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After 3 Years, Rockbox 3.0 Released

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the adding-versatility dept.

Music 248

DarkkOne writes "Rockbox version 3.0 is out. Three years in development, it marks the introduction of many new players since the 2.5 release and offers software-based playback allowing audio of nearly any commonly (or uncommonly) used format on a list of MP3 players by Apple, iRiver, Cowon, Archos, Toshiba and Sandisk. Beyond this it is FLOSS, under the GPL v2 license (or later), and includes a variety of plugins such as games and simple apps. 3.0 is the first official release for any players not made by Archos and more or less marks the beginning of a much more regular release cycle for the software."

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Second post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25163887)

This is the second post

Re:Second post (-1, Offtopic)

Krupuk (978265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25163901)

Trolls nowadays can't even count to 2?

Re:Second post (0, Redundant)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164133)

He can count to 2 fine, it's 1 he missed.

Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (2, Insightful)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25163891)

I'm a relative newbie when it comes to media players and I kind of like just plugging my ipod in and letting it sync with itunes. Having said that the hacker in me knows I have an old ipod that I'm not really using at the moment.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this software?

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (5, Informative)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 5 years ago | (#25163929)

The chief advantage over the iPod OS is that it plays flac and ogg vorbis files, as well as many formats of video if your player's CPU is fast enough.
It also lets you move media to and from your your player by simple drag-and-drop operations; you don't need a special app to load it, build the iTunes database, etc.

Disadvantages? Well, the interface is different. I like it, you might not.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

Harold Halloway (1047486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164237)

The chief advantage over the iPod OS is that it plays flac and ogg vorbis files, as well as many formats of video if your player's CPU is fast enough.

Indeed. I was able to play mpeg movies on a 1st Gen iPod Nano. It isn't exactly hi-def but it works.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164289)

The speed of refreshing the database is the biggest Pro there is. My Sansa's default firmware would take 30 seconds just to refresh by which time my car would already be on the road and I would be unable to select a song for a bit. Rockbox knocked that time down to under 10 seconds. Slayer FTW!!

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

tindur (658483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164355)

Suppose I wanted to buy a good mp3-player now. I could buy one of these cracked players and install Rockbox. Still I think I should rather buy a player that does all I want out of the box. Has anybody recently bought a good player that supports ogg vorbis and Linux? There are compatibility lists but they don't seem to reflect what I see in the shops today.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164447)

Meizu M6 has been wonderful to me.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164577)

Most MP3 players that can double as USB storage devices support Linux OOTB without modification. Very few players support OGG, although I have a Meizu Miniplayer SL [meizu.com] (aka 'M6SL') that does.

I've seen the 4GB model for as low $50 [google.com] recently, though $80 is far more typical. It comes in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164643)

I like Cowons players.

I had an X5 (gave it to a friend), and now have an A3.

X5 is definietly a better portable audio player. EXTREMELY durable, good sound, plays MP3, WMA, OGG and FLAC out of the box, along with some video formats, the control is good for use without having to look at the player.

the A3 is a good multimedia player that can be moved (notice I didn't say a good portable multimedia player, there's a difference!). It's not as durable as the X5, and the case it comes with doesn't give you access to the controls without opening it up, nor does the case have a belt clip (no option to buy a case with either). The X5 cases you can buy let you access the buttons/controls without pulling out the X5, and they have cases with belt clips available too.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164807)

I have a Samsung YP-U3. It plays ogg but not flac. Since it's a simple little flash based "thumb drive" style player, I wouldn't want to put big flac files on it anyway.

My only complaint is that it's an MTP device instead of a USB mass storage device, but Amarok interfaces with it fine.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

rapiddescent (572442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165047)

I use the Trekstor Vibez [trekstor.de] that has the benefit of being linux compatible, works beautifully with OGG (all my tunes are Ogg) and also is based on the Sigmatel chipset that is a later version of the popular Rio hardware - so has true gapless playback, Rio DJ and proper sound profiling.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165125)

My iRiver U10 (similar to their current Clix offerings) supports Ogg Vorbis. Out of the box it's a proprietary MTP device, but iRiver offers an alternate firmware to make it a USB Mass Storage Device (the firmware flasher is a Windows app, though)

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165395)

The 8gig Sansa E series (about 70 bucks on woot) works great with Rockbox and Ubuntu Studio.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165535)

A Cowon D2 would be good. It supports MP3, OGG, WMA, FLAC, WAV. Its seen as a UMS device as in Linux and the built in card reader presents cards as another device. Only drawbacks are 'slower than it should be' transfer rates(you can use a external card reader to avoid this for SD(HC) cards) and the poor(non-existent) playlist support; you have to use folders as playlists or do some hand waving with a program like media monkey.

