I discovered Rockbox today. It's a complete open source replacment for the firmware of several portable audio players include the iPod. It supports many audio formats including MP3, Ogg Vorbis and WMA and has cool stuff like gapless playback (great for mix CDs), themes, bookmarks and much more. I also love the fact that no special directory layout is required. Use your normal shell commands (eg.
rsync) or file management interface (eg. Nautilus) to copy tracks to your iPod.
I installed it on my iPod this afternoon; wow. It's not perfect (the tag cache system is fiddily) but it's stable and works as advertised. My main criticism is that there's too many options and features to fiddle with; great for geeks but not for the general consumer. But hey, it's open source so someone could create a friendlier version at some point. I love the idea that I can play with the code if I want to. It also has a plugin system for add-on apps which I'd love to check out at some point.
Rockbox is definitely staying on my iPod (yes the process is reversible).
The strike is off. No travel changes required. Sweet.
There is a bloody train strike which conveniently overlaps with when I've got tickets to travel to LugRadio Live. Many routes will not be running and others will be at skeleton capacity. Not happy Jan...
Alternative A is to travel on Friday morning instead and fork out for for an extra night of hotel accomodation. This has the added benefit that I can make the planned conference festivities on the Friday night. I'll have to take a day off work and miss the party I was supposed to go to however.
Alternative B is to get a refund for the outward journey and take a bus instead. This is actually going to mean: tube to central London, 2.5 hour bus ride to Birmingham, shorter bus trip to Wolverhampton. High potential for suckage.
There is a chance that the strike will be called off but I can't really count on that. Alternative A is looking the most attractive right now... will have to sort this mess out tomorrow.
I've recently updated my system to Fedora Core 5 (yes I'm very behind the times) and couldn't play various video formats again. Proprietary codecs suck but I haven't weened myself off them yet. The trick is to install the xine and/or totem-xine packages and download the essential codecs . Extract the archive and and copy the contained DLL's etc into
/usr/lib/win32. All those funny/crude joke videos you get from friends in your email will be playable again.