2016 MP3 Winners

Here are the winners of the MP3 Music Player challenge, who have successfully hacked the Astro Pi to transform it into an MP3 player. The ISS will no longer be silent!

Astro MP3 Player

Team name: Jude Young
Key Stage: 2
Teacher: Andrew Young

Jude’s player has all the standard features you would expect in an MP3 player, with buttons for play, pause, skip next/previous, and volume up/down. It has a number of fun patterns on the LED matrix that can play in time to the music, and it also displays the name of the track currently being played.

MP3 Player Using Gyros

Team name: Lowena Hull
Key Stage: 3
Teacher: Gary Barrows

Lowena has made an MP3 player with all the standard features, but she also added a neat feature where you can adjust the volume, and skip to the next or previous track, by shaking the Astro Pi. A horizontal twist to the left or right skips tracks, and a vertical twist adjusts the volume. This feature is based on the Sense HAT gyroscope, so it should work correctly on the ISS.

Tim's Interstellar Music Player

Team name: Joe Speers
Key Stage: 4
Teacher: Craig Speers

This was one of the most polished MP3 players we saw in the competition, with an introduction featuring Joe’s voice sample; it also beeps as the user operates it. It even has nice sweeping colour gradients that take the user from one screen to the next. The player contains an extensive menu with many extra features, including an alarm clock which plays the Red Dwarf theme tune when it goes off! We especially liked the graphic equaliser visualisation, which you can leave on while the music plays.


Team name: Marcus Panchal
Key Stage: 2
Teacher: Sanjay Panchal

This player also has all the standard features that you’d expect; however, Marcus was the only student to provide an info screen that shows the progress through the song currently playing. This was novel, intuitive, and really won over the judges. It works by using the LED matrix in a split-screen mode; the top shows two digits representing the number of minutes elapsed, and the bottom half shows a bar indicating progress through the current minute.