Orpheus, the MP3 player


Do you like MP3s?

I do.

I like having all my CDs available at a click on my keyboard, building playlists, being able to hear hours of music without ever having to change a CD and actually without walking to the dining room where my CDs are located.

What I do not like about listening to MP3s is that my computer must be on to play them. My main computer (which makes the music) is quite large, and eight fans keep it cool but also make it quite noisy. I also do not like the quality of sound it generates. The speakers attached to it are not that bad (they even have a separate subwoofer), but the stereo in the living room sounds much better, which brings me to the next point. I do not want to have to sit at my desk to listen to music. I want to sit comfortably in the living room on the sofa, cuddling someone.

The solution for this dilemma is obviously attaching a MP3 player to the stereo in the living room.
Commercially available systems are either way too expensive, uncomfortable to use, ugly or all of these, so they are not an option. Hooking up a computer with soundcard is also ugly and noisy and very un-optionish.

So the idea is to build a MP3 player, which must (as I want to do it myself and have no clue of higher technology) be a computer, but may not look like one, and, as far as possible, may not act like a computer. This will be achieved by putting a PC system into a CD player case, including an LCD display, a CD-ROM drive, hook up the CD player front keys to the PC, attach it to my internal network and have it output sound signals to the stereo.
These project pages will show that this is possible and how I solve the problem.


Photo of the SBC's internals Photo of the bare keyboard controller

These are the parts involved in building the machine. As soon as I have more information on these parts, I will link dedicated pages for them here.


Just for future reference:

Embedded PC 620 EUR
CF card 89 EUR
Old CD player case 20 EUR
Keyboard 5 EUR
Optrex Display 25 EUR
OSS license 37 EUR