I bought the 16GB DAB version and have to say it works very well apart from those few niggling problems mentioned above.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165773)

Best Buy used to sell the Insignia Pilot, which had 8 GB of memory, supports OGG (not sure about FLAC), has bluetooth support, built-in FM radio, is expandable via an SDHC slot, etc. It has an actual 24 hour battery life (!). I got mine new for $99, and absolutely love it. It mounts under Ubuntu as a stoage device, and I just drag and drop MP3s, OGGs, divx files, JPGs, text files, etc.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164461)

The iTunes database actually has some nice features. It keeps track of what tracks I listen to most often, and which ones I don't. I can have a playlist of stuff I haven't heard lately. It keeps track of what podcasts I have listened to, and only keeps the ones I haven't heard on my iPod, so they don't take up space. It's also trivially easy using other programs to convert videos to formats my iPod can play. I don't see the need to carry FLAC files on an ipod, as it would just eat up all the space, and I don't see the advantage of OGG Vorbis over AAC, or even MP3. People give iTunes a lot of criticism. But I find that it's actually pretty good. The only audio library program I've found that I like more than iTunes is Amarok, which is better by itself, but doesn't have as good iPod integration.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164531)

Some of us don't like the whole audio library concept in the first place. File hierarchies are great, thanks.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164647)

Why? I've got a very large music collection and I seriously don't know what would I do without Amarok.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164711)

That's great for you, however I'm happy with a music directory on my NAS that's arranged by band and by album, which I can then stream/play to anywhere, and select chunks of to synchronise with my player as and when.

That's good for me, I really don't need all the extra stuff and I don't want it.

On top of that, having mass storage based access to the player means it just shows up as a hard drive to wherever I plug it in, meaning I can use it to transport stuff around, commit minor acts of piracy (here, have a look at this, take a copy) etc etc, without having things either tied to one machine or having to use special software.

That's what works for me. I have a fairly large (~80GB) collection myself. I also tend to know what I want to listen to by artist and album at any one moment in time.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

vk2 (753291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165811)

Why not make use of the Athlon/Sempron machine lying idle in your basement (or your existing machine) by installing http://www.gnump3d.org/ [gnump3d.org] ? I am a using it since its 1.X version and its amazing.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166065)

'cos I've got a Debian Linksys NSLU2 running ushare and samba?

Very low power consumption and noise compared to an old PC. Not much processing power but it works for listening to my music from work or streaming audio/video to the Xbox360

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165145)

iTunes actually does use a file hierarchy for the media files it stores. The library itself is just an xml file.

I don't know where pc versions store the library but the os x library is saved to '~/Music/iTunes/iTunes\ Music' by default.

I let iTunes manage my music and it automatically sets up /Artist/Album/Song for me.

I often use the file hierarchy with soulseex and also play songs directly from the filesystem bypassing iTunes sometime.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165455)

iTunes actually does use a file hierarchy for the media files it stores. The library itself is just an xml file.

If it's "just an XML file", why do I need iTunes?

When I have used iTunes in the past, I get a distinct sense that my Qi is being leeched out of me.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165297)

I actually don't like or care for the "most often, etc" crap. My MP3 player already has that option, but I find that flat out shuffle tends to hit those random songs sometimes too. Ogg/flac/aac sound like a small difference but it's actually huge. Not only is the audio quality better, but they tend to take up a lot less space for the same bitrates. MP3 is nice up to a certain point, not that I have a problem with ti at all. However, ogg/flac/aac are a definite step above.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165347)

It also lets you move media to and from your your player by simple drag-and-drop operations

Kinda. I was thinking about installing it on my Sansa e280, but as of last week when I looked at the Sansa project page, that port didn't support USB synching. The SOP was to reboot it into the original firmware, sync, then reboot back into Rockbox. I like the idea, but it still seems pretty rough.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (3, Informative)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165779)

I've been using rockbox on that hardware for a year or two and I've been very happy with it. I actually bought this player only for the purpose of using Rockbox (a step of faith considering I'd never used it previously).

