[vorbis] stupid cd player mod question

Peter Harris peter.harris at hummingbird.com
Thu Dec 5 15:06:37 PST 2002

> Hi, really stupid question here:
> 1) not bothered how possible it is
> 2) not bothered how legal it is
> 3) not bothered how much it costs
> question: how would i go about modifiying my stereo cd player (whatever 
> model) to be able to play vorbis files on CD/CD-R/CD-RW ?

Well, as long as you're not bothered by how much it costs...

Assuming you're starting from a component CD player and not a discman:

Try ripping out all the guts. Put a CD-ROM drive where the old drive 
mechanism used to be (I have heard rumour that some models use 
essentially CD-ROM drives internally, so this step may be optional), put 
a fanless mini-itx motherboard where the rest of the guts used to be. 
Some of the mini-itx motherboards even have S/PDIF output, which is 
great if you have the input on your amp. You'll need a small 
powersupply, too. Any powersupply intended for a 1U rackmount case 
should fit.

Install LinuxBIOS; Run a customized version of Linux/FreeBSD/etc. You 
might need to write (or hire someone to write) a bit of control software 
to be a shim between the front panel buttons and ogg123/workbone. This 
should all fit within the initrd, so no hard drive should be necessary, 
and the whole thing should boot and be ready to play discs in 3-5 
seconds or so. You might need to upgrade the flash size on the 
motherboard. LinuxBIOS might not be ported to any of the micro-itx 
boards yet. You might need to do that (or pay someone to do that. Cost 
was no object, right?)

Oh, and you'll have to replace the display, of course. There are a wide 
variety of LCDs that can be computer controlled for you to choose from. 
Of course, you'll have to write (or hire...) custom software to get 
ogg123/workbone to display anything useful on your LCD. Take a look at 
the folks working on 3rd party software for the empeg; they might have 
something you can use.

<p>Assuming you're starting from a discman: Buy an iRiver SlimX, and pray 
that the 'coming soon' Vorbis-playing firmware update really is coming soon.

Peter Harris

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