the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Creating a timed Android baby music player

Condi task pageMaggie has this weird obsession with listing to old Americana music when she’s going to bed. If Willie’s Roadhouse on SiriusXM is not playing, she’s not sleeping. I’ve tried multiple baby bedtime CDs and they don’t work, the closest thing I’ve come to Willie’s Roadhouse has been a John Denver album.

However, the longer you play an internet radio stream or playlist on shuffle the more likely you are to run your battery down, run across some un-equalized advertisement that screams “wake up sheeple,” or some such. Generally you want to at least turn the music down to a murmur at some point I’d assume.

Now, my setup is a deactivated HTC EVO 3D in airplane mode broadcasting via Bluetooth to a Jabra Solemate Mini and I don’t have to worry too much about the XM playing all night because the service drops you if you’re not there turning the volume up and down every hour.

So what I’m going to create here is a music system that autostarts up at 9pm playing baby music and then turns the volume down later on in the night. This way you can go about your day a planned and much like an awards show, when you hear the music it’s time to rush your baby off stage to the crib.

First off, download Condi from Google Play. Condi is an application that’s like Tasker, but it’s free and it’s what I’m using for the baby stuff here as I feel weird writing about Tasker in two places since the other place pays me.

The Tasks

Our first action will be Volume Control. Crank it up for this particular secion. Hit OK, choose that the trigger is Time. Set the days you’re going to be putting your baby to bed, which is presumably all of them unless you’re raising a party animal, then set the time you want things to get started. For my purposes I set this from 7pm-9pm and then realized I’d written 9pm up top – oh well, you do whatever works for your baby.

Now all we’re setting here is the initial volume levels, and from 7pm-9PM you’re at maximum volume. Our next step is to launch a playlist at 7:01pm. I don’t think there’s any reason you couldn’t start at 7, but I’m cool like that. I give my tasks some space to breathe.

New Task, Music Player Control, choose a playlist to start playing, set the Time condition to start at 7:01 and end at say 3am. This will cause your phone to rock out until 3am if left unstopped. You’ll need to have created a baby playlist before all this, make sure to include some Led Zeppelin as evidently babies dig that jive.

For the next two tasks I just set volume controls from 9-11pm to lower, and from 11-3am to extremely low but still audible.

Jabra Solemate Mini and HTC EVO 3D

At 3am the music ends, and your phone can resume sleeping.

You’ll use significantly less juice, have automated the thing, and have an auditory reminder coming from the baby’s room that it’s time to put your baby to bed.

So, to summarize: 3 tasks to set the volume to lower levels throughout the night, 1 task to launch a playlist. Total setup time ~2 minutes.

Now for me, I’m just changing the volume hourly to keep the SiriusXM app playing, so if this doesn’t quite work with the playlists, let me know.


Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.