Kickin' Kiosk, Mp3 Jukebox




Introduction: Kickin' Kiosk, Mp3 Jukebox

This Kickin' Kiosk will keep the speakers kickin' to everyone's favorite beat. The pulsating lights, good vibrations, ease of use, and familiar look make it a hit at any gathering. Easily select songs from a collection of MP3 music on a classic kiosk style jukebox. Browse through albums with simple arrow keys, make song selections from album and song numbers using a keypad. All of this using standard items such as an old computer, stereo, and some lighting components that anyone can put together with this instructable. Be sure to check out some of the hidden features such as;  it's light weight, wheels, and hidden handles for easy lifting and transporting to the party.
Check it out on YouTube

For this project there are several items that require multiple cuts using a jigsaw, or a scroll saw, and a drill for a pilot holes. Some of which could be completed on a laser cutter if you own one. The audio is provided by an old outdated computer connected to a stereo that has the proper input jacks. The project also contains a variety of brilliant lighting including; LED's, Neon, Florescent Back Lighting for display, Rope Light, and Incandescent Christmas Bulbs to light up the evening and bring the music to life.

Here are the items needed to complete this instructable that will entertain you, your family, and your friends for endless hours, for this is the instructable that keeps on giving.

Materials needed:
Windows XP computer with CD player & audio card with audio out port (standard on many computers)
VGA CRT Monitor or flat screen LCD monitor preferably with an adjustable height.
Keyboard and mouse
Mp3 playing Jukebox Software, I used jukebox simulator ( but other jukebox software could work well also.
Stereo and speakers (with aux. audio in / line in connections)
1- 3' Cable, male mini stereo headphone jack on one end & 2 male RCA phono jacks on other end.
Utility Cart, 33 1/2" High, 24" Wide, by 18" Deep
3- 4'x8' Luan wood sheets
1/4 inch or 1/2 inch square trim, 4' long (to cover seam where wood sides meet curved top)
Wood glue
Hot glue and hot glue gun
Stain, Mahogany (all in one stain & finish recommended)
mirror hanging clamps
2- small hinges
wire strapping (to secure hardware)
3- 8.5 x11" transparency sheets or other thin flexible plastic sheets  (found in craft stores & in packaging)
Spray paint, white
Spray paint, silver or chrome
Spray paint, red
Spray paint, frost
Christmas light string, 20 bulb count.
Rope light, 12'
Sound activated Neon lighting kit (to light music symbols to the beat, automotive lighting)
LED light strip (to light keyboard, automotive lighting)
1- Power strip, 6 outlet or more.
1- Power pack, 12volt 1 amp  (to power Neon automotive light)
Tubing, 1" clear flexible
2 PVC couplers, 1 1/2"
Black cloth material (for speaker grill)
Black plastic material (to cover back of Kiosk)
Painters tape
small nails or brads
Jig saw,
scroll saw or laser cutter
Drywall Screws, course thread 6x 1 1/4"  (or other small screws that are colored dark)
Pin striping tape, red (automobile tape)
4- Old records, real or fake plastic (found in party stores and craft stores)

Step 1: Step 1- Powering the Kickin' Kiosk

The first picture in this step shows the main items I used to create the Kickin' Kiosk. I used an Aiwa NSX-V20 Stereo System that I had lying around because it had a set of auxiliary audio 'in' ports that I needed, but you can use any decent sounding stereo with audio inputs and the watts of power you require to meet your needs. For the computer I used an old HP Pavillion PC that has an audio card and runs Windows XP. Any model or make PC should work, I recommend at least a 350mhz PII with 64MB of RAM and a 16-bit XGA display. (1024 x 768) and you must have a sound card. The first step is to connect the computer audio 'out' port to the stereo audio 'in' ports, then test it by playing an Mp3 using windows media player or a similar audio program on your computer. Most computer audio out ports use a single mini stereo headphone jack and are labelled with an audio symbol and an arrow pointing out from the port. Most stereo audio 'in' ports are two RCA phono jacks labelled auxiliary so you will need a patch cable with a male mini stereo headphone jack on one end and two RCA phono jacks on the other end (shown in the second picture). Connect the patch cable between the stereo and the computer and complete your Mp3 sound test. Remember to check your sound control panel on the computer to make sure the sound output (line out) is turned up, and check your media player volume as well as the stereo volume. Also check your stereo to make sure the proper audio input source is selected, mine needed to be set to Aux. Once you have successfully played an audio file from your computer through your stereo you can move onto the next steps, building the kiosk cabinet.

