Difference between revisions of "Rockbox"

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'''''Rockbox''''' is an opensource firmware replacement that can run on several digital audio players. The firmware supports dozen of audio, video, image, and document formats and, though it uses a spartan interface, is highly customizable. I used to tout the product, but it has gotten extremely buggy over the years, so I no longer suggest it to anyone. If you are looking for a smartphone jukebox program, I suggest [[foobar2000 Portable]].
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[[Image:Rockbox.png|thumb|256x256px|The Rockbox logo.]]
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'''Rockbox''' is a [[freeware|free]] [[open source]] firmware replacement and [[operating system]] that can run on several digital audio players. It's goal is to serve as a powerful [[jukebox (software)|jukebox program]] for each device. It is written in [[C]], and various flavors of [[assembly]]. The firmware supports dozens of audio, video, image, and document formats and, though it uses a spartan interface, is highly customizable. It was first released on 2002-06-02.
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==Personal==
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I don't remember when I learned about Rockbox, but it must have been sometime in the mid-2000s. After not liking the default firmware of my iAudio M5, I found Rockbox could act as a replacement. However, my iAudio began to fall apart not much after that, so I got a Toshiba Gigabeat, which Rockbox also supported (though unstable). I later replaced that with a SanDisk Sansa Clip+, then a couple Clip Zips. Although I used to tout the product, the stability of the firmware had steadily dropped for several years and development has slowed to a crawl by 2015, so I no longer recommend it. If you are looking for a jukebox program for your smartphone or tablet, I suggest [[foobar2000 Mobile]].
  
 
==Review==
 
==Review==
 
===Good===
 
===Good===
 
* The firmware supports a vast array of audio formats as well as some video, image, and document formats. Far more than any default firmware.
 
* The firmware supports a vast array of audio formats as well as some video, image, and document formats. Far more than any default firmware.
* The firmware is nicely optimized and out-performs the default firmware for every device it supports when it comes to supporting large collections of files and audio decoding.
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* The firmware is nicely optimized and out-performs the default firmware for pretty much every device it supports.
* There are a lot of customizable options, far more than any default firmware.
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* There are a lot of customizable options, more than most default firmwares.
 
* By using a standard firmware across multiple DAPs, you don't need to re-learn the interface each time you get a new device.
 
* By using a standard firmware across multiple DAPs, you don't need to re-learn the interface each time you get a new device.
* The software takes advantage of most of the features of various hardware including radio, and microphone options. It even supports voice-commands.
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* The software takes advantage of most of the features of various hardware including radio, and microphone options. It even supports voice-commands for devices with a microphone.
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* [[Lua]] scripting is supported, though several features are limited.
  
 
===Bad===
 
===Bad===
* Since smart phones have mostly replaced DAPs, most of the programmers have left the project so new development has slowed to a crawl. The team rarely releases stable updates, and, when they do, they're unstable.
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* The developers are pretty dismissive about implementing features desired by a large percentage of the community such as customizing the behavior of the buttons, handling meta tags of multiple artists according to proper specs, including album art in formats whose specs don't support it, and various others.
* The developers have been pretty strict in their refusal to implement features desired by a large percentage of the community such as customizing the behavior of the buttons, handling meta tags of multiple artists according to the proper specs, including album art in formats whose specs don't support it, etc.
 
  
 
===Ugly===
 
===Ugly===
* For the past few years, the firmware has gotten more and more unstable, so much that I no longer endorse or even use the product. I have two previous devices that routinely crash, even on the latest "stable" release of the program.
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* Since smart phones have mostly replaced DAPs, most of the programmers have left the project so new development has slowed to a crawl. The team rarely releases stable updates, and, when they do, they're riddled with bugs. At least on the devices I was using, the latest stable firmware was so unstable it would crash every few minutes, so much that I no longer endorse or even use the product.
* The known bug list has ballooned to over 450 problems, and many of the bugs have gone unfixed for years. I personally discovered and documented a few bugs, and they too were never fixed.
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* The known bug list has ballooned to several hundred problems, and many of them have gone unfixed for years. I personally discovered a few bugs and documented them thoroughly, but they too were never fixed.
* While a lot of the support administrators are helpful, there is one in particular who has been mean to newcomers in several instances I've witnessed, myself included. He or she is a major reason I didn't want to contribute further to the project.
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* While a lot of the support administrators are helpful, there is one in particular who has been mean to newcomers in several instances I've witnessed, myself included. He or she is a major reason why I didn't want to contribute further to the project.
  
 
==Links==
 
==Links==
* [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox] - Wikipedia.
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{{Link|Wikipedia|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockbox}}
* [https://www.rockbox.org rockbox.org] - Official.
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{{Link|Official|https://www.rockbox.org}}
  
  
 
[[Category: Software]]
 
[[Category: Software]]
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[[Category: Audio Software]]
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[[Category: Jukebox Software]]
 
[[Category: Operating Systems]]
 
[[Category: Operating Systems]]
 
[[Category: Firmware]]
 
[[Category: Firmware]]
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[[Category: Software Distribution Model - Freeware]]
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[[Category: Software Distribution Model - Open Source]]

Latest revision as of 11:00, 16 August 2022

The Rockbox logo.

Rockbox is a free open source firmware replacement and operating system that can run on several digital audio players. It's goal is to serve as a powerful jukebox program for each device. It is written in C, and various flavors of assembly. The firmware supports dozens of audio, video, image, and document formats and, though it uses a spartan interface, is highly customizable. It was first released on 2002-06-02.

Personal

I don't remember when I learned about Rockbox, but it must have been sometime in the mid-2000s. After not liking the default firmware of my iAudio M5, I found Rockbox could act as a replacement. However, my iAudio began to fall apart not much after that, so I got a Toshiba Gigabeat, which Rockbox also supported (though unstable). I later replaced that with a SanDisk Sansa Clip+, then a couple Clip Zips. Although I used to tout the product, the stability of the firmware had steadily dropped for several years and development has slowed to a crawl by 2015, so I no longer recommend it. If you are looking for a jukebox program for your smartphone or tablet, I suggest foobar2000 Mobile.

Review

Good

  • The firmware supports a vast array of audio formats as well as some video, image, and document formats. Far more than any default firmware.
  • The firmware is nicely optimized and out-performs the default firmware for pretty much every device it supports.
  • There are a lot of customizable options, more than most default firmwares.
  • By using a standard firmware across multiple DAPs, you don't need to re-learn the interface each time you get a new device.
  • The software takes advantage of most of the features of various hardware including radio, and microphone options. It even supports voice-commands for devices with a microphone.
  • Lua scripting is supported, though several features are limited.

Bad

  • The developers are pretty dismissive about implementing features desired by a large percentage of the community such as customizing the behavior of the buttons, handling meta tags of multiple artists according to proper specs, including album art in formats whose specs don't support it, and various others.

Ugly

  • Since smart phones have mostly replaced DAPs, most of the programmers have left the project so new development has slowed to a crawl. The team rarely releases stable updates, and, when they do, they're riddled with bugs. At least on the devices I was using, the latest stable firmware was so unstable it would crash every few minutes, so much that I no longer endorse or even use the product.
  • The known bug list has ballooned to several hundred problems, and many of them have gone unfixed for years. I personally discovered a few bugs and documented them thoroughly, but they too were never fixed.
  • While a lot of the support administrators are helpful, there is one in particular who has been mean to newcomers in several instances I've witnessed, myself included. He or she is a major reason why I didn't want to contribute further to the project.

Links

Link-Wikipedia.png  Link-Official.png