Power Needed to decode mp3 audio files?

How much processing power is required to decode an audio mp3 file under linux?  Would a 486/100 or 133 do it or would I need something more powerful?  What about memory would 4 megs be enough?

Also would using a poor mans sound card(putting a DSP chip on the parallel port) make a difference? (I think I remember hearing its eats alot of cpu power)

What I'm doing is I have a PC/104 486 board and I was thinking of making a mpeg player for my car.  They are available commercially for about $1000.  I figure I could build it cheaper if I can use these boards I already have.

I guess I could always use a full size motherboard but that would take up alot of room.
Who is Participating?

[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

j2Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Great resource.

So so page

also so so


your real problem will be

Powersupply: 'Puters need a STABLE supply of +12 +5 -12V. To get a stable +12 you need atleast +18V to downstep from, or use switching regulators.

CPU: Forget a 486

Interference: A car is a VERY EMI-rich enviroment.
Dunno the answer, but If you get this thing running, you should write up how to do it, or maybe even go into business.

Have you thought about stuff like power, and how you're going to control it (keyboard, monitor etc.) I guess you could wirte some low level interface through the serial port and hook it up to an LCD with a few buttons. Seems like a big project tho'.

Good luck,

I think at least a Pentium 100Mhz would be needed. I also think the parallel sound scheme wouldn't provide the performance needed.
Never miss a deadline with monday.com

The revolutionary project management tool is here!   Plan visually with a single glance and make sure your projects get done.

Uhm, the paralell decoders works like a charm, just havent seen one with linux support. They only need a clocking of 9600 (which is standard paralell speed) to work, and the load on the cpu is practically null.
The only time I saw one it was running on Winblows and it would make the machine go down to it's knees. Maybe because of the OS. :)
Uhm, Think about this for a moment:

Which operating system does NOT have the power to pump 9-15Kbyte/sec trough a paralell port?

What you saw was most likely a "passive decoder", i am talking about "active decoders"
n3mtrAuthor Commented:
Thanks J2 those sites gave me everything I need.
And thanks to everyone else as well.  Your comments were appriciated.

It looks like I will have to use something more powerful.
The question is what to do with the 486 PC/104 boards I have.
hey.. those are kinda cool :) Uhm.. use a bigger harddisk and decode the mp3's to .wav before loading them over? *lol* (ok, just kidding)
All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.