Archive for May, 2011

Ahoy there!

May 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Yay, my first visitor today. Welcome :-).

Getting a bit more positive about Rockbox today. I discovered the compression function.  See here if you want to know what it does. In my opinion many digital or digitally remastered recordings sound a bit harsh. Compression can be used for many things but in this context – namely squashing the dynamic range of a recorded sound it behaves much the same way as tape, valves and vinyl did. Very subjective of course but I like the effect. For those that like there sound pure and untainted, well this aint for them but then other than a hearing music live the cupboard is bare in that respect.

Categories: Rockbox

Rockbox Roadtest Continues

May 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I am a creature of routine. I am not opposed to change. It is just I want to be involved in the change rather than having it happen to me. This, of course, makes no sense because the natural instinct, at least in my case, is to stick to the routine and so a change wouldn’t happen. The only way I get around this to force changes into my life, be they major or small and then make myself stick with it for a minimum of six weeks before making a final decision. It has worked with most of the major life events I have experienced. I’m not sure if it will work with the Rockboxed Sansa Fuze. The user interface is not good as I have said earlier. Exploring the FM  radio functionality is just horrible. Yes you can pick up a station and yes you can have pre-sets. But at this point I have no idea how you navigate to them, set them, name them, delete them, set it to mono/stereo. Missing my old Sansa. Give it another five weeks….

Categories: Rockbox, sansa fuze

Late Again

May 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Today was supposed to be one of winding down and getting ready for the weekend. Initially that was how it started. You know, waking up, shower, wake up a bit more, keys, wallet, mobile and then wander down to the station. I have been doing this for years and I am not even aware that I am doing it. At the station, I had a couple of minutes to kill so I started playing with my MP3 player. The train arrives and I get on. It was 30 minutes later when I realised that something wasn’t right. Wrong train. So after a flurry of apologetic emails to colleagues and some sarcastic replies I had time to reflect on how I had got myself into this situation.

It was the MP3 player of course. About 2 years ago I bought a Sansa Fuze. It has been excellent. I am not a fan of Apple. I’ll talk about this at some point in the future but for now I will concede they make excellent products. But the Sansa is great value for money, it is very robust, you can override the EU volume limitation and it is not an ipod. You want a good mp3/4 player then get this one unless brand names are your thing. In that case you have no choice. Anyway, despite my love for this gadget it has increasingly taken second place to my phone. That was until last night when I managed to hack it with different firmware. It is amazing what things can be jailbroken/rooted/hacked these days. Someone was telling me they had changed the firmware in their digital photo frame the other day. It’s hard to explain why you would want to do such a thing. For me I guess it’s about challenging the contrived “customer experiences” and other marketing babble that we are force-fed. It’s a bit like drawing a moustache on a supermodel picture, just a way futile way to subvert someone’s business model is all.

So I came across Rock Box which is community that makes open source firmware for a variety of media players (including  iPods). Installation was pretty straight forward and they provide a tool that automates the process. The only slight quirk is you need a copy of the original Sansa firmware but they link to get this.

As to the result. Well the new user interface is not that great to be honest. It betrays its open source heritage and looks a bit old-fashioned. The original Sansa interface is much better in this respect. On the upside it is the interface is very configurable and there are many themes that can spruce it up a bit. I particularly like the retro cassette recorder with the rotating spindles. Where Rockbox really scores  is the additional functionality it brings to the Sansa. It can play games! So it was while I was playing bubble breaker that I got onto the train without looking at the departure board.

Categories: Rockbox, sansa fuze

Hello world!

May 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Well hello indeed. I’m not quite sure what direction this will take. I suppose it might not take any direction at all. Time will tell. It is early days and it will take me a while to get to grips with this medium. Doubtless there will be some schoolboy errors along the way to make things interesting.

So what will I be writing about? My instinct is to concentrate on what I know but I am sure I will end up spouting out drivel at times. What do I know? Well not enough and I will be talking about that challenge too.

Anyways, this will be mostly dull commentary that may occasionally be interesting.

Categories: Uncategorized
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