Musicplayer

What is it?

The name ‘musicplayer’ already gives away it’s purpose, playing music. Now there already are a lot of music players, so why build another one? Simply put, not all musicplayers are equal. They are designed for a particular purpose, e.g. be portable, be expensive and restricted (think Apple), be cheap and play only a few formats, mix with video and don’t implment both well enough to be useful, use of additional hardware such as TV, etc. This one is no different, it’s build to replace a CD player. Attempt to keep the same level of audio quality and ease of using.

Requirements

A quick list from the back of my head. Could probably come up with more if I really put some effort into it.

  • Play FLAC. It’s lossless and should provide an exact copy of the original CD;
  • Play Ogg Vorbis because it’s a nice compromise between lossy compression and quality;
  • Play MP3, because a large part of my music collection comes in this format whether I like it or not;
  • Playback should be simple. Like a normal CD-player, just select a track/playlist and press play;
  • The device must be 100% silent, e.g. using a harddisk is not an option;
  • Use common media for storage, e.g. SD cards. Support at least 32GB, e.g. SDHC.
  • Provide analog and digital output. Analog for legacy connections, digital because the data is already digital and it’s retarded to convert from digital to analog and back again;
  • Do not attempt to store an entire collection. Storage requirements would be too large and navigating tracks a nightmare;
  • Be controllable by remote and on the player itself in case the remote fails;
  • Remote control connection must be compatible with laptop and Pandora. Only option is Bluetooth (WiFi draws too much power);
  • ….

Background

Once upon a time…. err… ┬áIt all started years ago when I still was a little boy and playing with Amigas (well actually it was my 2nd year at university, but really is there a difference?). The Amiga was an amazing piece of technology, but it didn’t have enough power to decode even the crappiest MP3. The year is 1998 and along came Micronas with the MAS 3507D MPEG 1/2 layer 2/3 audio decoder. Hook it up to the parallel port and voila. I started building, but in the end the project was never finished as it took too long and much better options were available by then. Long story short some itches have to be scratched!