Summary for those that don't want to read the waffle:
What chip would you recommend to play audio files connected via a link to a computer? The system will consist of multiple nodes, each connected together, with one or more connected to a computer/media, and all need to get hold of the audio from any other node.
(I wasn't sure where to put the thread, as i was thinking of using a 32bit chip. however looking through the forum I notice people have done similar things with the 8bit chips, and since i want to keep it simple (stupid), this looks like a better option (cheaper is also good to). I guess this is the right place then - moan if its not!)
I'm doing a project for my University course (electronic engineering), and am looking for a chip to play audio. I'm in my third year, and have used a few different ATmega's and the Butterfly.
I want something relatively simple to implement since the audio playing isn't a major part of the project. While I'm over halfway through my course its best if you treat me as a complete novice (which I pretty much am).
The system will contain lots of nodes distributed around a building, Several of which will be connected to computers (probably via USB, but perhaps Ethernet or something else). Each node will get requests to play music given by a software program on the connected PCs. This program will basically spit out a track to be played, which then needs to find its way to the required node.
Previously I was looking to pass the file to the required node, but I've realised since having a look round the forum this is probably a stupid idea because it would require on-board decoding. So I'm guessing the best way would be to decode the audio file local with some ready made software and then pass that to the node? (is a midi file a good choice?)
What chip would you recommend for this job? Simple is better, and something with ready made code/hardware would also be good, but at the same time cheap. As mentioned before this isn't the main part of the project so I can cheat by grabbing some ready made code and hardware (having said this, ready made systems are slightly less fun).
Extra processing power isn't a bad thing, as I want to allow for expansion possibilities. My software coding is sketchy, although I have used a large range of languages. I usually code by working from books and examples - can't code fluently in any language.
Thanks for any help!
I've got a website part built to explain the project as I go. once I've finished the website I'll let you know the address and you can see how the project progresses.