I'm sure most of us are familiar with the linksys NSLU2, after reading up on this Ethernet USB host I've discovered that with the current hardware and software supported on this platform most anyone can implement a basic audio player.
with the following hardware NSLU2
+ USB audio
+ USB hard drive + hardware hack for power control + interface device.
and the following softwareLinux for th NSLU2
+ player app
you get an MP3 player that runs Linux on a strong arm processor.
the hardware hack for power controller can be simple or micro controller based, If a uC is used it can also double as the interface controller, or a PDA could be used, or bluetooth device
there are several ways to run Linux on this thing, for the player software could the empeg code be ported? or would that violate any copyrite/user agreements?
I've seen the NSLU2 as low as $75
sound for $30 (granded it may sound like crap)
USB storage 100GB $92
AVR chip < $8.00
VFD display ~$40
total should be ~$400 with extras