Way back in the day (2001) Turtle Beach released an amazing little device known as the AudioTron. It is a network audio player. It connected to a network share, read a "songlist" file on that share, and was able to play MP3s or Internet radio stations over the network. While not the greatest thing since sliced bread, it was designed to work in a stereo rack and was designed to fit nicely in 1U of space. It had a huge easy to read 2 line LED display, a remote, and could be accessed and controlled via a built in web interface.
I was fortunate to get my hands on one for free back in 2003 and I loved it. It looked amazing in my (long gone) stereo rack and was great for playing tunes while I fixed a laptop. Turtle Beach stopped production of this device in 2004. The teeming masses that are the internet continued with some hacks to allow the AT to work even after support stopped, but nothing new since about 2011. I am rebuilding my stereo rack and would like to add a device with similar functionality. There are other comperable devices on the market, but we are MAKERS here . Enter the Raspberry Pi. A company known as HiFiBerry has developed a Pi hat soundcard that adds high-end audio capabilities to the RasPi.
My challenge to you is to revive the AudioTron using the RasPi. It should be compatible with 19" stereo racks, have a nice web interface, be able to play the popular audio formats, and include front panel controls, an LCD display, and if you have time, a remote. The 19" rack design should give you LOTS of space inside for anything else that may be added.
Also, there is a network audio player focused Linux distro made for the RasPi already, which should save much work on the brains of this project: https://volumio.org/
Check out the HiFiBerry at https://www.hifiberry.com/. Some info on the AudioTron can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AudioTron. I can even send you my AudioTron for research purposes if you want, I would want it back eventually tho . I look forward to seeing what you and your team can come up with should you decide to use this idea for a future show. I've been a fan since I first found the Ben Heck website back in 2003 and saw your portabalized game system projects. Thanks, and keep up the good work!!