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Compaq

Compaq's PJB-100 MP3 Player Open-Sourced 86

spludge writes: "Remember the PJB-100? The portable 4.6 gig hard-drive MP3 player -- the one that did not have support for Linux? Compaq just released all the code to communicate and control it under the GPL! All the code and documentation is available for linux and for windows. Read about the details and what you'll need online. Lots of information about how the PJB works and how to communicate with it via USB."
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Compaq's PJB-100 MP3 Player Open-Sourced

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It funny, cause everytime I go out now:

    Startac PCS Phone $300, on belt.
    Pager $100, on belt.
    Palm Vx With Omnisky $800, in fanny pack.
    Sony Headphones $600, on head.
    Panasonic CD player $60, in pocket.
    Dee-Lite CD $14, in player.

    Now to add to that.

    Compaq MP3 player $750, in other pocket.

    Who needs diamonds and gold nowadays in Silicon Valley? I can wear $2500 in silicon implants! (Thanks to Dilbert for that one.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Keep in mind though Compaq doesn't have much to lose by GPL'ing the software when you still need to buy the hardware, and that's where they make their $$$. Contrast this with some company who makes only software, you wouldn't see this coming.
  • It's moves like these from companies that are starting to occur more and more frequently. A few years ago when something like this happened it was such a big deal, like when iD Software ported DooM to linux. Now more and more companies are beginning to realize there is a linux market out there and it is benificial to open source parts of their projects or the whole thing. This is has to be the only "good" example of a "domino theory" I can think of that is presently occuring right now.
  • Heh, so the spirit of the Open Source world is to just make protocols and specifications, but no real programs?
  • >They will get true recognition when any small company tries to base a
    >product on their code and gets sued for copyright violation.
    >I hate to say it but the GPL inhibits all commercial enterprises.

    Since the intent wasn't for scumbags to make a fast buck from this, why are you shedding tears over the fact?
  • "I'm hoping people will write some interesting applications with this."

    You just nailed down the 'true spirit of open source'. Thanks for the news. The Pjbox is a cool toy that I want really badly, but it's not worth running Windows for it... but if I can upload a week's worth of listening and some "oh, what the hell, maybe I'll want to hear this" to it, life is peachy.

    It'll be a bit before I can justify another chunk of money from my 'toy budget', but I know what's now next on the list. :)

    A couple weeks ago, someone mailed me that the code existed but "was being reviewed by legal". I'm glad my guess to what that meant was right.
  • ...and a crappy sound output.
  • You get a copy when you go to download it, but before the GPL, you have to click thru (above) this:

    This software shall not be further distributed without prior written permission from Compaq Computer Corporation.

    Oversight? Evil?

    You be the judge. :P

    --
    blue

  • Cool, thanks. I also emailed the link @ the bottom of the page, but no one has yet replied.

    So I'm assuming that it's ok for us to put this up on our mp3z related web pages?

    --
    blue
  • It's no wonder for me that they behave like that. 1st, I made the experience they response very slowly to questions via email, even if it's about tech support for products you already own. Then, they _always_ have been like that with their hardware, just think about how long it took until Linux drivers for the SB Live were available. In my opinion, Creative is a company that really sucks and I'll never buy anything from them again because i dislike their policy of keeping everything closed, because they even keep their stuff closed when it makes absolutely no sense to keep it closed.
  • All the code and documentation is available for linux and for windows.

    A bit of windows and linux zealotrry here I presume? Why limiting it to those two in your article Hemos? Arent there other operating systems out there that might be going to support this device as the specifications etc have been GPLed? After all thats the point of the GPL, isn`t it?

  • ...Are being stingy as hell when it comes to their Mp3 players. I've sent repeated emails asking for the protocols for the Nomad, so that I may write a program to use under Linux. I've never gotten a reply back. If you want to use your Nomad..you HAVE to use win95/98....they give you no other software for it.
  • Luckily I don't even need a rebroadcaster. My cd player (a sony) in my car has a 3 1/2 female jack on the face of it for the purpose of piping something else in. Kinda nice that way. The issue I would have with a rebroadcaster is how much degredation happens with the sound? I don't have a killer soundsystem in my car for nothing.
  • interesting add-ons coming out (transmit music to your car's FM radio)

    This already exists, you don't need to wait for Creative to fix this. If it has a normal headphone jack, go to Best Buy or someplace similar and look in the Discman/Walkman/Headphone area. There should be some FM rebroadcasters there, that simply plug into the headphone jack on your Discman/whatever. Since the tape player in my car doesn't like tapes/adapters, I have to use one of these when I drive to Oklahoma. With the car I have, it's not worth putting a new tape deck or cd deck in it. The rebroadcaster can be a pain sometimes, but it gets the job done. Only cost me $15, I think.
  • Well, we're not all blessed with good sound systems in our car. What I was trying to point out was that Creative seems to be indicating that the only way to play this in your car was through their proprietary FM rebroadcaster, which doesn't make sense, due to their inclusion of what sounds like a standard headphone jack. Because of that, you could most likely use any standard rebroadcaster out there already, or a adapter for a tape deck, etc. Of course, Creative could have something sneaky up their sleeves, but I doubt it. Headphone jacks tend to be standard things now.
  • Tell that to nVidia ;)
  • Since the FAQ I quoted earlier says "You should physically posess each CD that you transfer to the PJB-100, or have rights to the material you download from the Internet" and you can't really rip something from the internet I think it's safe to say "No, you don't have to re-rip your CD's"

