Compressed audio can be a nice alternative to uncompressed WAV files, especially when you have a small filesystem like that on many CircuitPython boards, as WAV files get sizeable quite quickly.

MP3 technology dates to the 1990s and all the patents have long since expired worldwide, making it an obvious choice for compressed audio. For this reason, many builds of CircuitPython include the audiomp3 module with its MP3Decoder object.

You can listen to a much longer playlist with CircuitPython, using the built in MP3 playback capability!

The MP3 decoder itself supports a wide range of formats, including CBR, ABR and VBR. Across most boards that support MP3Decoder, we've found that mono and stereo files from 32kbit/s to 128kbit/s work, with sample rates from 16kHz to 44.1kHz.

More powerful boards can even decode and mix two MP3s and some Espressif boards can stream MP3s from a web server.

MP3 playback projects

Want some ideas about what you can do with MP3 playback? Here are a few of the MP3 projects which are documented on the Adafruit Learning System:

Parts for the MP3 Streaming Example

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This guide was first published on Jul 08, 2024. It was last updated on Jul 13, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Jul 08, 2024.

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