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Baker Street Irregulars
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iPods are complicated, hard-to-repair devices that store many hours of music. By contrast, this pair of mechanical headphones is a relatively simple, easier-to-repair device that can play a few of your favorite tunes (it might also cause severe burns).
The device holds a pair of music-box-like
mechanisms over the listener's ears and powers them by a small coal-burning steam engine housed in the companion backpack. The engine turns a pair of rotary flex shafts that in turn rotate the cylinders. As the cylinders turn, they pluck their comb teeth and play your selected 20-second melody.
Cylinders are swappable, so your music library is limited only to the number of cylinder pairs you can hold in your pocket. Further, they snap into place in one direction only, ensuring that your right and left ears hear synchronized music, possibly even "in stereo" with properly designed cylinder pairs.
For greater volume, try the ear horn attachment kit (sold separately).
the musical mechanisms
[swimswim, Jul 06 2012]
Steam powered record player
At first glance I thought this was awesome but then realized instead of a giant flywheel and/or centrifugal governor, they'd used an Arduino! Boo! [mitxela, Jul 06 2012]
Music box that runs on punched cards
I have one of these and it is the greatest thing ever. [mitxela, Jul 06 2012]
||Perhaps there would also be market in special
adaptors for those people with old collections of
CDs or MP3s? A suitable ear-trumpet, placed in
front of the speakers of an old-fashioned High
Fidelity apparatus, could channel the sounds into
a sort of mechanical cochlea, teasing apart the
different frequencies and activating a set of
resonant reeds. The vibration of these reeds
could, in turn, be used to actuate a set of
hammers, driving small metal pins into blank
wooden cylinders, thereby allowing one's music
collection to be transferred seamlessly (and
steamlessly) to the new medium.
||Obviously, CD and MP3 producers would have to
devise a new means of preventing unreasonable
||[mitxela], I saw those Kikkerlands while checking for prior art, and I -must- have one.
||This is steampunk 'baking at its very finest, although, to be
honest, you had me at // (it might also cause severe
||I think that the device is a little crude; few of my favourite recordings reproduce well on pin-drum and I would prefer shellac discs.
||Might I suggest also that the flexible drive shafts might cause excessive friction and hinder bending of the user's neck?
||Instead, I think that the steam engine should be mounted centrally on the headphones strap, atop the crown of the wearer's head. The shellac disc can be mounted on top of the steam engine. The needle can be piped via long tubes down to the earpieces.