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Rockbox Plans Open Source Firmware For iRiver Gear 136

Posted by timothy
from the they're-not-crying-an-iriver dept.
PlayerBlog.com writes "The crew at Rockbox, the venerable open source replacement firmware project for Archos audio players, has put together an effort to port their firmware to the popular iRiver H1xx-series of devices. In the wake of iRiver's much-maligned (and delayed) attempts to update their proprietary firmware, this is excellent news."
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Rockbox Plans Open Source Firmware For iRiver Gear

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  • Im glad that there are options for people that want to use differnt types of frimware we can pick our OS's and our software its about time we get to pick firmwere and drivers
    • Hardware choice is nice, too.

      Anyone know if iRiver is planning a small 4 or 5 Gb competitor to the iPod mini? They used to have a 1 Gb hard drive based player but it quickly disappeared. I love my iRiver flash player, but am really jonesing for more storage space while still having a built in radio in a teeny tiny package.
  • Wishlist... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gentlewhisper (759800) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @03:40AM (#10186945)
    I hope to see the same for iPods too. Do you guys know that if you buy a new hard drive for the store to install into your faulty ipod with a dead drive, there is nothing you can do to get it working again?

    Some even hypothesize that Apple encoded something special into the firmware of the drives they buy as part of an anti-hacking measure.

    I'd say to them "Go fsck yourselves!" to think that there are so many features that they did not implement, like a *real* EQ, and gapless playback, and even OGG format support, and yet their engineers have a lot of time to do stuff like these?

    That stupid POS!
    • Re:Wishlist... (Score:2, Informative)

      by nkh (750837)
      I read that Vorbis decompression was too CPU intensive for the iPod and would suck its batteries too quickly (something with floating point emulation, I can't remember well).
      • The Rio Karma has similar hardware to the iPod but does it just fine. Supports OGG too.
        • The Rio Karma also has dual processors in there, somehting I don't THINK the iPod has.

          I had the Karma, and loved it... until the battery died after the warranty expired.

          Before that happened, it was great. The only thing I didn't like about it was they purposely made it hard to connect to. You had to use proprietary software, and couldn't simply treat it like a USB drive (without 3rd party drivers).
      • Re:Wishlist... (Score:2, Informative)

        by makomk (752139)
        I read that Vorbis decompression was too CPU intensive for the iPod .. (something with floating point emulation, I can't remember well).

        I don't think floating-point is neccesary for Vorbis encoding. There is an integer-only decoder [xiph.org]:
        The "Tremor" decoder library, an integer-only, fully Ogg Vorbis compliant software decoder library is now available under a totally free BSD-like free software license. You can check out module 'Tremor' from Xiph.Org Subversion.

    • I've not head this before but would it not be like the xbox locked hdd system? Obviously it would be a lot harder to unlock the old drive before removing it and almost impossible once its removed.
    • Re:Wishlist... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by leonmergen (807379)
      The people at Rockbox weren't able to build in OGG support for the Archos either, since it's too cpu intensive. In the Archos, and probably in the iPod too, there is a hardware MP3 decoder.

      iirc, they do give you a guide how to build your own OGG decoder, hardware-wise, but really, how many people would do that...
    • Re:Wishlist... (Score:4, Informative)

      by damiam (409504) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @07:02AM (#10187495)
      Some even hypothesize that Apple encoded something special into the firmware of the drives they buy as part of an anti-hacking measure.

      I dunno about drives, but the iPod firmware is quite easy to replace. Witness iPod Linux [sourceforge.net].

