The idea was to create a TiVo and SliMP3 in one. And since I have a Tivoli sound system, I thought it would be a good idea to have it’s looks integrated as well.
The design goals are:
1. A box which looks small and nice enough to put on a shelf without looking geeky. I'm trying to aim for it to be 6" high, 11" wide and maybe 10" deep. Maybe I’ll be able to shrink it later.
2. No monitor, keyboard or mouse. All controls either through the integrated knob or the remote control. (I managed to get an RF remote at eBay, which works through walls, so line of sight is not required!)
2. Only display is through a front LCD panel like you have on general audio systems. Controlling through a TV screen is a strict no-no while listening to music!
3. Record and time-shift TV programs.
4. Broadcast music over internet radio (I do this occasionally nowadays, although you might hear only old hindi songs!)
5. Lastly, and this might be optional, broadcast music over an FM transmitter, for a range of maybe 50 to a 100 ft, so that I can tune any normal transistor radio to listen to music playing from home.
After doing a lot of research, starting from Operating System, to motherboards, to trying to figure out if the OS should be embedded or not, came to the conclusion that since this is the first time I’m delving into the innards of a computer AND trying to create something useful, let me stay with the stuff I’m familiar with. I can always integrate change things like the OS later.
Embedded systems were discarded right up front, because I just don’t know enough about them.
So finally, decided to have a Windows XP system, with the necessary software.