Friday, April 14, 2006

Improve your iPod with Rockbox

NewsForge Improve your iPod with Rockbox

Rockbox started as a reverse engineered alternative firmware for certain Archos MP3 player/recorders -- now Rockbox varieties support machines from Archos, iRiver, iAudio, and Apple. What Rockbox provides for iPod users is an alternative operating system for several models of iPod. It works with the two most recent generations of (full-sized) iPod, as well as with the nano and Mini varieties.

The biggest downsides to using Rockbox, rather than the original iPod firmware, are in the UI and file compatibility, with a few audio glitches as well. Why file compatibility, after all the praise I heaped on Rockbox for being so very liberal in what it accepts? Because while Rockbox plays well with MP3, Vorbis, FLAC, ALAC, WavPack, and a few other audio formats, it doesn't play encrypted AAC files, which iTunes Music Store (iTMS) users have been paying for, nor does it play any version of the Audible format, leaving some audiobook fans out in the cold.

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