  • DMCA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mirko (198274) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @03:43AM (#10186957) Journal
    Funny nobody mentioned it and why they'll be sued because they're not doing it as a hobby but as a company...
    Unless iRever people actually agree but this'd be a first one...
    • Re:DMCA (Score:3, Informative)

      by meringuoid (568297)
      DMCA? How does that apply? There's no copy protection on the iHP players.
    • Re:DMCA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mocm (141920) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @04:10AM (#10187038) Homepage
      As long as they don't use any iRiver code, why should there be a DMCA issue. That would be like saying I can't remove Windows from my PC/Notebook/iPaq and replace it with Linux because of the DMCA.
      • after looking over the rockbox page, it appears that there's some sort of XOR "encryption" done in hardware. that is, some of the chips on the device communicate with each other using this "encryption." if this is something that's done in software, reverse engineering and reimplementing it could be considered a violation of the DMCA. is it stupid? absolutely. but it could cause problems if iriver wants to fight them. even if it won't hold up in court, i doubt rockbox wants to get into any kind of lega
    • What's wrong with writing a new operating system for an existing piece of hardware? Unless there are specific authentications being done between hardware and software that are protected, then nothing can be done to me. I'm not reverse-engineering their efforts. I am merely creating my own way of doing it. Maybe I don't understand some particular facet of the DMCA, but by all means, prove me wrong.
      • by mirko (198274)
        If you're writing an OS for it, then you'll have it scanning your hardware and extracting info in a way that was not meant to be by the manufacturer/distributor (who solely intend this product to play sound files with a possible restriction -maybe not ATM but later, re-read the product EULA...- to DRM'ed stuff).
        In this regard, and IMHO, I'd say they could argue about some DMCA violation even if I do not endorse this stupid west atlantic law (don't SCO attack Linux companies for something around as stupid ?)
        • But, if your OS that you are writing is scanning hardware and extracting information in the way that the manufacturer did intend, then what's the problem? I guess, I conisder the "firmware" to be an OS of sorts.
        • Re:DMCA (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Gentlewhisper (759800)
          "If you're writing an OS for it, then you'll have it scanning your hardware and extracting info in a way that was not meant to be by the manufacturer/distributor (who solely intend this product to play sound files with a possible restriction -maybe not ATM but later, re-read the product EULA...- to DRM'ed stuff)."

          Well, the First Sale Doctrine which appears in section 109 of the Copyright Act of 1976 states that the rights owner can not longer control the use of the copyrighted product once it's been releas
    • Things like the DMCA could do with a jury trial. Sadly, the cost of access to justice means that it probably won't happen.

      I really would have loved to have seen the RIAA put a few of those kids in the dock and let jurors decide their fate. How many people would really say "you know what, prosecuting a 15 year old kid for copyright infringement is both a valuable use of court time, and something that deep down doesn't make me feel physically sick".

    • Actual, they are doing it as a hobby. As a contributor to the software, I have to ask, what makes you think that the Rockbox group is a company?

  • TiVo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xsupergr0verx (758121) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @03:50AM (#10186971)
    Hopefully these companies pick up on the hacks like TiVo did and implement them into their newer models.
  • Cool but (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sanmarcos (811477) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @03:51AM (#10186974)
    Will it keep the same features?, what if if my iRiver gets messed up with the new firmware?, then I doubt iRiver will replace it for a new one :/
    • Re:Cool but (Score:4, Informative)

      by kidgenius (704962) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @04:19AM (#10187063)
      I have an ihp-120, and if I follow everything correctly, you really shouldn't be able to mess things up. You don't "flash" your player with software. Instead, it just sits on part of the harddrive, kinda like your regular OS on your homebox. If you have to replace the "firmware", you just would put the old on that part of the harddrive. I think the functionality of having a USB hard-drive is hardware, not software based, so reading/writing to the harddrive to fix a problem would be simple. Also, the hardware probably is responsible for checking for firmware updates. I doubt the software checks for updates of itself. If it was hardcoded into the hardware, then after you replace the file, the hardware of the player detects it, and loads it right up.
      • Re:Cool but (Score:3, Informative)

        by crwl (802043)
        The software for H1xx series is definitely on the flash, NOT in the hard drive. You can totally wipe the HD with, say, dd and the player still boots. The firmware file is only read from the HD (and decoded to flash) when you actually do a firmware upgrade from the players' menu.
    • what if if my iRiver gets messed up with the new firmware?...

      You'd then have the coolest paperweight in your office. "Be the envy of all your friends" and all that.
    • If you're worried about that, just don't use it. Sort of like Linux, I suppose.

