My dad could no longer operate a CD player or iPod. But he could use the music player that I designed and made for him, because it operates like a familiar two-knob radio. I was inspired to make this by the documentary Alive Inside which shows the profound joy felt by some people with dementia when listening to their favorite music.

My Dad using an early prototype, immersed in Beethoven

It is easy to make one — good project for kids! I went through several revisions, making it simpler each time. Everything I did (e.g. software, wood case design) is open source. You can order the parts online from Amazon etc. for ~$95, including the pre-cut pieces for the wood case. No soldering. A 13 year old can probably do this with minimal assistance. Younger kids with more assistance.

Step by Step Instructions with Photos

Ross Porter