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Author Topic: Alternative hardware interfaces for cheap mp3 players  (Read 3162 times)

Brennan Young

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Alternative hardware interfaces for cheap mp3 players
« on: July 22, 2006, 03:55:30 PM »

Hi there, I just joined this forum.

I guess a lot of you think this is just an idle pusuit, but in my case it's actually quite a serious matter. I have a handicapped daughter who LOVES noisy electronic toys. The wackier the better, although for the sake of the adults in earshot, certain modifications may be necessary (e.g. a tamperproof volume control, or droolproofing the contacts)

What I want to do is hack a cheap mp3 player such that it has several buttons on (perhaps the carcass of one of her broken electronic organs) such that each button (or key) starts a different mp3 file. This will necessarily be a single voice device. I also want to replace the AAA battery with a B or a C so that it lasts longer. Electronically that's a trivial job, but I have to find a case/chassis that can cope with its size and weight.

The device should be fairly robust, so that it can stand a fall from a wheelchair to a concrete floor. I suppose this is a matter of padding.

Finally I want to make sure there's a little built in amplification, because mp3 players are designed for headphones. Once again, I hope to pilfer one from an existing toy, but I am unsure where to start, or whether it's even possible. I know I can buy an amplifier, but I was hoping to use some existing junk I have.

I think this should be doable, but the problems I anticipate are:
 
1) Components being far too fiddly for my big manly fingers.

2) Current buttons are for 'next song' and 'previous song', and they double as volume controls (gaaah!) not sure if it's possible to make a series of 'song X'  buttons

Does this sound like a crazy idea? Any tips, ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated. Has anyone else done this?
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Re: Alternative hardware interfaces for cheap mp3 players
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2006, 02:37:19 PM »

not sure if this will be any help but you might want to get into contact with http://www.oneswitch.org.uk who do a lot of stuff for disabled kids along these lines. We were discussing building sampler units along the lines of the texas instrument Vocaid with them a while back.

I think that having separate buttons for each track would involve somehow hacking the players software (or firmware?) which is never going to be easy.
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i am not paid to listen to this drivel, you are a terminal fool