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Wiki > Main > WhyRockbox (r57)

What is Rockbox? Why should I use it?

Rockbox is an open source firmware replacement for a growing number of digital audio players. It has been in development since 2001 and receives new features, tweaks and fixes every day to provide you with the best possible music listening experience. Rockbox aims to be considerably more functional and efficient than your device's stock firmware while remaining easy to use and customizable. It is a goal to not only offer a wide range of functionality, but where possible make sure that this functionality is presented in a consistent manner that is easy to learn and use. It is written by users, for users.

Another top priority of Rockbox is audio playback quality. Rockbox, for most models, includes a wider range of sound settings than that device's original firmware. A lot of work has been put into making Rockbox sound the best it can, and improvements are constantly being made. All models have access to a large number of plugins, including many games, applications, and graphical demos.

You can load different configurations quickly for different purposes (e.g. a large font for in your car, different sound settings for at home). You can even customize your While Playing Screen to display only and exactly what you want to see when your music is playing. In addition, Rockbox features a wide range of languages, and all supported models also have the ability to talk to you - menus can be voiced and filenames spelled out or spoken.


Key Features of Rockbox

Feature Archos models iriver models iPod models iAudio models Gigabeat models All Newer Targets
Support for over 20 Sound Codecs, including Ogg Vorbis and FLAC MP3 and WAV only DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Gapless playback DONE (with lame -nogap) DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
5-band fully-parametric equalizer, and crossfeed Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
High-resolution volume control, 64-100 levels (model-dependent) DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Ability to create your own themes or use user-uploaded ones DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Advanced crossfading Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
ReplayGain support (volume normalization) Not yet implemented DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Cuesheet support DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Album Art Support Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
JPEG image and text-file viewing DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Doom! Not possible DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
MPEG video support Not possible, but
custom video playback
DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Real Time Clock (RTC) DONE (Recorders) DONE (H3x0, modded H1x0) DONE DONE (X5(L), M5(L)) DONE DONE
Customizable Tag Database DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Unicode support DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Advanced On-The-Go playlist creation DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Multilingual Interface - 30 supported languages and counting DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Optional spoken interface DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Many plugins - games, apps, and demos DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE
Open Source, so Rockbox is constantly improved DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE

A full feature comparison can be found here.


Model-Specific Features

Archos Studio or Player

Rockbox for the Archos Studio and Player models features MP3 playback that, to many users, sounds considerably better than the standard Archos firmware. In addition, there are a number of "plugins" (games, graphics demos and useful apps, such as a stopwatch and a text viewer), the menus are laid out in a more logical way, and you have access to a lot more information and configuration options than you ever had in the Archos firmware. You can even flash Rockbox to your player if you like it, which drastically reduces the boot time (Rockbox boots within a few seconds this way, versus around 10 seconds for the Archos firmware, before flashing).

Archos Recorder, FM Recorder or Ondio

Rockbox for the Archos Recorder, FM Recorder, and Ondio models features very high-quality, fine-tuned MP3 playback - along with many extra adjustments the Archos firmware doesn't allow, including an automatic volume adjustment for files with uneven output levels, Micronas Dynamic Bass (MDB), a very configurable "bass boost on steroids", and more! A very intuitive and organized menu system gets you where you want to be quickly, and quick access to common features is at your fingertips with the screen-specific context menus. Over fifty plugins (including games and apps) provide you with many useful tools and hours of entertainment - including a video playback plugin, with sound, and a JPEG viewer! You can even flash Rockbox to your player if you like it, which drastically reduces the boot time (Rockbox boots within a few seconds this way, versus around 10 seconds for the Archos firmware, before flashing). On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, and recording with time-splitting and automatic triggering are just a few of many more features that Rockbox for Archos Recorder, FM Recorder, and Ondio provides.

iriver iHP1x0, H1x0, H3x0 or H10

Rockbox for the iriver iHP100 series, H100 series, H300 series, and H10 series features a large amount of plugins (games - many in full color on the H300 series - applications, and "demos"), which allow you to have some fun when you're bored, or put one of our multiple applications to use: open files with the text viewer, time yourself with the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your iriver H300 or H10 into a desktop clock with the clock plugin. On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, Recording and FM Recording with a variety of settings and features are more key points of Rockbox for the iriver iHP-1x0, H1x0 , H10, and H3x0 series.

iAudio X5, X5L, X5V, M5, M5L, M3

Rockbox for the iAudio X5 series features a large amount of plugins (games, applications and "demos"), which allow you to have some fun when you're bored, or put one of our multiple applications to use: open files with the text viewer, time yourself with the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your X5 into a desktop clock with the clock plugin. On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, Recording and FM Recording (X5/X5L/M3/M3L) with a variety of settings and features are more key points of Rockbox for the iAudio series.

iPod 1st through 5.5th Generation, Color/Photo, Mini, Nano or Video

Rockbox for the iPod models supports a large number of plugins, including games, applications, and "demos" - have some fun when you've got some free time to kill, open files with the text viewer, make use of the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your iPod into a desktop clock. Also enjoy On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support and much more.

Toshiba Gigabeat F & X series

Rockbox for the Toshiba Gigabeat F & X models supports a large number of plugins, including games, applications, and "demos" - have some fun when you've got some free time to kill, open files with the text viewer, make use of the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your Gigabeat into a desktop clock. Also enjoy On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support and much more.

SanDisk Sansa c200, e200 and e200R series

Rockbox for the SanDisk Sansa c200, e200, and e200R series features a large amount of plugins (games, applications and "demos"), which allow you to have some fun when you're bored, or put one of our multiple applications to use: open files with the text viewer, time yourself with the stopwatch, view some JPEG photos, perhaps watch a video or two, or turn your Sansa into a desktop clock with the clock plugin. Support for microSDHC cards, On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support, and Recording with a variety of settings and features are more key points of Rockbox for the Sansa c200, e200, and e200R series.


Learn More About Rockbox

Sounds good, no? Check out the Buyer's Guide for information on player availability, pricing, and so on. Want to learn more about Rockbox before diving in? The wiki and the technical forums are good places to get your feet wet and the glossary might help you understand the common terms a little better. If you run into problems along the way, chances are that your questions can be answered by searching the Rockbox manual or taking a look at the port page for your player. Have fun!


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r57 - 27 Jun 2011 - 02:21:12 - MichaelGiacomelli
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