130 thoughts on “The One Button Audiobook Player

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  3. Hi,
    Very Nice Project !!
    What did you use to fix the blue led on the case ?
    I ‘ve drilled a hole in top of case but, what did you use for fixing the led .
    I’m trying to do the same project for my sister, I’d appreciate your help.

    Thanks a lot,
    By the way : Great job !

  4. Very Nice! I plan on emulating this design over the next few weeks (will keep you posted). Has anyone else successfully used your designs to build one that you know of?

  5. Great project. I’ve stolen huge chunks of it to make a similar thing that has a cron job to run get-iplayer with a list of programmes that my son likes so he can have it as a bedtime player (OK I could have done all that with an MP3 player but where wouIld have been the fun in that). Holding down the button skips forward rather than back in my version. Thank you very much for shaing your work.

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  7. Hello! Are you interested in making some of these for sale? Thanks

  8. I believe that you have the diagram slightly mislabelled. “GPIO17″ should be “GPIO24″ and vice versa.

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  11. I was about to build a one-button MP3 player for my mom (88 yo & technophobe) and thought I’d do a quick search.

    I plan to cycle through a simple directories which contain MP3s of various themes.

    I look forward to looking at your scripts as a starting point.


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  16. Looks like a great project, I want to build it for my wife. I tried using MP3 players but she can’t stand earbuds and they do not hold the place.

    One question the terminal numbers I can’t relate to the GPIO but I see you have used a FC-26P terminal does this just plug onto the io board and are these the terminals in the schematic?

    By the way I wrote a Powershell script that will take all the folders and tracks on an audio book and redo into one folder renaming the tracks from 1 to how many are in all folders ( if there are 10 folders and 19 tracks in each, the tracks will now be in one folder numbered from 001-190) I will be glad to send it to you.

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  18. You should make some of these players with user manuals and sell it. Trust me there are millions of book lovers that they don’t want to deal with mp3 players or touch screen phones or tablets. Book listening should be as simple as asking your grandpa to read you your favorite book (well that is more complicated).One book at a time. Nothing confusing. Do you have extra that you want to sell?

  19. Hello, I have been looking for a device exactly like this for my 79 year old father. He is in a nursing home and is confined to a wheelchair, his eye sight is failing and he has arthritis in his hands. He can’t hold the little MP3 players let alone operate them. I have tried a laptop and a IPAD, but they just don’t work for him. I also agree with the last person. I think there would be a big demand for this. This would be perfect for him and anyone else with a physical handicap. I am not technically inclined to build things. But if someone were building and selling them I would buy them and I think so would many others. You have a fantastic idea and it could help a lot of people. All the best.

  20. I just completed building this and have some addendum notes adding more details:

    Install the following packages:
    sudo apt-get install mpd
    sudo apt-get install mpc
    sudo apt-get install python-mpd
    sudo apt-get install python-pyudev

    (below assumes using defaults for /etc/mpd.conf)
    sudo mkdir -p /music/usb
    sudo ln -s /var/lib/mpd /music/mpd
    sudo ln -s /var/lib/mpd/music /music/mp3

    Copy the tobabp.py script to /home/pi
    nano /home/pi/tobabp.py
    Change these in the script or flip the connections in wiring diagram.
    BUTTON = 17
    LED = 24

    Rename a USB stick to “1GB”
    Copy 1 MP3 onto the stick
    Insert the stick into pi

    sudo mount /dev/sda1 /music/usb
    sudo /etc/init.d/mpd stop
    sudo rm /music/mp3/*
    sudo cp /music/usb/* /music/mp3/
    sudo umount /music/usb
    Remove the USB stick

    sudo rm /music/mpd/tag_cache
    sudo /etc/init.d/mpd start
    mpc clear
    mpc ls
    mpc ls | mpc add
    sudo /etc/init.d/mpd restart
    mpc play

    Plug in earphones
    You should hear audio
    Next try the python script:
    sudo python /home/pi/tobabp.py
    Insert USB stick
    the LED should flash and the USB file copy to /music/mp3/
    the LED should flash again. Remove the Stick and LED flashes again.
    Press button to start playing
    Press button again to stop
    Press & hold button to rewind to beginning.

    sudo crontab -e
    Add following line run at startup
    @reboot python /home/pi/tobabp.py &
    sudo reboot
    Then retest again to be sure all is well.

