Free your iPod with Rockbox

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.

VLC updated to version 0.8.6f

VLC has just came out with a bug-fix new release, v 0.8.6f. From the site, the update includes:

“VLC media player 0.8.6e and earlier versions suffer from security vulnerabilities in the Subtitle demuxer, Real RTSP demuxer, MP4 demuxer and Cinepak codec.
This release also includes improved video output on multi-screen setups running Mac OS X and compatibility with Windows 9x/ME has been restored.”

You can get the newest version from VLC’s website.

Your internet TV with Miro

Miro comes to organize all the video content on the web in a very nice way for us. First, right out of the box there is a very nice way for you to find and watch videos from YouTube,, DailyMotion, and others. Just use the search bar at the bottom of the program to find what you want. Easy to search and then once you find something good, watch it and download it if you want.

Miro searching

On the main window of the program you can see the Miro Guide with Featured Channels and popular videos. Yes, you heard (saw) it right, channels – which is basically an RSS feed of video files. You can find thousands of channels listed through this program, including TekZilla, NBC Nightly News, TED Talks, National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, and many more.

Miro Guide

Download the video you want straight to your HD and watch it whenever you want. Miro already comes with a movie player (VLC for Windows, Quiktime 7 for Macs, GStreamer or Xine for Linux). By the way, it works on all of these platforms very well. After watching the video file you can delete the file or keep it. So, basically free video downloads!! All legal. 🙂

Miro playing

If you want you can even use it as a bitTorrent client but honestly there are other better programs for that.

I’m hooked on Miro now! Thanks to the folks of The Participatory Culture Foundation!

Play pretty much any video file with VLC

VLC, in my opinion, is one of those programs that needs to be installed on every machine. I mean, on every machine you’d like to watch movies on. Which is easy because it works on Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.


This program plays pretty much any video format you want, and audio files but it isn’t the perfect choice for your music management app. You can easily play a DVD, VCD, SVCD, AVI, OGG, MKV, MOV, 3GP, FLAC, FLV, and much more. It doesn’t play Real’s format since it is proprietary and Apple must be keeping it a tight secret.

VLC even lets you stream media, take screenshots of the movie, play around with the subtitle settings and do a bunch of other tweaking you want.

Download it here and get your portable apps version here.

Burn your video DVDs with open source

DVD Flick logoWant to burn a movie DVD with files from your computer? Do it ever so easily with DVD Flick. I’ve yet to find another program that is better and easier to use then DVD Flick.

You can even add subtitles (and edit its appearance), add different audio tracks, and adjust some other settings of your DVD project. The process really couldn’t be easier.

For a simple burn just select the file and click on “Create DVD”. Under 1 minute’s worth of effort and then you can just wait (a couple of hours) for the project to be completed all by itself. If you want to modify some settings – I always choose to burn directly to the DVD for example – you can easily do it.

Here is a video tutorial for you explaining step-by-step. Enjoy!