Using the original firmware to copy files is fairly transparent. If the device is on and you plug in the USB port, it powers on and automatically boots to the original firmware. Then when you unplug it the system automatically reboots to the Rockbox firmware. I'm sure they'll set it to just boot to Rockbox once it supports USB syncing.

About the only time it would seem to be inconvenient is if you wanted to listen to music while having it plugged into USB. That never happens for me - I can just play music on my PC if I want to.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

iChild (239082) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165897)

I reality this isn't all that onerous. You don't have to boot into the original firmware yourself. Just plug it in. It recognizes that it has been plugged in and it boots itself into the original firmware all on it's own. When you unplug it, it reboots into rockbox.

It is pretty transparent.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25163941)

Yes!!

Depends on your player for specific advantages, but for me with a Cowon iAudio X5L it means I get some extras features, my favourtie of which is definiately the album art. Skins are nice too.

There are also a lot of plugins for specialist purposes, which of course is the advantage of having FOSS instead of stock.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (5, Informative)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164021)

Pros:
Lots of games (a few are decent even)
Music can be copies off with no effort (just files on a disk)
Flac, and Ogg support
Really nice playlist builder on the device

Cons:
Harder to get a playlist from a computer
The database option is nice, but not as seamless as from iTunes (you can browse buy database or by filesystem)

I really like it, I think the whats playing screen looks great, and I like being ably to through a quick playlist together. If a friend has a song I want, I just copy it over, and listen on the way home. I want music on my computer at work, plug it in and copy to the computer.

iTunes may be great within the iTunes system, but in a social world at large I find Rockbox to be more useful.

*winces* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164145)

buy = by
through = throw

Re:*winces* (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164357)

shame on me!

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

Eric Pierce (636318) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165869)

> I really like it, I think the whats playing screen looks great

Not to mention that it's pretty straight forward to *totally* customize the "what's playing" screen to your exact liking (I.e., what info to show and the visual look down to the pixel).

RockBox is just awesome. It blows chunks over the firmware provided on my Sansa 250.

EP

Ps. did anyone mention already that you can play Doom on your RockBoxed device?

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164119)

For me, the most important advantage was:

it stores and plays music in plain mp3 format instead of some braindead apple DB format.

This means I can play my music on the iPod, but also plug the iPod in my computer and play it on my stereo.

Also, I don't like the 6th generation firmware on the iPod. For one, it uses half the available screenspace to show the album cover, which I don't have and which you can't turn off.

Disadvantage of Rockbox is that it has to reverse engineer the software to make use of the hardware, which is hard and which will probably mean they will never quite get the same quality of utilization of the available hardware (battery life, switching between songs, loading etc).

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164193)

This means I can play my music on the iPod, but also plug the iPod in my computer and play it on my stereo.

The hard disk on my iPod (third gen) broke a couple of years ago, so things might have changed since I last used one regularly, but is this really better than just dropping it in the dock? I had my stereo plugged in to the dock, and when I got home I just dropped the iPod in the dock and it continued playing and charged - I only ever plugged it in to the computer after buying more music.

It was possible to play music from the iPod on a computer too - the music was stored in a hidden folder and, although the file names were mangled, the metadata was intact, so any player that can parse MPEG-4 atoms (or ID3 tags if you still use MP3) can index it.

Also, I don't like the 6th generation firmware on the iPod.

I think the iPod firmware peaked with the third generation, and the iTunes UI peaked with 4.x. If they'd been open source they'd have been forked at this point.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

bozendoka (739643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164467)

I own a Sansa, and most of what was posted here applies. I'd add that the shuffle is a real, playlist based shuffle, rather than the random play that my Sansa firmware uses. I don't know which type iPods use.

To clarify the difference:
Shuffle: Create a playlist, shuffle it, then play the shuffled playlist.
Random: Play a song, then randomly play another song with a chance, however small, of playing the same song again or within a few songs.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164471)

Other cool things you get for it [wikipedia.org] are stuff like Doom, a Gameboy emulator etc. Very cool.

