Rockbox 3.0 Release Announcement
NOTE: To be distributed only after 3.0 is officially released!
May 15, 2006
The Rockbox Project (http://www.rockbox.org
) is proud to announce the release of version 3.0, the result of years of extensive development.
Rockbox is a GPL open source operating system and application suite for digital audio players (DAPs), written from scratch to be fast, stable and packed with features. Rockbox is replacement firmware that has matured to become an extensible, flexible platform that provides a plug-in architecture for adding applications, utilities, games, PDA functionality and more. The core Rockbox feature set includes gapless audio playback, extensive codec support, a five band fully parametric equalizer, on-the-fly (OTF) playlists, Replay Gain support, a customizable user interface, lossless recording (if hardware supports it) and more. Rockbox also includes a voice-driven interface suitable for operation by visually impaired users.
Rockbox runs on a wide variety of devices with very different hardware abilities: from early, monochrome Archos players to modern, high-resolution, color iriver players with digital optical audio hardware and advanced recording capabilities.
Due to extensive architectural rework, in addition to the Archos players supported in previous releases Rockbox now runs on the modern generation of devices that perform audio decoding in software.
The new devices supported in this release are:
- iriver H1xx series: H110 (iHP-110), H115 (iHP-115), H120 (iHP-120), H140 (iHP-140)
- iriver H3xx series: H320, H340
A number of iPod models and the iAudio X5 players are in development and working (but unsupported). Support for Toshiba Gigabeat and others are currently in early stages of development.
On software decoding platforms, Rockbox now supports playback of more than 9 audio codecs, rivaling many PC-based audio player software packages.
- MPEG audio (MP3/MP2/MP1)
- Ogg Vorbis
- Apple Lossless
- WavPack (lossy and lossless modes)
- AC3 (DVD audio)
MPEG-4 AAC (LC) and Windows Media Audio playback support (both non-DRM) are currently in development.
On supporting hardware, Rockbox supports high quality lossless recording to 44.1 kHz, 16-bit WAV. Recordings can be compressed on-device with the MP3 or WavPack encoder plugins. Rockbox features on-the-fly gain adjustment and visual peakmeters with clipping notification. AGC and other recording tools are in development.
In addition to cutting edge audio support, Rockbox also includes many game plugins.
- Rockboy: Game Boy emulator (supports original Game Boy and Game Boy Color ROMs)
- Rockdoom: A port of the PrBoom Doom engine
- Pacbox: Pac-Man arcade machine emulator
- Brickmania, Chess, Jewels, Sudoku, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Pong and many others.
Rockboy, Rockdoom and Pacbox require third-party game data files not included with Rockbox.
Support for Unicode (UTF-8) has been added, and internationalized fonts for several non-Latin character sets are included. Rockbox correctly reads and displays Unicode ID3 tags. The user interface supports 28 languages.
There is now a comprehensive manual for every supported platform available in PDF, HTML and LaTeX format. Each manual includes documentation for the entire supported feature set and example screenshots.
- Rockbox now features a rewritten tag database called TagCache. This allows browsing and searching of music files by artist, album, genre and so on.
- The low level buffering and playback engine has undergone significant refactoring for better stability.
- On non-Archos devices, Rockbox features a five band, fully parametric equalizer.
- A JPEG viewer plugin is included that displays in 16-bit color or 33-shade greyscale (depending on model). It works on single files and in slideshow mode.
- Many more custom themes and While Playing Screens have been added.
For a comprehensive list of changes, see the "Changes since 2.5" CVS changelog at http://www.rockbox.org/since25.html
and for an overview of the major changes since November 2005, see the wiki page: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/MajorChanges
Who Makes Rockbox?
Rockbox is being developed by hundreds of highly skilled volunteer developers from around the world. More than 175 contributors are named in the credits but many more in the user community provide a steady stream of patches, ideas and bug reports. To participate, see the Rockbox Forums (http://forums.rockbox.org
), the mailing lists (http://www.rockbox.org/mail/
) or chat with us in IRC (#rockbox at irc.freenode.net).
Rockbox includes code from many other free software/open source projects including MAD (http://www.underbit.com/products/mad/
), Tremor (http://www.xiph.org/
), ffmpeg (http://ffmpeg.sourceforge.net/
), and more. The developers would like to extend their thanks to these projects, for without their work, Rockbox would be a much lesser product.
Copyright © by the contributing authors.