Rock your box with Rockbox
Seeing as how I haven’t switched OSes or gone on a customization frenzy this week, I’ll talk about a little something I found a few months ago. Rockbox is its name. MP3 players are its business. Awesomeness is its nature.
Rockbox is an open source firmware for MP3 players and iPods. Firmware, in case you don’t know, is like the little operating system on your MP3 player. Rockbox to iPods is kind of like what Linux is to computers… except that there’s actually Linux for iPods.
So open source is (usually) pretty cool and all, but why not just stick to your regular firmware? Rockbox lists many reasons, but basically it’s because Rockbox has lots more features than your average MP3 player firmware. For example, Rockbox supports 15 sound formats, you can play Doom on it (!!), it has tons of settings so you can tweak it to your heart’s desire, it has Doom, it has video support, and did I mention you can play Doom on your iPod?
Of course, with all these features Rockbox is quite a bit more complicated than your regular firmware, so it takes some getting used to. But once you figure out where everything is, and what all those strange settings do, you’ll find Rockbox to be quite awesome. Installation is very simple, just download the Rockbox Utility and run it (with your device plugged in, of course). But in case you don’t like Rockbox, you can usually uninstall it easily with the Rockbox Utility. (If worse comes to worst, there’s always the option of reformatting your device and doing a clean install of the original firmware.) Anyways, after installing Rockbox you might want to check out some themes, and after that you can use your new firmware (read: play Doom) to your heart’s content!