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RockBox really is better

I've got a little Sansa Clip+ that I've been using to listen to audiobooks while commuting to class. One feature it doesn't have that I want is a setting for the audio balance. So, today I installed RockBox firmware on the thing.

I really like RockBox. If you've any Sansa audio devices that support it, I highly recommend that you install it. There's all kinds of eye-candy features to RockBox, and a certain amount of "because we could" silliness—thus you can play the first level of Doom! on some devices, such as my Sansa E200.

The features I like most that RockBox has that the stock firmware lacks:

Audio balance setting — I like to have a canalphone in only one ear, so I can still hear what's going on around me; it's not only useful for announcements and sirens, but also for people talking at you.
Bookmarking — Being able to mark your spot in the middle of a track is invaluable with the long tracks of audiobooks and podcasts.
Time-skipping — You can change track-skipping to time-skipping; again, given the long tracks of audiobooks and podcasts, being able to skip 3 minutes at a time is a lot more useful than skipping entire tracks.
Rewind on resume — Often, I stop listening while I fiddle around trying to pause the player. With this feature, when I start it playing again, it goes back in the track a little ways, to pick up where I stopped listening, not where it stopped playing.
Custom fonts — My up-close vision is wonky (long story), so being able to use a larger font is great.
Custom "while playing screen" — Not only can you use a larger font, you can also customize what information to display while a track is playing. I find minimalist displays easier to read.
More louder — Apparently there's some EU regulation that forced Sansa to cap the output power on the Clip+, to prevent hearing loss or summat. The latest official firmware lets you set the location to "North America" and disable that ceiling, but apparently there's another ceiling, because RockBox will put out even more power than the latest firmware. And, yes, I need the extra power sometimes to overcome the ambient noise of Chicago, especially given the mediocre recording quality of some of the things I listen to. And the mediocre efficiency of some of earbuds I use with the Clip+.

Sansa makes a pretty good media player. But, so far, I've found that they're greatly improved by running RockBox firmware. IF you care, apparently RockBox currently supports the Sansa: c200, e200, e200v2, e200R, Clip, Clip+, Fuze.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
I have a lot of Sansas. I should try this.
Mar. 10th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
Indeed. It's pretty painless to install.

The only difficulty, IME, is an excess of options. It can be tough to find the options you want to change. Or, rather, it's tough to know what all the options actually do, and then figure out which ones you should want to change. Like replacing track-skip with time-skip—that's one of those options I never paid any attention to for years. Now I think it's invaluable.</p>

And thus my post. ;)

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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