Step 2: Step 2- Building the Kiosk Cabinet

The Kickin' Kiosk is made of luan wood. Luan is light in weight, inexpensive, and is somewhat like mahogany in grain and look. I used luan wood and a plastic utility cart to keep the kiosk as light as possible so I can easily pick it up and transport the jukebox to a party. The base of the kiosk is a three tier plastic utility cart, the cart is made of hard plastic shelves and legs which makes it easy to screw wood to it for this project. The utility cart is 33 1/2" High, 24" Wide, by 18" Deep and the center shelf is movable to adjust for the height of the PC and stereo components. The first step is to cut the Luan wood into the sides that will be used for the jukebox and screw them onto the cart. For the L & R side panels; cut two 20" tall by 18" wide pieces of luan from one of the 4' X 8' sheets. For the front and back panels; cut two 56" tall by 24" wide pieces from the remaining 4' x 8' sheets. You will need to round off the tops of the front and back panels in the form of an arch by use of a cardboard pattern, compass, or by attaching a string to a nail approx 12" down from the top center then attach a pencil to the other end and follow the arch it creates to mark the area you will cut. Clamp both front and back pieces together and cut the arch with a jig saw through both pieces so they match. Support one of the 18" wide side panels next to the 18" wide side of the utility cart and screw it into the side of the bottom plastic shelf, then to the top plastic shelf using at least 2 to 4 drywall screws per shelf to secure it. Be sure to have the smoother finished side of the luan toward the outside. Repeat the process for the other side and for the front and back panels. Glue some small blocks of scrap wood into the corners where needed to secure the panels together. Gluing and screwing some blocks in along the top edge of the arch on the inside of the front and back panels will help align and secure the upper curved top to the jukebox when we bend it into place later. Mark and cut the opening out of the back panel of your cabinet with a jig saw to allow your equipment to fit in. Mark and cut the opening in the front of the cabinet to match up with your monitors screen size. Be sure to measure correctly from the top edge of the upper cart shelf. My opening was cut to 13 1/4" wide by 10" high and is 5 1/2 inches from the top cart shelf. Cut another opening in the front at the height of the upper shelf (my upper shelf is 29" from the bottom of my wooden front), make the bottom of this opening flush with the upper shelf so the keyboard can lay on it when inserted through opening. Make this opening 17 1/2" wide by 1 3/4" high to hold the computer keyboard later.

Step 3: Step 3- Creating the Arched Top of the Kiosk

To create the arched top of the kiosk you will need to bend an 18" wide by 39 1/2" inch long piece of luan into the curved piece that will meet the top of the sides. I bent mine in place, here is how;  Soak the wood panel in hot water for approx 1-2 hours, or longer, until the wood becomes more pliable.  I placed my panel in the tub to do this and poured boiling hot water over it. Once the wood becomes pliable place it on your cabinet frame by lining it up with the top of one of the sides, secure it by tightly wrapping rope around the top of your frame as shown in the picture. An 18" long block of wood between the rope and panel will put even pressure on the panel to hold it in place. Proceed to pull the panel toward the other side to bend the panel.  Put even pressure on it and go extremely slow to make it conform to the upper arch of the front and back panels. Using too much force will break it, so take your time and expect only very little progress. Light, Steady, and even pressure will eventually produce results. Use the front and back panels as a guide for the curved panel to rest on and bend it along them. Move very slowly using light pressure and do not force it to bend too quickly, it will bend but the results will take along time (approx 1/2 hour). If panel does not bend under light and even pressure put it back into the hot water longer. Continue the slow bend until your panel meets the top of the side panel on the other side. Insert another 18" long block of wood between the rope and panel on this side to hold the curved panel in place. Let the wood dry a couple of hours then glue the seams from the inside. Glue in blocks of scrap wood along seams and corners to hold the panel in place. Let the cabinet dry overnight or longer then remove the rope.

