Monday, August 11, 2008

Winamp @ fingertips

the circuit

Well, been seriously thinking of writing something geeky( or atleast semi-geeky :) ), and here I'm with something that's totally so un-geekish.

The following circuit is to control the Nullsoft Winamp media player using push switches connected via Serial-port. I had an estimated expense of 30-40 rupees in setting up the whole circuit and getting it to work.

The idea is to control the basic functionalities of Winamp via external control. I was searching for the same for amarok and landed up with a plug in that allows interaction with Winamp directly from serial port.

Bought the necessary components and the soldering session began. Its my first attempt at soldering and thus it ain't looking all that good. But then what's insulation tape for! Assembled the switches on an old CD box and let the cables long enough so that the box can be placed conveniently at any location near my table. Test run came out succesful!

The circuit is as follows. One terminal each, of the four switches is connected to port 4 of the serial port connector.. Rest is shown in the circuit diagram.

Then comes the time to configure the plug-in which is, in my opinion, quite an easy job.
This is how the plug-in window looks.

And, there I have my own private music buttons to control my favorite music player!!



Safir Shahbaaz said...

very good man...though i didnt understand the sircuit were ok...though bit more detailin can be given on how this thing works..i'm sure u'll improvise..
Safir Shahbaaz(ur worst nightmare)

Anonymous said...

Nice work. Finally i get to see one of the brains doing some kind of soldering!!(he he)
Arun S

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Safir above.. Lil more detailing is required on both hardware and functionality parts.. At the

end of it I was thinking how do I do that now ??

And yeah.. even though i started thinking because i didnt completely understand what you had written I think i

stumbled on something good. Wires are always clumsy how much effort u put into it.. (Kudos to you for that classy

design.. wonderful man!!) I was thinking of a complete wireless remote for amarok / any application you want :) Wont

that be great ??
It might be a lil costly like in the range of 200-300 but still will be worth it. :)

The funda is to build a simple IR receiver using the cheap TSOP's (TSOP **** are 3 legged freaks capable of receiving IR signals. I should say these are the simplest "" IC "" i have seen..) Better to do it with serial port for future development.

It will surely have lesser soldering and wiring than this one. Software side you can do in 3 stages:-
1. Write your own serial port code and control any applications you want. its really easy. python has a very simple serial port library.
>>> import serial
>>> ser = serial.Serial('/dev/ttyS1', 19200, timeout=1)
>>> x = #read one byte
This way u will be able to start of any program and control it. :)

2. Make it compatible with LIRC( This will make it a standard and ur coding efforts will come to zero. Now u wont have to decide which program u wanna control, everything can be controlled :) ex

3. Make a remote mouse.. Yes with some 30-50 lines of code u can actually convert the remote into a mouse :) Again

that means much more control of ur computer :) U wont have to get up from ur bed at 4 in the morning (after some cool movie in half sleep) to switch off ur PC. just take the remote and shutdown :)

ohh!! i think i wrote a lot.. sorry for the length.. U can try doing it and send me a copy so that i can use it here I wil pay :) (Satyam!!)

Anish Bhaskaran

Anonymous said...

Forgot to leave some Google - I am feeling lucky pages..

Anish Bhaskaran

Anonymous said...


Hope we see a new entry soon on the same topic without wires in the pic.. :)


RoHiT 'Z' CoOl said...

a new kinda post form devidas' keyboard... cool

a lil more detailing of the circuit would have been better. Wher are the other ends of the four pins connected ? earth?

nice comment...

Devidas said...

@ safir

yaar, the circuit is self explanatory.. one end of switches are connected to port 4 of the serial port and the rest are connected to ports 1 6 8 9. once the circuit is ready and set, configure the plug in. there is a tab in the plug in named "Winamp" where u can select what kind of action the button should perform when it is pressed. thats where you configure it.

Devidas said...

@ arun


Devidas said...

@ anishetan

Got carried away by the comment. We are starting on the work of IR receiver and remote control cheta... it'll pop up here once completed...
i just avoided the technical stuffs from this article to avoid making it look like a techie blog... wanted to retain the feel of my blog intact

Devidas said...

viveketa.. thanks...

Devidas said...

the reply to your question posted...

Bristow said...

da cool one... At last the 'BRAIN's started working...

Unni said...

cool work..! keeep going.