      I use Rockbox, and it is great, but Archos is a crap company who make bad hardware. If this does well, I'll get an iRiver (I'm on the rockbox mail list, but I actually missed this, heh). The Rockbox team have been looking for a good platform to port to who won't cause problems though. Although Rockbox hasn't even been threatened by the DMCA (as far as I know), other similar projects have, and have just ceased without a battle
  • O is for Opinion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bon bons (734068) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @03:53AM (#10186984)

    I'm skeptical about the success of this. One of the reasons the rockbox software was so popular and great for the original Archos Jukeboxs' was because their original firmware was terrible.

    I wouldn't say that the iRiver firmware is great, but it's not as bad as the original Jukebox. The iRiver, after all, already plays Vorbis.

    I would personally like to see software that sped up the loading time on the player.

    • Re:O is for Opinion (Score:2, Informative)

      by djtrialprice (602555)
      The iRiver, after all, already plays Vorbis.

      AFAIK that's got nothing to do with the firmware (well, for Archos players anyway). The decoding of the mp3 format is done in hardware and I expect that the same is true for OGG on the iRiver.

      I would personally like to see software that sped up the loading time on the player.

      Anybody with an archos mp3 who uses playlists will vouch for that fact that rockbox's firmware pwns archos. It can take so many more songs and it loads them in a fraction of the time
      • Re:O is for Opinion (Score:5, Informative)

        by crwl (802043) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @06:49AM (#10187472)
        AFAIK that's got nothing to do with the firmware (well, for Archos players anyway). The decoding of the mp3 format is done in hardware and I expect that the same is true for OGG on the iRiver.

        iRiver H1xx series players don't have any special decoding chips, but quite a fast DSP (a Motorola SCF5249 140MHz Coldfire, says Rockbox's site). The decoding of MP3/OGG/WMA are done in software, if I'm not totally mistaken. The Archos players have a special MP3 decoding chip, and the Rockbox firmware doesn't support for example Ogg Vorbis just because of that.
    • by y0ta (809549) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @05:43AM (#10187321) Homepage
      It does play ogg vorbis. It doesn't play ogg flac. It doesn't play any lossless codec (except for uncompressed wav), for the matter. And, for classical music lovers, that's an actual problem.
      • And, for classical music lovers, that's an actual problem.

        I would guess that classical music doesn't really demand much in frequency range, but requires a very accurate stereo image. Wouldn't an independent stereo (avoid joint at all costs) 160+ kbps encoding in a decent encoder, such as LAME, be sufficient for listening to classical music on a portable?
        • Re:O is for Opinion (Score:4, Informative)

          by damiam (409504) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @07:06AM (#10187504)
          You got it exactly backwards. Classical music needs a wide frequency range, but stereo is rarely an issue (many older classical recordings are even mono). I personally think 160+kbps MP3 is fine, but I can see how some people wouldn't.
        • Avoiding joint stereo makes quality worse, not better; unlike older encoders, LAME only uses mid/side for frames when it is a genuine benefit. If there is no correlation at all between left and right, LAME will not bother. This only works on LAME - other encoders follow the standard's mechanism for switching between mid/side and full stereo which is buggy ;)
      • "And, for classical music lovers, that's an actual problem."

        I'm curious - is that a property of the music itself, or merely that (as in my experience) classical music is more likely to be listened to by the audiophile?

        As someone who likes a bit of Steve Reich on the move (Music For 18 Musicians blows away 99% of the electronic stuff that passes for downtempo 'chill' music these days), I'm now concerned about my plan to switch from a CD Walkman to an iRiver.
        • I'm curious - is that a property of the music itself, or merely that (as in my experience) classical music is more likely to be listened to by the audiophile?

          It's that old tech in the classical music instruments that presents a challenge. I mean we're talking about drawing a bunch of horsehairs perpendicularly across cat gut strings, and amplifying the result by resonating it on rather complex three dimensional surface composed of an organically grown, semi-irregular composite matrix of polysaccharides

    • Re:O is for Opinion (Score:3, Informative)

      by NegativeK (547688)
      I wouldn't say that the iRiver firmware is great, but it's not as bad as the original Jukebox. The iRiver, after all, already plays Vorbis.

      I would personally like to see software that sped up the loading time on the player.


