ESP8266 Project Preview: FairyBox – The Kid & Parent Friendly Wifi Controllable MP3 Player

This is a quick preview of my next ESP8266 project in the pipeline: The FairyBox. Planned features:

(Planned) Features

  • Simple song selection with big buttons: button 1 selects folder one, first song, press button 1 again and it jumps to second song in folder 1.
  • Web interface where parents can 
    • control volume (limit) to protect hearing, 
    • skip super annoying songs remotely (important!)
    • set daily maximum playtime
    • see usage statistics;-)
  • Super crispy OLED display showing 
    • current song
    • playtime
    • volume, 
    • image per folder or song
    • weather information;-)
    • night light (a star for night time, a sun for daytime to let the kid know wether it is time to get up)
  • Powered by rechargeable LiPo power pack

Current State

After setting up everything on a prototyping board I continued to soldering everything together on a prototyping PCB and all the components seem to work together perfectly. I can already play one song per button from the SD card, volume of the tiny loudspeaker is perfectly sufficient. Especially new to me was to use the ADC and some resistors to “multiplex” the six buttons into just one input pin.

Remaining Work

Not just winter is coming but also christmas and the FairyBox is supposed to be a christmas present for my daughter. So, for a “production” ready FairyBox I still need a lot of programming and also to put the hardware in a nice casing that deserves the name FairyBox. BTW: the price for the hardware components is in the sub USD $30 area so far! Stay tuned!

FairyBox Breadboard Setup
Prototype setup: it works! Now “just” programming required
and casing

Posted by Daniel Eichhorn

Daniel Eichhorn is a software engineer and an enthusiastic maker. He loves working on projects related to the Internet of Things, electronics, and embedded software. He owns two 3D printers: a Creality Ender 3 V2 and an Elegoo Mars 3. In 2018, he co-founded ThingPulse along with Marcel Stör. Together, they develop IoT hardware and distribute it to various locations around the world.


    • This is just a teaser;-). But not to lead you in the wrong direction: the mp3's come from an mini sd card and are played by dedicated hardware (google for dfplayer mini). I will program the NodeMCU with the Arduino/ESP8266 platform and control the dfplayer mini over serial lines… Big drawback of this setup: you cannot read out filenames of the MP3 files…

  1. Hallo Dani,

    hast du das Projekt jemals fertiggestellt?
    Wenn ja, veröffentlichst du noch die Software und einen Schaltplan?
    Ich würde so einen Player gerne für meinen Neffen bauen….

    Danke und Grüße

    • Hi Marco
      No, sadly the FairyBox is in a half finished state. Maybe I’ll get it done for next christmas (sorry for replying in English but this way more people can profit from it). I hope that when I continue I also will have time to do proper documentation of the project…

  2. squix78: Enjoyed your FairyBox Project with blog comments from 2016-2017. Did you finish the FairyBox programming? Is it functional?

    Thank you in advance,
    Bill B.

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