If you are currently unhappy with the features of your mp3 player you may want to take a look at the open source rockbox firmware which you can install on many mp3 players to increase their functionality. Supported players include several Apple iPod, iRiver or Archos models.
A firmware update is of course something that should only be done with extreme precaution because it will void the warranty.
Take a look at some of the features that can be added:
Installing Rockbox is not as difficult as it sounds. Take a look at the manual pages which contains all the information you need for all supported mp3 players. Again, you should be very careful before you proceed. Everything is explained in detail and it should not be that much of a problem to install the new firmware. The rockbox forums is also a great way to have any remaining questions answered before you start replacing the firmware of your mp3 player.
The preferred method of installing Rockbox for most users is the automatic install option which provides you with a graphical user interface that you click through to install the software on your connected audio player. You will get the choice to install different builds and it is suggested to select the release build unless you need a current build which may provide you with compatibility or features that you want to try out.
Update: Rockbox is still available, but before you install it, heck, before you buy an mp3 player if you have the option, you should look over the compatibility information on the website. Especially the new platforms list on the site may be of interest as it lists some of the newer mp3 player devices and their support status.
Updates are still released regularly which may improve compatibility with old and new players supported.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.