When I originally installed Sycophant at Art-O-Matic 2004, I used a small Fujitsu Stylistic 1200 pen-based PC to provide the audio using WAV files played back when the PIC microcontroller on the head requested audio through a parallel port signal. The audio was great! But I had problems with the PC crashing, long boot times, etc.
When I went to show Sycophant at the Fraser Gallery, I decided to use a Windbond chipcorder as a solid-state way of doing the audio and getting rid of the PC. The system was now very solid and came on within one second of power-up. But the audio sounded pretty bad.
My next project, Blame, will involve an arm swinging back and forth, stopping when pointing at a person, and blaming them for something horrible (global warming, war, loss of morals, sexual promiscuity, etc.) I wanted better audio, so I looked around for a cheap flash-based MP3 player I could hack for the project to replace the chipcorder.
At Flash Memory Store, which has all kinds of digital storage products, I found the IMP3 SD/MMC card-based MP3 player, which also has a thumb-drive style USB interface. It looks like I can just hook up some N-FETs across the push-switches to drive it. Here are some pictures: