Need advice about USB Host

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Hi everybody :)
I want to make some usb related projects. I believe there is a lot of usb projects out there, but all of them are usb "clients".
I planned to make a usb host device using ATMega.
Atmel released their USB host-capable microcontroller, so it'll made my project a little straight forward. But in fact, i cant acquire those chips easily in my country.
My option is:
1. Still buying those usb host-capable microcontroller from ATMEL directly and learn how to use it carefully. ("Carefully" means because you buy it from another country)
2. Make an usb host-capable from ordinary microcontroller by emulating "usb host protocol" just like all usb projects (ones that emulates usb protocol) found around here.

Have any advice which one should i choose?
Is it possible to realize option no.2?

Here is some crazy ideas that came out in my head:
- Standalone AVR Chip Programmer that gets the binary data stored in USB FlashDisk.
- Multiple USB Flashdisk Browser, copier, etc (from one USB Flashdisk, to another USB Flashdisk)
- Embedded MP3 player that gets MP3 from USB Flashdisk
and plays the song over the FM radio frequency, or just a simple earphone.
- Remote controlling a robot using USB Joystick.
- Reading data streams from USB Keyboard used to program a dot matrix LED display.
- Backing up data inside USB Flashdisk to a harddrive without any help from computer.
- Anything that utilizes USB Host!

Thanks a lot! :D

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid!

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Your projects sound really interesting. As you know the USB protocol is really complex. The host implementation is almost impossible without dedicated hardware on chip. If you would like to use AVR go with the new AT90USB1287 and AT90USB647.
You can start with them buying the AVR USBKEY which sells for arnd 30$ on digikey . USBKEY can be used to demo some codes. For development Atmel has provided STK525 which sells for 199$.

I have both but the documentation is still sparse.Also the code seems complex and i am still scared to touch it to modify it for my own firmware.

You can also look at FTDI Vinculum USB Host chip - VNC1L if final outcome is more important than implementation itself. These chips have USB Mass Storage and other implmentations on chip and interface with any MCU with serial and parallel buses. The first three projects are already implemented on their site using this chip.

Good Luck and do share information with us avrfreaks when u succeed :)