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Music Media Operating Systems Portables Software Hardware Technology

After 3 Years, Rockbox 3.0 Released 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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After 3 Years, Rockbox 3.0 Released

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  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @07:40AM (#25163979) Homepage

    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.

  • Rockbox is great! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by YeeHaW_Jelte ( 451855 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @07:58AM (#25164099) Homepage

    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.

  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @08:45AM (#25164461) Homepage
    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.
  • by WDot ( 1286728 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @08:49AM (#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?
  • by mcphail ( 859743 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @09:41AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 26, 2008 @09:45AM (#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.

  • by wrkerr ( 1298633 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @12:57PM (#25167981)
    My first DAP was an Archos Jukebox 5000, and 2 years ago I put rockbox on it, and was really impressed. Rockbox was great then, and now I'm sure it's much better. The problem though, is that that DAP has long since gathered spiderwebs, and I'd like one with more storage.

    Where could I find one of the Rockbox compatible DAP's for a reasonable price? The Cowon iAudio all seem very overpriced, and the SanDisk SANSA's all have too little storage. I need at least 20GB of storage. Am I looking in the wrong places?
  • Thank you RockBox (Score:3, Interesting)

    by John Sokol ( 109591 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @03:43PM (#25170489) Homepage Journal

    Rockbox is very well written clean code.

      I have been working on an NXP ISP1582 driver, this is for USB2.0 Device interface and Rockbox has been one of the cleanest example code pieces for this, demonstrating how to use this chip.

    I hope to eventually release my code in to the Linux kernel although it doesn't look anything like the RockBox code, they help me get past some roadblocks on how to communicate with that chip.

    So Thank you Rockbox, I hope it will have a long future ahead.

  • by vaz01 ( 1206962 ) on Friday September 26, 2008 @03:46PM (#25170551)

    Tags are more of a pain to maintain, but can be more useful. I actually make use of the genre tag quite a bit (after fixing the genre tags on my songs to whatever I feel like calling them). Having a ton of compilation albums, I like being able to search by artist and find single tracks on V/A's that otherwise I'd forget were there. Etc.

    Organizing on the filesystem is fine and has its advantages too, unless you own an ipod or other music player that organizes by tags. It's enough of a pain to fix a thousand filenames or to fix a thousand sets of tags, but I don't want to do both. I'd rather ignore the filenames or have my music player name/rename/move things for me based on the tags.

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