      I personally love my H120 with the 1.40US firmware, but a lot of people are becoming quite pissed off about the whole thing. iRiver has repeatedly made promises on release dates, only to turn around and break those promises. Not only that, but when iRiver actually did release a new
  • by Lurks (526137) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @04:10AM (#10187039) Homepage
    I'm not sure what's up with iRiver and the broken promises of new firmware. iRiver apologists have been banging on about how this is all a bonus and one should live with the state of the player as shipped but ... iRiver certainly made a selling feature of the upgradable firmware.

    On the other hand, there isn't a hard-drive player on the market which touches the iHP-100 range (sadly including iRiver's next product the H300-series) and I've pretty much tested them all in a professional capacity as a journalist. The existing firmware is, it must be said, damn good. The way it just works with your file structure if you prefer (and I do), the way navigation works, the way settings work, switching modes, voice recording etc - it's all just right.

    So iRiver really do know what they're doing when it comes to software engineering. It's actually the iRiver software that makes it stand out from the crowd. However there's a few glaring problems - the biggest, for me, is the lack of a real shuffle mode. It's easy to end up with the 100-series playing the same sequence of tracks when in random mode. That sucks. Gapless is the next most important for me with the rest of the options such as on-the-fly playlist editing and and file deletion taking up the rear of my priority list by some margin. I can live without that, to be frank. (You can still be Ann)

    But let's look at what's good here. With the existing software, you can configure what sorts of play modes you like including shuffle modes. Then when you press and hold the A-B button (on the unit itself or the fantastic remote control), it will cycle through just your preferred modes and not every one of them. Brilliant.

    What iRiver needs more than anything else is just a rocket up them to fix the issues and deliver what they've promised. They're a fairly typical Korean company in that 99% of the noise out there from customers doesn't reach anyone making decisions but I think that will change now a slashdot story about a vaporware opensource alternative has appeared.

    That's why it's good news. Of course if someone could pressure them into dumping the proprietary software and incorporating the same USB mass storage approach as the 100-series for the otherwise-brilliant iFP-700/800 flash players, that would be the icing on the cake. Then I could switch to something smaller and lighter for the British summer.

    (Meanwhile most other manufacturer's of flash-based MP3 players tell you that you don't need USB 2.0. Sigh)

    • However there's a few glaring problems - the biggest, for me, is the lack of a real shuffle mode. It's easy to end up with the 100-series playing the same sequence of tracks when in random mode. That sucks. Gapless is the next most important for me with the rest of the options such as on-the-fly playlist editing and and file deletion taking up the rear of my priority list by some margin. I can live without that, to be frank.

      I don't mind the lack of a real shuffle. It seems to re-randomise whenever I add o

    • I think you can expect USB mass storage support for iFP-700/800 in the near future: those two players are already listed under supported devices for WMP10 synch functionality.

      Funny though that the H series is not (and no they did not overlook it, reports are that it will not synch).
    • by ashridah (72567) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @05:49AM (#10187341)
      Some enterprising person found an entertaining workaround to the issue of broken shuffle.

      He found that if you add a bunch of really short silent mp3's, the player will re'random'ize the shuffle if you delete one of them within the player with the latest firmware. just add about 10 of them, and delete them as you find the shuffle being repetitive.

      Better than nothing for the time being. :)

      Shuffle's not really something i use personally tho. OTF playlists would be nice, but about all i'm interested in eventually seeing is the gapless playback. currently the player has gap delete working (ie, removing silence from inside music files) but not a prebuffering system to start playing the next song immediately. it was never scheduled for the first of the two upcoming firmware releases anyway, tho.

      ashridah
    • I have to disagree with you about the quality of the firmware. The functions are needlessly difficult to access. Button use isn't consistant. I've had it for 6 months and I still forget when to tap the remote's nav wheel and when to press and hold it. I think you tap it to view directories, then press and hold it to back up. Pressing and holding it first shows the settings menu. Or something like that. My wife called from the car asking how to turn shuffle mode off. On an Archos or iPod, it would be as simp
    • I miss only one thing on the iRiver: bookmarks.
      If you have such a huge load of files it would be good to "mark" a position, play some other tracks, and later go back to that "mark". Especially when you upload new files. Sucks kinda that it always starts at 0.
    • Having just travelled with a Korean I can tell you that they can return ANYTHING.

