SparkFun Little Soundie Audio Player

The SparkFun Little Soundie is a fun and easy-to-use audio playback device breaking out the VS1000D audio codec IC allowing this little board the ability to decode OGG Vorbis and WAV type files. The Little Soundie makes adding sound effects to your project, prop, or costume easy with the built-in USB mass storage for your audio files and simple methods of triggering audio playback. Beyond playing back your chosen audio files, the Little Soundie is remarkably easy to set up, with just four simple steps: connect to your computer using a micro-USB cable, press the power/play button, format the disk when prompted, then just drag and drop your .ogg or .wav files!

There are five areas on the Little Soundie that allows you, the user, to interact with the board, the Power/Play button, the trigger pins, the 3.5mm jack and micro-USB port, and the VSIDE pins and each of these areas provide different functions for operation. The Power/Play button is pretty much what it says it is, it turns on the VS1000D which then triggers all the internal voltage regulators. The trigger pins on the left side of the board activate each track on the Little Soundie based on a binary code while a momentary connection to 3.3V will trigger the audio to playback (we go into good detail about this in the Hookup Guide below). The 3.5mm jack and micro-USB connector provide your input and outputs for the board. Finally on the right side of the board are the VSIDE UART programming pins which allow you to change or add any functionality of the Little Soundie through the IDE.

Note: Speakers are required for the Little Soundie, not headphones. Headphones won’t break anything but you won’t get any sound either.

Get Started with the SparkFun Little Soundie Guide

  • VIN 3.3V-5.5V
  • All IO 3.3V logic with pull down resistors (not 5V tolerant)
  • Plays audio stored on 4Mb SPI Flash
  • Load audio on USB Mass Storage
  • Uses high-performance license-free Ogg Vorbis decoder for compressed audio
  • Also plays .WAV type files
  • Customizable
  • Line-Out stereo analog output with SNR>90dB
  • Supports variable bit-rate and sample rates
  • 6 GPIO for triggering audio playback (Binary Coded)
  • Programming free!

SparkFun Little Soundie Audio Player Product Help and Resources

Little Soundie Audio Player Hookup Guide

April 26, 2018

Add sound effects to your project, prop or costume with Little Soundie Audio Player.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

1 Soldering

Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Customer Comments

  • Are we going to be waiting long for this to come back in stock?

  • Has anyone had an issue with the player locking up? If I play at least two different files, it locks up after the third file. I have to hold the Power/Play button in for 5 seconds or cycle the power to reset it. If I trigger the same input repeatedly, it will keep playing more than 3 times. But as soon as you try another input it locks up.

  • Why would it work with speakers but not headphones? Perhaps it was meant the other way around. Headphones but not speakers?

    • This isn’t a headphones application. You can plug headphones in, get a tiny amount of sound but the product needs to be used with powered speakers.

  • Anyone have a sense on the over/under of whether the clock on this can be “bent” to playback the stored sounds at lower/higher pitches?

    • I think you can manipulate it in code but you won’t be able to change the pitch while playing. You’d have to tweak it, play it, tweak it, play it, etc. The VS1000D firmware is in the repo, have at it.

  • Can the 4MB SPI flash be changed to a larger one and if so, would the extra storage be accessible? is the source program available? This is a nifty gadget, with seemingly a lot of potential.

    • The source program is in the firmware folder in the repo. And YES! it can. In fact, source to access/read more memory (8x more memory) is almost done. I left this as a hack-I will share the source and the drop in SPI flash replacement in the next few months. If you file an issue in the Little Soundie repo about this I can add you as a collaborator to the hack repo if you’d like.

  • Hello, when you say that: “You can trigger about 20 files (2-3 seconds sound bites each) […]so I recommend using OGG if more then 5-6 sound bites are to be used.” does that mean that I can use a .ogg file of any size (as long as it fits in the memory)? So something like a minute of audio or so.

    Also, when the board is looping a single file, is there any delay when the sound restarts, or is it istantaneous?

    And finally, is there some certified site of yours where i can buy that ships to Europe(Italy)? I tried some of the sites suggested on your website, but they don’t seem to sell your stuff. Thanks.

    Celerity is the key whith this one…

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