I used my old iRiver i120 to play chess once on a long bus journey and plane flight (not to mention listening to music), whereas previously it didn't have any games, and couldn't even do basic stuff like delete/rename files, check free space and get a more accurate reading of how much battery life is left (percentage rather than just 3 bars or whatever it was).

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (4, Interesting)

mcphail (859743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165083)

First of all, I am by no means an audiophile. I have a 3rd generation iPod and a computer with onboard sound and 2 tinny speakers on either side of my monitor.

I quite like the standard iPod interface. I can find tracks quickly using the database and scrollwheel. I've had some issues transferring files with amarok, but gtkPod works well.

Most of my collection sounds fine on the iPod, but I was never very satisfied with orchestral music with a large dynamic range. I'd ripped some Arvo Part CDs to MP3 at increasingly high bitrates using lame. Despite that, the quiet bits (such as the closing bell harmonic at the end of "Cantus") sounded awful: some sort of bubbling distortion. It seemed fine playing through my PC, but I put that down to my dodgy hardware blotting out the bubbling noise. In the end, I resurrected my old windows partition and ripped to AAC in iTunes. It was a bit better. My conclusion at the time? AAC was a better music format than MP3.

Then I installed Rockbox. I didn't like the interface much, and preferred browsing a database of artists rather than reorganising my whole collection into folders. At the time, browsing on a 3G iPod was painful. It would take about 60 seconds to scroll through a moderate sized list of artists. (I submitted a patch to speed this up but it was rejected. In any case it works much better now.) Battery life was poor, and crashes were frequent. I considered wiping it from the machine, but then I listened to those quiet MP3 tracks again.

The difference was stunning.

Crystal clear and without distortion, they sounded as good as the original CDs (and at least as good as the AACs).

My conclusion now? Apple's MP3 decoder on the 3G iPod is appalling. Being a bit of a cynic, I suspect it has been crippled or underdeveloped to push DRM-leaden formats.

Rockbox has come a long way since I tried it. It now seems as stable as the default firmware and I'd recommend it highly.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165375)

I call Rockbox "American Express" because my music and media files don't leave home without it.

I use it on my iPod 5G and on my Sansa E270.

I won't touch iTunes or MS-DRM, so it's the difference between useless and wonderfully useful.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (1)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165851)

The stock firmware on the iRiver H10 requires Windows Media Player in order to sync correctly. As a Linux user, this was a major bummer. There are hacks to mount it as Universal Mass Storage, however, and with RockBox (or EasyH10) I can refresh the database without having Windows do it for me.

Re:Anyone prefer this to the stock firmware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165909)

dude! it has DOOM!

Poor name for software (4, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25163967)

Next up:

* OSS firmware-updater: Brick
* Rails anti-virus plugin: acts_as_used_tissue
* Microsoft patch utility: BrokenWindows
* Apple iPhone widget: iPaid2Much

Re:Poor name for software (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164179)

What's wrong with Rockbox? It makes your little music box rock, so it's the perfect name.

If the wife hadn't thrown her old and broken iPod out (I was going to buy a new disk for it) then I'd probably have put Rockbox on it.

You don't like "box of rocks"? (3, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164719)

You don't think "box of rocks" is a good name? LOL.

Other poor names:
Image manipulation software: GIMP [gimp.org] . A gimp is a cripple.
Beatles: They named their band after a kind of insect? Some unlikely names don't stop success.

I am very impressed with the fact that the Rockbox team lists all the contributors.

Re:You don't like "box of rocks"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165029)

Hey, Led Zepplin chose a crashing airship image on purpose.

When Jimmy Page was assembling the group, Keith Moon (drummer from The Who) got word of his plans and predicted the group would go down "like a lead balloon" (this is a common English expression). Bassist and keyboardist John Entwistle thought it would be "more like a lead zeppelin." Page took the phrase and manager Peter Grant changed the spelling to "led" in order to avoid mispronunciation.

Re:You don't like "box of rocks"? (4, Insightful)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165719)

I think GIMP is actually a great name for it. Compared to Photoshop, it certainly is crippled. Kthx.

The one player missing from that list... (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25163979)

That reallly needs the firmware... the Zune.

