One of the reasons why I don’t like iPods is the entire philosophy of having everything closed and according to the likes of Apple. But, fortunately the open source community is too awesome and have developed a firmware that we can install on several different audio devices.
Rockbox is a bit like an operating system for portable media players. You can install it on several different devices from the following manufactures: Apple, Archos, SanDisk, Toshiba, iriver, and more.
Why install Rockbox? First, the number of features you’ll get with it is huge. For example, your device will be able to support several different audio and video formats (yes, it’ll play video if your device didn’t allow you to). Plus, you might even get some gaming done. If you want even more features you can also add some extra plug-ins to it.
That certainly helps in making my next decision to purchase a media player. The number of devices supported by Rockbox isn’t huge, but quite a few iPod models have been tested well. So, you might even give a new life to an old discarded iPod.
If you’d like to watch a video review, head over to the Linux Journal and let Shawn Powers show it to you.
[Windows] If you want to store your CDs into your hard drive, you can start ripping them using CDex. I always like to convert my audio CDs into files so I can listen to the songs easily on my mp3 player and even to guarantee I’ll always have a copy in hand if I lend the CD to someone or it gets lost somewhere around the house.
CDex streamlines well this process by extracting the audio from the CD and converting it automatically to mp3, ogg, or WAV formats while storing ID3 tags. Besides these main tasks, the software has even more features.
The interface is pretty simple to follow, converting the audio with just a click of a button.