Step 4: Step 4- the Speaker Grill and Keyboard Tray

Measure and cut an opening in the lower front for a speaker grill approximately 17" high by 17 " wide with an arched lower section, the piece that is removed will become the grill. My speaker grill was cut 2" from the bottom of my front wood panel and 11" from the bottom edge of the keyboard opening. Cut a piece of 3/4" ID, 1" OD clear tubing approx. 44" long and slice it along the edge so it can clip onto the grill opening later, fit it now and put it aside for installation after staining the cabinet. Create the keyboard tray by cutting a piece of luan for the tray bottom piece to 18 1/2" Wide by 3 1/2" high and cut another piece for a tray front to 18 1/2" wide by 5 1/2" high. Cut two triangular pieces for the sides that is 4 1/2" on one side and 5" on the other two sides. Glue the two triangular pieces with the 4 1/2" sides toward the cabinet to the left and right side of the keyboard cutout opening in the front of the cabinet. Glue the tray front onto them with the tray bottom underneath it as per the pictures. Use small nails or painters tape to hold them in position. The tray will need to hold the keyboard at a slight angle toward the floor when completed. Use mahogany stain with finish, and stain the entire outside of the cabinet by brushing it on with a paintbrush or with a cloth. Be sure to wear gloves, safety glasses and do this in a well ventilated area free of any open flame or heat sources. I created the grill from the speaker opening cut out from the lower front. You can be as creative as you want here;  I used crisscrossed painters tape to create the outline for the grid opening and used it as a cutting guide, and I penciled in the swirls at the bottom using container lids of the appropriate size. You can make up your own pattern then cut them out with a drill, jig saw, and scroll saw. Glue some small square scrap pieces of luan onto the speaker grill onto each side for tabs that will be used to screw it in into place and fasten it to the inner edge of the speaker opening. Spray the grill with silver or chrome paint and let it dry. Attach black material to the back of speaker grill with hot glue. Clip on the 44" piece of clear tubing, that was sliced open earlier, to the speaker opening in the cabinet and hot glue it on the inside of cabinet. Place a piece of 1/2 half round molding across the top of speaker grill opening and stain it. As shown in pictures; Screw the grill onto the cabinet over the speaker opening from the inside of the cabinet. Glue on part of the 20 bulb Christmas light string to the inside edge of the tubing to light it, leave equal amounts of the leftover lights to the left and right sides to be used to light decorative music symbols that can be cut out later.

Step 5: Step 5- Keypad Control Panel for Song Selection

To make the custom keyboard cover and control panel; Cut a piece of plexiglass large enough to cover your keyboard tray, place it on top of keyboard to make alignment marks with a grease pencil or eyeliner pencil. My plexi keyboard cover was cut to 19" X 5 1/2" . Outline the keypad keys for the areas you will cut out, Mine required the 0-9 keypad keys, the L&R arrow keys, the enter key, and the delete key. Use a drill for pilot holes and a scroll saw for cutting out openings. A laser cutter would work best for this. Drill holes for hinges as per pictures. Mask and tape off areas of the plexiglass cover on the bottom side (side that faces keyboard) for decorations and instruction windows that will be taped or glued in later.  Paint the the bottom side with white spray paint and let dry. Remove tape that protected the areas to be used as windows for instructions and decorations. Glue in instruction sheets and decorations of your choice. I decided to use the look of old style jukebox song listings to fill the empty space, I downloaded them from the internet as a word document and printed them out. I trimmed the edge of the plexiglass cover with automobile pin stripping tape. Bolt the hinges to keyboard control panel cover, bolt cover to cabinet, insert keyboard from inside cabinet and check alignment. It took three tries to get the plexiglass keyboard cover correct due to one that cracked and one that was out of alignment, I suggest measuring well, check all alignment several times, and cut slow and carefully.

