Monday, August 9, 2010

How to make a BeagleBoard MP3 Player

I was looking around at some comments and articles about the BeagleTouch-based Linux Tablet, and I noticed that there were a few people that mentioned that a Linux-based Open Source hardware tablet is the antithesis, arch-nemesis, ying vs. Apple's yang. While Apple is super secret, closed source, proprietary, and hidden, a Linux OSHW tablet is transparent, hackable, open source, and visible.

PS... I don't think this title is long enough, I think it should be, "How to make a DIY Open Source Hardware Beagle Board and Open Source Angstrom Linux Software MP3 Media Player in 10 Minutes Or Less with 5 Easy Steps and 6 Easy Payments of $9.99" Ha.


I figured I'd take that metaphor to the extreme, and make a quick tutorial about making a super-overkill, overqualified Open Source Hardware MP3 player, called the "Anti-iPod". Naturally, the best part about this MP3 player, is that it actually plays MP3's, not weirdly-encoded, proprietarily-coded music format with DRM protection. The second best thing about this MP3 player is that no one will ever try to make it a criminal offense to hack into it...



Step 1: Assemble a Beagle-board based Gadget

Probably using something like this or like this, I just snapped a BeagleTouch onto the Beagleboard, plugged in power, and connected a USB cable from the BeagleTouch to my computer. This is what I call a Beagle Gadget Sandwich (BGS):

Step 2: Connect it to the Internet

Either with a wifi module (as I wrote up in these instructions or over here), or an ethernet module like this one.

Step 3: Download and run the install script

$ wget 
$ chmod 777 ./
$ ./

Step 4: Pirate music

From your own collection, OBVIOUSLY.

Then save it to the home directory, in the /home/root/Music folder. You may need to "mkdir Music" from the home directory just to make sure the directory is there.

Step 5: Launch the MP3 Player

Then, start up the MP3 player application, with skins, and exported to the display, with these commands:

$ export DISPLAY=:0.0
$ vlc -I skins2 --skins2-last /home/root/Night.vlt ./Music

It should look like this:


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