"This handy little device can take the most boring and dull locale and turn it into whatever sort of emotive resonance you prefer! You simply load it with "Wave Files" or their less complicated cousins the "Musical Programme Type Threes (or "MP3" for those who enjoy abbreviations) and then activate the device to change the ambience around you! Astounding!"

The Ambience Enhancer project that I am going to share with you is a basic but beautiful looking retro-futuristic style cover for anything you'd like it be, although I built mine as an MP3 Player Cover, you could build a watch, a cellphone cover, or even a PDA into it. Its totally up to you! Use your imagination...

This device was blogged by Wired, Boing Boing (thanks Cory!), Tekzilla, Make, Gizmodo, Engadget, and some others, and now you will be able to see how exactly how its made!

My goal here is to inspire people by showing them just how easy it can be to make something unique and wonderful to use in their daily lives. I take this everywhere I go, and find its a great conversation starter! I will give ideas for different ways to make this project your own, and I plan on eventually taking this design a lot further, so I'd love to others run with it as well!

The headphones shown in the picture are another project all together, and I will be sharing it on a Jake VonSlatt's website The Steampunk Workshop in early January, so please visit his site and check it out, his stuff puts mine to shame!

My name is Molly, and I'm a 32 year old self employed artist. I mostly make things like this for fun, but I also sell things. If you'd like to see what I have been up to, come on by and check out my Deviant Art page:


I have more strange fashion and jewelry than you can shake two or three sticks at (warning: your stick mileage may vary). Have a great holiday season with your most treasured loved ones, and take care all!
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I have a Sansa m240 (mp3 player used) however the head phone jack is broken and I'm not sure is this abled to be modified to work with another?
I have a Sansa m240 (mp3 player used) however the head phone jack is broken and I'm not sure is this abled to be modified to work with another?
agis684 years ago
epic pro job
smokeyjoe6 years ago
The term MP3 is actually a reference shortened from the official M(oving) P(icture) E(xperts) G(roup) -1 Audio Layer 3 nomenclature for this lossy digital audio encoding format.
Porkshanks (author)  smokeyjoe6 years ago
maybe in your world... lol I still like my definition better XD
Hey, Porkshanks. Sweet "Ambience Enhancer" I'm turning my IPod Nano(old one) into one

Long may Steampunk Live:)
Darksyre5 years ago
This is a great project. I'll be modifying it a bit for a Evo 4G phone for a steampunk wrist computer, and I'll see if I can figure out how to add a steampunk bluetooth headset into it so when someone calls I can separate the headset and answer the calls. Again, excellent work!
Sandisk1duo6 years ago
you should try selling this on ebay title it as "Ambience Enhancer'
Selling this item under that title could lead to trading standards troubles... after all, it doesn't enhance anything - it's just an MP3 player covered in brass and junk.
Hey its not brass and junk! ITS STEAMPUNK!
Steam Punk Lincoln.jpg
if you put up a picture, everyone would know what you mean
Why not title it as Steampunk Style Mp3 Player Armband! The more keywords the more chance of your search showing up. Plus theres a high demand for steampunk lately, more than ever as the fashions growing. In the last month ive seen at least two people wearing FULL steampunk at my local shopping centre. And not the same person either! Steampunk is awesome!
No way, two whole people? Watch out everyone, it's an epidemic!
Porkshanks (author)  superscatboy6 years ago
hahahahaha! yes, its clearly taking over...
Porkshanks (author)  superscatboy6 years ago
I love you! *hug*
DrCoolSanta5 years ago

Hmm, I'd ask you to sell it, but I wanna make, dunno when that will happen.
MJTH6 years ago
That is awesome!
Robertwan6 years ago
This is wonderful. Not only is the instructable highly detailed and comprehensible, but it makes a great finished product as well. Five stars! We need more of this brand of awesomeness.
Quote: "Wave Files" or their less complicated cousins the "Musical Programme Type Threes (or "MP3" for those who enjoy abbreviations)

Wave files are far less "complicated" than MP3s. They contain nothing more than a stream of samples. MP3s are a compressed version of the same data, and therefore more complicated (albeit smaller) by most standards.

MP3 = MPEG Layer 3. MPEG itself stands for Motion Picture Experts Group, and therefore the MP in MP3 stands for Motion Picture.
rosenred6 years ago
I really liked your project. If I may, the use of an elastic band is quite fine if you are making it for yourself, but if you want to give it to someone it might be too tight or too loose, no? Maybe you could use a wristband like those found at sports stores. It would make the base design a bit more complicated though...
That is so cool! I'm gonna make that for mine, just as soon as i finish those headsets of yours that i saw on steampunk workshop! all i need is the leather, metal... well, everything but the sansa :)
in your opinion does the screen really add anything to the looks of this item
MeZergy6 years ago
I'm going to be steampunk this Halloween and this makes me wish I had some money to buy supplies. Heehee... being a poor college kid sucks. Anyway, I love this idea. I really want to make one and put it over my heart to make it seem like a "power source", that would be pretty awesome... but I really do hate how the iPod looks on the screen... maybe I could make a gif and turn it into a movie and repeat it over and over with my music playing in the background. Hohohohohooo!! I'm definitely at least going to design something... Things like this inspire me so much.
Elski7 years ago
This tutorial is made of win and awesome. :D I'd really love to try this out, but my mp3 player is, alas, in ipod, with one of thsoe lovely twirly wheels that's very neat but can't exactly be covered. Does anyone have any thoughts on working around that without leaving the bright white wheel exposed and sort of destroying the brown and brass ambiance?
Davvik Elski6 years ago
The wheel will still work if you just put a thin piece of material over it. Even a material as thick as a t-shirt will work
Porkshanks (author)  Elski7 years ago
there are a couple ideas... one might be to make a flip open top for the device out of brass or leather. another might be to leave a hole for the wheel, but cover the wheel with a sticker or paint? and thanks, glad you liked the tutorial!
Ah, I like the sound of the flip-top idea! Thanks. :)
Ward_Nox7 years ago
anyone else think it has an almost steampunk look to it?
that's what they called it on gizmodo
damasta7 years ago
Screw Ipods now THAT'S an MP3 player I want to have
tritus117 years ago
Wow, a lot of work went into this. I just can't help but ask how much time it took to make and is it worth it? No insult intended, but it kinda looks like a jock strap. How much does it way?
Jur7 years ago
There is only one appropriate word for this Instructable, and that is "wow". The same goes for the things on your deviantart page. Totally awesome.
Vendigroth7 years ago
Forty-Six steps! WOW!
:P I used the design thingy for a walkie takie. It looks really cool.
Porkshanks (author)  Electric Rainbow7 years ago
kickass! I'd love to see it.
Sure! If only my damn camera would work. (It doesn't like me anymore. >.<) I'll try to get it in.
TJ 27 years ago
Awsome project thanks for the plans because i made one its not as good or as cool looking as yours but it works ok.
Porkshanks (author)  TJ 27 years ago
that makes me happy :) I'd love to see what you did... were the instructions pretty easy to follow?
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