Skip to main content

A Redditor recreated the iPod's Cover Flow with NFC and a sprinkling of magic

iPod
iPod (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • A Redditor used Shortcuts to recreate Cover Flow.
  • They used physical cards and NFC to create a digital jukebox.
  • The NFC triggers a shortcut that launches Apple Music.

I'm old enough to remember when Cover Flow was an amazing addition to the way we browsed and listened to music. So the thought of using physical NFC cards with gorgeous art on them to play music via Shortcuts sounds awesome. And it's even better in action.

Redditor nfabula did all the hard work and I'm so glad they did. They shared a video that shows the whole thing in action, but it boils down to this:

  1. Tap an NFC card against an iPhone. That card has album artwork so you know what it's going to play.
  2. The NFC reading triggers Shortcuts which in turn opens Apple Music, ready to play the exact album printed on the card.
  3. You watch in awe as the physical world turns digital.

Sure, none of this is particularly groundbreaking and anyone can do it. But the fact someone did do it and that they took the time to create great-looking cards still warms the heart.

Check the video out and see for yourself!

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.