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Subject: Re: ID3 database browsing
From: Neon John (
Date: 2004-10-14

On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 09:56:01 +0200, Linus Nielsen Feltzing <>

>I really want an ID3 database in Rockbox, but we need to find a decent
>solution that doesn't slow down the browser too much, eat up all RAM, or
>drain the batteries due to extensive disk access.

I guess I don't understand the need for this. Assuming a well organized
file hierarchy, what additional info would an ID3 browser bring to the

With >8000 files on my 80 gig machine I've never felt the need for
anything more than the simple file browser. What am I missing?

>A couple of questions come to mind:
>2) How to design the database to allow for fast searching/browsing with
>as little memory usage as possible? We can waste quite a lot of disk
>space, but not that much RAM.

It would probably be instructive to look at how dBase II did it on CP/M
machines. It would run, albeit slowly, on a machine with 16k of RAM which
means the application probably had no more free RAM than a JBR. It used
very tightly packed and compressed index files, one for each searchable
field in the database. This worked well as long as they stayed in sync.
Unfortunately rebuilding indices was a frequent, necessary and very
time-consuming task.

I think I've seen the DOS version of dBase II out there on the net. It
was code-compatible with the CP/M version.

>3) How to synchronize/generate the database?

I think a line should be drawn in the sand against any dependence on a
host computer. The archos should be able to do any database manipulation
without being tethered to a computer. Requiring a desktop-based
application would put Rockbox down in the same class with the neuros, ipod
and all the other crappy tethered players. I have no problem with there
being a PC application that duplicates what the archos does, only faster.


John De Armond
Cleveland, Occupied TN

Page was last modified "Jan 10 2012" The Rockbox Crew