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Rocbox actually rocks – or how to change the firmware on your audioplayer to Free Software

A couple of years I ago, I bought a Iriver H340, a sound hard disc recorder for Constant, because the minidiscs were getting old and after some time, you really get sick of digitalizing the 567.273 minidiscs.

I was really not pleased about this machine, because you could for example, not easily change the sound input levels. You could also only record 80 minutes and then the recording stopped. All kinds of annoying glitches you would not expect. The machine (‘s software!) was dictating what you could do with it, and not the other way around.

After some moping about, and grumbling, I decided to try to put Rockbox on the recorder, because, hey, it could not get any worse! Rockbox is software, firmware, an “operating system” for sound devices from for example Apple, Archos, Cowon, iriver, Olympus, SanDisk, Toshiba.

I must say, that it took me a whole afternoon to install Rockbox, but I have not regretted it a minute since.
It is fantastic.
The menu’s are better, more intuitive, the choices are ample, it is flexible, coherent and transparent. The recorder works the way I – or someone else wants it to work and all previous annoyances are gone (quite special to realize that these were all due to software).
For people with a player from the fruit firm, Rockbox annihilates the necessity of iTunes, which I for many a reason consider to be a good thing.

All this to announce that Rockbox 3.0 is out and installing it has never been so simple.
Go check it out and download the installer here!

Thanks Boingboing for refreshing news on Rockbox

Linux Audio Workshop Brussels

This is actually the fourth Linux audio workshop!

Some details:

** What: Workshop ARDOUR
** Where: Atelier du web, Rue du Fortstraat 39, 1060 Bruxel
** When: 14/06/07, 19:30 – 21:00
** Info and enrollment: http://wiki.bxlug.be/ProjetAudio/Mini-atelier_2

Thursday june the 14th an Ardour worksession is on the agenda. Learn how to make a radiojingle with Ardour. Ardour is a digital audio workstation with which you can record edit and a whole lot more).

Please take your headphones, microphones, ideas for slogans, and some sound and music!
This is one episode in a series of workshops taking place during the months of April, May and June, focussing on useage and knowledge exchange about free software for audio. The software presented include all major open source tools for capturing, editing, production, mixing and diffusion of sound. The workshops are a collaboration between Constant, Collectifs.net, Radio Campus, Radio Air Libre, Radio Panik and Bxlug. The workshops came about spontaneously.
See detailed program: http://wiki.bxlug.be/ProjetAudio/
(enroll by clicking on edit and adding your name in this wiki page:

Ubuntu studio

My sharp eye is always on the lookout for “multimedia” applications and Linux, especially where audio is concerned. Five minutes ago I learnt about the development of Ubuntu studio, throught Boingboing.

How far will Ubuntu go? What software and hardware support will be included? And above all, will it work easily…..

They plan to release Ubuntu Studio in april.

Curious, I am!

Apodio – linux distribution

If you work with multimedia and you are on linux, you will know that it is not always an easy marriage… Getting all the libraries, making sure that all your hardware (camera, soundcard, graphics card…) is compatible and recognized…

We have recently installed Apodio, which is Mandriva based and it seems to be working quite well! A lot of audio programmes are included, and also there is a preconfigured setup with Jack and Alsa (audio server -not so easy to set up, it basically connects your hardware to your software).

In case of doubt try it as a live cd!

(more about live cd’s on wikipedia)

Pictures and a report of the install party at Nadine here.

And remember, live cd’s do not hurt one bit!

Songbird prrt prrt


Songbird is an open source (gpl2) audio player (all formats: mp3, ogg, flacc…). But it goes beyond just playing your audio, it also manages it and it easily helps you download or play audio on the net. It is a browser, based on the Mozilla platform, which plays and finds online audio!

Unfortunately for the moment they have only developed a windows installer but they are announcing a linux and mac os x version.

I must say I am somewhat influenced by the graphical design of Songbird. The installer is a blue spotted egg (ohh! crack!) and the songbird is a little round black farting bird…
How sweet…

I will keep track of them and post when they have truly gone multiplatform -> hence the bird can sing on every computer…

WOW! Media Players! Tons and tons of them!

Through the same blog I have also found this amazing wikipedia list of media Players, with all the compatability, with notes where the media players are open source and where not, what they can play (audio and/or video)….
I am in awe!

Respect for the wikipedia…

I will never have problems again in finding an open source media player..

Pure Data

Although I see the possibilities of PD, and they are huge, I have not – yet I hope – had the full courage to launch myself into Pure Data. I guess this has a lot to do with the fact that making music outside of a laptop is mostly loads more fun than just the mouse handling… ttsss… Or this could just be some mummmmblliinngggg 😉

(For a definition of PD, here’s the wikipedia entry which summarizes)

To the point, what are my treasures, that I have found!
Linkie Blinkie!
-> A PD Forum
-> An extended PD, with integrated objects
-> A library with objects, that is, the elements you can use to produce. A simple example: a collection of oscillators to make a synth! Or an object which makes “delay”.
-> Last but not least, the Pure data Portal

Which opens the door to many a site…