The Sansa e200 is one of the best selling budget players ever and that shows on the number of loyal users it has. The original firmware is buggy and somewhat limited, so when Rockbox was released on the player many people praised it. Now a new player has joined the game, SansaLinux.
SansaLinux is a port of iPodLinux, and only works with the V1 e200 players. It’s still being developed, and so far LCD, audio and keys are working, while other features are planned or in development. It’s always nice to see custom firmware for players, so hopefully this project will make it all the way through.
Linux users have in the past been confined to using MSC based MP3 players, ones that act like basic drag and drop memory cards, so choices have been limited. In order to get MTP based devices to work Linux users had to used programs like Gnomad2, Rhythmbox, or Amarok to transfer media to these devices.
In the latest Ubuntu version 8.04 a simple command (sudo apt-get install mtpfs) will install full MTP support. MTPFS provides a full file browsing experience just like an MSC based device with the ability to browse playlists, write playlists, and write metadata to music tracks.
This is great news to MTP only devices like the Creative Zen family, but I also throw out a proposal for the Zune. The Zune uses a modified version of MTP called MTPZ. If this isn’t too modified from MTP, then could this be a slight hack to get full drag and drop Linux support to the Zune?
[Linuxtechie via MTP on Linux Forums]
This is a surprise. At CES today, AOL and China-based manufacturer Haier rolled out their upcoming 30GB Smartscreens Media Device, a portable media player equipped with a laptop-esque touch pad, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
The all-metal PMP is “about the size of an iPod” and supports MPEG-4 and WMV videos and likely the typical set of audio formats (MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM), including those purchased and downloaded directly onto the device from the likes of Rhapsody, Napster, and Yahoo! over a wireless 802.11g connection.
An unnamed Internet-based service obviously (though unofficially) provided by AOL will somehow offer music suggestions while users of the device are listening to their tunes. How this will work is unclear, though we hope the option to be notified of song titles, albums, and other artists the system thinks we’d be interested in can be turned off. The device will also support free streaming Internet radio stations, which we assume will be exempt from all the suggestion-receiving fun.
Under the hood of the Smartscreens Media Device is an open-source application framework, codenamed SmartScreens, created by Tegic Communications (an AOL company) that runs on top of the unit’s operating system. If you can’t wait until the device is released later this year (second or third quarter), hop on over to SmartScreens Mobile to check out a video of the player in action.
[via PC Magazine]
Need a back-up OS while on the go? The Zen Vision:M’s ability to partition off some USB drive space makes it a great candidate for some flavor of Linux. The ZVM has the ability to set aside up to 16GB of space, but you really only need a minimum setting of 1GB.
Once you have your player partitioned, Knoppix installs much like on a USB drive with a slight tweak (see link). Many other Creative Zen players feature the USB partition option so this will work on those as well. What are you waiting for? Check out the guide below and grab yourself an extra OS to boot.
It’s not often when “This is a first” can be said with a straight face in the DAP world. But the upcoming 4GB Turbolinux Wizpy really is a first. It’s certainly not the 1.7-inch OLED display, FM radio, or DivX support that makes the device unique. And we barely blink an eye these days when another new player can play MP3, Ogg, WMA, and AAC formats. Yawn!
The stand-out feature of the Wizpy comes in the form of what’s preloaded on 1.5GB of the player’s internal flash memory . . . (wait for it) . . . Linux. Turbolinux FUJI, to be exact. And what good is bootable Linux without a sampling of what are arguably the best applications around? Yep, in addition to the plug-and-play OS, the Wizpy also comes preinstalled with Firefox, Thunderbird, and Skype. All this in a 3.3″ x 1.7″ x 0.5″ device that weighs a mere 2.1 ounces.
The Turbolinux Wizpy will sell for about $250 when it hits Japan in February.