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Wiki > Main > FeatureComparison

Firmware Feature Comparison Chart

This document is historical and mostly out of date!

These charts compare Rockbox with the original firmwares as shipped by the manufacturers of the digital audio player/recorders. The Rockbox column usually indicates generally available features, but may specify features only available in SVN and daily builds. Numbers in (parentheses) refer to footnotes. Click on the hypertext link to view.

Generic features

Feature Rockbox Open Source aftermarket firmware Archos proprietary stock firmware iRiver proprietary stock h1x0 firmware Most current SanDisk Sansa e2x0 firmware
Number of available languages 24 3 2 17
Speaking Menus Support Yes No No No
Easy to use User Interface Yes No No Yes
Boot Time from Flash (in seconds) 4 8-12 13-60 (5) 4-8
Open source development process Yes No No No
History of correcting reported bugs via firmware update releases Yes, the rockbox
project (all targets
combined) has produced a total of
30720 updates via SVN and volunteer
effort as of 5 Oct 2011.
No No or very slooowly No; but adds new bugs randomly until product enters End of Life.
FM Tuner support (FM Recorder/iriver) Yes Yes Yes (4) Yes
FM Tuner playback Yes Yes Yes US/Japan FM bands
Supported FM recording file formats .MP3 @ (range) bps
.WAV @ (range) bps
.AIFF @ (range) bps
.WV @ (range) bps
Archos=Yes but which Formats + supported bitrate range iRiver=Yes but which Formats + supported bitrate range e280v1: wav 512k bps
e280v2: wav 768k bps
FFmpeg recognized codec for FM recording files mp3
Archos=? iRiver=? pcm_s16le
e280v1:16k sample Hz
e280v2: 24k sample Hz
Naming of FM channels Yes ? No No
ID3v1 support Yes Yes Yes Yes
ID3v2 support Yes No Yes Yes
Background noise during playback No Yes No No
Mid-track resume Yes No Sometimes (1) Sometimes (1)
Mid-playlist resume Yes No Sometimes (1) Sometimes (1)
Resumed playlist order Yes No Sometimes (1) Sometimes (1)
Playback Battery lifetime (archos target) Longer Long
Playback Battery lifetime (iriver target) 19-21 hours ? 14-16
Playback Battery lifetime (Sansa e2x0) 19-21 hours ? ? 14-16
OGG Playback Battery duration ? ? ? ?
Voice Record Battery duration ? ? ? ?
FM Record Battery duration ? ? ? ?
Battery time indicator Yes No No Visual Percentage
Customizable font (Recorder/iriver) Yes No No No
Customizable screen info when playing songs Yes No No No
USB attach/detach without reboot Yes No Yes Sometimes (19)
Can load another firmware without rebooting Yes No Not really (1) No
Playlist load speed, songs/sec 3000 - 4000 15 - 20 30 - 40
Max number of songs in a playlist 20 000 999 999 (2) 200
Max filename length of song in playlist 260 ? 52
Supports bad path prefixes in playlists Yes Yes No
Automatic Volume Control (Recorder) Yes No No No
Volume triggered recording (Recorder) Yes No Yes No
Pitch control (Recorder) Yes No Yes (limited) No
Text File Reader Yes Yes Yes (limited) No
Games (Bitmap LCD) 8 No No No
Games (Player) 2 No N/A No
File Delete Yes Yes Partial (6) Yes
File Rename Yes Yes No No
Playlist Building Yes Yes No Yes - only one playlist
Recording (Recorder/iriver) Yes Yes Yes Yes - Partial/Bad
Generates XING VBR header when recording Yes Yes N/A - records CBR only N/A - records WAV only
High Resolution Volume Control Yes, 84 steps No Yes, 40 steps Yes, 30 steps
Customizable backlight timeout Yes Yes Yes Yes
Backlight-on when charging option Yes No Yes No - always on when charging
Backlight fading (iriver?) Yes ? No No
Supports the XING header Yes Yes ?
Supports the VBRI header Partly Yes ?
Max number of files in a dir 10 000 999 ?
Adjustable scroll speed Yes No Yes (but badly) No
Screensaver style demos Yes No No No
Variable step / accelerating ffwd and rwd Yes No No
Visual Progress Bar Yes No Yes Yes
Select/Load configs Yes No No No
Sleep timer Yes No Yes Yes
Remote Control Controllable Yes Yes Yes Yes
ISO8859-1 font support (Player) Yes No N/A No
Queue songs to play next, queue support Yes Yes Yes (3)
Bookmark positions in songs Yes No No No
Accurate VBR bitrate display Yes No No No
FF/FR with sound No Yes Yes Yes
Skip to next/previous folder Yes ? Yes N/A
Pre-Recording (Recorders) Yes Yes No
Video Playback with sound (Recorders) Yes No No Yes

Container and Codec support for Decoding and Playback

Suggestion: Replace the Yes answers in this table with supported bitrates. Thoughts?

