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Subject: Re: New 30gb mp3 jukebox by polaroid.
From: [IDC]Dragon (idc-dragon_at_gmx.de)
Date: 2004-07-03


> Still, trying to do my part, I restate my offer of awhile back. If any
> developer with a rockbox track record will step forward and commit to a
> port
> to some other hardware, I'll buy the hardware and donate it to him. I'm
> willing to spend up to, oh, $500 on the target hardware.

Hmm, a very tempting, generous offer. And I guess I have a track record...

Some general thoughts about this porting/platform issue (none spectecular
new, btw):

- The main resouce restriction to grown-up developers is time, not the money
to buy this or that toy. I know somebody in this household I'd get in
trouble with if I'd burdon me with another hobby project. ;-)

- The initiative has to come from people using that other hardware, not from
Archos JBR owners. There is no Rockbox team tho whom it would be valid to
ask: when do you have that stuff ported to box X?

- Hardware: I'm tempted for a smaller box, the JBR is kind of bulky, to
todays' standards. Amoung the candidates would be the Gmini220 or Xclef800.
>From a feature point of view, I'd prefer the Gmini for the larger display
and the CF plug, but it has a CPU which gives developers a _very_ hard time.
(A rather weak 16 bit CPU and a DSP). Audio codecs need to be written for
the DSP, which is a really tough job. Memory-intensive codecs like Ogg are
probably out of reach.
The Xclef has a straightforward, documented CPU with enough power to run the
codecs directly, no DSP. Look a lot easier, more flexibility.

- Availability: Open source development is slow. We'd need a hardware base
which is commercially available for several years, and preferable with a
large user base. I have my doubts about the Xclef in that. It's an exotic
box. Does anybody know who actually designed it? The upcoming Commodore
player could be a promising candidate, it's got a brand which could sell.

- Portability: I know the core team will disagree, but so far I don't
consider Rockbox well portable. It's pretty specific to the JBR in many
ways, e.g. use of memory resources, screen size, buttons, Micronas
companion, more to be discovered. Will be quite a challenge to generalize
all this, and the JBR version of Rockbox would suffer from it because it has
to be a wider suit, not exactly tailored as today.

So far my $0.02

Jörg

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