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Rockbox is a GPL-compliant open source operating system for portable digital audio players (DAPs). The Rockbox Project began in 2002 and was first implemented on the Archos Studio DAP because of owner frustration with severe limitations in the manufacturer-supplied user interface and device operations.

Rockbox can completely replace the host device's operating system firmware and has matured to become an extensible, flexible platform that provides a plug-in architecture for adding PDA functionality, applications, utilities, and games, and has also managed to retrofit video playback functionality onto DAPs first released in mid-2000. Recently, Rockbox now includes a voice-driven user-interface suitable for operation by blind and visually impaired users.

Although Rockbox's official title is "Rockbox: Open Source Jukebox Firmware", in many instances it is not actually installed to (or run from) flash memory. Instead a minimal bootloader is installed in the supported device's flash which is capable of either loading Rockbox from the hard disk or, alternately, the original factory firmware.


Rockbox on software decoding platforms (non-Archos) supports playback of eleven lossy codecs (depending on how one counts), five lossless, two uncompressed and six miscellaneous formats.[1] This makes a conservative total of 25 supported audio formats, although a few of them do not operate in realtime on all platforms. Extensive work has gone into optimizing each codec, with FLAC, Ogg, WMA, APE and WMA Pro among the fastest known implementations for those formats.[2]

Lossy formats[edit]

Lossless formats[edit]

Uncompressed formats[edit]

Together they include over a dozen different PCM and ADPCM formats.

Rockbox features[edit]

Beside the ability of playing and recording audio files, Rockbox offers many playback enhancements that other firmware packages may not have implemented yet. Listed below are a handful of these features.

  • Gapless playback[3]
  • Crossfading[4]
  • ReplayGain[5]
  • 5 band fully parametric equalizer[5]
  • Variable speed decoding with pitch correction[6]
  • Crossfeed[5]
  • OTF ("on the fly") playlists
  • True random shuffle (fresh randomly shuffled list every time)
  • Custom UI themes
  • Dynamic Playlists (queue files to play next, or in other parts of a dynamic playlist)
  • Stereo recording to WAV/AIFF/WavPack (lossless) and MP3[7][8] (supporting devices)
  • FM radio, including FM recording (supporting devices)
  • Remote control (supporting devices)
  • Digital S/PDIF input/output (supporting devices)
  • support (even on players lacking RTC)
  • Cue sheet support
  • Changeable selector bar
  • Album art[9]
  • Sleep timer

External links[edit]


  1. Template:Cite web
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  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Software decoding targets only
  6. Template:Cite web
  7. MP3, WavPack and AIFF are available on non-Archos devices. Multiple sample rates and bitrates available (hardware-dependent).
  8. Template:Cite web
  9. Template:Cite web

~ Text taken from Wikipedia entry for Rockbox