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Storage & Encoding Independent Audio Player

Any storage medium and any encoding format
 
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,
against]

It seems silly to continue the MP3 vs AAC vs HD vs CF etc etc etc argument. Bits are just bits after all - we need somewhere to store them and a decoder/encoder to play them back.

This device has no internal media storage, just an embedded CPU with a standard filesystem controller, an LCD, a high- spec ADA and headphone amp, and a USB *host* port - ie like the one on the computer.

You can plug any USB storage device into the player - say you start off with a cheap 128 meg USB keydrive, then later you could add an external USB hard drive, a USB flash card reader, CDROM or whatever your heart desires.

The storage device is plugged into your PC as a standard external drive, and files are transferred as you would to any drive.

One file on the drive contains the instructions for encoding the format of the media files - MP3, Ogg, AAC, WAV, AIFF, Mpeg-4, whatever. In fact, files in different formats could be stored together, with a standard DOS/Unix file extension which identifies the format. Whenever required, the device loads the decoder into a small onboard flash RAM. A little more RAM could be set aside as a playback buffer.

A set of standard clamps to attach the device to a range of storage boxen and a short USB-USB stub should take care of the aesthetic and portability factors.

With a USB hub and a smart enough filesystem controller, you could attach multiple storage device simultaneously, so you can transfer files from CF card to hard drive.

Hell, use an open-source language for the encoding instructions and let people write their own firmware for it.

BunsenHoneydew, Dec 31 2003

Terapin mine http://www.linuxdev...s/AT7443334424.html
Pretty close... and wireless capable [BunsenHoneydew, Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       (+) for the paragraph breaks.
normzone, Dec 31 2003
  

       You'll end up paying a lot for the rights to all of the compression formats (try getting the rights for a RealAudio encoder/decoder- bastards ([jutta], feel free to delete this if they file a lawsuit over this comment)). </rant>   

       + for the idea anyway.
Worldgineer, Dec 31 2003
  

       <pedant>sp: independent</pedant>
friendlyfire, Dec 31 2003
  

       "...a standard filesystem controller..."
What's that?
  

       "You can plug any USB storage device into the player..."
How does the player know how to talk to the device?
  

       "One file on the drive contains the instructions for encoding the format of the media files..."
How does the player know how to find/read this file?
phoenix, Dec 31 2003
  

       man i just like your name. breadage for the muppets reference.
Space-Pope, Dec 31 2003
  

       [phoenix] <"...a standard filesystem controller..." What's that?>   

       Presumably FAT-32 or whatever WinDOS standard the $45 CD MP3 players are talking these days.      

       <How does the player know how to talk to the device?>   

       USB mass storage is standardised, so one driver should be sufficient. How do you think your PC can boot from a keydrive?      

       <"One file on the drive contains the instructions for encoding the format of the media files...">   

       I guess you'd call that a codec...   

       <How does the player know how to find/read this file?>   

       Same way your PC knows how to start Windows - the codec would have to be stored at the top level of the directory hierarchy and given a standard name or file extension. Like ogg.cdc for example.   

       I"m not suggesting the device be completely dumb - obviously it needs a very basic OS or bootloader to perform the functions you mention. I just thought that'd be stating the obvious ....   

       [Worldgineer] That's true, so I guess we stick with the free codecs - there are plenty of them. And we only need the playback codec, not the encoding one. Never seen a portable Realplayer anyway.
BunsenHoneydew, Jan 03 2004
  
      
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