Design Team Members: Cindy Kwan, Mary Lai, Flora Shiu

Supervisor: Professor Safieddin Safavi-Naeini

Background

Although the emergence of mp3’s was an incredible break-through for the music industry, the growth of popularity and market share of mp3 players have remained virtually stagnant. It is suspected that the popularity of mp3 players is limited by the inconvenience of obtaining and downloading mp3’s onto the players. To make mp3 searching and downloading less time-consuming, there is a need for developing a mechanism to allow automatic peer-to-peer mp3 transfers anytime anywhere. This need is the inspiration for our 4th year project.

Bluetooth is the most promising and suitable technology to be used for this project. Bluetooth is a radio frequency (RF) specification. It supports short range, point-to-point and point-to-multi point voice and data transfer. The key feature of Bluetooth is that it does not require direct line of sight between devices to establish connection. This feature enables greater flexibility than InfraRed technology. More specifically, Bluetooth technology provides a 10 meter radius that supports simultaneous data transmission for multiple devices. Hence, up to eight Bluetooth devices, located within 10 meters, can connect to each other without direct line of sight. The full duplex exchange rate of Bluetooth technology is up to 1 Mbps.

Project description

Currently, downloading songs onto mp3 players is quite a troublesome activity. This project addresses this issue by providing a solution to extend the functionalities of existing mp3 players in order to allow automatic song-searching and wireless exchanges between players. The proposed solution includes the design and prototyping of a software application using Bluetooth technology, which is to be integrated with the hardware equipment chosen by the group. Due to the infeasibility of implementing on mp3 players, the prototype of this project will be implemented on the Compaq iPAQ H3870 pocket PC, which has built-in Bluetooth capability.

The main functionality of the software is wireless mp3 searching. The idea is to have users maintain a list of desired mp3’s and the software will continuously perform searches for these mp3s on other nearby mp3 players that are also running this software. Once the mp3 is found, a file transfer will be made immediately via Bluetooth. In simpler terms, a community similar to a wireless Napster community is virtually created. Additional features will be added, as needed.

Design methodology

The methodology used in this project is adopted from the traditional Waterfall software model. The major stages include hardware and software feasibility analysis, requirements specification, system-level architecture, preliminary hardware testing, prototype implementation, software integration, simulation and testing, hardware synthesis, and finally the evaluation of the final product. The advance from one stage to another involves the completion of the previous step. Iterations in the reverse direction will be performed if necessary.

Software requirements and design are each separated into three main categories – user interface, client application and server application. The search algorithm and file transfer procedures are the two major components of the software design.

Currently, the group is at the stage of preparing a final version of the detailed software design. More optimization on the preliminary design will be performed before implementation. The rest of the stages including implementation, debugging, integration, and validation are to be completed by end of the SD 462 workshop.