Three years in development, Rockbox 3.0 has finally shipped online – software that should breathe a little extra life into any aging music players you may have around, including the iPod.
Rockbox is open-source software which replaces the OS on your existing music player which lets them play more music file fomats, delivers audio improvements and includes a tiny version of classic arcade game, Doom and some other games.
Audio improvements include the introduction of support for over 15 formats like FLAC and Ogg, a 5-band parametric EQ, MPEG video, a multilingual interface and the capacity to understand spoken commands (on players with a microphone).
The software supports a host of commonly-used digital music players, including the iPod and models from iRiver, Sansa, iAudio, Gigabeat and Archos (the latter a limited implementation).
Rockbox for iPods offers a host of plug-ins, including games, applications, and “demos”: a text viewer, stopwatch, support for JPEGs and videos, a clock, On-The-Go playlist creation and adjustment, full file bookmarking support and more.
As the developers explain: “Rockbox aims to be considerably more functional and efficient than your device’s stock firmware while remaining easy to use and customizable. We believe that you should never need to go through a series of menus for an action you perform frequently. We also believe that you should be able to configure almost anything about Rockbox you could want, pertaining to functionality. 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.”