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  • My player video

    I thought it might be cool to post this: http://www.paulzor.com/demo These are videos of my 2nd generation mp3 player. I originally developed one that ran the on the same screen. But that was over 4 years ago, and I was not a seasoned programmer back then. It worked as a winamp plugin and allowed browsing files and searching filenames, it froze sometimes and ran off of a K6-2 333. I started work on my 2nd one which is shown in the videos. My drawing code is much faster in this version so I can do nicer animations and visualizations. It uses an sql database for all the file information so you can search and browse songs based on any criteria. The unit is controlled by 10 buttons and 2 rotary encoders. I bought a ME10000 for the job, but I will end up selling it I think. This is all good, except that it is running windows. In addition, my graphics code was beginning to look ugly, I was just drawing to the screen and had to reimplement all my routines. I decided not to finish the 2nd mp3 player.

    This is where a little luck and alot of cash comes in. I decided to start working on a gui library. This library will be able to display themed GUIs ontop of windows forms, VFD/LCD screens, OpenGL, etc. I talked to one of my professors and the school and I was awarded a grant to develop the product. Here's my current hardware list:

    Advantech PCM-9373F-M0A1 Half-SBX Mainboard
    Noritake GU128x64-800A VFD Display
    256MB PC133 SODIMM Memory
    Grayhill 60A Joystick (this thing is pretty cool)
    a pc/104 powersupply (haven't decided on which one yet)
    60-80GB 2.5" harddrive
    Some sort of enclosure, slides out of the dash

    I fell in love with Linux about 6 months ago, and Linux makes sense for an embedded project like this. I will either build it from scratch or make a very minimal Gentoo install. In addition I will be developing my gui library as a portable solution under the GPL (or similiar license). I think it should prove useful to many people. The player won't be opensource but it will be available free. I plan on keeping the same sort of interface, but it will be much nicer when the library is done. Also, I managed to get several shades of gray out of the screen by blinking it at around 200Hz (PWM basically). These are all final plans, I have alot of other ideas but I don't want to bore you with random hopes of mine.

    Just looking for comments and suggestions. And if you are interested in knowing more about the player or the gui library just reply or PM me.

  • #2
    cool
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    • #3
      This would have been great when VDF displays were in vogue.
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      • #4
        Yeah, I may eventually use an LCD, but I enjoy developing it for the VFD. If its fast enough on the VFD it will work on anything else . Once I get the player done it should be pretty easy to have it run as an X app. All I have to do is derive a new screen and have it draw thru X.

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        • #5
          This would have been great when VDF displays were in vogue.
          Since when have VFD displays gone out of vogue? AFAIK, They are still the most superior display available. Most users probably don't have LCD's like we do.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by cbergeron
            Since when have VFD displays gone out of vogue? AFAIK, They are still the most superior display available. Most users probably don't have LCD's like we do.
            Finally someone who agrees with me. My friend just built a carputer using an LCD screen, although it's nice having color and all, my VFD looks better in daylight and at night. Also, I can't watch movies and play games in my car; I'd get distracted and kill myself. Another benefit is price, a graphical VFD like the one I'm using is at least 1/3 the price as a well suited LCD (although I do have to buy components for input).

            One plan of mine is to interface with my iPaq over Bluetooth. This way if I'm parked for a while I can use the iPaq to setup playlists and stuff in a more convenient fashion.

            I'm not saying VFDs are better than LCDs, there is alot more you can do with an LCD. However, I prefer the simplicity and sort of "clean stock" appearance of a VFD display.

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            • #7
              Wow, after seeing that, I would definately see the advantages of getting one of those screens rather than an LCD. I didnt expect much, but once I saw the videos, I was amazed. Nice job!

              I agree too after seeing the videos that it looks more stock. Only thing I would say to change is to make the faceplate look prettier Of course, nowadays, with the cars coming with video monitors preinstalled, it sort of takes away from the coolness of doing stuff like this, but I must say, the application you have is very nice looking. Everything seems like it belongs like it is.

              BTW, YGPM about something sort of off topic

              Matt

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              • #8
                wow that's very impressive. I didn't know graphical VFD's could be used like that. Nice work man

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the kind comments. Yeah the faceplate is temporary. Actually right now all it is a faceplate. In the future I hope to have everything enclosed in a box that can slide in an out of the DIN-2 opening. I'll route or mold a nice faceplate then.

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