      That is the korean product success story. ANYTHING can be returned, bought in on the internet they'll pay to ship it back to them. Don't know if this only applies to Korean's but it seems to work.

      I've seen my friend get so pissed because a product didn't do what it said it would, I was like chill out happens all the time. They have an amazing system.

      You just need to know how to
  • Will Rockbox be able to give the H1xx series USB on-the-go [usb.org] like the H3xx series have, I wonder?

    Does anyone know if you need special USB hardware to support USB host operations (not found in the H1xx series), or is it just in the driver?
    • The way USB is designed, "USB on the go" requires hardware support and is not therefore doable with the H1xx hardware.
    • For that you'd need the hardware to be USB master, whereas H1xx only have USB slave hardware. OTOH, you can buy a USB bridge whose purpose is to connect to slaves together, e.g. there [delkin.com]

      price(H1xx)+price(bridge)<price(H3xx), that's why I finally chose H1xx.

  • Horray, I've got one of their players. I'm not sure how much open sourcing the firmware could actually do, it is already compatible with linux and the drivers work pretty well, but I suppose some interesting uses apart from just playing music could be found for these players.
  • wishlist: (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @04:37AM (#10187120)
    .sid and .mod playback! pls :-)
    • You laugh now, but I actually have a CD that has Second Reality Part 2 on it. (Although it was an S3M originally, I think.)
  • by Björn Stenberg (32494) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @05:08AM (#10187209) Homepage
    Hi all.

    While we appreciate positive attention for our work, this story is a bit early. We have just begun to look at the iRiver iHP/H1 hardware and are quite a bit away from having anything of significance to show (such as running code).

    I'll try to preemptively answer some common questions:

    - No, we are not violating the DMCA or any other intellectual property laws. We are only distributing software written by ourselves and we run it on our own hardware. Our software does not circumvent any access control or copy control mechanisms.

    - We are not doing this to "expand our market share" or any other weird corporate-style reason. We are doing it because our old Archos hardware is becoming obsolete and hard to find so we need to find new hardware to run our software on. The fact that the iRiver has a large user base is a bonus though, since it means more potential contributors.

    - We are not looking at the iPod or Rio Karma since they contain a chip made by Portalplayer that you have to sign away your firstborn to see the docs for. That is a silly practice we do not wish to encourage. The iRiver contains hardware with published docs.

    Feel free to drop in on irc [rockbox.haxx.se] if you have any questions.

    /Björn

    • I'm sorry, I have to do this.

      Thats all well and good, but does it run linux?

      (Cowers now as the sound of a thousand geeks groaning in unison)

      Wish you the best of luck with porting your software over. Its never easy to move to a new framework.
      If you need an English beta tester, send me one of the devices over. :)
    • We are not looking at the iPod or Rio Karma since they contain a chip made by Portalplayer that you have to sign away your firstborn to see the docs for.

      Apple does this regularly to discourage tinkering by open source people, like their choice to use Broadcom Wireless Cards over any of the other vendors who are well supported by open source and have open documentation. Look at the list of things unsupported on the PPC platform and realize this is not because of lack of effort on the part of the Linux guys
    • Have you thought about porting to the Neuros?

      http://open.neurosaudio.com/ [neurosaudio.com]
      http://www.neurosaudio.com/ [neurosaudio.com]

  • I have an iriver ihp-140 (40gb) player.. this is awesome... I can't wait! an open source firmware means all those obscure sound formats can get supported! like .mods and flac! this is brilliant news.
    • I'd like someone else to prove me wrong but I'm fairly certain that firmware cannot decode file formats. That is done by the hardware.
      • Re:THIS KICKS ASS!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Billy69 (805214)
        This was also mentioned by someone above, and it is completely wrong. The iRiver hardware uses a processor and firmware as opposed to a hardware decoder, unlike a lot of older MP3 players. Thats how they have retrospectively added Ogg Vorbis support to the iMP range of players. So in this case, yes you are wrong, and yes, firmware does decode the file formats.
        • yep, that's right.

