A while back my brother gave me a SanDisk Sansa. It’s a great little music player about the size of a zippo lighter. In and of itself, that would be pretty cool, but in this case he stepped it up a notch by not only giving me the gift, but also taking the time before hand to Rockbox it!
If you have never heard of Rockbox, it is an open source firmware specifically designed for mp3 players, iPods, and other music listening devices. Essentially it replaces the entire operating system (or dual boots, in some cases) with a new operating system with games, applications, file managers, and a music player. Pretty cool stuff! You can read more about it here: https://www.rockbox.org.
As for my Sansa, it is a great little unit with a belt clip, volume, home, power, and a four way directional pad. It also includes an SD card slot for micro cards, an earphone jack and a USB plug. With Rockbox installed, I can play chess, blackjack, and even doom (although doom is hard to play on this small screen). Applications include a clock, alarm clocks, calculator, calendar, dictionary, text editor, stop watch, and more!
Of course, the main feature is the music player. I’ve been using it allot in my truck, hooked up to the stereo to listen to the Bible while I drive. The controls are intuitive and simple, and everything seems really well laid out. You can even adjust all the usual settings, like bass, treble, etc., which is great for when I switch to jazz, like Lady Day (Billie Holiday).
Even the display is adjustable with themes. I loaded the cabbiev2 theme, as you can see in the pics. There are lots of themes to chose from on the Rockbox website, or you can make your own.
Road testing the unit seems to be going really well. The battery is phenomenal on this thing, as I have only had to charge it every couple of weeks, although I usually only use it about 30-40 minutes per day, but that seems pretty good to me! If you are looking for a music player, be sure to check out Rockbox and get something compatible, is day it is worth it!
Linux – keep it simple.