The Null Device


The Archos Jukebox Recorder is sort of like the iPod, only not quite as light, sexy-looking or fashionable, but it is considerably cheaper and can record directly to MP3 from a microphone or line in. That's right; take it to a gig, press record, and it makes a MP3 file you can copy onto your computer when you plug it in at home. (It also speaks USB, for those of us who don't have an IEE1394 card.) And now some enterprising hackers in Sweden have written custom open-source firmware for it, which adds lots of features (and extends the battery life somewhat too), which makes it an even more attractive proposition. (Mind you, it's not really firmware; more like a kernel that gets loaded off the hard disk; there's even a Lilo-like boot menu program to select from different boot options.)

(Has anybody here had any experience with Archos MP3 units? Are they as good as they look on paper?)

There are 5 comments on "Rockbox":

Posted by: gjw Mon Feb 17 23:09:42 2003

My Nokia 5510 phone, which has a built in mp3 player / radio, also has the ability to record to the phone's memory - either from the radio or from a microphone. The downside - only 64mb of memory, so you could hardly record the whole gig, and the recorded audio is in a DRM format (why on earth?!) so you've got to take it off the phone by analogue cable.

Posted by: acb Tue Feb 18 06:55:11 2003

Anyway, I just did something foolhardy; I've now ordered an Archos Jukebox Recorder. More details when I get it (in a week or so).

My credit card won't thank me for this.

Posted by: japolo Tue Feb 18 12:13:39 2003

i owned an early archos jukebox for about 3 minutes. it promptly broke leaving me with a very interesting turn-around-and-go-back-to-the-store experience. my general feeling was that the archos product seemed to be made out of stuff someone found. hopefully your experience is better. good luck and stuff.

Posted by: acb Tue Feb 18 12:15:34 2003

I hope so too, especially since there is no Australian distributor. (The nearest distributor seems to be in France.)

Posted by: xiojason Wed Feb 19 00:39:31 2003

I got a Archos Jukebox Recorder for cheap cheap from an Amazon Gold Box deal. Love it. It is rather large, but in my bag, I don't really notice. I'd guess I get about 8 to 10 hours of use on a charge. The Rockbox 'firmware' can be a little wonky with battery charging, but overall it's very nice. With a USB2 card, transfers are pretty speedy, too. I haven't used the recording capability other than just seeing if it actually worked. (It did. :)

Hope you enjoy your new toy. It's my last one for a while.