I wish someone would crack that player. It's great hardware just crippled with really crappy software and DRM. If they could crack that puppy and get their firmware os on it I'd be snapping up all the unloved brown zunes I could find.

Honestly it's only now that the ipod has the screen the zune had when it was released, the Zune could have made a dent in ipod sales if the managers at Microsoft did not have their head so far in their rear you couldn't see their shoulders.

Re:The one player missing from that list... (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164057)

I'm still trying to make out if they have legs or not. The zune has to be the biggest case of crippled by design ever. Just think of what that hardware *could* do if it was accessible to hackers.

Re:The one player missing from that list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164097)

But if just anyone could write firmware or apps for the Zune, how could Microsoft guarantee that it "PlaysForSure"?

Re:The one player missing from that list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164121)

Same way the toshiba gigabeat was rockboxed right away and it has "plays for sure"

the zune is simply a modified gigabeat S with the wifi added onto it. and a crapload of "protect the music from the evil users" software in it.

Rockbox on a zune would give it the share music function that actually works. Imagine meetup with friends, whip open your rockboxzune and snaggin' the tunes you dont have from your buds while your boardin' and shreddin' yo! that would be bitchin'!!

Oops, sorry.. the early 90's came back there.

Re:The one player missing from that list... (3, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164171)

Honestly it's only now that the ipod has the screen the zune had when it was released, the Zune could have made a dent in ipod sales if the managers at Microsoft did not have their head so far in their rear you couldn't see their shoulders

Microsoft has a nasty habit of acting like they already have a monopoly in markets they are merely exploring.

I would consider this propensity a godsend, otherwise, you would see it only AFTER they drove everyone else out of the market.

Re:The one player missing from that list... (5, Informative)

walter_f (889353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165461)

That reallly needs the firmware... the Zune.

Great Hardware? This does not surprise me at all.
After all, the Zunes are, hardware-wise, designed and manufactured by Toshiba (afaik).

Then again, the real Toshibas are known for their excellent audio quality *and* (some of them at least) are being supported by Rockbox.

So why bother with an under-cover Toshiba, hampered by mediocre third party firmware?
Get a real one (Gigabeat). ;-)

Been using this for years... (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25163993)

... installed it long ago on my iHP-140 when I finally accepted that iRiver would never make good on their promise to get us gapless playback and working shuffle in a firmware update. Absolutely terrific: huge improvement on the stock firmware.

The site being currently very /.'d, does anyone know what's new in this release, other than the 'officially supported' status?

Re:Been using this for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164017)

I use the daily builds on my Iriver H340 player, amazing improvements over the stock firmware.

I seriously doubt there is anything major, they probably just fixed enough of the *bad* bugs to make a proper release.

Re:Been using this for years... (4, Informative)

theantipop (803016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164055)

There seem to be big battery life improvements, especially with the 5g ipods.

Re:Been using this for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165405)

Could you expand please?

Do you mean better battery life over the default firmware, or previous versions of Rockbox?

Re:Been using this for years... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164367)

The biggest thing is probably that there is a cross platform utility that will install the firmware and bootloaders automatically, or at least guide the user through it (I haven't used it, just noted that it exists, so I'm not real clear on what exactly it does).

The other changes seem to be mostly the smoothing of (dozens of) rough edges on the various supported players (better battery life here, less crashes there, support for radios, second processors, etc.).

Does it come with a web server as well? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164023)

Feels like the site is being hosted on one of these devices.

Re:Does it come with a web server as well? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164393)

Some of players they support and "rescue" from Vendor firmware/lock-in costs like $300 and even more.

Dare to ask the amount of donations they get? I don't ;) I can guess, that is why.

Re:Does it come with a web server as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165711)

Yeah, it's running sort of like Emacs-style... with the webserver being embedded into the music played by the mp3 player software to be decoded and run through the mp3 library/player.

I hear Britney Spears and Paris Hilton played backwards will make Slashdot into a site about Satanic rituals and the Satanic bible. Perhaps even some content about World of Warcraft too...

Re:Does it come with a web server as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25166009)

Watch out Tinkerbell so you don't get thrown into a Rockbox...

You never know what those uhm, nehalems... uhm, nihilums... uhm, nihilists will do..

