The music player you wish you had in the early 2000s

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May 17, 2024

Project update 9 of 10

First PCBs

by Jacqueline L

Hello once more!

It’s been another month, and so here we are again with another update. Pre-production work has been continuing more or less as planned. We’ve had a small delay getting our pre-production case run finalised, but we don’t expect it to impact our overall timeline.

Pre-production delivery

We’ve received all of the major electronic components for our pre-production run! This includes assembled mainboard and faceplate PCBs, displays, and batteries.

Assembled pre-production faceplate and mainboard PCBs
Assembled pre-production faceplate and mainboard PCBs
A box of the displays we're using
A box of the displays we're using

We’re extremely pleased with everything we’ve received so far! I’ve pulled out a handful of the PCBs to fully assemble and test, and so far haven’t encountered a single issue with any of the boards.

At this point, everyone on the team in Sydney is developing with and using devices that are representative of our production hardware. This gives me a lot of confidence that, if there are any remaining latent hardware issues, then we should encounter them sooner rather than later.

In terms of ‘completing’ our pre-production manufacturing, there’s still a long tail of smaller bits and pieces that are yet to arrive, but they’re largely generic components that we don’t anticipate having any issues with.


We’ve had some small delays getting our production case design finalised. There were no major issues; the work just turned out to be a little more effort than we were expecting, and we did a poor job of managing the extra workload. This shouldn’t affect our overall production timeline (we expected something to go wrong!), but it does mean we don’t have exciting photos of the case to show you this month.

EMC Testing

We’ve mentioned in some of our earlier campaign updates that EMC compliance work has been ongoing in the background, but it’s been a while since we talked specifically about it.

We’ve engaged a testing lab, and we’re currently scheduled to conduct formal testing in early June. This is on track, and gives us plenty of time to finalise all the paperwork we need ahead of shipping units. We’ve done all the prep work and pre-testing we can, so we’re very confident going into testing.

Firmware Improvements

As usual, we’ve also been making steady work on improving our firmware. We’re getting ourselves into the habit of tagging actual releases over on Codeberg, so follow along there for full details.

Highlights from the past month of work include an on-device file browser, more flexible control schemes implemented in Lua, and a variety of smaller performance and usability improvements as we start focusing more on overall polish.

The main area of work still to be done before we think about a "v1.0" release is accessibility-related; most notably, we’re working towards audio prompts so that the device is still nice to use without the screen.

‘Scrobbling’ support is also something that keeps coming up as a feature people want, so we’re also thinking about that. Feedback on features people are interested in on our forum is always appreciated!

See you next month!

That’s all for this month! Hopefully next time we’ll be showing you some completed pre-production hardware, and be able to share an update on the early stages of our first full production batch.

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