and listen a podcast just tapping on the fresh new Spreaker episode when it’s available.
To make this possible, I need quite a few (free or open source) pieces:
- Python >v2.7 with SoCo and Bottle libraries
- IFTTT Maker and RSS channels
- a hosting provider for free GIT repository (i.e. GitHub)
- some config management scripts to make this easy to install (even if I’m a Puppet fan, I took the chance to try out Ansible for this)
plus an always-on host connected to the Internet that runs Python (I use a RaspberryPi for the purpose) in the same LAN of the Sonos system (i.e. my flat).
How does it work
this is the basic workflow:
- IFTTT RSS channel reads from a Spreaker feed there’s a new episode available (and sends on my phone a push notification about this)
- the connected IFTTT Maker channel sends an HTTP GET request to the in-house server with the URL of the episode as a parameter
- this Bottle/SoCo based HTTP server receives the request, parses it filtering for the mp3 link needed by Sonos to be able to play the episode, and adds that to the Sonos queue
How to set this up
- get a free IFTTT account if you don’t have it yet
- create a recipe that looks like this
create a SNAT rule on your router, or do whatever it takes to be able to make an HTTP GET on port TCP/9999 from the outside
Internet TCP:80 (Internet Router) TCP:9999 (RaspberryPi)
clone this GIT repo somewhere on your home host, edit the speakers.txt file with the IP addresses of your Sonos components, and finally:
That’s it. From now on, you should be able to play a new Spreaker episode as soon as it is available in the RSS feed directly from your Sonos player app.
Food for blog
I could also make the Ansible code public, or show how I’m messing around my flat with other (location based) IFTTT integrations, but for one blog entry seems already enough, so I’ll keep that for future winters.
Well, in the end as you can see it’s not that complex, all the pieces are already out there and I just needed to wrap them up, plug in my almost-forgotten RaspberryPi, and write some glue Python code, that is always great fun.
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