/Best regards
/Your ex-pally Achtila

Superior (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164029)

Pretty cool. I use rockbox on my sansa and it is worlds better than the stock. It fixes stupid problems the sansa has like volume leveling... Plus its pretty.

Rockbox is great! (5, Interesting)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164099)

I actually traded my brand spanking new 6th generation iPod because the idiots at Apple encrypt the firmware so that you can't install alternative firmware anymore. I bought a second hand 5th generation iPod with half the capacity to be able to use Rockbox, just because I severly dislike the Apple firmware.

I can tell you, it was the first and last Apple product I bought and will ever buy. If you think out of the box ( in this case: Apple's straightjacket ) they will do their utmost best to block you from utilizing the product like you would want to.

Re:Rockbox is great! (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164223)

If you think out of the box ( in this case: Apple's straightjacket ) they will do their utmost best to block you from utilizing the product like you would want to.

They tried to do this with computers in the '80s, and it cost them most of their market share. Now they're trying to do the same thing with music players and phones.

Apple's success is largely due to the fact that they don't design for focus groups, they design for Steve Jobs, who generally has good taste. If your usage is close to his usage, then you'll be happy. The more your usage diverges from his, the less attractive they are.

Re:Rockbox is great! (1)

glop (181086) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164785)

Wow! I did not realize that.
I am glad my coworker is getting a Sansa and not just an ipod as I had suggested given the fact that mine worked fine with Rockbox... Well, of course it helps the Sansa is much cheaper...

Well, I guess I must make sure to tell my wife not to get me anything from Apple the next time around. Too bad, I liked the hardware.

Rockbox rules (5, Informative)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164129)

I've used it on my iRiver h120 player and it is 100x better than the stock firmware for that player. It boots faster, clean file browser, better power management and it can play OGG and FLAC and all that good stuff. Its awesome.

Re:Rockbox rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164395)

Your h120 is almost an antique. Still a great player, I use my h140 daily, running rockbox in car optimized mode (power settings).

I honestly wouldn't know what to buy if my h140 would die on me. :(

X.

Re:Rockbox rules (1)

Jiyunatori (1350765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164583)

Got it running on a H140 and it's really nice. to me the only drawback is that it tends to be slow when you start browsing files. To me the main edge is the recording possibilities. simply incredible.

Re:Rockbox rules (1)

Jiyunatori (1350765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164911)

These are not the shitty sentences you are looking for.

Creative? (4, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164163)

Any word on compatibility with Creative's players? They're a pretty big part of the PMP market and the next company that comes to mind (for me) after Apple.

Re:Creative? (3, Informative)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164727)

Any word on compatibility with Creative's players? They're a pretty big part of the PMP market and the next company that comes to mind (for me) after Apple.

It appears to be in the very early stages.

I'd love to see a Rockbox port to the flash based ZENs if only to fix the pathetic functionality of the SD slot... How Creative got away with calling it memory "expansion" or "upgrades" is beyond me.

Re:Creative? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164835)

Indeed, I am in the same boat as you. I love the player, it does me perfectly (especially since I'm not a heavy music-listener) but it does have it's shortcomings and I'm sure they're nothing a firmware upgrade can't fix. Except for perhaps the pathetic FM radio they threw in that can barely get a signal anywhere.

Rockbox player with high quality audio output..? (1)

scalarscience (961494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164183)

I used rockbox YEARS ago on one of the 2nd gen ipods and it was an improvement even then (at least for my usage which isn't itunes centric). I've been using a midrange flash recorder (that has dual mics & mp3 support) but wouldn't mind a dedicated player again. So what player would have: - High quality audio conversion (DAC) and op amp/headphone amp - Excellent Rockbox support (does rockbox do video now?) - Good processing performance (for games and ?video?) ?

Re:Rockbox player with high quality audio output.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164325)

Don't know about the quality since I don't own one of them, but once my H140 dies I'll get a 5.5th-gen iPod...

Video (1)

The Nipponese (875458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164241)

I don't see any video codecs listed. Will my 5g iPod loose video playback capability?

Re:Video (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164331)

I think there is an mplayer plugin

Why not for meizu? (1)

fmrbastien (1334213) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164309)

I have a meizu m6, and there is no need to change the firmware, it plays all types of music (including OGG Vorbis), it's ergonomic and I don't need the video player, but it looks fine.

