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mathiasbuder

BoostMP3 LauchPad BoosterPack

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Hi to all out there,


I've started development on the Tiva TM4C platform using the very nice LaunchPad two years ago. Since then I had so much fun to create cool applications and even complete systems based on that awesome low cost Ecosystem .


During my projects I realized that there is not really a BoosterPack that turns the LaunchPad into a modern audio player/recorder. Because of that I've started to develop a BoosterPack named BoostMP3 that will enable any LaunchPad to work as a cool multipurpose audio device. For that I've created the following little lading website that gives a short introduction on that.


http://labvenue.jimdo.com/


Since I'm not so good in Sales or advertisement I was thinking that the best way to get any kind of feedback would be to ask all you people out there. Is there any kind of interest to buy this? Is the offered functionality ok or would you like to have more or less? What do you think about the price??


I would appreciate any kind of feedback!


Thanks a million!


post-48807-0-39431100-1464792625_thumb.jpg

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The project / idea itself is nice, no doubt. But I think @@spirilis and @@Rickta59 pointed it out ... you find MP3 players for little money everywhere. And most important point for me is always a nice and handy enclosure for projects like this. Any ideas on this ?

I think I would love to build your project myself, but wouldn't buy a booster pack - sorry.

Anyway, good luck and keep us updated if you like!

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For  less than $50 I can get a complete android tablet that would be able to do mp3/ogg/ etc + wifi + supplies battery and charger lcd and case ...

 

http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Q88-Plus-7-inch-ALLWINNER-A33-Quad-Core-1-5GHZ-512MB-4G-Dual-Cameras-WIFI-BT-Phone-Tablet-PC---Black-342893.html

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You guys are a though crowd today :huh:

 

Fist of all, Herzlich Willkommen auf 43oh @@mathiasbuder

 

I don't think that comparing this project to an off-the-shelf MP3 player is useful, comparing to an Android tablet even less so. A customer for this BoosterPack will buy it as a tool to experiment and build their own contraptions (e.g. a radio clock?).

 

MP3 shields for Arduino are a more relevant comparison:

  • Adafruit sells their Music Maker shield for $30, based on the same IC but seems to have a lot less functionality (no recording, no buttons, no optional display).
  • Sparkfun's MP3 Player Shield is $25, again only audio out.
  • Seeed's Grove Serial MP3 Player is $15, again no recording.
  • There are shields on Ebay for around $10 that support recording, e.g. this one. But software support is probably much worse than with Adafruit et al.

 

So your price may be a bit high compared to the competition, even when accounting for the superior functionality. On the other hand, there's nothing like this for TI LaunchPads yet, so there can be a markup within reason. The higher the price the more you will have to justify it with very good support with beginner friendly libraries (Energia) and documentation.

 

Given the small TI LaunchPad ecosystem, I wouldn't expect a lot of sales, even at a lower price point. Sales will most likely be driven by publishing interesting projects based on your BoosterPack that others want to replicate. Think Hackaday, Instructables, etc.

 

My final advice after selling a few hundred of my own widgets: Don't under-price yourself. Making and selling hardware takes a lot of time and money. When your little side project happens to be a success and turns into serious work, it is important that it will pay for your expenses and then some. If it doesn't sell because it was too expensive, you at least learned something and had fun doing so (just don't fabricate 100's of them upfront).

 

Ignoring the business side, I still think it's a nice project. I have an older version of that MP3 chip sitting in my drawer since 10+ years and never came around actually putting it to good use. :P

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I like the idea of making it compatible with the kentec touchscreen boosterpack, but stacking one of those above your board would block access to the buttons. If instead used with the onboard OLED display or headless you'd have pushbuttons immediately next to a set of upward pointing male boosterpack headers.

 

Have you thought about using right-angle tactile switches pointing off the edges of the board? TI has just started to use them on their launchpads: http://www.ti.com/ww/en/launchpad/launchpads-connected-launchxl-cc2650.html#tabs

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Hi to all,

 

first of all thank you very much for all the comprehensive feedback. I appreciate it a lot.

 

As Chicken mentioned, this BoosterPack is not supposed to be used as a regular MP3 player. It's more like a general audio development platform which supported a buch of codecs. For those who are interested to work with audio it can do pretty much everything from simple playback/recording, GUI design to complex signal processing and digital filter design.

 

The idea came up when I build a Christmas pyramid controller for my dad last year (see here if interested: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3L-6crPL7EkQ3lVSEd6cFpLaTQ/view?usp=sharing).

I've created a really nice software package incl. a GUI for the optional display to explore all available functions.

 

I do realize that the price is a bit high compared to the board found under the links Chicked posted above. I just don't understand how they can sell it which such a low price. The Codec IC is pretty expansive and will still cost $10 in mid qualities (500+) and $15 in low qualities. Adding all the remaining components, PCB and assembly cost the price gets up pretty fast. The only explanation would be they make huge qualities.

 

Anyway, Yet I made only one prototype board which runs smoothly and delivers crystal clear audio quality. Given the feedback above I don't think it makes sense to produce and sell them. I just can't compete with the price.

 

Again, thanks a million for all the nice suggestions.

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