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Portables Handhelds Hardware

Archos Recorder + Rockbox Plays Video 92

elinenbe writes "Rockbox, the open source firmware for the Archos Recorder, Player, FM, Recorder V2, and now the Neo can play grayscale videos at over 60FPS. A demo version of the DOOM3 intro along with a few other sample clips have been made so far. This is the Archos that was NOT designed for movies, but for MP3s -- go Rockbox!"
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Archos Recorder + Rockbox Plays Video

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  • Nice one (Score:5, Informative)

    by TwistedSpring ( 594284 ) * on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:01PM (#7713482) Homepage
    I love people pushing the boundaries of hardware, but also I note that Archos have already made a sexy new device to accommodate your movie needs:

    http://www.archos.com/products/av300_series.html?s id=j22oyjykb2y3ckjbyjj24j#cinema_to_go

    80 hours? Yeah right. Does it do DivX? No doubt a firmware hack will allow that :)
  • by bjarvis354 ( 319402 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:03PM (#7713489) Homepage
    I can attest to the superiority of the RockBoxx firmware. The list of features keeps growing when other commercial vendors would have stopped implementing new features. I use RockBoxx for its great handling of VBR MP3s for instance.

    I only hope the RIO Karma team is listening! I just bought one for my girlfriend and I plan to get one once my archos gets dropped too many times.
  • Re:LCD Response Time (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrBlue VT ( 245806 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:07PM (#7713511) Homepage
    Actually according to the site, they've been working on high performance blits for the LCD screen. Thus they have sped up the refresh rate significantly over the original Archos firmware.
  • Re:LCD Response Time (Score:5, Informative)

    by zalas ( 682627 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:11PM (#7713528) Homepage
    But increasing the blit rate is still not going to do you any good if the LCDs can't physically "turn on" that fast. All you're going to get is a blurred mess.
  • Re:DUCK Tape (Score:5, Informative)

    by SweetAndSourJesus ( 555410 ) <JesusAndTheRobot@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:12PM (#7713531)
    Here's [octanecreative.com] a fairly good bit on the Duck vs. Duct argument.
  • Re:Nice one (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:13PM (#7713541)
    Yes, it does play DivX. I've got one, and they play both Divx 5 and Xvid 4. Quite nice, actually.
  • Re:Not so big (Score:3, Informative)

    by DanThe1Man ( 46872 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:38PM (#7713635)
    thats not what they're for??

    No, if you look at the package you will never see anywhere listed for putting it in your ear. They avoid law suits that way when you cause damage to your ear drum.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2003 @10:31PM (#7713879)
    From Rockbox FAQ [rockbox.haxx.se]
    17. You mention supporting Ogg Vorbis and other file types on your list of ideas. What is the status on that?

    Pessimist's Answer: At the current time we believe this is not very likely. The Micronas chip (MAS3507) decoder in the Archos does not natively support decoding and there is very little program space in the player to implement it ourselves. The alternative would be to write a software decoder as part of the Rockbox firmware. However, as much as we love our players, the computing power of the Archos (SH1 microcontroller) is not fully sufficient for this need.

    Optimist's Answer: We can play any format if only we can write code for the DSP to decode it. The MAS 3507 (and 3587) are generic DSPs that simply have MP3 codecs in ROM. We can download new codecs in them and we will be the first to celebrate if we can get OGG or FLAC or anything into these DSPs. Unfortunately, we have no docs or tools for writing new MAS DSP code and Micronas is very secretive about it. If anyone can help, please get in touch!

    The recent release of Tremor (integer Ogg decoder) indicates it uses around 100 KB for lookup tables. That's not unreasonable for a decoder, but we only have 4 KB for both code *and* data. So the grim reality is that Ogg will never be supported by the Archos Players and Recorders.

  • Re:Nice one (Score:2, Informative)

    by tadheckaman ( 578425 ) <tad&heckaman,com> on Saturday December 13, 2003 @10:58PM (#7713980) Homepage
    I have a Archos Multimedia jukebox... it can play divx files that have been resized to fit on the screen (comes with the program to do it, too), along with the audio being mp3... took me an hour to yank the AC3 audio out and encode it back into an mp3 format... ah, what I will do to keep my home video backups accessable... ;)

    I really do like it though, nice bright screen.
  • Yes, there are some (design) problems with Archos FM Recoder.

    Probably the most important one is that you can't change the (Li-Ion) batteries. And unfortunately Li-Ion batteries degrade after 2-3 years due to a chemical process, regardless how often you use/recharge the batteries. Look at your mobile telephones, and you know what I mean ...

    BTW, this problem also affects the Archos 'Recorder V2' (which is basically a FM Recorder without the FM Radio) and the Apple IPod and actually most MP3 Players/Jukeboxes. Don't buy anything that doesn't use ordinary, replaceable AA(A) NiMH-batteries, otherwise you can throw your MP3-Player away after 4 years.

    The best (Archos) choice is an old Archos 'Recorder 20', (without FM or V2) which is powered with 4 AA-NiMH-Batteries, graphical b/w display USB 2.0 and Digital/Analog IN/OUT and builtin-MIC. Unfortunately they are rather difficult to get these days, as they were the predecessor of the FM-Recorder and are not officially sold by Archos anymore.

    N.B.: the 'Studio' Series is basically a 'Recorder Light', with only USB1.1, no Digita/Analog IN, no MIC, and only a text display (no graphics).

The next person to mention spaghetti stacks to me is going to have his head knocked off. -- Bill Conrad