          The only thing that prevents some of the older models from gaining new codecs is processing power, time, and in a few cases, lack of free space in the flash ROM for the new codec.

          I'll be interested to see what the rockboxx stuff comes up with.

          ashridah
      • Dammit! There's nothing like being shown to be completely wrong by several people in a slashdot thread. AAAARGH!
  • Gmini? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Who can help these guys with the Gmini firmware?
    http://www.donat.org/archos
  • by KitFox (712780) on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @05:35AM (#10187302)
    With custom coded firmware being made for a device that looks like Just Another Hard Drive to your computer when plugged in, how long will it be before we end up with some odd - and possibly not-good - tweaks to the system?

    Obviously, some tweaks could be useful, depending on what the firmware can do with the onboard hardware. I'd love to hear some ideas on those... How to make a media device into something more than a media device, from odd screen displays to any number of other things.

    But then what about possible tweaks that could be harmful? Put an autorun file on the drive, have it search the computer it is connected to for something, copy it to the device, and then have the device hide the info in some way?

    "Oh, no, sir, I was just hooking it up to the computer so I could listen to MP3's over the better speakers. More relaxing work environment makes for better productivity."

    So, what might be able to be done?

    • The player doesn't get a whole lot of control over how the operating system sees the attached disk. Once the usb plug goes in, the player basically enables a usb-storage-on-a-chip component and turns on the hard drive, so far as I know.

      The operating system sees the entire disk, so you'd have a hard time hiding stuff, unless you convinced the drive to violate the low level formatting to get outside the accessible area or something once the player had been unplugged.
      i suppose you could mod the firmware to mo
      • Sooo... what if we throw the information through a simple (weak) encryption method, then scatter it throughout ID3v2 tags in not-normally-used frames. Depending on the size of complete chunks of information, you may be able to fit relevant things in a single tag (U:P combos), or even have some songs with index tags for combining the information chunks.

        With this method, it doesn't matter if the OS sees the entire disk, because it still just contains MP3's. That happen to have some weird stuff in the ID3v2

    • How about a mini web server running on the portable player? One that is similar to the adjustable options page on many household broadband routers, so you could adjust settings at greater ease than you would with a small black-and-white LCD screen.
    • Anyone who knows about USB tech, is this possible?

      1: I connect my iHP-140 directly to another USB mass-storage device
      2: With its hacked firmware, the iRiver is smart enough to read and write the other devices disk
      3: Hmm, what might I do next, having linked my mp3 player to somebody else's, and having access to their files? Nope, can't think of anything...

      • USB-on-the-go is what you want, and no it's not possible with the 1xx series of iriver devices.

        The usb dongle is pretty much directly attached to the usb-storage controller in the 1xx series.

        You need special hardware and software to control USB-OTG, because the device needs to operate as a host. Firewire on the other hand is another matter, since it's more of a networking system than a host-client type system.

        the 3xx series does have this, mind you, although it's not compatible across the board, since se
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just to let you know if you want the tag db (inc. ogg files) then head over to

    http://www.marevalo.net/iRipDB/

    for a nifty database creator.

    Matthew
  • by wehe (135130) <wehe@@@tuxmobil...org> on Wednesday September 08, 2004 @05:49AM (#10187339) Homepage Journal
    There is already a plethora of free software for mobile audio and video players [tuxmobil.org] available.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Neuros Audio Computer Team [neurosaudio.com] is just doing the same thing for it's far superior player. But this time, the releasing of the firmware code was done after the manufacturers approval. Way to go!

    Too bad the released code will only compile under Texas Instruments' Code Composer Studio, a USD. 3500 closed source IDE and compiler.

    A GCC target [sourceforge.net] for the TI DSP the Neuros has in (C5416) is already on its way, though.
  • You know,

    i'd be REALLY REALLY happy if someone found a way to make the iriver iHP-140 boot to say, dos or something.

