About Brad Fortner

Brad Fortner – Developer and Owner Convergence Communications

March Updates To Convergence Jukebox


This month’s updates to Convergence Jukebox (March 2016).

  • A screen has been added that lets users know when the song database is updating and to be patient.
  • Genre file changes are now detected by timestamp generated when genre-flags.txt is changed. This negates the need for the built-in text timestamp in genre-flags.txt file.
  • to negate Convergence Jukebox from crashing when improperly tagged mp3 files are added to the /music subdirectory
    • mp3 files deleted from /music subdirectory if Unicode characters found in their song title ID3 tag.
    • mp3 files deleted from /music subdirectory if Unicode characters found in their artist ID3 tag.
    • mp3 files deleted from /music subdirectory if Unicode characters found in their comment ID3 tag.
    • mp3 files deleted from /music subdirectory if song title ID3 tag found empty
    • mp3 files deleted from /music subdirectory if artist ID3 tag found empty.

The code at the GitHub site, the Windows.exe and Raspberry Pi image have all been updated to include the additions.

Happy Listening


Create Your Own Self Booting “Always On”Raspberry Pi Based Retro Jukebox

jukeboxOne of the things you may wish to do with Convergence Jukebox is create an always on Jukebox to both random play your music and allow you to do credit plays when you feel like listening to a specific song.

Here’s how you set one up using any Raspberry Pi (Version 1 or 2);

  • Next step is to install PuTTy and WinSCP between your Windows Computer and your Raspberry Pi. This will allow you to transfer files between the two computers. An explaination on how to do this can be found at http://bit.ly/1NVLAWP, while a concise video on how to do this can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyNii3UcHPw
  • Download convergencegui.py, convergencejukebox.py, convergeneplayer.py, gui_launch_pi.bat, run_gui_py, jukebox.png, success.mp3 and buzz.mp3 from the Convergence Jukebox GitHub site at https://github.com/bradfortner/convergence_jukeboxUltimately you want to create a /home/pi/python/jukebox subdirectory to house the Convergence Jukebox python software. If you don’t know how to do this it is done by:
    • From your Raspberry Pi’s /home/pi directory create a python subdirectory.
    • From the /home/pi/python directory create a jukebox subdirectory. This is the subdirectory at home/pi/python/jukebox whereconvergencegui.py, convergencejukebox.py, convergeneplayer.py, gui_launch_pi.bat, run_gui_py, jukebox.png, success.mp3 and buzz.mp3 are to be placed. Transfer them…..
    • These three functions can be done using WinSCP on your Windows computer. First create the subdirectories and then make the transfers

WinSCP Transferring Appropriate Files T0 /home/pi/python/jukebox Subdirectory From Windows Computer To Raspberry Pi.

  • Two files require execute permission. They are gui_launch_pi.bat and run_gui_py. You can change their permissions using your Raspberry Pi’s File Manager (as shown below) by;
    • Selecting the folder where the files are located.
    • Right clicking on the file.
    • Select Permissions tab.
    • Changing the execute Access Control to Anyone.

gui_launch_pi.bat and run_gui_py Files permissions must be changed to anyone in order for Convergence Jukebox to operate.


  • Download a zip file containing 79 creative commons mp3’s from http://bit.ly/1nHJCUG. These are mp3 files containing properly formed ID3 tags and will work right out of the box with Convergence Jukebox.
    • When downloaded unzip them in a folder on your Windows Computer
  • To operate, Convergence Jukebox requires Python 2.7 with the following libraries added to it;
    • hsaudiotag – sudo pip install hsaudiotag
    • mpg321 – sudo apt-get install mpg321
    • pillow – sudo pip install pillow
    • ImageTk – sudo apt-get install python-imaging-tk
    • PyRSS2Gen -sudo pip install PyRSS2Gen
  • So the mouse cursor will disappear once your jukebox starts operating install Unclutter – sudo apt-get install unclutter
  • To start jukebox when your Pi is booted, edit the Raspberry Pi’s autostart file by typing sudo nano /home/pi/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart. Add the following two lines of code (above @xscreensaver -no-splash) as shown below;
    • @/usr/bin/python /home/pi/python/jukebox/convergencejukebox.py
    • @lxterminal

Edit autostart found in /home/pi/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/ by adding the two lines as shown above.

  • While in the same file edit and add the following ato the end of the file to disable screen blanking;
    • place a # in front of the @xscreensaver -no-splash
    • @xset s off
    • @xset -dpms
    • @xset s noblank
    • save and exit the file

Final edit to autostart file found in /home/pi/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi subdirectory

  • Reboot your Raspberry Pi.

