A Clever New Way to Play Records

3c8017d58837b3a633a260de50c535e5_originalYou’re looking at a very clever approach to playing LPs. No turntable required. Just place the LP on a flat surface, and the RokBlock will drive itself along the grooves. Totally busts any expectation about what a record player ought to be. Use it anywhere!

So here’s the deal. This is an active Kickstarter campaign–they have already met their goal. The RokBlock contains amplification and loudspeakers, so this is all you need. Of course, you can use the built-in Bluetooth to send the sound over to any Bluetooth device–a headphone, a better wireless speaker, even your high-end stereo system.

No, this won’t sound anything as good as a proper sound system, but most people don’t want / cannot afford / could care less about being an audio phone. Most people just want to have some fun and listen to some music. Anywhere. And now there’s a way to do that.

If you want one, the best available KickStarter deal costs $79–that’s still 20% off of the expected $99 retail price. But you, like anyone who orders, will have to wait until September 2017 before the box arrives.

There’s a rechargeable battery that lasts about 4 hours. You can play 33 and 45 rpm records (but not 78s rpm).

It’s a cute gimmick, a clever example of creative thinking in action. Without one in my hands, it’s tough to imagine the sound quality. I’m sure it’s no worse than an old record player, and my guess is that this will sound better than those early devices.

What Kickstarter Has Kickstarted


If the graphic appears a bit fuzzy, visit the Fast Company site for the article, scroll down, and click on the yellow-and-black infographic. You can magnify the infographic on their site, but nowhere else.

I missed this Fast Company article when it was published in April. Most useful was the infographic. In it, I learned:

  • Among creators, film and video is the most popular type of Kickstarter project, but this category ranks second among backers, and sixth in the list of successes.
  • The category most likely to be funded: projects related to dance (but there aren’t many of them, and there aren’t many people who back dance). Theater projects come in second,  music in third, and and art in fourth. Both music and art are strong in terms of number of projects, and also, in terms of their success rate, ranking fourth and fifth on the list.
  • There are lots of game projects, and lots of people who back game projects, but in terms of project success, odds are not so good. Still, games have generated more revenue than any other category.
  • Video matters. More than four out of five Kickstarter projects are pitched with a video.
  • For the past several years (that is, for as long as Kickstarter has been around), just over 2 in 5 projects are successfully funded.

There’s much more in the article.

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