The moment everyone – well, everyone who owns a D3 – waited for is here: Android Market is working on the Cowon D3. Forum member roebeet posted his full installation instructions over at the iAudiophile forums.
It’s not the easiest or most straightforward hack, but anyone should get it working without issues. The hack requires ADB (Android Debug Bridge, from the SDK) and root access (z4root, Superuser) as prerequisites, and some commandline actions. It should be manageable in both Linux and Windows. Since Cowon managed to lock the D3 down properly, this hack will have to be repeated/adjusted for each new firmware version the D3 might get in future.
While it is nice that Cowon employees started posting selected Android apps for download/sideload in our D3 software forum, it sure feels right to cut out the middle man and go for the full, unrestricted Market straight away.
However, there seems to be more to Cowon not supporting Market on the D3 than monetary licensing issues. Unfortunately the D3 runs on a somewhat exotic Telechips processor that isn’t properly supported by many apps available (the ever popular Angry Birds won’t work well on the D3, for example), and it seemingly doesn’t have enough RAM as well. It might have been a bad choice by Cowon to use this processor instead of a well supported, say, TI OMAP… but that’s how it is.
Cowon D3 users now have access to the Market – make the best of it, but don’t be surprised if things don’t work as well as on an Archos tablet or similar.
Update: Cowon representatives posted APKs of alternatives to the official Google Market in our forums: 1MobileMarket, AndAppStore, and Slideme.
I’ve whipped up two short videos to showcase what I personally believe to be the most fetching and useful UCIs (user created interfaces) available for the Cowon J3 and S9 (besides Claw’s venerable S9 UCI). Forum member Kizune really has outdone himself with these projects, combining a great visual style with a high level of usability and generally better logic than Cowon’s default interfaces.
Do not adjust your set, these videos are silent. I spare you the yapping, heavy breathing, and other superfluous background noises. I prefer letting Kizune’s UCIs talk for themselves. Please provide your own music of choice to go with them, and if you have questions about these UCIs, just ask them in the comments below – or, even better, check out the Aero Music and Chakra forum threads.
Videos after the jump – even in 720p when Youtube isn’t clogged.
After years of waiting, Mac support for Zune has finally arrived. Dubbed the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, this application lets you synchronize your iTunes library with your Windows Phone (as the name implies) or, believe it or not, your Zune HD. The application has been beta since late October, and you may remember us reporting on how to unofficially set it up via the command line earlier last month. But the final version (which officially includes support for the Zune HD) has only been out for a few days.
Everyone’s favorite open source replacement firmware for MP3 players got a fresh stable release. Lots of updated features, bug fixes, and several newly supported players – many SanDisk Sansa models among those – are some of the highlights of this release.
Full release notes and download links can be found on the Rockbox Wiki.
Update: maintenance release 3.7.1 is out.
Read on for the change log.
I’ve reviewed a fair bit of music software in the past, but mostly music organizing software for “normal” PCs. Back in the Viliv S5 review I mentioned how there isn’t really any optimized software for playing back music on a Windows run tablet PC/UMPC, and that in most cases you should keep a stylus nearby. The alternatives I did find were resource intensive and were in term unusable.
Turns out I hadn’t looked hard enough, and I recently came across a link to thepot player. I thought it was a joke at first considering the name, but it turns out it’s everything but a joke and a very well hidden piece of software for UMPCs and tablets. I can’t really explain the choice of names, but the company is Korean so it might be that they meant to call it “teapot” or something like that. Either way, here’s a review of a completely drug free media player for tablets with Windows.
About half a year ago I did a series of reviews covering free music software applications, ranging from the free versions of commercial software to software that is free to begin with. My favorite application back then was J. River Music Jukebox, a stripped down free version of J. River Media Center. Since it was in my opinion the best mainstream application out there it’s only fair that I also take a look at the paid version. If the free version is good, the paid version should be even better, right? Read on for a review of J. River Media Center 14. Please note that since MC14 and MJ12 share a lot of features, parts of the review are similar or identical to the MJ12 review, so I suggest reading the other review first as a reference.
It’s kinda ironic to be sitting in Norway and writing reviews that are US only. Proxies are nice tools to get around IP restrictions, but it’s also an extra hassle to go through if you’re relying on the service for daily use. Spotify is one of few services that actually started in Europe and is slowly spreading out, so for once I can write a review without having to fake my location.
While most services have always been legitimate, some have found that path after years of a bit more…interesting business models. Yes, I’m talking about Napster, which is now a legitimate service owned by Best Buy. It takes a different approach than some of the other services, but how well does that work?
Media comes in various shapes and forms. So far I’ve mostly looked at music services, but as a heavy audio books user myself I couldn’t ignore taking a look at some audio books providers as well. The obvious starting point is the service I myself have used for years; Audible.
Buying music isn’t the only option these days and you can “rent” it from a subscription service for a pretty decent monthly fee. Rhapsody is one such service that also offers to sell you the tracks as MP3 if you want to keep them. Read on for a review.