Here i’m going to show you how to use a cheap $10 MP3 Player, and have Arduino Control it.

Project Steps

Unscrew the two screws on the side and take off the white cover.

Push the circuit board with little force and it will come out on the other side.

The buttons are covered with a plastic sticker cover so just pull it off.

Solder thin wires to the buttons. Two wires per button, one wire on the inner plate & one wire on the outer plate.

A category 5 Network Cable works great for this! I used an old network cable I had laying around.

In the image I only connected the Play/Pause, Previous, and Next Buttons. You can do the same for the volume buttons if you wish.

Now I connected the MP3 Player to the Arduino using a NPN Transistor. The NPN Transistor acts like a switch. (You could also use relays if you don’t have any transistors.)

Wire the transister as follows:

Collector: Outer Plate on button.

Base: to a 1k Resistor, then to the Arduino as shown in the next step.

Emitter: Using 2 wires, wire one to the Inner Plate on button, and the other to the Ground on the Arduino.

Remember the Resistors we connected to the “Base” pin on the transistors?

We need to connect the other end of the resistors to the Arduino as follows:

Play/Pause Button: Analog Pin 1

Previous Button: Analog Pin 2

Next Button: Analog Pin 3

Make sure that you have a spare USB Cable that will work with the MP3 player before doing this step.

This wire is going to be used for charging the MP3 Player from the Arduino board.

(You can skip this step if you don’t want the Arduino to automatically charge the MP3 Player)

Take the USB Cable that came with the MP3 Player. Cut the end off that goes to the computer. We need the end that plugs into the MP3 Player.

There should be 4 wires inside of the cable. Use the red & black wires. (cut the other two off, as they are not needed)

Now connect the Black Wire to the GND on your Arduino.

And connect the Red Wire to the +5v on your Arduino.

You don’t have to connect pins to them. I did it because I’m using a connector.

This step is Optional

Solder wires to the Stereo Phone Plug. (You can get one of these at your local Radio Shack)

There should be 3 wires. Be sure to mark which one is the ground wire.

Now Solder the 3 wires to the speaker.

If only using 1 speaker, connect the L & R Wires together to the Positive side of the speaker. Connect the GND wire to the Negative side of the speaker.

Now plug the jack into MP3 Player.