  21. Hi Russel,

    thank you very much for your detailed instructions. I’ll add them to my post the next days.


  22. I alwo want to buy such a device -simple to operate, for an elderly relative, easy to load with books. Please, someone, make one to sell!!

  23. Hi, great idea and after comments made by Russel i got it to work!
    The problem i have on some audiobook mp3 files is that the play order is wrong.
    The audiobook cd’s i converted to mp3 work just fine. it’s the ones i bought and downloaded that are playing out of order.
    Is there a way to restore the play order?
    (i did use the latest standard wheezy image and i am a linux/python newbie)

  24. Thanks for the great project! I have a couple of things to report from my experience building the project.
    1 – the ‘Raspbian minimal image’ linked to in the post didn’t seem to recognize the audio device on my Pi, so instead I used the Raspbian image from the Raspberry Pi official site. It is a bigger image, but the audio worked ok. All of the instructions for configuring the Pi are the same with that image.
    2 – the schematics posted were for a rev2 Raspberry Pi. With a rev1 Pi, I had to make a small modification to the schematic due to the GPIO header being a bit different. Rev1 doesn’t have 3.3V on pin 17 of the GPIO header, so I sourced all of the 3.3V from pin 1.

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  26. For any relative Linux newbies like me, don’t forget to run the following line before installing the mpd, mpc, and python packages:

    sudo apt-get update

    (If you don’t run it, several locations of package downloads have changed and it won’t be able to install fully)

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  32. Hi everyone !

    I’ve already made my One Button AudioBook Player for my great-grandmother. She talked about it around her and now some people ask me to build it for them ! In fact, 3 guys want me to build one ! So, I’m going to order some Raspberry Pi to making them. I’m thinking maybe some people would be interessed to get one too. Therefore, if you guys are interessed, I can do it. Just send me an email at :
    adrihebert @ gmail . com
    (No spaces, remove them)

    Of course, if Michael Clemens doesn’t want it, I will not do it. So, Michael, are you OK ?


  33. Adrien, I would purchase a ready to go SD card for my assembled RP. I haven’t programmed RP prior and am slowly learning it, but my 93 year vision impair mother can use a player now.

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  35. Hi, anyone have a clean way to convert an Audible book form its .aax to an mp3 on a thumb drive? The one proven method is to burn the .aax to CDs with iTunes and then transfer the CDs to the thumb drivre – seems tedious.

  36. Hello
    can someone help me please? I’m newby in python and programming.
    It’s possible change the code to play next song when you press the button more than 4 seconds?
    It will work like MP3 player but only with 1 button.

    I tryed this code but don’t work.

    elif timebuttonisstillpressed > 4:
    client.next ()

    best regards
    Daniel Pereira

  37. Adrien, I am interested in this for a missions trip, would it be possible to get an image for the SD card. I would like to demo this to our pastoral team. I have had a little difficulty in programming a RP which I purchased for this.

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  39. I’ve been working on this for about a week now. I can’t seem to get past sudo mount /dev/sda1 /music/USB it’s saying it cannot be found. Any ideas?! I need this ASAP for a birthday present. How much would one of you charge me to mail out a working one?

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  43. Im making this one button audiobook player for my mother who suffres from parkinson and loves books. now im new to linux, and i can understand the most of hardware/software what is written her on this site. but how can i start the PI without using the keybord for the logname and password en after start the Pi by using “startx”
    I tried to search it on the internet and bought a book, but cant pass this point.
    can anyone give me a push in the right direction to make my mum happy ?
    thanx in advanced, regards Ronaldo

  44. @ronaldo
    from windows connect with “putty” … on this raspberry there is no GUI
    like windows – just unix command line eg bash, …

    @to whom it may concern
    if you use pull down resistor, you have to edit “tobabp.py”
    # Configure IO ports
    BUTTON = 16
    LED = 24
    # make button status detection stable with 10k resistor
    GPIO.setup(BUTTON, GPIO.IN, pull_up_down=GPIO.PUD_DOWN)
    #comment out next line from original tobabp.py
    #GPIO.setup(BUTTON, GPIO.IN)
    GPIO.setup(LED, GPIO.OUT)