Triggering sound

Hello board!

Just wondering if someone can give me feasibility or advice on a project I've got cooking.

Short version is this- I'm wiring an Arduino Nano to control a bunch of LEDs and whatnot for a model I'm working on. That part of it I've got a pretty firm grasp on, but I had the idea the other night of possibly placing a small speaker inside of the model to trigger a sound effect when my lights kick on.

Very new to this Arduino thing, but not electronics in general. I did some searching and found articles outlining how to convert various sound file formats and storing them in the Arduino's memory, but honestly, that's WAAAY more time than I've got to spare. I'm not looking for it to control an iPod or anything terribly difficult- just play the same sound when my lights come on.

The easiest way my industrial controls-centric mind can come up with is just having the sound effect on a loop (or a really long single track with some built in silence as a delay for coordination purposes) and controlling the physical connection between the iPod and the speaker with a little relay (like inserting the relay in series between the audio out of the iPod and the speaker, in other words), timing it to match the programming I've got for the LEDs.

Pretty confident this will work, just wondering if there's an easier/ better way to do it.

The main thing I'm working against here is the relatively small amount of room I've got to maneuver inside this model's interior. It's kind of a pyramid shape with the base being about 6" x 6", but with the slope of the walls, it's really probably more like 3" x 3" or 4" x 4" tops of actual usable space. There again, that space also has to house batteries, the Nano, LEDs and the wiring, so I've not got a ton of room.

As for the sound file, it's just a short audio clip. I have it in MP3, but could convert it to WAV or whatever fairly simply, so that's not much of a problem really with GarageBand, etc.

So what do you think? Have I already hit on the easy way to do it or are there some chips or something out there that could make this easier/ smaller?

Thanks in advance!

I believe there is a shield which enables you to play a pre-recorded sound clip, and I think that sounds like exactly what you need here.

I was under the impression that the shields weren't compatible (physically) with Nanos. Did I get that wrong?

You are correct, the Nano is not physically compatible with most shields.
One other option is to use a Piezo speaker and play tones.
Check out this tutorial.

how about one of these:

Cheers, scott_fx! That just might do the trick!