I think it's better to buy a good player than buy a bad one and try to hack it after...

Re:Why not for meizu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164547)

Ignorance is bliss. Once you try Rockbox you can never be happy again with the official firmware on any device.

Rockbox has so many audio features that even many computer audio players can't match. Once you get used to all these, you can't use anything else.

Ipod Nano 2nd gen support? (2, Interesting)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164509)

TFA is slashdotted, so I can't get at it, but does anyone who read it know if the Ipod Nano 2nd gen is supported? I know there was a problem supporting it before because of some encryption mechanism, but has that been fixed or is my flac collection still useless with this Ipod?

Re:Ipod Nano 2nd gen support? (3, Informative)

jackpot777 (1159971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164667)

I just checked too, because I have been waiting for someone to crack that hardware and bring out a video player for my little iPod nano. And the short answer: no. Come ON, Apple. Bring out an update to allow us all to play video on our old hardware. /stupid thing to say. They want me to buy another one.

Re:Ipod Nano 2nd gen support? (1, Informative)

freg (859413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164883)

That's very sad news, I have a 2nd gen and am seriously considering downgrading to a 1st gen just for rockbox...

Battery Life? (2, Informative)

cloneofsnake (821828) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164519)

I use iTunes to auto organize my music by author / album on my macbook, then I rsync the entire folder to my 5G ipod running Rockbox. It's all good, except battery life now lasts 1 day instead of 2~3 days. :( The HD seems to continue spinning no matter what! I hope they've fixed that problem in this version!

Essential (1)

pastraga (1083595) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164529)

I replaced the original iRiver firmware for Rockbox a while ago. Won't ever go back and from now on will check first whether Rockbox has been ported before considering a player. Too many features and customization possibilities to enumerate. Essential.

The best combination (2, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164599)

Go to buy.com and choose one of their recertified Sandisk Sansa players (I got one of the E series) and slap rockbox on that thing. You now have yourself a $40 player with $200 worth of functionality. No more worrying about losing or dropping it when it's so cheap.

Re:The best combination (2, Informative)

walter_f (889353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165661)

Remember, in order to run Rockbox, you have to get a rev 1 Sansa (no more available as new stock, just as used items or in refurbished lots).

On a v2 Sansa, Rockbox will not run.

Still no support for iPod Classic... (1)

holiggan (522846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164799)

Well, it still won't support the 6G iPod Classic... So I'll just have to keep my stock firmware.

Does anybody know why? Maybe some new encryption or something? I'm happy with my ipod as it is, but I would definitly would like to take Rockbox for a spin ;)

X2 on all positive comments. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25164819)

I have a 60GB video that freezes at random times since day one. Apple did nothing for me except try and belittle me in front of my wife. I loaded rockbox and haven't had an issue for over two years. Well done rockbox!

Re:X2 on all positive comments. (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165525)

There are four gen1 Nanos in my family, and all of them froze and wouldn't turn off without a forced reboot (and sometimes not even then) since they were a month old. The mini and shuffle also suffer from similar problems. The only iPod I don't have trouble with is my gen...er...2 or 3 iPod, which not only doesn't crash but also has better battery life with my $7 replacement battery than it ever did on the original. I hadn't thought of the Rockbox as a stability fix, but given your post I think I'll switch over my two devices and try it out.

I don't think I'll buy anything with Apple software ever again.

Star ratings and play date-time (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25164915)

Does Rockbox support star ratings and automatic tracking of play count and last played date/time?

My favorite iPod feature is the ability to rate songs on the iPod and the ability of the iPod to update playlists based on star rating, play count, and last played date.

My most frequently used playlists are:

Highest play count
Not played in last week
Not played in the last month
Star rating >= 3, 4, or 5 depending on my mood

Rockbox v 3, hooray! (1)

Ravalox (640829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165005)

This is likely to be uninformative but I'm a huge fan of Rockbox, I've been running it trouble free for nearly a year on my mp3 player.

How do I get random shuffle? (1)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165165)

How do I get random shuffle over random albums?

Re:How do I get random shuffle? (1)

GodEater (7709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166067)

Read the manual ? It's very comprehensive.