Screenshot Showing First Boot Of Convergence Jukebox. On First Boot It Stops And Asks For You To Transfer At Least Fifty MP3’s Into Its /home/pi/python/jukebox/music Subdirectory.

  • If all was done correctly your Raspberry Pi should reboot and Convergence Jukebox will stop (as shown above) asking you to add mp3’s to it’s music directory.
  • Unzip the zip file that you downloaded earlier containing the 79 creative commons mp3’s into a folder on your Windows computer.
    • Using WinSCP transfer the 79 songs from the folder on your Windows computer to the /home/pi/python/jukebox/music subdirectory on your Raspberry Pi.

Using WinSCP transfer the Creative Commons mp3’s downloaded earlier from your Windows computer to /home/pi/python/jukebox/music subdirectory on your Raspberry Pi.

  • Reboot your Raspberry Pi

It will take up to 3 minutes for Convergence Jukebox to create a database of the 79 songs in its music directory and once done the GUI will appear and the Jukebox will start playing them randomly.



Convergence Jukebox Downloads

Convergence Jukebox 2

Convergence Jukebox 2 is the latest version being developed. It builds upon the original Convergence Jukebox Code Base. It can be downloaded from it’s Github page. As it’s in development refer to the readme on the page for instruction on how to run it.

Convergence Jukebox For Raspberry Pi

This is a self booting working version of Convergence Jukebox .img file for Raspberry Pi computers built on Raspian Wheezy for an 8 gig SD card. Once downloaded unzip the file then burn the convergencejukeboxpi.img file onto an 8 gig SD card in the same manner you would write an operating system to an SD card (https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/). Once completed boot it on your Pi.

Download Convergence Jukebox .img File For 8gig SD Card

Convergence Jukebox For Windows

This is as a self extracting winzip file that does not require you to have Python 2.7 installed your Windows computer. If you’re unfamiliar on how how to install this package refer to the Frequently Asked Questions – Convergence Jukebox Version 0.4 guide at bit.ly/1THJvD9

Download Convergence Jukebox For Windows v0.4.exe

Convergence Jukebox GitHub Site

This is the home base for the Convergence Jukebox source code written in Python. You can download source or fork projects from this site. For more information you can consult the Convergence Jukebox FAQ at bit.ly/1THJvD9 or www.convergencejukebox.com.

Go To Convergence Jukebox GitHub Site

Convergence Jukebox Windows EXE Now In Testing


Update: The strange looking image above is of a test of a working Convergence Jukebox Windows executable operating simultaneously on six differnt windows computers. They range from computers with Intel ATOM cpu’s through to Intel i7’s. The software setup was consistent on all six windows computers that I tested the executable on. They range from windows 7 to 10 computers some with no Python installed on them. This is a screenshot of my monitoring setup.

The problem I was having (for the last three days) was in the exe version the screen was not updating as the songs changed. The music kept playing but the screen updater was flaky once converted to an executable. It seems to be working consistently now. I switched from the cz_freeze to the py2exe software and py2exe appears to have done the job.

Even though my last post indicated I was putting the windows executable aside, I decided to persevere and I finally had success. The release, which I expect to be within the next seven days will work on Windows computers without Python installed. I am working on this release pretty much full time. One good thing that came out of this was that some features were added including a whole bunch of dropbox integration……


December 26 Update – Trying to make a Windows Executable for Convergence Jukebox

I’m going to switch gears away from trying to create a windows executable for Convergence Jukebox for a while. I’ve worked extensively on trying to create windows executables for the two main programs that make up convergence jukebox… Painful. I consulted the official Python Distribution Utilities page looking for answers but didn’t find anything that looked like it would work without spending a lot of time.


I’ve tried py2exe and I can’t find a way to trace the problem with the GUI program. Even worse after ensuring I had the most up to date python versions and installing them onto my development machines, py2exe won’t pip install into my 2.7 version of Python. It keeps wanting to install the python 3 version?!?


I’ve tried pyinstaller but it won’t include Tkinter in the executable because of some undocumented problem between PIL and FixTK?!?


This afternoon I tried cx_freeze and finally got the GUI  going for the first time but then ran into problems getting the Convergence Jukebox player engine going. Creating Windows executables with the tools available can be a real challenge in a complex program.

