At work we need background music in the waiting area and after a while 5CD's on a CD Player get a little predicatble and the one local radio station we can receive is just annoying. So what I created using a low specification ( lowest NTe Evo T20 Thin client ) was a stand alone mains powered MP3 player that easily stores up to 16 Gigabytes of music - So now can have several days of Music with no repeats! And the best thing about it is I can access it and change playlists from my desktop over the network - so my music taste rules- And I can insert short reminders like 5 second adverts telling people to turn off cell phones no smoking etc in between the songs!.
Advantage over other alternatives -network controllable - unit remembers where it is in play list and starts from same point . quite rugged - cheap -
and yet another good use for a Compaq Evo T20 thin client.
Step 1: First Collect the parts: Need the right Model NT
To build this project you will need a Compaq NTe Evo T20 ( and its power supply ) - the Win Ce version cannot be used nor can the later XPe models easily ( the XPe Version can play music but music file storage is an Issue and you need to store the music files elsewhere on your network as I have not found a method of getting a Xpe version to read a Local USB pen drive).
The NTe Evo's come in a wide range of models with the sole difference being the size of the Flash drive and the Ram the Lowest Specification model has 48Megs of flash memory and 64 megs of ram the Highest 128 Megs of Both - All are usable for this project. (The Win Ce Models have 16/32 or 32/64 and do not have a useful OS for this project as they cannot be modified other than reflashing them for Linux so forget them )
If you Are buying a unit always check the model number online this is located on the underside of the chrome stand ( or plug it in and see what boots ) and with a Google search you can quickly see what It should be . The difference between a low specification machine and a higher one is how many files you will have to dispose of they all have the same CPU and Audio Chips .
Will also need a USB Pen drive already formatted with FAT a USB Mouse, USB Keyboard and a VGA or better monitor. Plug everything in and Turn it on . (to Format your Pendrive in FAT Will need a computer running WIndows 2000 or 98 to do the formatting as XP /Vista will refuse to down grade from FAT32 to FAT or else use a Linux box ? ) if the Pendrive is formatted in any other file system it cannot be read by the Box and the EVO has no formating capability.