Marc Paradise's Blog

letting the voices out

RPi Adventure: Toddler's Music Player

As I mentioned the other day, my Raspberry Pi arrived, though I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it.

Tonight my wife and I were talking about how our son would cycle through different songs on one of his toys until he reached the one he wanted. Unfortunately, each “song” is just a couple of measures long, so just as he gets into the groove the music ends.

This got us to wondering if there was a music player built for kids. Turns out there are a couple, but they’re overpriced and for the most part intended for someone a little older than our son (he’s 2.5). They’re basically oversized, limited-capacity MP3 players - not really what I want.

The more I looked, the more I realized what I wanted didn’t exist - and that perhaps here was the RPi project I was looking for. However, I’ve not touched a soldering iron for 20 years or more - and when I did last use one, it was at the most basic level.

A quick google search showed that nobody has attempted what I have in mind (or if they have, they’ve not written about it), so I popped into #raspberrypi on freenode and asked folks there if this would be a good beginner project. I pointed out that I could code anything needed, but was starting from zero when it came to knowing how to put the hardware together. I received a positive response and a couple of helpful hints - so I’m going to go for it.

I’ll be documenting here as I go, and will make available schematics. Related posts will be in category TMP for those who are interested in following.

Next post will describe my requirements.