    It just does a file transfer over the USB port
  • If you're considering purchasing the PJB, you may want to wait on Creative's Nomad Jukebox [nomadworld.com]. Not only will it store a more music (6GB), it costs a couple hundred less, has some very interesting add-ons coming out (transmit music to your car's FM radio), and looks a hell of a lot cooler.

    On the other hand, the Nomad has significantly shorter battery life, perhaps because it has only 8MB of RAM to buffer with.

    Why oh why don't these companies just put 32MB of RAM in these things?

    sigh
  • Okay, so it's not really the "spirit". What would I know, I'm just a Windows programmer?

    Actually, you were right about the spirit. Open source is all about open specs, and being able to freely use those specs to build applications. It's about being able to do something with information. The freedom to do it yourself if you want to.

    Maybe I should ask them to take it away?

    No, don't do that. I suspect that you're new to Slashdot, and I'll give you one advice: There are a lot of people on Slashdot that don't have the faintest clue, and will always complain, no matter what. Then there are those who understand. For example, read nutsy's post [slashdot.org] below.

  • The spirit of Open Source is to document protocols and specifications such that programmers can code to them in whatever method is their precedence (not to steal others' code and later play Ronald Reagan's "I can't recollect" game [slashdot.org], incidentally). The spirit of Open Source is to respond to go from "There's no program that does X!" to "I'll write a program that does X". The spirit of Open Source is to achieve flexibility in one's work and not have to go through the "This program [no specifics mentioned] doesn't do what I want, but it's the standard" runaround.

    In short, you have greatly misunderstood the spirit of Open Source. Personally, I think Mitch L and company have done us a much better service than any "real [real.com] programs" ever would.

  • I imagine this simply refers to platform specific code only being completed on Windows and Linux as current. It would be inappropriate to state that all OS's are supported if there's platform specific coding that hasn't been done for all platforms.
  • A translation note: 'the root of all evil' is a much more common translation. It's in the RSV, and the KJV.
    The Greek has 'panton ton kakon'(I've used roman letters, I'm afraid) which clearly means 'of all evil,' definitely not 'all kinds.' The simplest literary translation from the Greek is, 'For the love of money is the root of all evils.'
  • I agree. In fact, corporate evil and governmental evil can be very easily demonstrated. See The Noam Chomsky Archive [zmag.org].

  • That's legal and moral nonsense. If a corporation kills people, accidentally or deliberately, criminal actions can be brought. For example, key German company chiefs were tried at Nuremberg for their companies' complicity in the Holocaust.

  • Firmware is software on a ROM or PROM chip or something inside the device itself. E.g. the PC BIOS is firmware.

  • It's not a lack of compassion or mercy that makes one evil.

    A robberer is evil even if he has compassion...

    What makes a robberer evil is not the fact that he wants money, but how he want to obtain it.

    Theres two ways, stealing and producing. Companies that produces are not evil, even if the only thing they're after is money.
  • Remember, companies are not evil, as many people think they are. They just do what is the most profitable, if this turns out to make them more money, they will continue to do so.

    I consider being motivated by blind greed to be fairly evil. Perhaps not actually malevolant (actively persuing the goal of harming others) but definately evil. Even movie villians often are motivated only by desires for power and wealth. What is it that makes them villians? A lack of compassion or mercy.

    The only argument that corporations are non-evil I would consider is that they are more analogous to automata than to sentient moral entities (which is why 'amoral' might suit them). But this is sometimes a stretch - certainly corporate entities often do act with a seeming great ammount of deliberation.
  • Kind of changes the meaning a lot from the misquoted version, doesn't it?

    it may, but that certainly doesn't proclude people from believing that "money is the root of all evil."


    but since we are slicing and dicing words, let me suggest that the usage of "all kinds of" to mean "many varieties of" is idiomatic and likely postdates the translations of the bible into english. consider instead the more literal interpretation that the love of money is a root of not just some kinds of evil, but *all* kinds of evil.


    and on a philosophical note, if there was no such thing as money, could there be such a thing as "the love of money"? if the answer is no, then if "the love of money" is a root of something, then "money" itself, in the abstract sense, can be reasonably called a root of that same thing.


    unfortunately the converse isn't necessarily true. i.e. if money is a root of all kinds of evil, it is not necessarily true that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.



    this post will likely get moderated so low that no one will ever read it.

