Hey! This is the old a broken mold. Newer stuff is at abrokenmold.net.
That being said, feel free to rummage through the archives over here. Also feel free to leave comments; we're still keeping an eye on this.

So I just thought I'd put pen to paper, so to speak, since I had a couple thoughts.

First thing: the free culture music scene. I don't really have a lot of experience there, but I do know this so far: there is some great talent there. For instance, I've downloaded all of JT Bruce's released albums on the fabulous Jamendo (which I gushed about back here). I have some other music from there, but his are probably my favorites so far. And I've heard about Jack Conte… sounds interesting. In fact, I find the whole culture interesting. In a related channel, some of this vibe seems to be seeping out into mainstream music. Notably, Nine Inch Nails (and by implication, its sole member, Trent Reznor). Reznor seems to have gotten sick of major label trash, and in fact gave some thoughts for new and unknown artists recently on the NIN forums.

So, while I don't think I would completely abandon the mainstream industry, I respect this free culture. It's really a fascinating thing to me and I do want to learn more. I'm still coming to grips with what I think about copyright law (well, okay, maybe I should say I haven't sat down and given it a deep think-through yet). I think it's right to obey copyright law, because it's the law and there doesn't seem to be anything inherently evil about it, but maybe it does need to be revised (I'm talking U.S. here). When Congress finally gets around to it (2014 maybe?), it's going to be a doozy, whatever happens. The explosion of the digital age cannot be ignored. Anyway, it's an interesting thing, and I want to learn more about all of it (did I already say that?). Hopefully, I can eventually make my music collection 100% legal (meaning buy copies of all the stuff I don't own and want to keep; some CD's and some single downloads).

Second thing: Rockbox. If you're the type who might run Linux, you might like Rockbox, the awesome alternative firmware for jukeboxes (mp3 players). OK, maybe you don't need to run Linux, but I just thought maybe there's a similar appeal. Anyway, I've been running Rockbox on my Sansa e200 version 1 since fall or early winter last year. I was running the few week old 3.0 release then. Now, it's up to 3.3. This seems like a growing up release to me; support for JPEG album art finally and native USB support on some players in Rockbox (thought at least on mine it uses the original firmware if plugged in while off). In any case, it has support for bunches of codecs (including, of course, unprotected iTunes). It also has a load of plugins, many of which can be used while playing music, divided into applications, games, and demos. Anyway, enough with the infomercial. All I'm saying is if you have a supported player (more in development!) and want some more out of your MP3 player, check it out.

Edit: July 25, 2009: As an addendum, I really enjoy the playlist management Rockbox brings to my e200. I couldn't do it with the original firmware but using Rockbox I can follow my habit of making custom playlists consisting of songs from different albums. This was sort of possible with the OF, but was fairly painstaking (you had to play songs you wanted in the list and add them to a 'go list').


Matthew said...

It looks like my Sansa Clip isn't included. =(

Nathaniel said...

Yeah, the port for the Clip definitely isn't stable. If you're feeling beyond adventurous, though, check out these pages: