What is Rockbox?

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a7dk

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Hi...I'm not sure if this is even the right place to post this question; sorry if not. I did a search for Rockbox and found many posters that said they use Rockbox in leiu of Itunes, and I'm curious as to a: exactly what it is, and b: what makes it better?

Thanks!:confused:
 

davidd

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Rockbox is open source firmware that is available for a few players including iPod's

bascially, it replaces the manufacturer's firmware, and has some very useful things like gapless playback, support for more formats, and other stuff. I use it on my iriver H120 ad it's great. havn't tried it on my iPod nano though since the Apple firmware is fine for what I use the iPod nano for.
 

thedodgyguy

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'better' is a loose definition. It adds more features but usability of the iPod takes a definite few steps back. The iPod control hardware really isn't suited to 'previous-gen' interface thinking like Rockbox. If you're a nerd or must have gapless playback, you might appreciate it.
 

mrdantownsend

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The user control structure is somewhat lacking, but the added features are killer

gameboy emulators, DOOM, Crossfade Playback, custom While Playing Screens, backgrounds, fonts, picture viewer, and now video.

If you're unhappy with rockbox, you can get a full refund of your $0
 

mnhnhyouh

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And why would you want HFS+ format? FAT32 works fine with macs.

Or are you using very very large files? (>4Gb)

Rockbox on an iPod could run on HFS+ but somebody who was interested would have to write it. And it seems that those with the ability are not interested.

h
 
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dcx693

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thedodgyguy said:
'better' is a loose definition. It adds more features but usability of the iPod takes a definite few steps back. The iPod control hardware really isn't suited to 'previous-gen' interface thinking like Rockbox. If you're a nerd or must have gapless playback, you might appreciate it.
Rockbox surely is still a piece of "alpha" software, not even quite beta. That said, you are free to use it or not use it. I don't consider it better, but rather "different". And to appreciate it, you must "Think Different". :)

IMHO, I think the Apple firmware is extremely lacking in features. Yes, it performs its basic function brilliantly, but there's just so much more that can be done.

How is the Rockbox interface "previous-gen"? Do you mean the file browser mode? Or the Tagcache mode that allows you to browse items by artist, album, genre, etc..?

Yes, I want gapless playback. I can't see why a bunch of developers working in their spare time can produce gapless playback while Apple cannot. It seems to me that they simply won't. IMO, gapless playback is the correct way to play back tracks. The Beatles did not insert small gaps between all the songs on Sgt. Pepper, why must Apple do it?

Can someone please tell Apple that I do not need to use my iPod as a flashlight when the backlight is on? I mean, all my other LCD devices have a brightness setting. With my Rockbox experimental build (thanks to Senab), I can dial down the brightness on my iPod as well.

If you've ever used crossfade playback in shuffle mode, I don't know how you could go back. What if I decide in the middle of a playlist to go into shuffle mode? I could press MENU about 5x on my iPod, then go into Settings, then change the playback mode. Or on Rockbox, I could hold hown the MENU key briefly, then press the left arrow key. Or, if I decided to change the EQ setting. Oh, and don't even compare the Apple EQ to Rockbox's EQ abilities.

Again, I want to reiterate that Rockbox is alpha software. There are LOTS of annoyances and rough spots. Not the least of which is that battery life is drastically shortened and that it will never play DRM'd songs bought from the iTunes music store. It's not for everybody. In fact, I don't think it's appropriate for even 20% of iPod users at this point, but it works great for me.
 

a7dk

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wow; thanks to everyone for the answers. I'm wondering, though...why is gapless playback so important?
 

dcx693

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a7dk said:
wow; thanks to everyone for the answers. I'm wondering, though...why is gapless playback so important?
I don't agree with mrdantownsend on this one.

IMO, gapless won't matter to the vast majority of listeners out there. Mostly because there aren't that many albums where songs go right into each other without a pause or live albums. Most people won't even realize their iPod is inserting a gap until it's pointed out. There are however, a lot of hip-hop mixtapes out there. Take a live CD or mixtape if you have one, play it on a CD player (if you have one), see how the tracks blend right into each other without a gap. It's nice. It flows.

The "gap" is the space in between tracks that is inserted by most mp3 players. If you listen on most CD players, there won't be a gap. When tracks go right into each other without an obvious few seconds of silence, the very short gap of silence can be a bit jarring. You might think that your mp3 player has skipped.

Gapless playback is something that mp3 player owners have just learned to live with. It's like music compressed as mp3. Most times, you won't notice a difference from the original, but sometimes you will, and whether or not it annoys you is a matter of individual taste. Now that I know there's an alternative, it annoys me a lot. That's something you should decide for yourself.
 

mnhnhyouh

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Hmmm, do you regularly use >4Gb files on your iPod?

I can have spaces in the file names, and periods. What else do you want?

Transfers are restricted to USB 2.0 speeds, nothing to do with FAT32 or HFS+.

Unless you are having problems using >4Gb files I still cant see why you want HFS+....

h
 

mnhnhyouh

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Do you need HSF+ for firewire?

Or is this a seperate topic?

Firewire will be supported as soon as sombody with the skills cares enough to write the code, it will support it.

Do you care enough? Do you have the skills?

The same is true of HSF+ support. It can be done. However none of the current developers want to do it.

h
 
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mrdantownsend

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The thing I dont get is why does everybody... i mean some people bash a free program that can be used by choice?

no one is making you use it, and it couldn't have taken THAT much time out of your life to treat it like a hazmat
 

thedodgyguy

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mrdantownsend said:
The thing I dont get is why does everybody... i mean some people bash a free program that can be used by choice?

no one is making you use it, and it couldn't have taken THAT much time out of your life to treat it like a hazmat

Maybe because the Acolytes of Rockbox would tell you that it cures world hunger if it has a pizza store finder on it ;)
 

dcx693

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thedodgyguy said:
Maybe because the Acolytes of Rockbox would tell you that it cures world hunger if it has a pizza store finder on it ;)
You mean it doesn't?:D

As a Rockbox user, I'm very enthusiastic about it because it's (1) free, (2) more feature-packed than the Apple firmware, (3) can be dual-booted with the Apple firmware, (4) doesn't permanently modify the iPod, (4) works pretty well and will only get better over time.

The OP asked what Rockbox was and what made it better. Just trying to answer the question.
 

mnhnhyouh

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dcx693 said:
You mean it doesn't?:D

As a Rockbox user, I'm very enthusiastic about it because it's (1) free, (2) more feature-packed than the Apple firmware, (3) can be dual-booted with the Apple firmware, (4) doesn't permanently modify the iPod, (4) works pretty well and will only get better over time.

The OP asked what Rockbox was and what made it better. Just trying to answer the question.

Wot he said ^ :D

h
 
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