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DFPlayer Mini

The DFPlayer Mini is a small (cheap!) and flexible mp3 player unit that can be controlled via an Arduino. Unless you have a specific need for a 'trigger' function (where individual tracks are tripped using specific linked buttons) it's a nifty alternative to the larger and more expensive Sparkfun mp3 trigger.

Preparing files

Like the Sparkfun Mp3 trigger, some preparatory steps are required to have files play reliably from the SD card. The files you use should be in mp3 format, and their names should be numbered from 1 (e.g. 1.mp3, 2.mp3, 3.mp3... and so on).

Macs do a weird thing where every time you use a SD card or memory stick, it creates a bunch of hidden files, which can cause some strange errors.

These hidden files and folders can't be easily removed in Finder, and instead need to be removed by opening up the volume using the terminal. You will need to repeat this step EVERY TIME you plug the SD card in (though you might only have to remove 1 or 2 files). Once you have finished copying your .mp3 files to the SD card, open up a mac terminal and type in the following:

$ cd /Volumes/<name-of-volume>	# this navigates to the correct volume
$ ls -a				# verify what's in the output of this
$ rm ._*.mp3			# this removes all of the thumbnails
$ rm -r .Spotlight-V100 	# deletes the .Spotlight-V100 folder
$ rm -r .fseventsd   		# deletes the .fseventsd folder
$ rm -r .Trashes     		# deletes the .Trashes folder
$ ls -a				# this shows all the files you have left

 Be very careful when you are running the rm -r command: this will recursively delete files and is NOT reversible. Only run it when you know you are in the correct folder, and make sure you know which folder you are deleting)

Operation not Permitted error
Sometimes on a mac you might get an error "operation not permitted". If you have this, follow these instructions to allow your Terminal to change files

e.g. see below: I use ls -a multiple times to check what I still need to delete. At the end, all that's left is the .mp3s and the . and .. shortcuts (these aren't file and can be ignored).

Photo showing the commands listed in plaintext above being run in a mac terminal.

Wiring the DFPlayer

Arduino Leonardo

If you are using an Arduino Leonardo, these come with a secondary serial port readily enabled, and you don't need to add any code.

Connections: rxRX and txTX on the DFPlayer connected to 0 and 1 of arduino,the Arduino, connect DFPlayer rxRX through a 1k resistor). RX stands for 'receiver' and TX stands for 'transmitter' -- so you need to connect the pin marked RX on the DFPlayer to the pin marked TX on the Arduino, and vice versa.

Arduino Uno

If you are using an Arduino Uno, you need to enable software serial, to configure pins 10 and 11 to be serial pins. You will also need to uncomment the lines of code labelled 'Uno' below.

Connections: RX and TX on the DFPlayer connected to 10 and 10 of the Arduino, connect DFPlayer RX through a 1k resistor). As before, RX stands for 'receiver' and TX stands for 'transmitter' -- so you need to connect the pin marked RX on the DFPlayer to the pin marked TX on the Arduino, and vice versa.

DFPlayer Code

There's a number of different Arduino libraries for communicating with the DFPlayer on line, though the simplest is probably the one made by the manufacturers, DFRobotDFPlayerMini. Install it using the Arduino library manager, instructions here.

This sample code is adapted from the library's 'Getting Started' example, and will play tracks while also showing any error messages over the serial monitor.

#include "DFRobotDFPlayerMini.h"

//Uncomment next 2 lines if you're using an Uno ->
//#include "SoftwareSerial.h"
//SoftwareSerial Serial1(10, 11); //RX, TX

DFRobotDFPlayerMini myDFPlayer;

void setup()
  Serial.println(F("DFRobot DFPlayer Mini"));
  Serial.println(F("Initializing DFPlayer ... (May take 3~5 seconds)"));

  //Use softwareSerial to communicate with board
  if (!myDFPlayer.begin(Serial1)) {  
    Serial.println(F("Unable to begin:"));
    Serial.println(F("1.Please recheck the connection!"));
    Serial.println(F("2.Please insert the SD card!"));
  Serial.println(F("DFPlayer Mini online."));


  myDFPlayer.volume(15);  //Set volume value. From 0 to 30;  //Play the first mp3. to loop, exchange 'play' for 'loop'

void loop()
  if (myDFPlayer.available()) {

void printDetail(uint8_t type, int value){
  switch (type) {
    case TimeOut:
      Serial.println(F("Time Out!"));
    case WrongStack:
      Serial.println(F("Stack Wrong!"));
    case DFPlayerCardInserted:
      Serial.println(F("Card Inserted!"));
    case DFPlayerCardRemoved:
      Serial.println(F("Card Removed!"));
    case DFPlayerCardOnline:
      Serial.println(F("Card Online!"));
    case DFPlayerPlayFinished:
      Serial.println(F(" Play Finished!"));
    case DFPlayerError:
      switch (value) {
        case Busy:
          Serial.println(F("Card not found"));
        case Sleeping:
        case SerialWrongStack:
          Serial.println(F("Get Wrong Stack"));
        case CheckSumNotMatch:
          Serial.println(F("Check Sum Not Match"));
        case FileIndexOut:
          Serial.println(F("File Index Out of Bound"));
        case FileMismatch:
          Serial.println(F("Cannot Find File"));
        case Advertise:
          Serial.println(F("In Advertise"));