There are suggestions on the net to try Inno Setup or something else called bbfreeze but this looks to me like this can get really complex and could easily take a week to sort out. So I’m going to steer the ship towards posting working python code only. Windows users will have to install Python 2.7 code on their computers if they want to use it. Perhaps I can get back to it another day or someone in the community picks it up as a project in the future.

Still working on posting this code….. I haven’t gone away…


Delays With Convergence Jukebox

I’ve made some progress in my efforts to release the Convergence Jukebox code over the past few days. Given that it’s Christmas time there are a lot of family events but plenty of open spots where I can work on the codes release.

Over the past day or so I’ve managed to figure out GIT and GitHub enough so I can post the code. I’ve also modified the code by adding the licence information, creating a break in the program so users can add MP3’s to the appropriate music directory so it will work on its second boot and I’m in the process of building some exe’s to make its installation on windows as simple as possible.


In running both pyinstaller and py2exe to create those exe’s I’ve run into a snag (shown above). My latest thinking at the time of this post is that it’s being caused because the windows executable is looking for the graphic that’s not being added to the compile. As a result the exe crashes at the point it looks for the graphic. I’ve found what I believe are the appropriate references for pyinstaller but it’s going to take me some time to figure it out…. So all I can say is I’m working on it as best I can…

Stay tuned…..

Convergence Jukebox Now Ported To Raspberry Pi

Originally Posted at ….brads blog…. on by Brad Fortner | Edit

It’s Done….

It took me almost a year to complete my current project. Some months ago I started a project to create a Jukebox for myself capable of playing my mp3’s. Today mp3 jukeboxes are a dime a dozen but I wanted one that would mimic a 1950’s jukebox employing a mechanical controls (of a type) and be coin operable. Initially I tried using two readily available programs DWJukkebox and Arcade Jukebox 8 (AJ8). I ultimately tried Arcade Jukebox 8 –I could not get DW Jukebox working with a coin machine– but with the development of AJ8 closed some years ago and no documentation I was limited to customizing it with external programs like AutoHotKey in the Windows OS environment.

Last summer I decided to write my own Jukebox –with the features I wanted– from scratch using Python. I chose Python because I was told it was easy to learn and it’s cross platform. I did the initial development on Windows and placed a fully functioning Windows OS Convergence Jukebox beta version in the field within the last two weeks. Convergence Jukebox 1.0 contains the following features.

  1. No limit to the number of MP3’s in its library.
  2. Display of 16 songs on each Jukebox screen featuring both title and artist. The GUI was created using TK.
  3. Clear indication of current song title/artist at the top of the Jukebox Display
  4. Ability to search song selection by Artist or Title.
  5. Ability to jump between letters of the alphabet during song search
  6. A side status screen that displays sort mode, information on song playing (title, artist, year released, song length and album/release information), up to 18 upcoming song selections, credits, cost barker line and number of songs available on the jukebox.
  7. Integration with a  Weavefuture Coin Acceptor AK5 System via a Weavefuture USB  Jukebox Interface Board
  8. An X-keys® XK-24 Programmable Keypad to operate the Jukebox
  9. A log that monitors and records when the Jukebox is turned on, the playing random, skipped and user selected songs.
  10. Remote maintenance access employing LogMeIn.

Today I managed to complete the initial port of the python software to my Raspberry Pi. It only took me about four hours total to configure the code for the Pi version. Primarily it involved changing the code slightly to accommodate the mpg321 mp3 player and changing the filepaths between the Windows OS and Raspian Wheezy OS.

Here is how the initial port looks on the Raspberry Pi;


The Raspberry Pi Tkinter GUI (shown above) had no problem duplicating the look and feel of the Python code developed on a Windows 7 PC.

Here is how the Programmable Keypad Interface Design for the X-keys® XK-24 Programmable Keypad; to the Windows OS Jukebox looks;


Some Notes…

OK. Here is my recipe for working with Python on my Raspberry Pi and ensuring proper set-up with a USB soundcard.

1.  First follow my previous blog post Back In The Raspberry Pi Business Today. Starting To Port My Python Based Jukebox To Wheezy to set up a remote desktop.

2. Install WinSCP on windows machine for file transfers and Putty to the Pi. http://winscp.net/

3. Using WinSCP create a python folder in the /home/pi directory. This is where python projects go.

4. Using WinSCP create a folder (my current project) in the /home/pi/python directory. This will be the folder for my current project.

