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What You Need To Know About Rockbox

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Rockbox logo
Credit: http://www.rockbox.org

Do you want more control of your music player? On most devises factory firmware is very limiting. They allow very little customization and force you to do things a certain way. Syncing your music player is an example of this. There are benefits to syncing like: it helps to keep the memory on your device defragmented and clean; and helps prevent duplicate copies of files. This process takes time and shouldn't be necessary if you only want to add one or two songs onto your player. Rockbox lets you drag-and-drop files right onto the device. After that it syncs and updates your it's database on it's own. 

To find a list of compatible players go to Rockbox's main site. There you can find the information you need about compatibility on your device.

Small and portable but reliable and cheap.

SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip 4GB MP3 Player, Black With Full-Color Display, MicroSDHC Card Slot and Stopwatch- SDMX22-004G-A57K
Amazon Price: $59.99 $34.15 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 1, 2014)
Rockbox runs smoothly on the Clip Zip and it supports micro-SD cards up to 64gb. I recommend this one if you want portability.

Bigger screen and more power.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze+ 8 GB MP3 Player (Black)
Amazon Price: $108.90 Buy Now
(price as of Jul 1, 2014)
If you want a bigger screen and a little more computing power then go with the Sansa fuze+.

Rockbox’s structure is playlist based. This means that the way it plays music is by creating playlists. In fact it actually creates m3u's or playlist files. To make this option more convenient Rockbox has  a fully functional file explorer allowing you to do almost anything you could do on a computer including: copy and paste, renaming, and other similar tasks. On most Rockboxed devices you access the playlist menu by holding down the middle button. To save your playlist hold down the middle button again.

There are two basic commands for creating playlists: insert and cue. ‘Insert’ adds the song, folder, or directory to your playlist permanently while ‘cue’ also adds the song to your playlist but only until you have listened to it, after which it is removed. In addition to ‘insert’ and ‘cue’ are sub-commands which include:

  1. Insert
  2. 2. Insert next
  3. 3. Insert last
  4. 4. Insert shuffled
  5. 4. Cue
  6. 5. Cue next
  7. 6. Cue last
  8. 7. Cue shuffled
  9. 8. Play next.

This allows you to build a playlist on the fly in any way you want. It also allows you to listen to a song you perhaps just thought of without messing up your playlist. Rockbox also has built-in codecs for just about every music format out there. Which saves you the time and hastle of converting your files to something your player can read. Rockbox has many features beyond it's playlists, these features come from plugins. Some plugins include: paint, picture viewer, calculator, calendar, text editor and viewer. Some games include: Doom, asteroids, chess, bubbles. And best of all Rockbox comes with an internal Gameboy and Gameboy-Color emulator called Rockboy. This allows you play roms (virtual images of games) by simply selecting them in the Rockbox file browser. Another amazing feature is Rockbox’s ability to Scrobble to last.fm. Rockbox can save your listening history to a text file called Scrobble in the root directory of your player which can then be uploaded to "Last.m" through software like Lightscrobbler.

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Bibliography

  1. PurlingNayuki "Whyrockbox." rockbox.org. 26/10/2013. 16/06/2014 <Web >
  2. Th Rockbox Crew "Ports." Rockbox.org. 1/13/2014. 16/06/2014 <Web >

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