Portable Media Player : Circuit, Working, Wiring & Its Applications

The first portable media player was launched by Archos company in 2002. This media company was very famous for its portable media devices which were founded in the year 1988. The media player device played audio files & digital video. At present, there are different kinds of portable media players that can play simply different digital audio, video & image files. The advanced media player supports games; records video and also offers extra storage space. So usually this space is in the form of memory card slots which are in small sizes and store digital files. So this article discusses an overview of a portable media player – working with applications.

What is Portable Media Player?

A portable media player definition is; an electronic device that is used to play digital media like audio, video, and images. Generally, these media players are available in small sizes with different colors. This player also has one more feature that is; it is capable of playing above one type of media. Some media players have the capability to record audio with an inbuilt microphone, FM tuner, or line-out cable. Portable media players have either hard disk or flash storage which is supported by memory card slot players like SD (Secure Digital), CF (CompactFlash) & memory sticks.


Portable Media Player
Portable Media Player

For a media player, the storage space mainly depends on the files because some kinds of files are bigger compared to others, however, they can be played normally on a normal media player. There are some files like audio, pictures, video, etc are almost compatible and available in different formats like MP3, AAC, JPEG, WMA, WAV, WMV & MPEG-4.

How Does Portable Media Player Work?

A portable media player comes with inbuilt rechargeable batteries, headphones, a 3.5 mm stereo jack, and an external amplifier. These media players mainly include different components like input, memory, processor, and output.

The manufacturers of these media players specify their electronic characteristics frequently so users can quickly find out their highest output level of sound.

So once you turn on your media player, it functions like a computer. In this player, the processor chip loads an audio format & reads the ID3 index cards. So depending on the mined data, the song and the artist name of that particular song can be displayed on the LCD.

After that, each frame of the audio file needs to be read one by one. After that, the processor allows the header & the data to convert this digital data into sound frequencies. These sound frequencies are simply decoded as music by your ears & brain decode.

The audio music can be added to the music player in two ways; one is by syncing and the other one is by accessing Apple’s iTunes Store. In the syncing process, you can connect the music player to a PC to run particular software that could be gotten either from the website of the manufacturer or CD-ROM. So this procedure can be done physically once the software doesn’t work out.

Another method to add some music to a portable music player is by simply accessing an online store for music content like Apple’s iTunes Store. So these places simply allow the users to access a vast array of content that could either be purchased or downloaded.

Whenever the procedure has on the track, you have to choose what you desire to listen to by the LCD & the control buttons to surf throughout the music library of the player. The audio sound comes frequently throughout the ears & the brain by headphones otherwise external speakers. Headphones transform the output of a media player into sound energy. But the sound which reaches to your ear mainly depends on the kind of headphones as well as how you connect them to your device.

History of Portable Media Player

At present portable media, players are different as compared to 1980’s media players, because, by using present media players you can check emails, watch videos, capture pictures & buy different songs, etc.

The Sony Walkman

A portable cassette player like Stereobelt was invented by a German-Brazilian in the year 1972. In 1977, he applied for copyright & it was simply rejected.

After that in 1979, suddenly Sony launched Sony Walkman which is a portable device, used simply for audio cassettes & listening to the radio. At present, the advanced Walkman was launched for audio, and video & even like a phone. So there have been different kinds of Walkman launched like The Walkman professional, Video Walkman, CD Walkman & even the Walkman Core.

Discman a.k.a. CD walkman

The first portable CD player called the Discman/D-50 was launched by Sony in the year 1982. After one year, Sony introduced portable players after CDs. The main problem with these CD players was skipping. So finally they came up with the protection of Electronic skip to solve this skipping issue in 1993.

The first MP3 Player

The first mp3 player was launched by Tomislav Uzelac in 1997 which is known as AMP MP3 Playback Engine. After that, another mp3 player was launched in the year 1997 known as MPMan. So this player has a total of 32MB which includes around six songs.

The Diamond Rio

An MP3 player like Diamond Rio was launched in the year 1998. The storage of this player is 32 MB. This is assumed as the first Digital Audio Player.


In the year 2001, iPod was launched and upto 2004, the business of these players was very slow due to the price & compatibility with Mac-only. Now, these are very popular music players because these are available with touchscreen & smaller in size.

Portable Media Player Circuit

The design of a simple, powerful, and portable media player which plays any MP3 song and also it adjusts the track and its volume using push buttons.