Function / Compatibility Rockbox iriver
MP3 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes All
WMA Yes Yes No? Yes Yes Yes All
WMA Pro Yes Yes No? Yes Yes Yes
ASF encapsulated audio ? ? ? ? ? ? Most
Wav (PCM) Uncompressed Yes No ? No No Yes Most
Wav (ADPCM) Compressed Yes No ? No No Yes Most
WavPack Lossless Compressed Yes No No No No No?
ALAC (Apple Lossless) Yes No Yes No No No
FLAC Lossless Yes No No No Yes (20) No Some
OGG/Vorbis Compressed Audio Yes Yes (9) No No Yes No Many
OGG/SPEEX Voice ? ? No ? ? No Some
AAC in an MP4 container Yes No Yes No No No
.m4a Audiobook Yes ? Yes ? ? No Many
.m4b Audiobook No. (22) ? Yes ? ? No
.amr-nb Narrowband Voice ? ? No ? ? No Many
.amr-wb Wideband Voice ? ? No ? ? No Many
AC3(A-52) "Dolby Digital" Yes No No No No No Some
.ape (Monkey) Audio Yes No No No No No Some
.3gp (ETSI) Video No No No No No No Camera

Other features

Feature Rockbox iriver
Gapless playback Yes No (8) No Yes No No
Crossfade Yes No No No No No No
Voice UI Yes No No No No No No
ReplayGain Yes No No No (12) No No No
Cuesheet support Yes No No No No No No
Album art support Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes
Backlight fade-in/fade-out Yes No No Yes No No No
Video playback Yes (16) No Yes (11) Yes (13) No Yes (18) Yes
Picture viewing Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Text viewing Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Bookmark support for multiple files Yes No No Yes (14) Yes Yes No
Remote Control Controllable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Voice/MIC Recording Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes
FM Radio Recording Yes (21) No Yes No No Yes (18) Yes
MP3 Realtime Encoding /record Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
WavPack Realtime Encoding /record Yes No No No No No No
Proprietary DSP effects No SRS WOW SRS WOW No SRS WOW BBE No
FF/RW with sound No Yes Yes ? No ? Yes
5 Band Parametric Equalizer Yes No No No No Yes (17) Yes
On The Fly Playlists Yes No Yes (7) Yes No Yes Yes
File Rename Yes No No No No No No
File Delete Yes Yes (6) Yes (6) No Yes No No
Games Yes No Yes (10) Yes (15) No No No

Have you detected something here that is incorrect? Feel free to edit this page.


  1. Yes, except after removing from PC or total battery failure.
  2. The iRiver firmware will read playlists larger than 999 songs, but will only actually load the first 999 into memory.
  3. Only 1 song in queue.
  4. No recording.
  5. If database scan is on, and some disk fragmentation, a full H140 (6997 tracks on mine with 4MB free) will take up to around a minute to load. Without DB scan, 20 seconds is normal.
  6. Functionality limited. Stock iriver firmware can only delete music files while no song is currently playing.
  7. Limited to 100 tracks (added with the 1.31 firmware).
  8. The supported 'Gap delete' is something totally different from gapless playback. Gapless playback means to add no pause between the tracks, so that e.g. for a DJ mix split into multiple tracks, the track change is unnoticeable during playback. Gap delete just means cutting silence from the beginning and/or end of the track itself.
  9. Not low bitrates - less than 96kbps doesn't appear to work.
  10. The 1.31 firmware has a minesweeper game.
  11. Stock H3xx firmware is only capable of playing XviD video at 10 fps.
  12. iPod has soundcheck, which is similar in purpose to Replaygain.
  13. The iPod 5G (aka "iPod Video") is capable of playing MPEG-4 and H.264 format video using dedicated decoding hardware. Other iPod models can not play video.
  14. The iPod can do bookmarks for Audible files and audiobooks, but not for other files.
  15. There are some games available for purchase.
  16. Currently support MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 video streams, see PluginMpegplayer.
  17. Cowon firmware equalizer is simplified and not fully parametric (only gain is adjustable on an arbitrary non-dB scale).
  18. iAudio X5/X5L only.
  19. The stock Sansa firmware is capable of MSC and MTP mode. Sansa requires reboot when in MSC mode, and doesn't when using MTP.
  20. X5 Notes:The X5 does support FLAC, but not with 48 kHz. And deleting files is possible, but not that easy (switching to USB host mode required).
  21. Only on target platforms which actually have FM tuner hardware which is supported by Rockbox. See Buyers Guide note #1 for a list of working FM record targets.
  22. The Rockbox WPS currently supports only cover art. Thus both .m4b chapter and PNG support is lacking. Possibly the Mpegplayer extra could be adapted to play/display .m4b Audiobook files.

r107 - 02 Apr 2021 - 20:46:06 - UnknownUser

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