Code Play a software blog by tim benke

Open-source firmware for your MP3 player

If you have a simple previous-generation MP3 player there’s a chance that you can vastly improve its functionality by running open-source firmware. An excellent team of independent open-source developers has created an amazing firmware for the following MP3 players:

  • Apple: 1st through 5.5th generation iPod, iPod Mini and 1st generation iPod Nano (not the Shuffle, 2nd/3rd/4th gen Nano, Classic or Touch)
  • Archos: Jukebox 5000, 6000, Studio, Recorder, FM Recorder, Recorder V2 and Ondio
  • Cowon: iAudio X5, X5V, X5L, M5, M5L, M3 and M3L
  • iriver: iHP100 series, H100 series, H300 series and H10 series
  • Olympus: M:Robe 100
  • SanDisk: Sansa c200 series, e200 series and e200R series (not the v2/AMS models)
  • Toshiba: Gigabeat X and F series (not the S series)

Since very recently my new Sansa Fuze V1 is also supported and now supports so many features that it would become boring to list them all in a blog post. Some of the highlights are: support for all main codecs (no DRM-protected music though!) and about 40 applications and games like Tetris, Frozen Bubble, calendar, and a stopwatch. You can even play DOOM on it!

This reminds of my first MP3 player the Archos Recorder 20. This player appeared before the first iPods and had a whopping 20GB of hard disk capacity, in comparison to the iPod’s lousy 5GB . Suddenly with the Rockbox firmware the device was much more useful and configurable. Yesterday I had the same revelation with my Sansa Fuze.