Open-Source Firmware For iPods!

22 09 2008

Well, this has been debate that has been going on and on for years now. People like iPodLinux, but sadly the webpage has been taken down, it just gives and Apache error and never loads. So I was frustrated one night looking for another open-source firmware and I came across Rockbox. And man, is it a great firmware!

So I got to work almost instantly with the automatic installer/Rockbox Utility they provide on the site, but apparently it doesn’t work for Ubuntu 8.04 and iPod Nano (which was the iPod I used for this experiment). So the instructions are pretty easy to follow, all you have to is go here and search for your mp3 player (yep not only iPods) and read the simple instructions. I do have to point out though that when you extract the .rockbox folder you MUST have “hidden folders” as viewable items (once you open up Nautilus and navigate to your mp3 player’s root folder (where the rockbox folder should be extracted) press CTRL+H and you should see a .rockbox folder.) It’s worth noting that if you fil to this step you’ll never see the folder anywhere you extract it to. Also remember that folders that start with a “.” are hidden by default, so if you want to see any hidden files or folders you have to enable the view of hidden folders.

Ok, now that you read the instructions and extracted the folder you’re ready to go! I won’t go into great detail on how to install it because the manual is pretty self-explanatory, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The only part of the manual that it’s blurry is the fact that the extracted Rockbox folder is hidden and I already cleared that out.

I installed it on my 1st gen iPod Nano and it worked great! Not a problem in sight! In fact it sounds a whole lot better now, and the shuffle setting is a lot more shuffly…no more repeated songs over and over on the same playlist. And incredible as it may sound, the battery lasts longer than with the Apple Firmware. So it IS a good firmware =).

Note: There’s still no support for newer iPod models or iPhones. For a list of current supported devices click here!

Enjoy!

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