It will play .wav and .mp3 files from a Micro SD Card. The memory card can be written through USB (its an in-board unit). It will have a LCD screen to show the contents and functions like next, pause, previous, volume control and so on. Obviously, these functions can be remotely operated too.

I am familiar with PIC MCUs but being a beginner I have difficulties in deciding which MCU is enough for the job.

Should I go for a PIC32 or dsPIC? I'd appreciate all suggestions regarding this project.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Some of the new series of the pic32 have a 0.5ma per mhz power use, which is about 1/3 of the dsPIC. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 26, 2014 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


The dsPIC seems to be not powerful enought to play an mp3, although you can use a dedicated chip to decode and the dsPIC to play the music and read the file on the SD card. A tutorial on a similar project can be seen at http://www.uchobby.com/index.php/2008/07/21/dspic-wav-player/

Microchip themselves have an application note on how to port Helix MP3 decoder to PIC32, (AN1367: http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1824&appnote=en551513) so that may be the natural choice.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Definitely, use a separate MP3 decoder. You will have enough to do with dealing with the SD-card and file-system and USB. \$\endgroup\$
    – user1844
    Nov 9, 2010 at 12:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Another reason to use a separate decoder is that if you choose to use the Helix MP3 decoder, you still have to pay royalties (min $15,000 US/year!) to use the format - See mp3licensing.com/royalty/hardware.html. For this reason, an external chip (such as those made by VLSI), with that fee paid by the IC manufacturer and distributed across all of their ICs is a nice option that keeps you out of legal trouble. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2010 at 19:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ this one seems pretty ubiquitous vlsi.fi/en/products/vs1003.html (from VLSI as reemrevnivek said) \$\endgroup\$
    – J.P.Wack
    Nov 9, 2010 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reemrevnivek The link you posted is not accessible \$\endgroup\$
    – V V Rao
    Nov 10, 2010 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vicky Rao, works for me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Nov 10, 2010 at 5:21

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