I have a software + hardware project that I need some help with. I built an algorithm that finds certain patterns in audio, the system works great, I reproduce the audio using a simple mp3 player + some average speakers. I pretend to sell it, however I can't deliver the mp3 player and the speakers I need to deliver a black box "that just works". So what I was thinking was creating a simple component that would have a micro sd card, plus an integrated mp3 player and some speakers. The problem is my background, I'm a software engineer and I have no idea how to build this. I guess there must be some kind of marketplace for hardware, can someone give me a hint where I can buy this or have someone building it for me ?

Thanks in advance, Ze Maria


closed as not a real question by Kevin Vermeer May 15 '12 at 13:57

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  • \$\begingroup\$ what kind of hardware does the algorithm run on and how is it connected to the mp3 player and speakers? maybe you can do the mp3 decoding on there! \$\endgroup\$ – Stefan Paul Noack May 15 '12 at 11:26

Since MP3 is a patented audio codec, software/hardware that implements the MP3 algorithms has to pay royalties to Fraunhofer. If you roll your own implementation as a product without license from the patent holder, you can be sued by them.

MP3 decoder ICs exist, so it will be a lot simpler (and safer) to just grab yourself an existing solution.

There are two main MP3 decoder ICs out there:

The STA013 runs over I2C and the datasheet is very clear, so it should be relatively easy to use. I've not looked into the VSLI stuff much, but it looks very powerful.


If you want to play PCM audio (wav files), you can do it very easily using an Arduino. Take a look at the PCMAudio library, and the SD library.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your help Polynomial :) The audio is also controlled by me, it doesn't have to be mp3 files, it can be WAV files if it's easier or cheaper to build. \$\endgroup\$ – Ze Maria May 15 '12 at 11:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ WAV files are significantly easier to deal with at a hardware level. They're raw PCM audio, instead of a complex compressed audio format. It's exceedingly simple to implement a WAV player by using a PWM pin as a DAC. \$\endgroup\$ – Polynomial May 15 '12 at 11:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Incorrect, WAV files can be compressed by various means. GSM, G.729, G726, IMA, others..... \$\endgroup\$ – Jason Morgan May 15 '12 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ the VS1005 is a very good chip. I once designed a battery powered MP3 (and WAV, WMA...) player using the VS1005 with an ARM and it worked well. It plays any file from SD and also works as a USB disk. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason Morgan May 15 '12 at 12:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ZeMaria - This site exists to educate you about how to build it yourself. We are not a source of work-for-hire or shopping recommendations. \$\endgroup\$ – Kevin Vermeer May 15 '12 at 13:56

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