Step 6: Step 6- Lighting and Decorations

The lights around the entire front edge of the Kickin' Kiosk are made with 11 feet of 3/4" ID , 1" OD clear tubing and a 12' rope light. They are attached to the cabinet with fishing line every 6 inches via small drilled holes in cabinet and tied inside then fishing line ends were melted slightly to keep it from getting loose. I ran two pieces of the tubing next to each other around the entire cabinet and placed the rope light between them to form a bundle then sprayed the entire length with translucent frost spray paint. You could use a larger diameter single piece of tubing and pour soapy water through it to feed the rope light through it then attach to cabinet but the larger diameter tubing is much more expensive. The rope lights enter the cabinet at the bottom edge through holes drilled into the cabinet and through the plastic legs. I capped the ends of the rope light assembly where they enter the cabinet at the bottom with 2 PVC couplers that were cut open and painted chrome. I penciled in and cut out music symbols on the sides and the top front and glued on plexiglass or thin flexible clear plastic that was frosted with the frost spray paint, then attached the clear plastic to the inside of the cabinet with hot glue. I used the flexible plastic for the side music symbols because they are cut to the exact height of one of the shelves and the plastic flaps open at the top so that you can place your hand inside and grab the shelf for a hidden lifting handle when carrying the Kickin' Kiosk. The sides are lit by the leftover Christmas lights used to light the speaker grill. The front upper ones are lit by an adjustable sound activated light found in an automobile parts store, but you can use any sound activated lights for yours. The keyboard light is another automobile light made of LED's. I used a 12 Volt power pack to power the automotive lights. The music symbol cutouts were painted red and reused on the lower front of the cabinet, and party favor records screwed onto the sides. All lights, power cords and 12 power pack plug into a 6 terminal power strip on the lower shelf, I recommend a circuit breaker, surge protector and GFI on the power strip line to protect your equipment and keep everything safe. I also recommend a small UPS battery backup just in case power fails or a plug is knocked out.

Step 7: Step 7- Installing the Hardware and Software

I placed all of the hardware components onto the cart shelves; First I placed the speakers on the bottom shelf and moved them in front of grill then adjusted the middle shelf until it rested on top of the speakers to hold them in place, then the computer and stereo on the middle shelf,  Then I placed the monitor on top and adjusted it. All the components were clipped or clamped down with metal straps or mirror hanger clips and screws as shown in pictures, this was to prevent movement of components during transportation. The Kickin' Kiosk can be wheeled to where it needs to go and can placed on its back and transported in a vehicle without damage to components. The software I used is called jukebox simulator ( but other jukebox software could work. I chose this software because it most closely resembled an old time jukebox in look and operation and had the features I wanted at a good price (Approx. $25.00 US). The Mp3 music is placed into album folders with their album cover Jpegs. All album folders reside in a main MP3 music folder, all the albums and music can be auto numbered or numbered manually.  It can hold 9,999 albums at 25 tracks per album, has a “vend mode” to accept coins, free play mode, album and song selection by number via the keypad keys, and many more features...   For me it was a perfect choice for the Kickin' Kiosk !

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    5 years ago

    nice ...but not the one for me..very amateur


    I was thinking of going with a bubblier effect using Plexiglass tube, A fish tank air pump and a air stone and air tubing of course. But not all worked just yet LOL


    7 years ago on Step 7

    Hi there!!!! this is WICKED!!!!!! I am dying to have a crack at this...... i'm coming up for 50 now, & for my entire life, I have dreamed of owning a wurlitzer or a rock-ola in this style/shape...... but alas, life just does not allow me to do this.... but I am fairly handy with the tools, & have practically all the 'ingredients' :) ... so it's as close as I'm gonna get to having my own juke.... please would there be any chance of being able to watch your video, & see your baby in action?.. (clicked on the youtube link, and it says that this video is private) I understand though if you'd prefer not to :) thank you for the cool instructable for this KICK-ASS Kickin' Kiosk!!!!!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome Idea but how much did it cost. I have everything in that first picture, but for everything else I'd have to purchase, it seems like quite an investment to me. Still it is a cool project.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    I have seen projects where the keyboard is taken apart and dedicated buttons are attached directly to they keyboard controller instead of using an entire keyboard like MAKE's winamp joystick. Have you considered this?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I could have easily used keyboard, or keypad parts to create a custom controller but there were several reasons I used a complete keyboard the way I did; I wanted to have a hidden full size keyboard at the front of the kiosk for managing my mp3's such as naming songs and album folders ect. And for managing and maintenance of the OS. I only need to flip up the cover to access the full keyboard. I wanted the build to be simplified and I also wanted to incorporate standard components that could be easily replaced in case of failure. I have a duplicate keyboard that fits in the back of my cabinet and it can be swapped out in minutes if needed, I also keep a spare LCD screen. In kickin' kiosk 2.0 I am installing 2 mother boards, 2 power supplies and 2 hard drives mounted in cabinet for redundancy. I have never had a failure but wanted to be prepared for quick and easy component replacement if it were to occur.

    very cool, do you think this could be done with a raspberry pi instead of a dedicated comp?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Using an old PC for this project worked perfect and helped recycle what may have ended up in a landfill, not to mention made my dollar go allot further. With the right programming skills another type of microcomputer board may also work, but the best choice for me was an old windows PC running windows XP. Thanks for the comments.