Author Simple home-use only mp3 player?  (Read 1830 times)

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Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« on: July 01, 2014, 01:13:30 AM »
Is there such a thing as a bedside/tabletop mp3 player that can play files off an SD card or the like?  I'm looking for something very simple for an older, techno-phobic family member, which would be a kind of "Art Bell Box".  I basically just want to load it with a bunch of my AB files, plug it into a wall outlet, and tell her to press Play/Stop. 

She's not going to want to deal with ipods or USB cables or computers or complicated menus and the like.  I looked all around but it seems everything is about portability (i.e. batteries/headphones/bluetooth/docking stations etc.) but I want something more retro like an old-school cassette player.

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 01:15:14 AM »
Is there such a thing as a bedside/tabletop mp3 player that can play files off an SD card or the like?  I'm looking for something very simple for an older, techno-phobic family member, which would be a kind of "Art Bell Box".  I basically just want to load it with a bunch of my AB files and tell her to press Play/Stop. 

She's not going to want to deal with ipods or USB cables or computers or complicated menus and the like.  I looked all around but it seems everything is about portability (i.e. batteries/headphones/bluetooth/docking stations etc.) but I want something more retro like an old-school cassette player.

You might have to build it yourself with something like a raspberry pi.

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 07:13:19 AM »
An Amazon search yields many results (like this http://www.amazon.com/August-MB300-Powerful-Speakers-Rechargeable/dp/B0031NF116/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1404216458&sr=8-2&keywords=clock+radio+sd+card) but I'm not sure how simple you want to go.

I agree with MFM, you could try building your own with something like a Pi. A cheap tablet could also pull off simple playback (using a music player app) but that might be too menu-driven.

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 07:47:13 AM »
Is there such a thing as a bedside/tabletop mp3 player that can play files off an SD card or the like?  I'm looking for something very simple for an older, techno-phobic family member, which would be a kind of "Art Bell Box".  I basically just want to load it with a bunch of my AB files, plug it into a wall outlet, and tell her to press Play/Stop. 

She's not going to want to deal with ipods or USB cables or computers or complicated menus and the like.  I looked all around but it seems everything is about portability (i.e. batteries/headphones/bluetooth/docking stations etc.) but I want something more retro like an old-school cassette player.

how about an older ipod mini/classic with the sdcard hack. you could then put in a 64GB sd card which would probably hold williedees torrent.

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 07:04:46 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions guys.  I wish I could just jam 50 Gb of data onto an old cassette tape.  :)

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 08:06:37 PM »
Is there such a thing as a bedside/tabletop mp3 player that can play files off an SD card or the like?  I'm looking for something very simple for an older, techno-phobic family member, which would be a kind of "Art Bell Box".  I basically just want to load it with a bunch of my AB files, plug it into a wall outlet, and tell her to press Play/Stop. 

She's not going to want to deal with ipods or USB cables or computers or complicated menus and the like.  I looked all around but it seems everything is about portability (i.e. batteries/headphones/bluetooth/docking stations etc.) but I want something more retro like an old-school cassette player.
I was going to suggest the CCrane item or the old onw they sold Pogo thing. But I got it for free for that precise reason (older non-computer person who bought off AB recommend but useless for them.) Actually product before-its-time for me. Record even AM! Not even my large Archoa or Ipod could do that!. Suggestion: I think maybe there are alarm clocks with docking station or SDcard? Idk models but even buy a cheap ipod when AB on loop in one of those? If no want. Turn off unit or mute? Pretty easy n cheap. Got friend who has varioua metal and southern rock going on one of those in his storage shed. Always got music (when there) n sounds like "I dont wanna mess with this redneck" at 3am and hes cross town asleep.


Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 08:34:59 AM »
if you can find a cd player that plays mp3's that might do.
like one of these
if you re-encoded the art bell mp3's to like 24kbs you might get 200 on a cd.then occasionally she might need to swap cds, but thats the best i can think of, other than a ipod mini/classic with the sdcard hack (this can be done for under $50, ebay a used ipod mini, the cfcard to sd card adapter and a sd card and a cheap wall charger)


Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2014, 05:59:32 PM »
To anyone intrested, I found this little guy, called the Music Angel (model JH-MD07U).  It's a basic mp3 player (screen-less) which can play off an SD Card or USB thumb drive.  Also has a line-in so can be used as a speaker for ipod's etc.

Very simple to use and has pretty good sound for something so small.  So I have made a little Art Bell box for my older, techno-phobic friend with it & she loves it.  You can find them on ebay for around 15-20 bucks.  (There are some fake versions though floating around so use a reputable seller.)

[attachimg=1]

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2014, 12:54:46 AM »
does it have a random button and you just listen to random art bell?

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 03:12:50 AM »
does it have a random button and you just listen to random art bell?

I load it with an SD card full of AB and she simply presses play.  It just goes through sequentially in alpha order, so e.g. willliedee's excellent collection works well since it's in alpha-based chronoligical order. 

It's smart enough btw to remember whatever mp3 you were playing when you last turned it off.  It's NOT smart enough to remember WHERE in the mp3 you were - it restarts back at the beginning, which kinda sucks for a 4hr-long mp3.  But that's ok, it's simplicity makes up for it in this case.

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2014, 05:39:29 AM »
To anyone intrested, I found this little guy, called the Music Angel (model JH-MD07U).  It's a basic mp3 player (screen-less) which can play off an SD Card or USB thumb drive.  Also has a line-in so can be used as a speaker for ipod's etc.
Thanks for doing my homework for me Zeebo...

