RockBox

iriver H10Rockbox LogoA couple of weeks back, my sister followed in the family tradition of dumping some expensive equipment into a bowl of water. In her case the equipment was her iriver H10 mp3 player. I took it home to try and fix it and, when I got back from Mexico, I took it to bits with some Mexican Torx screwdrivers. There was a tiny bit of liquid damage to a little, soldered, battery, but other than that it looked fine. So I put it back together and, magically, it worked perfectly.

Unfortunately, my sister had bought a new player in the meantime and so she had no option than to donate the iriver to me. Terribly unfortunate state of affairs.

Obviously I wasn’t going to try and do anything useful with it while it was crippled with all of that Microsoft MTP crap and so I decided to upgrade it. A couple of near brickings later and I was losing faith in the iriver firmware.

To cut a long story short, I found RockBox and installed it. What a beautiful piece of software. It’s a complete operating system and user interface for a variety of mp3 players, including the iPod. Unlike the firmware that normally comes with your mp3 player, this is written by and for its users. It’s not trying to keep an eye on you and it’ll play a whole bunch of formats including mp3, Vorbis (ogg), AAC and FLAC. It isn’t soiled by an association with filthy WMA/DRM and it’s also totally customisable, has themes support, and allows
you to run external “plugins” such as games (including Doom), utilities and tools.
And, of course, it’s free! I love it. If you get the chance, liberate your old mp3 hardware and experience some quality programming.

The other good thing about it is that its name is a classic Run DMC track


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