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Embedded music player

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by arnaud, Oct 13, 2014.

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  1. arnaud


    Oct 13, 2014
    Hello everyone,

    I'm willing to build a small music player with speakers being able to play a few songs (uncompressed like WAV). I'm trying to really optimize the price, so I would like to reach something for about 15$ (hardware only).

    I've been looking around and saw a that a few persons already built some with arduino. So my plan is to try with an arduino and then use the same avr microcontroller (mc) to make my own board. My problems and questions are the following:

    -Is it possible/easy to play 16 bits music on a 8 bits mc? I tried to convert my file into mono 8 bits 16kbs, the quality is let's say good enough but the problem is a background noise coming from the 8 bits conversion. Maybe if I record the sound directly in 8 bits? Maybe should I go for a 16 bits mc? then what would be a good solution for prototyping?

    -For the memory I will use a sd card (minimum size like 1-2 gb), then I guess I need to have enough buffer flash memory with my mc ? Anyone knows how to compute or evaluate it?

    I hope that this thread will interest people and am really looking forward reading your suggestion/responses :):).

  2. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    There are all the files available to recreate this little guy.
    Perhaps you can get a better understanding of requirements by looking at them?

    Are you after an SD card simply because of the ease of changing the audio? You could also store the audio in flash that would be present on your circuit board.
  3. arnaud


    Oct 13, 2014
    No I dont absolutely need an SD card as audio files should not be changed often and I need maybe 50 MB. What can of flash would you use, is it cheaper than a sd card?

    For the arduino shield, I actually don't really need to decode mp3 as I can simply use raw file but it can indeed help me find what I need.

    I saw this really simple guy based on a 8 pin avr mc, what do you think about it?


  4. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    There are dsPIC processors with an Audio DAC built in. This is really quite a capable processor for audio, though it got panned by people who had no clue how to use it, I can testify it does work well.

    The dsPIC33FJ64GP804, costing $5.00 single quantity, has a stereo 16-bit Audio DAC. The DAC oversamples at 256x and needs no filtering on the output. Add a 1GB SD card for a few bucks and you would have about 90 minutes of CD quality sound.

    KrisBlueNZ and Gryd3 like this.
  5. Gryd3


    Jun 25, 2014
    50 MB will depend on the bitrate of your audio.
    Here is another sample project that uses some less expensive hardware that does not need to do any decoding.

    The reason I had asked about the SD card is the reading the card and loading a block from a FAT file system can use a bit of memory.
    Perhaps other file systems can be experimented with, or other Flash chips.
    Aside from the two links I shared, I am sorry in that I have not done any audio projects, and can't help out much further with the details other than generic ideas...
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