Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The web is full of riches:

The web is full of rich goodies, but they can be incredibly hard to find. Here's an example that has astounded me today. I listen to podcasts on a fairly old Archos mp3 recorder/player. Archos stopped upgrading their firmware long ago. Their user interface assumes that I will be playing short songs, perhaps 3 minutes in length. There is – therefore – no ability to “bookmark” the middle of a song, turn the player off, turn it on and continue in the middle of a track where I left off.

But I mostly use my Archos for podcasts that range up to two hours in length. In order to keep my place, I have to pause the player and leave it turned on, draining the battery. That sucks, so recently I've been looking for a new player, preferably around $100 (which I'd rather not spend) that can bookmark and resume podcasts. But today, BoingBoing has a short item about some open source software called Rockbox. You can load Rockbox onto many mp3 players and it replaces the usual user interface with a much better one, full of extra goodies and better controls, INCLUDING bookmarking. They support Archos, and their manual even has a picture of the models they support, which gave me the the guts to download it and try it.

Now I have bookmarking! This software has saved me at least $100, and I'll be making a contribution to Rockbox development as soon as I can figure out how to do it. And it never even occurred to me to search the web to see if a downloadable interface for my player existed.

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