My grandparents have both pretty much lost their eyesight and while Opa has adapted, Oma is quite depressed.  I had been thinking of loading old radio shows and books and old music on to thumb drives for them.  The only problem is that the television is the only thing they have capable of playback.  Needless to say, even with her eyesight I doubt she would figure it out... practically blind there is no way she could toggle between the television for news and the USB input.

I had seriously been thinking that I need to find something but forget every time I am around a computer...

So, thanks for not only reminding me, but for finding my solution!

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2014, 12:06:48 AM »
Thanks for doing my homework for me Zeebo...

No prob, hope it works for you!  Btw it has an internal battery, charged by USB cable, but since my friend has no computer I just got a little USB-AC Power adapter off amazon, so she can just plug into an outlet to recharge. 

She also has bad eyesight and the mp3 controls are kinda hard to see, so I just put some color-coded dollar-store stickers on there so she knows that e.g. green is the next track etc.

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2014, 01:23:48 AM »
No prob, hope it works for you!  Btw it has an internal battery, charged by USB cable, but since my friend has no computer I just got a little USB-AC Power adapter off amazon, so she can just plug into an outlet to recharge. 

She also has bad eyesight and the mp3 controls are kinda hard to see, so I just put some color-coded dollar-store stickers on there so she knows that e.g. green is the next track etc.
You also can  retro fit wall electrical sockets with some that also USB outlet which eliminates external chargers etc. Saves space, knocked off chargers etc. Pretty easy, and I like it. (Really test first or cut power to house if you arent 100% sure, and even then. Ive seen weird wiring. Don't assume your breaker for that room cuts it off.)

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2014, 05:04:41 AM »
(Really test first or cut power to house if you arent 100% sure, and even then. Ive seen weird wiring. Don't assume your breaker for that room cuts it off.)
Meh... 110v.  I know it can still have consequences- but with care and insulated tools it isn't too bad.  I have 600V 3 phase at work that puts a bit of a scare in me when I have equipment open and live for trouble shooting.

I think the best was an electrician I had who assumed the ballasts were 110V (that is what he installed) and worked on the system live because it was "only" 110.  Imagine his surprise when the ballast did not last (even a dual voltage ballast does not handle 347V for very long...)  Actually, due to that I installed disconnects in everything when re ballasting last time. (They are now required in new 347 and, I believe 220V fixtures anyhow...)

Were were we?  Ah, right... Still safest to turn off the power (and check with a cheap $10 tester) before messing with electrical...  I seem to recall that in Quebec they wanted to make selling even an outlet or switch to the general public illegal (they should always be installed by a professional- so why should be public be able to purchase them?)

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2014, 10:37:57 AM »
I think the Raspberry Pi idea is the best.

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2014, 11:06:18 AM »
Thanks for doing my homework for me Zeebo...

My grandparents have both pretty much lost their eyesight and while Opa has adapted, Oma is quite depressed.  I had been thinking of loading old radio shows and books and old music on to thumb drives for them.  The only problem is that the television is the only thing they have capable of playback.  Needless to say, even with her eyesight I doubt she would figure it out... practically blind there is no way she could toggle between the television for news and the USB input.

I had seriously been thinking that I need to find something but forget every time I am around a computer...

So, thanks for not only reminding me, but for finding my solution!

I'd imagine orgs that work with the blind have tons of gear/software designed to make it easy to access a computer for people like your grandparents; vision-impaired due to age and without training to compensate for the loss.  A quick search came up with this...
http://www.lowvision.org/access_to_computers.htm

Simple home-use only mp3 player?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2014, 01:27:11 PM »
I'd imagine orgs that work with the blind have tons of gear/software designed to make it easy to access a computer for people like your grandparents; vision-impaired due to age and without training to compensate for the loss.  A quick search came up with this...
http://www.lowvision.org/access_to_computers.htm
I appreciate that... I have an aunt who has had some form of macular degeneration for decades now (pretty much blind) who uses some of that software.  They give her access to this and pay for computers.  A second cousin who is blind does fairly well for himself and has shown me dozens of iphone apps he uses in his daily life.

While this is all available, it is nothing that Oma has any interest in using (and Opa is in the early phase of Alzheimer's.)  She even had a few appointments with the CNIB (Canadian national institute for the blind.)  I think she does use the library and she did have a reader of some sort (but it did not play USB.)  I just wanted a small player particularly for old radio shows from the 40's and 50's.  She used to love the old comics and I thought it would help pass the day.  Her biggest complaint is that when you are half blind in assisted living (Opa needs assisted living as of a few months ago) you just sit there with nothing to do all day.

Part of this is depression (after my father died 7 years back she hit a major depression that she never recovered from)  Starting medication a month ago, I can already see an improvement.  I just think she would appreciate being able to listen to George Burns and Eve Arden.  Heck- I enjoy the comedy.  She has no interest in a computer, the internet or learning anything new.  This small player that I have now ordered (thanks again Zeebo) is not something she has to type a single word into or figure out with a remote (as mentioned, her television is capable of playing these... She is not.)  I can color code USB sticks to a few different shows and she can put it in and press play.  When I am over I can just swap out sticks for other / more shows. 

 Perhaps as she comes out of depression she will be open to learning something new and trying to make her life better.  I will keep the link in mind and I even have ancient computer components that would work for her...  so, thanks VtaGeezer.