    I've tried a lot of things so far. HP's usb dongle boot formatter, booting with usb-enabled DOS floppies, short of actually installing winME to try that. Best that i can tell, not much likes formatting a bootable fat32 drive that's larger than 32G anymore :(

    I even tried making a tiny 100MB partition at the end of the device, but haven't found anything that'll work long enough to format it a
    • yopu could do something silly and waste a $0.13 CDR and make it bootable into dos without your files on it.

      but nahhh...

      I do exactly that every single time.

      there are plenty of DOS bootable ISO's or .bin files floating around for nero to make a bootable DOS CDROM. hell strip the bootable out of a win98 or winme install CD.

      why people dink for day's trying to get a bootable DOS thumbdrive in something that is too big (spend $12.00 and buy a 16 meg thumb drive.) it blows my mind.
      • Because it's convenient for me to use a device I already have, and I like challenges. As for CDR's, you can't easily EDIT the dos files to test it as a startup floppy for a particular game that refuses to run under windows :)

        Besides, things like Symantec Ghost would be handy in a setup where I had a large amount of usb storage handy, although i could do that easily with a bootable floppy.

        it's the principle that counts however.
        I *should* be able to do it, hence I want to. I don't want to waste more money o
        • The thing with formatting fat32 drives up to 32GB is a Windows problem. Fix your operating system ;) IIRC only XP has this problem, but 2K might as well.
          • You clearly didn't read my post too carefully, i don't care about your non-helpful statements about stuff, which happens to be a repetition of stuff i've already said.

            I'm trying to get this thing to boot. the only thing that will format a filesystem larger than 32GB in fat32 is win9x, and dos. i don't have win9x, and dos's format is crying about not having enough memory.

            because win2k/xp won't format a large fat32 partition (which technically, is a violation of the fat32 specs, apparently), HP's util won't
  • I'm skeptical about this. By developing Open Source Firmware to remove bugs from the player we are sending a messenger to proprietary firmware developers that they can just release a buggy firmware and the open source community will solve all their problems. If the guys making this firmware are in contact with the original developers then it may be alright though.
    • By developing Open Source Firmware to remove bugs from the player we are sending a messenger to proprietary firmware developers that they can just release a buggy firmware and the open source community will solve all their problems.

      I highly doubt that. We have to keep in mind that the Slashdot crowd is not your average Joe. The masses on the streets are the ones who need well working hardware more than we do and the hardware producers know this. They're not going to let quality slide because 0.2% of their

  • Does anyone think this kind of thing will happen for the iPod? I love the interface from what I have seen, but isn't it always better to have a choice? I am just curious if anyone will bother. Considering it is the overwhelming leader in mp3 players at the moment, you would have to think some development is under way.
    • http://ipodlinux.sourceforge.net
  • In the wake of iRiver's much-maligned (and delayed) attempts to update their proprietary firmware, this is excellent news.

    I bought my iHP-120 about a year ago. It came with new newest firmware availible at the time.

    My only gripes were:
    • inability to erase files
    • inability to record from the radio

    The first item has been fixed via a new firmware release that I installed last week.
    That's it. I think it's a GREAT mp3 player.
    It has all sorts of EQ, sounds effects, does playlists, looping, records to

  • I have an iFP-595... which is a nice piece of hardware (aside from the lil' joystick control toggle which doesn't respond well).

    Linux support is arguable at best if you want OGG support as well - their is an OSS app for transferring tracks using iRiver's native protocol which is a workable solution, but it's not as easy as dragging and dropping folders over.

    There is a USB mass storage firmware option with OGG support, but 2.6 kernels have problems recognizing the UMS device. Evidentally there's a problem
  • Can't believe nobody has whored the Wiki page with the technical scoop! [rockbox.haxx.se]
  • The existing firmware is _OK_ for the H140, but navigating a large collection (5000 songs) on this puppy is a trainwreck.

    If you use the DB function (which reads ID3 tags), when you go to scroll through your songs by Artist, you could be scrolling for 10 minutes or longer to get from A-Z. There's no way to adjust scrolling speed. That's no way to find a song! And if you go by Song Title, "fahgetaboutit!" There's no search feature, and no way to earmark 'favorites' on the fly.

    They said they would releas

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray

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