Of course by now, MP3 player comes in all sorts of shape and sizes – ranging from the ultra-mini cube-shape ones (like those above) to chunkier, meatier versions that has much higher storage capacities and other functions like video-playback. The hardware technology to simply listen to MP3 music has advanced to the stage where the size is no longer much of a constraint – for instance, the one above is not much bigger than a few stacked coins. Instead, the design, user interface, technology and other factors would come into play – which is why we see the wide diversification of MP3 hardware.
The ones in the top picture shows MP3 player that is much like a handphone accessory (now you know you don’t need to pay extra dollars for your MP3-enabled phone – you can get the MP3-phone-strap instead!). What is more interesting, however, is that the internal module (known as MOTZ DIY Music Box) is for sale as well. Featuring the standard volume and track controls (think iPod shuffle), Li-Polymer battery and 256MB memory, it is the barest of a functional MP3 player. You can wrap it up in cloth mini-socks, or RP a custom-designed case, or line up a 3×3 matrix of these to form your 9-channel MP3 mixer.
The question now then is – what would you do with it? What can you do with it? In a way, it can be the perfect challenge for designers and design students. Think you can do better than Ives? Now you have a cheap, flexible and easy-to-use piece of internal component – see how far can you push yourself to create a desirable and attractive MP3 player design to call your own – and, with some luck and mad skillz, others would covet it too!
Link to the part supplier (Korean)