Introduction: Podcoasters: NFC Fridge Magnets for Loading Your Favourite Shows

About: I like to make things.

In my house we love listening to podcasts - particularly while working in the kitchen.

Trying to decide what to listen to can be a bit challenging though. It can be a bit hard to remember which ones we've listened to most recently, and whether there are any new ones we particularly liked.

To help us with our decision making and to make loading podcasts quick and easy, we created Podcoasters - fridge magnet representations of our favourite shows. These tiles are each equipped with an NFC sticker, allowing us to load the corresponding podcast by simply placing our phone near it. .

This is among the easiest projects I've ever made, but also the most useful.

We use these guys almost every single day. We prefer it to using a podcast app because it makes collaborative decision making easier (we can both easily see our podcast list, which facilitates discussion), and we don't have to dig into our phone apps to load the shows.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • Thick Cardstock
  • NFC Stickers (I ordered mine here, they cost approximately $8 US for 12)
  • Watercolor Paint
  • Magnets (I recycled mine from an old fridge magnet)
  • Paintbrush
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • X-ACTO Knife

Note: You will also need a smartphone that can read NFC tags. We have no trouble with our Android phones; however, I understand that many Apple products do not have this capability (looks like this might be changing with iOS12 though)

Step 2: Cut Out the Tiles

To make the tiles easy to scan I made them the same size as my phone. I recommend using a thick cardstock so they are durable - we move ours around a lot.

Step 3: ​ Paint Tiles and Add the RFID Sticker

Instead of labeling the tiles, I painted them with colors corresponding to each podcast. For example. Red & Dark Red match the colour scheme for BBC Global News Podcast. We only have a handful at the moment so it's easy to keep track of them. One of these cards is a "wildcard", which we reprogram every few weeks depending on whatever longform podcast we are listening to (PS: I recommend Finding Cleo). The NFC stickers are very easy to program/reprogram as needed.

Step 4: Glue Magnets to the Back

Use hot glue to secure the magnets to the back of the tiles.

Step 5: ​Program NFC Sticker

Download an NFC programming app like NXP TagWriter. Click "Write Tags", choose "create a new dataset", and select "Link." Fill in the URL for the podcast's recent episodes page. Once you click "Save and Write", you simply need to place it next to the NFC sticker. It should play a noise to confirm the tag has been successfully programmed.

Next time you place your phone on the NFC tag, it will open the default browser to the URL you programmed in.

Step 6: All Done!

You now have an easy way to remember and load your favourite podcasts. They look super cool too! Stick them on your fridge and tune in!

PS: Do you have any favourite podcast recommendations? I would love to hear them!

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