The required components to build a portable mp3 media player mainly include a GPD2846 MP3 player Module, 3.3V Voltage regulator, 3 Push Buttons, 220K resistor, ON/OFF button, breadboard, speaker, connecting wires, and soldering kit.

GPD2846 MP3 Player Module

The GPD2846 MP3 Player module has a slot for an SD card which includes different MP3 songs. Once we activate the module, then it starts playing mp3 songs. This module includes mainly four holes Battery Positive, Speaker positive, Speaker negative & Ground.

The three push buttons in the module are mainly used for Playing or Pausing different audio songs, Changing the track & Increases, or decreasing the volume. The pin configuration of this module is discussed below.

GPD2846 MP3 Player Module
GPD2846 MP3 Player Module

Button1: When this button1 is pressed, it changes the track. When it is long pressed then it decreases the volume.
Button2: When this button2 is pressed, then it plays and pauses the track. When it is long-pressed then it changes to FM.
Button 3: When this button3 is pressed, then it changes to the next track. When it is long pressed then it increases the volume.

The Vcc pin of the module accepts either 5V/3.3V, however, they must be controlled voltage. The speaker pins of this module can be connected directly to any speaker; there is no need for any Amplifier circuit since the module itself houses an Audio Amplifier.

Circuit Diagram & Its Wiring

The portable mp3 player circuit is shown below. Connect the circuit as per the shown diagram. In this circuit diagram, push buttons are connected to the MP3 module to control the song and its volume.
This circuit uses a 9V battery, so to regulate this voltage from 9V to 3.3V, a KIA78R Voltage regulator is used. An ON/OFF switch is simply connected to the trigger pin to Turn ON/OFF the module. Across the VCC & GND, a 0.1uF capacitor is connected to filter noise. The speaker is connected directly to the SP+ & SP- pins.

Portable Media Player Circuit
                                          Portable Media Player Circuit

In the three buttons in the above circuit, the right side three terminal boxes are pulled up to 3.3V with 220K pull-up resistor whereas the left side three terminal boxes are connected simply to ground through a push button.

The working of this circuit is very simple. First, include the SD card with various MP3 songs. When giving power to the module, a red color light will be turned ON as soon as power is turned ON. After some time, the LED will flash & the track will start playing. When the song playing is over then it will move to the next track automatically. The three buttons in the module are used for controlling the volume and track as discussed above.


The characteristics of portable media players are given below.

  • Portable media players have a wide range of applications which ranges from professional tools used at the workplace to the leisurely consumer.
  • These digital music players are portable devices.
  • These are extensively used in combination with various styles of headphones.
  • Generally, the dynamic recording range is normally selected to fit the storage device’s technical characteristics & based on the tone engineer as well as the music style.
  • Usually, the manufacturers of these music players specify the output characteristics of their equipment.
  • The volume of emitted sound by portable media players varies from one manufacturer to other & is hard to estimate.

Advantages & Disadvantages

The advantages of portable media players include the following.

  • It is a portable and weight media player.
  • These are available in different sizes and colors.
  • The portable media players have an ID3 tag for the MP3 file which stores the name of the artist, the title of the song, and the year.
  • In this player, own playlists can be created because of the digital format of files. If many copies of the same files are created then the quality of the audio will stay the same. So this method is called serial duplication.
  • Portable media players are developed mainly to allow the user to carry their music player anywhere.
  • These are very simple to operate and use as compared to CD players.
  • The typical portable media player has many benefits in terms of the capacity of storage because CDs hold 700MB of data approximately whereas the media player holds the data in GBs based on the device type.
  • Media players are very smaller compared to the CD player and thus simply fit within the pocket. Thus, you can listen to your music while on the move.
  • Many media players can perform different tasks instead of playing music like playing videos, browsing the Web & running different applications.
  • These players can carry a number of songs with digital music compression, Thus, there is no need of carrying CDs with the users.

The disadvantages of portable media players include the following.

  • As compared to CD players, the media player’s sound quality is not good because CD players simply provide very clear audio.
  • The data is vulnerable to losses because of virus or malware attacks while sharing or receiving files or when media players are connected to computers.
  • As compared to CD players, portable media players are expensive.
  • The audio quality of portable media players is low.


The use of a portable media player includes the following.

  • A portable media player is used to store & play digital media like images, audio & video.
  • Some media players have the capability to record audio with an in-built microphone, FM tuner, or line-out cable.

Thus, this is an overview of a portable media player – working with applications. Portable media players examples are; cell phones, smart watches, digital cameras, Satellite navigation receivers, Internet-connected tablets, etc. Here is a question for you, what is an mp3 player?