DIY - Build Your Own Jukebox

Published: 15th July 2010
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Back in the 1950's, you'd have been hard-pressed to find a decent "watering hole" that didn't have a classic old-style jukebox parked in one of the corners. Since then, the popularity of jukeboxes has sizzled down a bit, but it's still a popular hire item for many private parties and events. In this article, I'd like to show you how to make your own custom home jukebox - ideal for those dinner parties and special occasions.

Firstly, you need to find or purchase an old PC. The computer needn't be anything fancy - just something that runs Microsoft Windows XP or later and has USB ports. Once you've found or managed to buy something like this, you want to make sure that it is running at optimum - in other words, delete any files that are not required, as well as any programs or applications. Step one complete!

The next step is to get a touch screen. Here you have two options - either buy a complete touch screen, or use a normal LCD screen and purchase a touch screen interface. The touch screen film is wrapped around the monitor and acts as a touch sensor. Personally, I recommend just getting a complete touch screen, as there's less admin and it is generally more reliable. Whichever route you decide to go, make sure that the touch interface works with USB, and most importantly, your version of Microsoft Windows.

Then it's time to put it all together. Follow the instructions that accompanied the touch screen and set the calibration as accurately as possible - in other words, that it points wherever you touch. What you now have is a touch screen computer (ie, no mouse or keyword is required) - all that's left to do is decide on a jukebox application (software)!

I personally recommend a software called TouchTone. It has nice big buttons (which you need for the touch control) and is very customizable. It is however, completely up to you which one you go with. Have a squizz on the internet for the software. You'll usually be able to download a free demo version before buying. Once the software is sorted, all you have to do is copy over your music collection (MP3s)!

Obviously, for the best results, building some sort of cabinet or casing for the screen is the optimal route to go. Some people have gone as far as recessing the screen into a wall or wall unit, which is obviously the most asthetically appealing solution. I also suggest that you hook the computer up to a decent stereo system to get the best sound - there's nothing worse than cheap computer speakers...

And there you have it - the easiest and most effective way to build a touch screen jukebox for your home. You're sure to impress your guests at the next party!


By Derek Jansen of DerekJay Entertainment - specialising in jukebox hire and karaoke hire in South Africa.

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