Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Rocking Rockbox!

When I make a mistake, I become one of the most irritating people on the planet.  I will spend hours trying to sort it out, and only if I succeed will the black cloud of my upset lift.  Until that point, I am lost in gloom, self hatred and other forms of silliness.  It is far from attractive and I try my best not to fall into these holes.  If anything, I should view these mistakes as a chance to demonstrate my genius.

Deborah decided she wanted an MP3 player.  She has a huge  (and, at times, somewhat dubious) library of music on iTunes.  Not being a fan of the apple, I don't know a great deal about this exotic piece of software, but I was aware that files are sometimes encoded as AAC files rather than good old fashioned MP3.  So I kept this in mind when Deb asked me to look at players for her.  A long time ago I read about the original Sansa Clip and had fancied one myself.  Cheaper than an iPod Shuffle and with twice the storage capacity, I thought this would be the perfect player for everything from Guns n Roses to Evanescence (see what I mean?*).

I did think about AAC files, but I must have phrased the internet search incorrectly, as I ended up convinced it would work happily with iTunes.  Indeed, it does.  But if you want it to be able to actually play the files once they're uploaded, then you're out of luck. AAC support.

I was, it is fair to say, rather annoyed with myself.  On the plus side, I didn't sink into despair (helped by the amazingly cheap price of the player) and looked around for sollutions.  It was then that I remembered Rockbox.

I don't know how I would have heard about it in the past, but Rockbox is a custom built OS for quite a range of MP3 players including, thank goodness, the Sansa Clip+.  Along with a host of benefits (it even comes with tiny version of Pong preloaded!) it will play AAC files.  I could have wept with joy.

The process wasn't quite as straight forward as I'd hoped.  The automatic installation didn't work, and I ended up having to dive into the command prompt to install it manually.  So a little time later we had a brand new, blue Sansa Clip+, which had been deified. becoming an awesomely cool god amongst MP3 players.  It plays the AAC files perfectly, sound is superb, and thanks to the open source software, it is geekily wonderful in a way we both find ever so pleasing.

Rockbox 1

So get your geek on - buy a Sansa Clip+ and rock it up with Rockbox!

* To be fair, these are the low points, and her general music taste is stellar.

1 comment:

  1. Yea - I managed to circumnavigate the apple iPod despite it's effervescent marketing. I don't like the compulsory tie in to iTunes. File management is the new rock n roll.

    I went down the creative route. First up, a zen touch - looking at it now, its a huge brick of a thing. I then got a zen 16 GB. Small, well built, loads of format options and a pretty screen. Liked it a lot.

    Past tense because I hardly ever use it now. I hooked myself up with a spotify premium account. I've got a Nexus S phone (Android Google phone) and now typically, I can have what ever song I want within one second. If I know I'm going off grid I'll download a few albums so that I can play them in off line mode within the spotify app.

    Oh and yea - I know exactly what you mean about when you make a mistake - it bugs me and generally I have to pause all other activity bar the most basic of life support until I get it sorted.

    Ooh - and here's a MP3 player tip - turns out, Phillips GoGear don't work after hot wash and spin cycle via sons trouser pocket.