Stumbled upon it and was surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165359)

I bought a refurbished Sansa e250 (2GB) player a few months ago for $30. I never had a portable MP3 player and thought 30 bucks was cheap enough to give it a try. I had never heard of Rockbox before. Alone, the player is a cool little device, but while searching for firmware updates, I stumbled upon Rockbox. I gave it a try and loved it.

The selling point for me was all the supported formats. I generally try to store my music in FLAC format, but also have OGGs, ACCs, and even Matroska files, in addition to my MP3s. Rockbox can play them all, so now I don't have to worry about converting anything to MP3 just so I can listen to it on my Sansa. It also supports Micro SDHC cards, which the original firmware does not, so I went out and got an additional 8GBs for my player.

I look forward to seeing what improvements 3.0 brings... if their site ever comes back up.

Better than Stock. Why isn't it more widely used? (4, Insightful)

internic (453511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165751)

I got an Archos Ondio flash-based player years ago, but after the newness wore off I found the usability sorely lacking. I was really disappointed. I heard of Rockbox fairly early on, but I figured the last thing I wanted to deal with was troubleshooting problems with firmware on my mp3 player, so I thought "not now, but maybe some day". A year or so later, I was finally so fed up with the Ondio I figured I'd give it a try. Man was I sorry I'd waited so long. The Rockbox firmware made the player much more useful, and it even added features that had not existed at all before (e.g. grouping via ID3 tags). To top it all off, I don't recall ever really running into any bugs in the firmware.

What this really leads me to wonder is, why don't some of these player manufacturers team up with Rockbox to make that the official firmware of their player? It seems like, with people inside the company to help with the hardware interface part of it, Rockbox would be a very solid choice, and the company wouldn't have to pay a license fee or write firmware from scratch. And, of course, they could even make the version on the player branded and incorporates whatever eye candy they please.

stability improvements? (1)

Diabolus777 (663144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165791)

I have a grayscale 4th gen ipod, and I always hated the fact that I need it managed by some sort of library. I think the best way to use the player is like a usb key that has an embedded player. Rockbox made me happy except for the fact that it would crash or freeze on average 3 times in an hour of continuous play. I had to revert back to apple's crappy firmware after 6 months because of instability. I know I'd prefer to use rockbox but it really needs improving. It's been something like 2 years since I stopped using it, can anyone tell me if I should try it again?

Re:stability improvements? (1)

GodEater (7709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25166033)

Definitely. I use my ipod as my primary player with Rockbox (although I have five compatible models!) and it's not locked up on me once in two years of usage now.

Some things are not working in 3.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25165835)

I've been using rockbox on my iRiver H120 for the last three years and have never looked back. Just a few weeks ago, I picked up a refurbished Sansa E270 just because it is rockbox compatible and I love it. There are a few issues, though, that should be pointed out. The battery life on some of the iPods is not all that great with rockbox and on the Sansa E200 series players USB does not work. When you plug it into a USB port the player reboots into the original firmware, which does not support micro SDHC cards (rockbox does, though). So to load music onto a micro SDHC card, you must use a micro SDHC card reader.

Re:Some things are not working in 3.0 (2, Informative)

GodEater (7709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165997)

The battery life for *most* of the ipod range is now superior to the original firmware, and the remaining models are on a par with it. We already have our own USB stack for mass storage which will work on the sansas (and other portal player based targets), but we've had issues with it when used with SD cards plugged into the unit, which is why it's not currently enabled by default. Of course work is progressing to fix these issues.

Bah (1)

MrZaius (321037) | more than 5 years ago | (#25165983)

Everything this does I can already do with my Sansa Clip (which has easier to manage audiobook and podcast support out of the box, assuming your's ships with current firmware) and with my N800. That said, I considered purchasing an MP3 player to run this on before picking up the Clip and was disappointed by the hardware available. Nearly all of the hardware this runs on is no longer available new in stores and no manufacturers have picked up and run with the software on standardized hardware, from what I've been able to gather. This project will be a lot more interesting when you can buy it, stock. As it is, it only really affects people dedicated enough to hunt down used hardware or people far enough out of the OSS community that they bought DRM-laden iPods in the first place. Maybe this is something Neuros could do to bring back their portable line?

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