The whole point of digital music is that it lives in invisible files so you don’t have to carry it around. Some argue that physical formats had some advantages of the variety often extolled by grandparents who walked uphill both ways to school: The fact that you had to choose specific music to own or to lug around made it all the more valuable. In other words, music’s physicality wasn’t a bug; it was a feature.
Jordi Parra designed a box that turns the music on Spotify back into a physical format for his final project at Sweden’s Umeå Institute of Design (he passed). As you can see in the following video, Spotify Box software lets you set specific songs to be associated with each of a collection of colored discs, each of which has an RFID tag (which emits information to identify itself). Whenever you attach one of these discs to the Spotify Box hardware, it plays those songs — simple.
Despite the finished-looking nature of the Spotify Box, it’s basically a student project at this point. But it’s a neat concept, and one that could take hold as a physical method for playing digital music, for those with a certain ironic sensibility.