Using a microcontroller to control / play categorized audio

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 17, 2020
Hello Everybody!
I'm making a project which is essentially an audio player. In my project I have many audio files which are sorted in different categories.

For an example, Assume that my categories are 1) Home Automation 2) Car Electronics and 3) Drones

Now I have several audio files under each of those categories. ( eg : Home1.wav Home2.wav Car1.wav etc etc)

I want a system which can read aloud the category name first when turned on. Then I need to go through the categories with the help of 2 physical buttons. ( forward and back ) After I reach the required category, pressing a third button should get me into the category directory. Then the forward and back buttons must be able to cycle through the different audio files by name, and when I press the third button, the audio file must be played.

For this I came up with a few ideas. First I found out that I can use an arduino alone with a SD card module. I have never used this feature before so I am not so sure. My original idea was to store the files on an android phone and use the arduino somehow to control the phone. (Via bluetooth, WiFI or USB ) The audio output is given by the phone.

I would really appreciate if someone can give me a few pointers on how to proceed. Any new ideas are welcome. ( With any microcontroller or with any device )

The main point of the device is that it should be controllable with those 3 physical buttons completely. For resetting, a master switch is used to cut the power.

Thank you and have a nice day!! :)


Joined Apr 11, 2010
If you are considering using an Arduino, there is a shield which plays audio files from an SD card. It’s from Adafruit and is the Music Maker shield.

It is easy/ possible to program the Arduino as you wish. Then playing the file is simple. (Playing the names, not so easy). The shield is this one.


Joined Jul 10, 2017
It is possible to do all of that. Below are links to tutorials that will explain how to apply the different features that you want to include in your project. The audio is limited to 8 bit .wave files by the speed of the Arduino processor but the audio quality is quite acceptable. Your project would be much simpler if you use a 16 x 2 or 20 x 4 character OLED display to search through the files. They are inexpensive and are available with a serial adapter which simplifies the interface considerably.

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