5. Install pip. https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pip

6. Install idlex. sudo pip install idlex http://sourceforge.net/projects/idlex/

7. Install mpg321. sudo apt-get install mpg321 http://mpg321.sourceforge.net/

8. Install hsaudiotag sudo pip install hsaudiotag. https://pypi.python.org/pypi/hsaudiotag

9. Install Python Imaging Library. sudo apt-get install python-imaging http://www.pythonware.com/products/pil/

10. sudo apt-get install python-imaging-tk.  sudo apt-get install python-imaging-tk http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=7758&p=94280

11. Setup the USB soundcard by following instructions at http://learn.adafruit.com/usb-audio-cards-with-a-raspberry-pi/instructions Start at Updating alsa options on that page.


Convergence Jukebox Current Release Features

Convergence Jukebox 2, along with its Python Code, has been released at its Github site. Here is what it does.

Convergence Jukebox Skin Customization

Convergence Jukebox Early Beta Version Showing Customized Jukebox Skin

To accommodate its “retro” look and feel, Convergence Jukebox is not a touchscreen solution. It doesn’t use a full or popup keyboard and it doesn’t act like modern touchscreen jukeboxes where album covers, advertising and barker screens are baked into its design. That said, all of those features could easily be added to Convergence Jukebox’s code base by those with a desire and knowledge of Python coding techniques.

Features included in the initial release of Convergence Jukebox are quite extensive and are as follows;

  • Unlimited mp3 library size: Currently operating in our development centre is a version containing 15,000 mp3 files. This implementation runs on minimum hardware. In this case it’s an HP MINI 210 PC that contains an Atom N450 processor, 1024 MB of memory and a ‎160.0 GB hard drive. For Raspberry Pi we’re operating the original Convergence Jukebox containing 9400 mp3 files on Raspberry Pi 1 model B revision 2 with 512 MB ram, a Raspberry Pi 2 and a Raspberry Pi Zero employing a ‎64.0 GB SD card.
  • Automatic Song Detection: MP3 library database is built automatically when additional properly formed ID3 tagged files are added to the media folder and the program is restarted.
  • Multiple Display Resolutions: Developers can change display resolution, skins and customize all items on the screen (such as song name positions) using Pythons Tkinter code.
  • Customizable To Your Location: The Jukebox name or service at top of arch can be customized in the Python Tkinter code.
  • Background Music System: Convergence Jukebox plays library loaded in Jukebox in a continuous manner randomly. Makes an excellent background music system.
    • Different Styles Of Music: mp3’s can be tagged with genres in comment area of ID3 tag. Random play can be set to play specific genres by altering a simple text file.
    • Songs Can Be Skipped: mp3’s can be tagged “norandom” meaning they will never play randomly. This means mp3’s with potentially unsuitable content can only be played if selected.
    • Avoids Repeating The Same Songs Continuously: mp3’s on the random list are only played once during a random play cycle.
    • Automatic Resetting Of Random List: Convergence Jukebox resets the random list when the software is rebooted or all selections in the jukebox have been played once randomly.
  • Clearly Identified Songs: While song is playing, song title and artist are displayed prominently under the Jukebox arch on the display.
    • More detailed song information is displayed in the green display (top left) that includes year released, song length and album name pulled from the mp3 id3 tags.
  • Convergence Jukebox plays user selected songs (paid) as a priority: When selected songs are listed in order of selection under the Upcoming Selections heading in the status area.
    • Users cannot select the same song if it’s on the Upcoming Selections list. This eliminates the same song from being played repeatedly.
    • Songs played via selection are removed from the random playlist. This eliminates the same song from being played repeatedly.
    • Random play resumes once user selected songs have completed playing.
  • Number of Credits, cost per credit and the number of songs available in the library are clearly displayed (and editable in the Python code) at the bottom left of the green screen .
  • Users can navigate through available music using up/down/left/right navigation keys.
  • Users can navigate through music selecting songs by either Title or Artist.
  • Users can navigate to the alphabetical start of either Artist or Title using specific letter keys that employ multiple keypresses.
  • A log is kept of each song played randomly, each song paid to play, when the Jukebox is rebooted, when songs are added and when a new random list is generated.
  • Python code has been written for is included in Convergence Jukebox that’s not been documented in the released version that talks to the Dropbox folder to providing RSS feeds for digital signage systems. as well as It is possible to include code to create tweets to Twitter accounts making the jukebox useful as a global barker system.
ConvergenceJukeboxOn Windows10Laptop

Software Operating On A Windows Based Laptop (with Python installed) Summer 2015


Convergence Jukebox 2’s Kivy Based Gui Released May 2017