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Portable Media Players

Alright, this is something that's been bugging me for a while now. I really enjoy my music and I want to also enjoy it with a quality player; whether it's a software or hardware player.

As far as software goes, Linux covers that in full extents with brilliant software such as mplayer, and mpd, but that's not what I'm going to cover in this blog entry.

What I am going to cover in this blog entry is the lack of open source, or drm-free (or whatever you want to call it) portable media players.

My first media player was the iPod Shuffle. I enjoyed it other than the fact that it had a stupid hexadecimal database to store the playlist data. From then on, after my iPod stopped functioning, I stayed away from iPods.

What came to mind though, was this:

If I bought an iPod, I could easily change the firmware and remove all traces of original Apple iPod propriatary firmware. Simple enough, I decided to go look for a inexpensive iPod. As I was looking, I found nothing but Apple iPod Touch and Apple iPod Nano Videos. Turns out that the iPod Touch has it's own API for creating software which gives iPodLinux the excuse to not develop firmware for it, for some reason and rockbox hasn't been ported to it [yet?]. So I set out at looking at this $169.99 CAD Nano Video. Turns out that Apple is now encrypting the itunes.db so GTKPod and other 3rd-party iPod software cannot create itunes.db files for these newer iPods.

Now, I'm thinking, "What the hell?" What am I supposed to buy? I thought that Apple was going to be a little bit less hypocritical about their products because they like to express their ever-so-true feelings about open source inititives and drmless itunes/ipods.

So I set out on looking for iRivers and iAudios but neither of these have decent models that RockBox support and aren't even that popular so getting my hands on one would be a little less easier.

So I'm in this dilema. I really want something that can play many music files, that has a open sourced and free firmware, with no drm, and maybe that can view images and videos decently, with a lot of flash disk/hard disk space (atleast around 20GB), and possibly around 150 USD/CAD. (No, I'm not interested in older iPods either.)

If it runs a UNIX base, like the new iPod Touches and iPhones, the more power to you. Smiling If it can run a Linux or RockBox, that'd be amazing.

The fact is, I want something like an iPod without all these stupid short-comings.

Is there such a product or are we at a bottleneck again?

Regards,

Dario Spyro_boy Russo