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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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  • by da2 ( 542211 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @08:57PM (#7713457)
    COOL! this brings a whole new level of mobility for porn
  • by MC68040 ( 462186 ) <henric@digital-bless. c o m> on Saturday December 13, 2003 @08:57PM (#7713458) Homepage
    .. "that's neat, but if that would have been a standard feature everyone would have said it sucked", on the other hand as it's not designed to play video, it's neat alright.

    Go non-corporate developers.
  • LCD Response Time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zalas ( 682627 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @08:58PM (#7713463) Homepage
    Is the LCD on that thing supposed to be able to keep up with 60fps? I mean, I don't think they were designing the LCD on the MP3 with Video playback in mind...
  • Not so big (Score:4, Funny)

    by evilspyperson ( 708956 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:00PM (#7713473)
    Lots of things are used for purposes other than its original. DUCK TAPE ANYONE!
  • 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 :)
    • Does it do DivX? No doubt a firmware hack will allow that :)

      I'm quite doubtful of that actually. I haven't yet seen firmware that will make a cheap DVD player play MPEG4 files, so it's not always as easy as a firmware update.

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

        by tadheckaman ( 578425 )
        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.
        • Re:Nice one (Score:2, Funny)

          by Leto-II ( 1509 )
          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...

          Yah I just hate that too... Sometimes I think my home AC3 encoder is just too much of a hassle.
    • Re:Nice one (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, it does play DivX. I've got one, and they play both Divx 5 and Xvid 4. Quite nice, actually.
    • DivX/XviD? This one does. http://www.archos.com/products/prw_500521_specs.ht ml
    • I have one- it REQUIRES divx
  • That is, vorbis or FLAC? Are the video formats patent-encumbered? There's no need to use Evil formats when Good ones are out.
    • Apparently the hardware decoders are not immediately able to play vorbis or anything other than MP3, and the processor is too slow to allow software conversion on-the-fly. That said, they're still working on a way to do it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      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 pow
  • 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.
    • RockBox is great. I bought an Archos about 8 months ago because it was more than $100 dollars cheaper than an iPod at that time, and RockBox has made it usable. I hate trying to work with my friend's Archos as he still has the original firmware. I consider my inability to convert him to RockBox to be my worst failing in the open source zealotry field, worse than the number of people I know who still are using IE instead of Firebird. Some day I should just steal it from him, install the software myself, and
  • Well it would be nice if there was firmware for the Archos Jukebox Multimedia but speaking to the people who devloped Rockbox they said that its just to hard. Have to wonder why. Oh well its all fun

  • Impressive. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Human Cow ( 646609 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:10PM (#7713523) Homepage
    As cool as this sounds, you really can't appreciate what these guys have done until you see the video running. It's far more watchable than I thought at first. Now to figure out how to convert video to .rfv for some late-night porn^H^H^H^HDivX viewing!
    • Nice to see you, THC, and I'm just as happy as you are. Time to load these files on my Archos and test it out. I swear, Rockbox is one of my favorite open source projects. They never cease to amaze me.
  • by jbs0902 ( 566885 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @09:52PM (#7713690)
    I have been a long time evangelist for Rockbox. They have really made the Archos a wonderful device. Far better than the official firmware.

    That said, the quality assurance portion of Archos has really gone downhill. My local BestBuy stopped carrying the Archos due to too many returns. My old Player (6GB) is sound as a pound, and about as heavy. But, my FM Recorder (20GB) is an unmitigated POS. It has had a lovely clicking sound (HD, I assume; however, I returned it and had the HD replaced. Still clicks. Archos Return-guy said they were getting a ton of returned FM Recorders) And, the FM Recorder will occasionally go into a "never-ending reboot" cycle. Where it partially boots, then reboots, and repeat, until after being left alone for a few hours it decides to work properly. So, the FM Recorder (out of 90 day warranty) is now treated with kid gloves as a home stereo MP3 player, and the old Jukebox is for the car and airplane. Someday I'll replace the HD in the Player.

    So, Archos is nice, if it works. Looks just like a USB HD without any needed proprietary software like the other HD MP3 players. I just suggest you stick with the Player or plain-old Recorder and avoid the FM Recorder. If I had to do it again, I'd still get the Player but the SliMP3 (or newer) would work better than what I use the FM Recorder for.
    • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @10:11PM (#7713780) Homepage Journal
      Your experience with the FM Recorder does not match mine. My FM/R has been rock solid. The battery lasts long enough to handle the Denver/Tokyo flight. The drive does click on occasion, but I have to hold the thing near my ear to hear it -- or be recording with the built-in mic. It's barely audible. The FM/R has been with me on 10-12 transatlantic/transpacific flights and has never had a problem. I take the thing everywhere in my briefcase and use it as an external drive at home and at work. It's even been dropped a number of times. Never a problem.

