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Subject: Re: ipod rockbox justification (was: rockbox Digest, Vol 7, Issue 43)

Re: ipod rockbox justification (was: rockbox Digest, Vol 7, Issue 43)

From: ian douglas <id_at_w98.us>
Date: 2006-03-21

Your post seems to be on the edge of what I'd otherwise consider a
troll, but I'd like to step in and offer my $0.02 worth. Also, because
sorting things by subject for archive tends to make more sense for me
personally, I've altered the subject line away from the mailing list
digest name.

> the idea that we can just simply turn off the firmware
> and go back to the ipod firmware is laughable

I don't see how you could consider that a useless feature - if there's a
bug in the rockbox firmware that you can't get out of, how else would
you ever hope to recover? I guarantee you that Apple won't replace a
'defective' iPod that simply has bad firmware on it. To that end, the
development team has spent a lot of time ensuring that some recovery
mechanism exists. Consider how you'd feel if your $400 MP3 player was
now useless (what we call "bricked" here at Rockbox) because you
couldn't get back to the original firmware?

Besides, having access to the original firmware would give you access to
your iTunes video files. (I hope I'm right on that point, I'm sure
someone will correct me if that's not accurate)

> Why is rock box not using a form of platform like apple
> osx or windows for the codding so that we blind or arshley
> sighted user can take full advantage of there ipod videos.

Aside from the question of "what do you want for free", as far as I
recall, video playback is working for non-proprietary formats like MPEG
video.

If you're asking whether it'd be more useful to run an embedded OS like
Windows Mobile PC or whatever they're calling the old Windows CE these
days, then hey, if you want to do the development work to get it running
on the slow processor and limited about of RAM/Flash that you have in
your iPod, you're more than welcome to.

But you've asked a question that's been asked previously a few times,
which is essentially "How can I watch my iTunes videos or listen to my
iTunes music", and it's already been answered as effectively as
possible. Proprietary formats like iTunes or Windows Media cannot be
played back on Rockbox for obvious reasons of licensing and the power
needed to decrypt a file on the fly while you play it. Studies have
already shown that battery life is reduced by 25% by playing DRM music
on MP3 players. But I'm getting away from my point a little: Rockbox is
an open-source firmware setup that is based on open-source codecs like
OGG, to let people with hardware like the iPod series have access to a
huge range of features they'd have never had otherwise. I'm sure I can
safely guarantee you that Apple will never offer support for FLAC or OGG
formats on their iPods, yet Rockbox will allow you to do just that. If
I'm correct (and others will correct me if I'm wrong), Rockbox will also
give video playback capabilities to older generation iPods to play MPEG
or other videos.

> you say that rock box is also for sighted users, but do you
> know anyone who is sighted who uses it

Um, yes, there are plenty of sighted people using Rockbox on their
various players. Some developers who were very generous with their time,
have developed the voice menus so that users without sight could still
navigate. This was a feature built in explicitly to the benefit of users
who could see their screen for whatever reason. And I'm pretty sure they
won't enjoy reading your critical questioning about a feature that they
built specifically for users like you so you could get more usefulness
from your player.

> most people who are sighted would just go out and buy an ipod or
> other mp3 players.

For what other purpose? I am a sighted user, and I didn't buy an iPod
simply because it only supported MP3 files other than proprietary
(encrypted) formats, not to mention that it wouldn't even play WMA
files. And I wanted access to codecs like OGG Vorbis which sound as good
as MP3 files at lower bit rates and smaller file size for players with
less disk/flash capacity. In the end, I bought an iRiver H320 because it
had every feature I could have wanted - a photo viewer, many codecs for
playback, built-in recorder, built-in photo and text viewers, AM/FM
radio ... Rockbox just extends those capabilities even farther, and
gives me access to even *more* open-source formats that even iRiver
didn't think to include...

But before this turns into another "I don't want to give anyone my real
name" debate, perhaps you should read more about what Rockbox IS and who
those features are intended for, before asking questions that make you
look like you're just trying to start a fight.

-id
Received on Tue Mar 21 02:38:47 2006


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