Home Forums Sparkfun MP3 Shield Library Support Forum Problems with Sparkfun MP3 straight from the box Reply To: Problems with Sparkfun MP3 straight from the box


Hello Liz_noise, and welcome to the forum.

I received some great help here, and would very much like to help you out both with your problems and in understanding the MP£ shield in general.

First of all, I would recommend you to get the MP3 library that Bill and Michael was written. http://www.billporter.info/2012/01/28/sparkfun-mp3-shield-arduino-library/

I have used this library for a while, and it is fantastic, both for just plug-and-play style of using it, as well as using it to build something else. To install the library, see here: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Hacking/Libraries. And if you have any problems, let me know and I’ll try to help you out.

Now, you say that when you press “the button” out get fast choppy snippets. First of all, which button is it that you press? It’s been a while since I used the example sketch, but I thought that ran without input once it is started. Secondly, when you have gotten the fast snippets, do I understand you correctly in that you get about a second or so of music, and then the whole system freezes? Or does the song keep playing?

On the number of buttons, there are two other pins available that is not used for the shield, digital 5 and 10. If this is not enough I would recommend using an I/O expander such as this: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8130

I am currently using 5 of these for a project I am working on, and they are working great. Another interesting product is https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9695, which gives you 12 touch sensors. I have a piano with 24 keys using two of these. For both of them, they are great because they only use two pins on the Arduino, no matter how many you have connected. (That is not quite accurate, as each one has a specific address, but more on that later. It you want to read about it, see I2C on Wikipedia, or feel free to ask for more details.)

As for the MP3-RST, it is connected to pin 8 and is used to reset just the MP3 board. This is done through the code, and can be useful if you want to switch from MP3 to real-time MIDI without turning everything off. (By the way, have you seen the MIDI mode? It is awesome!) The reset button on the shield is connected directly to the reset on the Arduino, which means it resets you whole system, and it starts as if you just connected the power.

As for the problem of needing a reset, I had a very similar problem. I did however use the library, so it might be different. I fought with the shield for weeks, and in the end it turned out to be the SD-card. I started off using a fairly cheap card, and got nowhere. This is because the read/write speed to and from the card was too slow, so the MP3 shield did not get enough data to keep going. Are you using a lower end SD card? If so, it might be worth your time to get a better one. I started off with a 1 GB card, but when upgraded to 4 GB from Kingston every problem I had vanished. Note that the size is not the same as speed, but bigger cards tend to have higher speed. Can’t help you out with exactly what you need, but if you give me some info on what you have, I’ll try to advice.

Just out of curiosity, what is it that you are trying to make? Judging from your pictures, it seems like you are wanting to build a piano? If so, why are you using the MP3 function? Mind you, you have a perfect piece of equipment to make a piano, but I am curious as to how you are trying to do it. I am finding myself quite interested in your project, so if you need any more help on the shield, code or otherwise, feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Have a nice day!