Alternative iPod Firmware

Travanj 15, 2006

As an owner of a 4GB iPod mini (1st generation), I'm not happy with the software I have to use to upload music to the drive. It's not that I don't like iTunes, but I don't like the idea of being limited to one app (and one operating system) to be able to put some music on my portable music player. It would be way much better if I could just drag'n'drop the music to the player from Nautilus / Windows Explorer / whatever. I'm aware of gtkpod, but I my experience with the app isn't really good, and it still doesn't allow greater portability and drag'n'drop support.

In the last couple of weeks, I found two alternatives to the default iPod firmware – iPodLinux and Rockbox, the latter being more interesting to me than iPL. iPodLinux is an attempt in porting an alternative Linux kernel (uClinux) to the iPod with loads of apps available, while Rockbox is an alternative firmware for many different MP3 players (like iRiver, iPod, iAudio etc.). I really didn't have the time to play around with iPodLinux (I may find some time next week, and I'll post the impressions), but Rockbox really got my attention because it allows simple drag'n'drop song upload.

Unfortunately, Rockbox isn't yet available for my 1st generation iPod mini (they're working on it! :)), but it's available for a range of newer generation iPods and other MP3 players, so you might want to try it out. If anyone has any other suggestions, feel free to e-mail me (you have my e-mail address on the About page) or leave a comment. I'll be glad to try it out.

Happy Easter to everyone! :) 

9 Odgovora to “Alternative iPod Firmware”

  1. Dado Says:

    Does it run Half-Life, too? :-)

  2. zweistein Says:

    Well, believe it or not – there’s a version of Doom for the iPL: http://ipodlinux.org/Doom :). I think I read something about HL, too, but I can’t find the link. Too bad I can’t run it on my iPod Mini :( (see the post above).

  3. jp Says:

    I run ROCKbox on an iRiver H300 series, and you are right, it *is* excellent. I could never run the original firmware now, it pales into insignificance.

    Also there is a version of Doom that runs on ROCKbox and one of the WADs you can put on it duplicates the Half Life maps.

  4. Matt Says:

    Rockbox is a great interface, but I’ve had some problems with it. At least on my 30GB iPod Photo, it hangs and skips during playback quite often. It also freezes randomly and forces me to do a hard reset. It’s a great starting point, but I think it might need some work yet ;).

  5. kece Says:

    i tried rockbox today…and maybe i got it wrong but it looks kinda ugly, the way it presents its menus…tiny MS DOS-like fonts and it hung a bit. i dont like using ugly interfaces. why is everyone saying its cool..what am i missing here?

  6. Chris Walker Says:

    That’s because it can be changed. It uses a minimalist interface to start with, but more fonts/backdrops/themes can be added. Also, you can load the original Apple firmware by setting the hold switch before turning your iPod on.

  7. chris Says:

    i ran rockbox on my 80g ipod video, way too sticky…froze up too much, ran slow. certain menu items didnt work…and it took me ten minutes to scroll all the way down to the bottom of my artist list (the ipod starts skipping by letters the rockbox doesnt). on the positive side, its an excellent idea, the EQ kicked ass and i really liked how interactive the interface had the potential of being.

  8. Fucktopher Says:

    Rockbox is some sweet shit. I had it on my h300 and it added a lot of useful fucking features. Fuck yeah, I can’t wait to load up ipl and give that shit a spin. Get some crazy fucking porn in there or something. Tits and music; you can’t go wrong.

  9. Will Says:

    Have tried IpodLinux and Rockbox. If you want to look totally like a geek get linux. If you want the best MP3 firmware to date put on rockbox release 3.0 (just released) with select cabbie 2 as theme to try it out. My wife uses an ipod video with the dual boot provided in Rockbox so she can use her original firmware for her music and Rockbox for all the games and stuff. I use a Toshiba Gigabeat with just Rockbox and have never looked back.


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