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Subject: Re: Suggest features for a new hardware recorder/audio player for using with Rockbox

Re: Suggest features for a new hardware recorder/audio player for using with Rockbox

From: Mark Allums <mark_at_allums.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2008 10:17:55 -0600

Paul Louden wrote:
> Bluetooth was designed for portable use. It was engineered to be cheap,
> it's reasonably secure, it is designed for communication between
> multiple types of devices rather than simply as a networking protocol,
> and it's designed to be low power. Weighed against "I don't think it's
> secure enough for protecting my MP3s for the short time I have it turned
> on while syncing", I think it definitely still has the advantage.

I am not obsessing over my MP3s, I am obsessing over my Windows
computer. Autorun is increasingly difficult to turn off these days, and
you can be got before you know what's happening. A lot of people were
"got" recently by digital picture frames from China.

It should at least be turned off by default. I think it should go a few
steps further. Rockbox does not have Bluetooth support. It doesn't
have USB support on every device, either, but it will. I think from an
implementation standpoint, some sort of wireless USB may ultimately be
more practical. Further, you can restrict access to only a wired
connection, or a single uniquely keyed dongle. The downside is, if you
lost the dongle, you could only access the player with the wired
connection. No big deal. The other problem is, the dongle. It would
add to the cost of the player and require implementing. Bluetooth does
have the advantage that there are already some fairly generic adapters
available.

However, Bluetooth is encumbered a bit by IP issues. I believe a goal
of this project should be to use as much off-the-shelf free and open
source hardware as possible. It may come to pass that wireless USB will
be similarly encumbered. In that case, the choice might come down to
whichever solution is cheapest. Right now, that would be Bluetooth,
because wireless USB is so new. I am prepared for that to change in the
future. Perhaps the player V1 will not use wireless, V1.5 will use
Bluetooth, and V2 will use something else.

Nuclear powered Bluetooth in-canal earbuds would be great. Add a
battery and a radio, and Bluetooth is less appealing to me. I don't
need wireless computer connections, they would be nice to have.

Whatever the developers decide, I'm in, as long as the thing doesn't
cost an arm and a leg. I think another goal for the first model should
be a reasonable cost. They will almost have to be made in China to be
within budget. And, they will need to order quite a few in order for it
to scale up well. So, it needs to be a player that you would consider
getting at Best Buy, or Ciruit City, or Tesco. [British grocery store
chain, is that the right name?]. I mean a player that you would
seriously consider, Rockbox or not. $US800.00 apiece won't fly.

--Mark Allums
Received on 2008-02-18


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