The man who built his own MP3 player

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Have you ever walked into an electronics store and wondered, “I wonder if I could build my own MP3 player”? Probably not. You may be tech savvy and even able to program your VCR, but have no real idea where to start. Well, ZDNet pagalworld has found the anomaly in our midst. For most of us, building a portable MP3 player is next to impossible. For a man, though, it’s like playing with LEGO.

The main obstacle is that there are no technical resources available to answer common questions about equipment and technology. At least your VCR comes with instructions that demystify the remote.

Takeshi Hamamatsu set out to solve this problem.

 His website for him contains specific instructions on how to compile the proper materials and build your own MP3 player.

Why would anyone take on such a task, one that could only benefit people with too much time on their hands? “Designing and building electronic devices, like an MP3 player, is my hobby,” Akamatsu said. “The MP3 player project is one of my attempts.”

Typically, a handmade device will cost significantly

more than those available for retail sale. Think of assembling a car with the parts you bought. Similarly, a complete MP3 player costs less than the sum of its tracks. But Akamatsu couldn’t care less. “Yes, the MP3 player (that you build) will be more expensive than any other cheap MP3 player,” he said. “However, the important thing is to build my own work, not the cost.”

Akamatsu said its site is a valuable resource for MP3 makers,

 as visitors only need “experience with embedded microcontroller system design to understand the instructions.” Unfortunately, most normal people don’t have any. Also, if you are not familiar with embedded microsystems design, there are no “Embedded Microcontroller Systems for Dummies” or “Learn Embedded Microcontroller Systems in Under 12 Minutes” texts to refer to. The fatigue is almost oppressive.

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How did Akamatsu figure out how to build your own MP3 player?

 “One day I found and bought the chipset for an MP3 player at a parts store in Akihabara, Tokyo,” he said. “In the beginning, I was planning to do an experiment with MP3 decoding. However, I decided to build a complete MP3 player.”

If you’re still serious about building your own MP3 player and have perfected yourself with built-in microcontroller systems, move to Akihabara, a suburb of Tokyo, ASAP. Akihabara is the only place Akamatsu knows to buy custom MP3 player parts. “I’ve gotten a lot of responses about the MP3 player, so it seems like a lot of people are trying to build MP3 players,” he said. Most of the answers say: “Where can I buy important parts of my country?” However, I don’t know of any parts stores outside of Japan.”

So what are the benefits of building your own MP3 player?

 Akamatsu said that he believes its audio features are superior to those of conventional players. “I think at least the audio features are better than any other MP3 player (because) everyone says so.”

What are “audio functions”? We have no idea. What are the disadvantages of building your own MP3 player? Spend two years of your life assembling a device that you can buy online in 2 minutes.

If you are still reading, you must be serious. You need to buy a book on embedded microcontroller systems, buy a plane ticket to Tokyo, and get ready to listen to MP3s on your own player!