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Bottom feeding network appliances II

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by D Yuniskis, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. D Yuniskis

    D Yuniskis Guest

    [Argh! I hit send before adding...]

    I am also looking for similar suggestions for a
    network audio client. Think: "Internet Radio"

    This has many of the same characteristics as the
    VoIP-ish phone with a few key distinctions:
    - dual D/ACs running much faster (e.g. 50KHz)
    - no A/DC
    - larger memory requirement (maybe 100K?)
    - larger TEXT requirement (maybe 30K?)
    - more MIPS as audio is less forgiving than telcom

    Note that this also suffers from the power/space
    constraints of the VoIP-like application! I am
    hoping to benefit from some of the things
    learned there -- and learn even more from this!
    (i.e., "Make TWO to throw away!" :> )

    This might end up commercialized or offered as
    an open source project so that probably means
    more readily accessible parts (i.e., something
    that a hobbyist can purchase one-off from a
    local vendor -- *I* don't want to be in the parts
    business! :> )

    Again, suggestions sought as well as pointers to
    interesting reference designs that I might learn from.

    Thanks!
    --don
     
    D Yuniskis, Dec 18, 2009
    #1
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  2. Are you planning to generate the streams for this, or use streams made by
    other people? If the latter, you'll probably be restricted by whatever
    formats they use (MP3, WMA, whatever). An appliance which can only use a
    small variety of stream formats is more pain than it's worth IME.

    If you do use existing formats, you'll probably need more CPU/RAM to do the
    decode unless you farm it out to a separate decoder chip (but then you'll be
    stuck when WMA25 comes along and changes everything). And some of the
    proprietary codecs only come prebuilt for some architectures.

    Theo
     
    Theo Markettos, Dec 18, 2009
    #2
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  3. D Yuniskis

    D Yuniskis Guest

    Anything going to the appliance has to come from or go *through*
    a server under my control. Why push the "smarts" to decode
    various different formats into the device when you are going
    to have/want/need several of them *and* the server is going
    to be there anyway? (I surely wouldn't let the outside world
    have access to anything inside the house without going through
    a secure bastion host! And, if I *never* had access to the
    outside world, it is relatively trivial to glue standard
    decoders onto media files *before* sending the streams off to
    the actual client! Any bugs in *that* code are then fixed in
    *one* place and immediately beneficial to all clients. Clients
    can then be *very* simple and robust as you truly can test
    them "100%".

    Support for a wide variety of formats is geared towards consumers
    who want *one* such device, don't want to know how it works, want
    "interoperability", etc.
    Your only vulnerability is to formats that come from "outside".
    Any media that you already own can be converted *once* to
    whatever format you want. E.g., convert everything to AIFF
    and store it that way if you don't want to spend any compute
    resources on the server when a client calls for that "title".

    If you get something in a proprietary format, convert it
    "wherever" to "whatever" and you never need to convert
    it again. E.g., why keep decoding MP3's each time they are
    played? Pick some simpler format to decode and use *that*
    and reap the benefits of simplifying the client software
    and hardware. Even if my 20G of MP3's would expand to
    a TB, so what? I use an $80 disk to store them instead
    of a $20 disk? (can you even *buy* 20G disks??)
     
    D Yuniskis, Dec 18, 2009
    #3
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