Project to design and build a Free/Open hardware audio player (DAP) and recorder, for use with RockBox
- Make a good quality hardware audio player and recorder;
- Find a company to assembly and sell It online, to worldwide;
Advantages versus commercial players
- All hardware documented - perfect Rockbox port and support!;
- Hardware can be modular which is ideal for developers add new functionalities;
- Control on hardware quality - will result in a good audio quality, longer battery duration, etc;
- Free/Open Software build and debug tools;
- Long life, will not be discontinued from production.
Disadvantages versus commercial players
- A few more expensive;
- Probably will not have a very attractive design.
Major companies that build DAPs like Apple or Sandisk, often create new versions of hardware to get lower prices and add new functionality. Since the new versions are usually designed with different chips, are often undocumented and locked, Rockbox developers have to struggle to find information that permits them understand how the devices work, and allow the Rockbox firmware to run on them. Sometimes, before the developers can hack some older target versions, a new version appears and the older version is not available on the market anymore!
Also the same companies make DAPs with lower quality components so they can get lower prices and earn more. Lower quality components usually means an audio signal that is noisy or a DAP with a shorter life span.
Modern micro-controllers and memory have become very cheap, and tend to be very fast with a lot of resources inside like DAC and USB peripherals. This means that it is possible to build a reasonably priced and powered DAP with a fewer components. If we manufacture our DAP, we will be able to maintain a much more stable and documented hardware, with a good quality audio and a perfect Rockbox port.
All documentation to produce the LyreProject
is under license:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License
If you use this work, you must reference this project as "Rockbox Player" and use this link:
Status of the project
We are working closely with ARMopendous project
, which is a Open Hardware ARM9 development board. The person behind that project already sent the board for production and designed an expansion board for a DAP, with buttons, audio DAC IC and LCD. If all goes well, in the end a hardware he will design a "short" version of all this hardware for being a DAP and a plastic case.
ARMopendous is a complete service, he design the board with a Free Software CAD, send it for production, buy the components and assembly them on the board at his home, verify and test it, finally sells it on Ebay shop. It's a bit DIY, and it's all Open Hardware (all source files for board available with many good information and tips).
Final hardware should be available at mid June. Base board (which will also run GNU Linux) should cost about $50 and the base board + the DAP expansion board should cost about $100.
If you would like to follow the development and buy the hardware (when available), please visit us at: http://code.google.com/p/armopendous/
Our actual working prototype is LyreLittlePrototype
and we now have a working Rockbox bootloader. We believe that 90% of the total project is done.
Here is one video: http://blip.tv/file/get/Jpcasainho-LyreProjectActualWorkingState511.ogg
If needed, contact companies asking for support at assembly and selling the player on theirs online shops - example:
Links to others players Free/Open Source players
Topic discussions on Rockbox forum
Please add yourself to this list.
- JorgePinto aka Casainho on forum and IRC. Developer since the beginning of the project (December 2007). EXPERIENCE: I work in a small company that develops simple electronics circuits with LEDs and AVR 8 bits. I CAN HELP IN: I have some limited knowledge in analog electronics and in GCC-AVR for 8 bits, I will be able to do some drivers for hardware. MOTIVATION: I would like to have a fully Free/Open hardware player for RockBox, without DRM; I would like to have a player for quick and simple share music files with my friends; I want to learn working with 32 bits systems with GCC.
- ThomasLloyd - aka notlistening. Joined as a developer in September 2008. EXPERIENCE: I have worked on various embedded hardware during my Computing for Real Time Systems degree working mainly with linux. I CAN HELP IN: A bit rusty having been quite ill and loosing the vast majority of my sight. I have experience in driver development under linux, most programming languges. MOTIVATION: Having lost my sight I want to see a reasonably priced unit that takes into account the visually impaired. The experience gain would be valuable in working in the embedded industry again.
- AlexCantos - also AJCantos. Joined as a developer in October 2008. EXPERIENCE: I work in a small audio electronics company. My skills include hardware, embedded software and some mechanical design. I CAN HELP IN: I can develop/test/improve hardware, implement software and do some visual/conceptual design. MOTIVATION: I love audio electronics, gadgets, open source and Rockbox, need any more reasons?
- RogerQuadros - I created the DSPdap. I can contribute my hardware and firmware design skills into the Rockbox hardware player.
Copyright © by the contributing authors.