Is it possible to get digital out from MP3 player? - diyAudio
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Old 31st March 2011, 03:19 PM   #1
TB is offline TB  United States
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Default Is it possible to get digital out from MP3 player?

Hello,
I am new to digital media players. I have searched related threads and the outcome is that majority of MP3 players do not have digital outs. But, no one mentioned USB input on all of them used to charge/downlod music files. Is it possible to use that connection to take the digital signal out? If yes what would be the signal format?
Reason why I ask is to have stand alone FLAC player. I have noticed few threads about FLAC players, but all of them mentioned use of computer what I want to avoid.
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Old 31st March 2011, 05:04 PM   #2
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The USB port on those devices is a peripherial (slave) port, not a host one. You cannot attach another slave device on it (like the USB DAC) because both need a host to work (the PC).
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Old 31st March 2011, 05:08 PM   #3
FrankWW is offline FrankWW  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB View Post
Hello,
I am new to digital media players. I have searched related threads and the outcome is that majority of MP3 players do not have digital outs. But, no one mentioned USB input on all of them used to charge/downlod music files. Is it possible to use that connection to take the digital signal out? If yes what would be the signal format?
Reason why I ask is to have stand alone FLAC player. I have noticed few threads about FLAC players, but all of them mentioned use of computer what I want to avoid.
Do you want it to play FLAC files or do you want FLAC out?

Sansaclip claims to play FLAC files.
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Old 31st March 2011, 11:56 PM   #4
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I think he wants to pull out the digital signal via the USB connection:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TB View Post
Hello,
Is it possible to use that connection to take the digital signal out? If yes what would be the signal format?
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Old 1st April 2011, 12:01 AM   #5
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TB View Post
Reason why I ask is to have stand alone FLAC player..
Just get yourself a reputable media player of any brand. They (almost) all play flac these days. They are also easily moddable with cap upgrades, and you can turn them into awesome transports.
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Old 1st April 2011, 12:40 AM   #6
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A digital media player will have a DAC in it. The DAC will be fed with digital information, usually a bit-clock, L/R clock and data. These can be connected to and brought out on wires. You cannot use the USB port.

It won't be straightforward. The connections will be to surface mount components with very small, closely spaced pins, and will be difficult to make in a robust manner. You might be able to do it if you cover the connections and wires in hot glue once you have made them.

w
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Old 1st April 2011, 09:21 AM   #7
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Originally Posted by wakibaki View Post
It won't be straightforward. The connections will be to surface mount components with very small, closely spaced pins, and will be difficult to make in a robust manner. You might be able to do it if you cover the connections and wires in hot glue once you have made them.

w
Its not that hard, here's one i prepared earlier

Do Audiophiles want a stand alone high end HDD source?
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Old 1st April 2011, 02:04 PM   #8
TB is offline TB  United States
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Hello,
Thank you very much for all responses. I need to admit my question was not exactly about what I had on my mind. Let's start again......
I do have a Sansa Clip 4GB player, which can be expanded with additional memory card. It does play FLAC very well. Quality is high and this is a reason why for the first time I started to think digital format is not as bad as I thought. So, to follow my admiration I connected the player to my audio system. Result was not as good as with headphones. I am not sure why, but I blame analogue output stage. It is not just designed for that purpose. Since FLAC offers very good quality I thought about something like "music server" style machine. Source of files could be external or internal hard drive, FLAC converter ( I am only interested in FLAC format) and nice discrete output stage. And the most important...no computer use for the purpose. Is it possible to create FLAC player like this? I thought about using existing components like sound cards as converters, but I am not sure they can work without computers. Did anyone try to build any format player? is it realistic?
Sorry for the previous confusion.
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Old 1st April 2011, 02:10 PM   #9
TB is offline TB  United States
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One more thing.... probably the easiest would be to take the signal out from the MP3 player just after converter and before output stage. But, all the players are so small and I assume all components might be on the same substrate of the chip. I just thought to use the player as FLAC converter with outboard output stage.
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Old 1st April 2011, 02:42 PM   #10
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Respectfully, I think you are trying to reinvent the wheel. there are other devices out there that will do exactly as you want, and easier to mod for a nice analog output stage. You should read the thread I suggested to you from page 1. It may be helpful to you.

Last edited by erin; 1st April 2011 at 02:44 PM.
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