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Re: [TCLUG:6288] Slowest mp3 system

On Thu, 3 Jun 1999, Clay Fandre wrote:

> Does anyone know what the worst system is that can still play mp3 files?
> I have an old 386 w/ 8Megs that I wanted to turn into an MP3 player for
> my stereo. Can it be done if it's running in console mode and using
> mpg123?

A pentium 75 is the minimum that will play mp3s at full quality. However,
there are hardware decoders that you can get for the task that would allow
you to use the 386.

Check out this, from the CAJUN message board:


a german computer magazin [Luke: He means _c't_] introduced a mp3-player
for the parallel port. Why ? Hey great idea using a slow 386 (or
inexpensive IPC) as High End mp3 player. The PCB is available (pdf) the
schematics are available (pdf) the software is available for DOS only.
Looking for somebody to turn that into Linux C code.  The best would be to
have the software behaving just like rxaudio since Paul's CAJUN is a front
end to rxaudio as well. I've done a quick and dirty flowchart which
rxaudio commands to cover and which status messages to provide. With
having the (GPL) source code for the parallel port interaction with the
mp3 player and the source code from Paul's CAJUN (to see which actions to
emulate) it shouldn't be a big thing.

Send me an email if you want to have the Schematics, PCB layout and
software sources.


I don't have any more info than that, but it would be possible.
Personally, seeing as how cheap a pentium 100 or an AMD 133 or such would
be, I'd just get one of those, but that's just me.  Incidentally, one of
my summer projects is to build a dedicated mp3 box. I think I'm going to
go with a pentium 166, since it's the fastest Intel processor which
doesn't require a fan (fan = noise = bad).