Rockbox Ports are now being developed for various digital audio players!
My view is that we already have about 20 open source portable audio players - i.e. everything Rockbox currently runs on. The fact that all these devices were sold as closed-source proprietory products doesn't matter to me - the end result is a product running an open source firmware.It does sound like an interesting and fun project, but in order to attract developers and users, but IMO it must compete favourably with the existing Rockbox targets.I'm sure everyone is going to list their own feature requests for the "perfect" DAP and my personal one is storage size. My wish would be for a player that can accept SATA 2.5" drives - a Rockbox-capable DAP with a 250GB drive would be very tempting...I don't know if this is economically viable but something that would make this project stand out from all the other DAPs in the world would be to make the hardware modular - allowing users to pick and choose between various components (motherboard, LCD, case, storage, battery) to assemble their ideal player - it will be impossible to agree a single design (or even two or three designs) that please everyone.This assembly could either be done by the end-user or the resellers/distributors.The iaudio X5/M5 and X5L/M5L are a nice example - the X5/M5 can take dual-platter 1.8" drives, and a smaller battery, and the X5L/M5L take single-platter drives and a larger battery - allowing the user to decide on the compromise between capacity and battery life. I also agree with Bagder's comment on your mailing list - these kinds of discussions would seem better suited (at least initially) to a mailing list/forum, rather than the chaos of an IRC meeting.
Just as a note, I don't know who the target audience of this player is, but I feel that with the strength of the iPod, and the amount of money Microsoft is probably willing to lose on their Zune, an audience of interest would probably be those beyond just the basic DAP users.Having the ability to use a 2.5" drive is a start. Yes it makes it a bit bigger, but if it offers expandability that's very valuable to the kind of people who are interested in open source. If modular hardware isn't an option, then having recording features at least on par with the H100 series would seem quite valuable to me. There isn't (to my knowledge) a particularly good DAP/Recorder combo that I've seen around recently, and that combined with open source firmware for codec flexibility and extensible recording options, and the ability to put very large storage in, is probably going to be of interest to the taper community who seem quite fond of what Rockbox has done for the iRiver players as it is.
Yes, the primary goal must be to create an attractive player hardware-wise and it must also be able to reach an audience that doesn't care about it being open source or Rockbox.The question is then of course how you make a new player today to compete in a market flooded with existing players, be it with open source or not...
Perhaps it could use a Blackfin CPU (SoC) ? Analog Devices (ADI) provide all the documentation and are very friendly to the open source community. I was told by Marc Hoffman from ADI that they are releasing a 525c which is designed to be used in DAPs and to be very cheap.http://www.analog.com/en/epProd/0,,ADSP-BF525C,00.html
On a side note, my current project for work involves an ADI part, and I have had an absolutely horrible experience with it. Their documentation is incomplete, my support contact won't return my phone calls, and their development tools are atrocious.
The neat thing about dm320, is most of the "hard" software work is done, at least for the Linux side. And since it's mostly an ARM, I wouldn't think getting Rockbox running would be too difficult.
Yes, we were hoping that by supporting high quality audio input and output, it might appeal to a more "audiophile" type crowd. And maybe some tapers could replace more complex setups with a single device. Storage is important, of course, but due to cost we may have to settle for 4/8GB of flash, at least initially.
I don't think 4/8 GB of storage would appeal to the "audiophile type crowd".
Rockbox has no pieces of Linux in it and Rockbox currently doesn't run on any dm320 target...
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