You can now play MP3 files directly in CircuitPython with no dedicated decoding hardware! You'll be able to use this new capability in all sorts of projects, including this creepy Lars the Sloth voice box project!
The benefit of MP3 over other non-compressed file formats, such as WAV, has always been their small file size, meaning you can pack a lot of songs or samples into limited memory. However, decompressing those small files for playback was too taxing for older microcontrollers, so we had to use dedicated decoder chips at an additional cost, including licensing fees.
Thanks to the raw speed of M4 and nRF52840-based boards, the days of requiring a dedicated MP3 audio decoder chip are behind us. And, since the patents have expired, we can now distribute MP3 playback libraries free of charge!
The choice is yours, but if you want to embed creepy, semi-threatening voice samples into a murder puppet, you could do worse than a Sickening Sloth Fuggler.
The teeth. Oh the teeth.
Lars is angry that Joe won't reveal the location of his Wonka-style Golden ice cream gift cards. This video linked below will make everything clear:
Actor Matt Biedel (Umbrella Academy, Narcos) has kindly given us permission to use Lars's voice. At least that's what Joe claims.