Rockbox open firmware on my Cowon iAudio M5

I just installed Rockbox, an open source firmware for music players, on my Cowon iAudio M5.

I’ve owned this portable music player for a couple of years, originally purchasing it because it is wonderfully compatible with Linux and mounts as a USB Mass Storage device and plays nearly every common audio filetype, including all the ones I had/have on my hard drive.

I liked the original firmware that Cowon provided and never had a problem with it. However, me being me, I had some free time and needed a project, so I downloaded Rockbox and installed it today. I expected this would be a detailed and complicated process, as installing custom firmware often is (eg. like the first time I installed dd-wrt on my Linksys wrt54g v2). It wasn’t. The whole process took ten minutes, and that includes the time I took to read the installation instructions. Wow!

Then, I turned the player on and began to play. Immediately I began to ask myself why I hadn’t done this ages ago. Rockbox has so many more features and configurability, plus (more importantly) it works well. I’m impressed!

3 thoughts on “Rockbox open firmware on my Cowon iAudio M5

  1. It’s just a shame that Rockbox only ever seems to work on hardware which is on its way out or already extinct. My last player (A Toshiba, bought specifically for Rockbox) is dead, so I’ve started using my new phone, which runs Android, as a replacement

  2. How is it working for you? Same sound quality and especially battery life? I’m quite happy about the stock firmware and tried Rockbox on my M5L about two years ago, but the sound seemed to sound quality seemed to be quite a bit lower..

  3. I’ve only used it for a couple of hours, so I can’t comment yet on battery life. Most people I have heard comment on that with this particular music player either say battery life is about the same or longer. I haven’t confirmed that yet.

    The sound quality is definitely better. It wasn’t bad before, but the EQ is far more configurable with Rockbox and easier to set to my liking, which could account for the difference.

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