Re: [uCsimm] MP3's

Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 03:14:46 EDT

On Thu, 4 May 2000, Keith Christopher wrote:

> > I will however agree that some people use too much muscle where something
> > smaller would be just fine. Example: the empeg car MP3 player. It uses a
> > Pentium-class CPU, when Micronas MP3 decoder chips cost $20-$25 _in
> > quantities of one_! Meanwhile, someone else has built a PIC-based MP3 player
> > that wraps around a hard drive. I'm not sure it has a display. It is
> > controlled through six buttons (fwd, back, prev, next, stop, play). I forget
> > what it's called though.
> >
> I agree RE the Micronas decoder issue, I think the empeg was designed
> when this was not available.

Going with a decoder chip would have been death in the long-term. When
MPEG audio layer 4 takes over, hardwired decoder chip solutions will
be obsolete.

The Empeg is nominally consumer-oriented, an upgrade path to any digital
music format that might become popular (whether defined by the MPEG
consortium or otherwise) is needed.

Such generality requires a programmable chip. Going with a Pentium-class
CPU, and Linux is a good choice because by the time some new music
format is popular enough to warrant an official upgrade, chances are
that some hacker will have coded a player and released it GPL.

Michael J. Graffam (

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