      The thing I like most about the FM/R is that I can recharge the it from the USB port. The charger that was shipped with the unit was a real POS and fried the first week I had it. I've never missed it.

      The RockBox upgrade is a must though. These guys have done an awesome job.
    • It was the first place I got the hardware mod instructions for my old 6gb archos mp3 player (nothing like having a 20gig version before you can even buy one in the store).

      Somebody else mentioned it... the charger that came with the archos really was a POS... the wires frayed on mine, and I ended up cutting them and attaching spade connectors (yeah, I know... unsafe, but it was all I had at the time). Soon after that, the transformer went out entirely, and now I have to change batteries.

      Oh well... at le
    • 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/Jukebo
      • Why throw it away when the batteries wear out? Just buy new ones [pdainternalbattery.com]. Lithium batteries aren't terribly rare these days. The replacement process looks at least as simple as swapping screw-secured AA's on my 3-year-old kid's toys.

        • Yeah, ONE company that is specialized in manufacturing custom batteries. Do you believe they will still produce this batteries in 5 or even 10 years? I seriously doubt it.
          Not to mention that you propably don't have this possibility for no so popular MP3 players!

          And come on, $69 for a battery? 4 AA (2300 NiMH) batteries cost FAR less than that, and you still be able to buy AA batteries for the next 20 years.
          • Naah. You've got it all wrong.

            That's ONE company specializing in selling "custom"[1] batteries to end users. They're actually manufactured by God-knows-who in some far-eastern sweatshop, just like almost everything else small and toxic that we buy these days.

            No matter. $5 says that the Archos battery is not anything of any remarkable uniqueness, anyway. The greatest involvement Archos had in the design of this battery was the shape and color of the plastic shell that it comes in[1]. Otherwise, it's
            • I'll try to answer some of your questions and comment on some of your statements:

              No matter. $5 says that the Archos battery is not anything of any remarkable uniqueness, anyway. The greatest involvement Archos had in the design of this battery was the shape and color of the plastic shell that it comes in[1]. Otherwise, it's just an off-the-shelf part from a catalog, much like the LCD, hard drive, microswitches, DSP, and other comprising hardware. Like these other generic parts, this particular battery is
              • And by the way, you can't make up an new argument by simply referencing other arguments.

                You must be new here.

                I'm not primarily interested in (USB) charging systems, or that the device is the smallest and lightest possible when looking for a portable device. It's nice if it has these features, but the most important part is that I can use it (does the job), and use it while travelling, and use it as long as possible!

                The only application I can think of where recharging is not an option while one sleeps,
  • A better idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by plinius ( 714075 ) on Saturday December 13, 2003 @10:49PM (#7713951)
    Clearly what is needed is not another tiny hard drive-based video player.

    What you people should be doing is hacking one of those DVD-based video players with the 10 inch screens, adding a USB port or something.

    Future PDAs will be converged devices, with phones, cameras, and DVD....at least until MRAM arrives.

    • What you people should be doing is hacking one of those DVD-based video players with the 10 inch screens, adding a USB port or something.

      Every time the great Rockbox guys get a mention on /. there's always some poster who tells them to go do something that the poster is more interested in.

      If it means so much to you then why don't you go do something with one of these DVD players? Nobody's stopping you. The Rockbox code is even GPLd so you can start from there.

      This is analogous to what happens when
      • Sometimes people just do stuff because they already have the hardware, they know it well, and it gives them a buzz.

        That's quite true, I've thought about numerous "useless" projects myself, like screwing around with my old 386 laptop.

        My point however was, ultimately things are leading to convergence of portable devices. We can wait for industry to do it, or we can "have fun" beating them to it.

  • Rockbox is the main reason I went with Archos instead of getting an iPod. AFAIK, there is no way to write your own software for the iPod. I spent a couple of evenings reading the Rockbox source code, and it's put together very well. With the new plugins architecture, it's very easy to write your own modules for it.

    This thing really, really rocks.

    Rockbox [rockbox.haxx.se] is an Open Source replacement firmware for the Archos Jukebox 5000, 6000, Studio, Recorder, FM Recorder and Recorder V2 MP3 players.

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