updated 05:35 pm EDT, Wed May 3, 2006
Rockbox iPod firmware
A new open-source firmware upgrade for Apple's iPod is turning heads, offering users choice and greater control over audio playback. CNET recently reviewed Rockbox, an open-source firmware project that completely replaces the iPod's firmware while expanding the capabilities and limitations of the existing hardware. The firmware features OGG and FLAC support, as well as gapless playback. Users can crossfade, fade in/out, and can configure an antiskip buffer. Rockbox displays photos -- although not in a thumbnail grid view -- and allows users to zoom in or modify slide-show settings. The firmware is slated for release in November.
The software includes customizable file/folder organization, and supports browsing by ID3 tag data. Rockbox enables users to increase volume, control, bass and treble, balance, stereo width, mono/stereo settings, and cross-feed. Rockbox also offers a choice of customizable playback screen skins, as well as a graphical equalizer that helps sculpt sound in real time.