  • Oops. That will teach me to hit "preview" first.

    --

  • Can you use Wrapster [slashdot.org] to make this thing [pjbox.com] double as a backup device? Or will it choke on the bogus mp3s and prevent you from listening to the actual music you, umm, ripped from your cd collection?

    --

  • But with the Bible version of the quote, you'll have to agree that companies ARE evil - because their reason for being is the bottom-line - meaning, the corporation, though emotionless and amoral, by its very agenda for existence, is evil because it "loves" money. This kind of throws off the original post about companies not being evil, doesn't it?


    I disagree. Amoral != evil, depending on how you choose to define evil (a difficult task in itself). Rocks are amoral, yet when a village is burried under a rock slide it is not evil. They simply behave according to the laws that govern their existence. Corporations are very similar. While they are directed by conscious entities, there are certain (market) laws that dictate how a corporation may behave and remain solvent. While I'm not particularly fond of the corporate entity, I happen to invest in a few of them that I believe do good work without harming people.


    Corporations are about the bottom line, which in effect means maximizing shareholder return. Why does it mean maximizing shareholder return? Because for some strange reason, people tend to invest in companies that they believe will make them rich, regardless of what actions those companies take. I would say that calling corporations evil is a misdirection. The real evil lies with the investors that fund corporations that act in ways that are undesirable to society.


    I work on (in part) financial analysis software that analyzes the behaviors of investment managers. We do track things like which managers will invest in environmentally clean companies over the inevitably cheaper unclean competitors. When compared to managers that don't give a damn about the environment, it's unsurprising to see how much lower their net assets are. More bang for the buck almost always pulls in the investors.


    So to sum up: People are evil, corporations are only a visible manifestation of this that allows us to pretend that the responsiblity lies with a social/business construct instead of ourselves.

  • Sure check out my website [opendesign.cx] its mostly about putting a PC in you car, but if you click on the Gate Array [xoom.com] link there is an example of how to hook together your own portable player.

    These things are not trivial but they are not nailing jelly to a tree.

    cya, Andrew...

  • Sod that: make your own! I'm going to find my soldering iron right now.
  • Oh yeah, and let's put such limitations to all the PCs that are sold too. Then noone will break the law and we will all be living happy moral lives together.

    - Steeltoe
  • Crappy sound output? Mine sounds great.
  • Given that this has a USB connector, If I got a Pocket PC with USB and CompactFlash I could use the two to empty my digital camera's CompactFlash into this thing. This would be perfect. I could then walk around with just a PocketPC and this thing and have 4.6gig of storage for my digital camera. That's much more handy than lugging around a 3 to 10lbs notebook.

    I may have to do this if somebody doesn't beat me to it.

    Cool!!!!!!!!!!

    -g
  • It doesn't matter really... I don't think they mean to deny you GPL rights in any case. It is probably a standard thing on all their downloads(?).

    It is a non-issue anyways... You do not have the right to distribute someones intellectual property without their permission. The GPL DOES NOT change this basic fact of copyright law. What the GPL is is that permission that you require. Compaq is within their rights to require written permission to use their code, even code they have placed under the GPL. The GPL constitues that required written permission as much as agreements to get the source of their closed products.
  • For a few hundred more you can get a lowend, fully functional laptop that probably has a larger hard drive....
  • I'm assuming he's refering to the Nomad that looks like a CD player and has a 6gig hd.
  • It's inflexible in what output is permitted. I find it rather useful that my Diamond Rio can be treated as a 64MB "silicon disk"

    I think the output limit is a decision meant to keep the RIAA legal staff from jumping on them. And frankly I don't see that much added value in including download capability there are so many other ways to copy and swap mp3: FTP, and a zip disk pop into mind. Adding output features will definitely earn them the wrath of the RIAA and you don't get all that much in the way of "new" capabilites. Using the Rio as a $200 64MB diskette maybe uber geek, but I'd rather use my $4 zip disk.

  • Don't forget to also tell Philips [sourceforge.net].
    I am trying to convince them to do the same thing. So mail me [mailto]!

    Jeroen

  • Since I (and many others, i'm sure) can't exactly run out and blow $750 on every little gadget that comes along, is there a guide on how to make your own system of this type? Thanks. -ian
  • There was never an option that allowed you to extract bits from a _real_ PJB. The menu option you are talking about was only used in the PJB's simulator (before real hardware or the communications protocol were developed) -- if you were talking to a "simulated" PJB, the mp3 data was represented as local disk files, and then the Extract Track command would copied the bits out.

    The C++ class that implemented the "real" communications protocol had an empty function for that command, since there is no communications protocol support and no firmware support for it to use.

    When the simulator was removed, we forgot about the right-button context menu (it still had the option). It pops up a window, asks for a file name, calls the appropriate MFC/C++ function, which contains just one line: "return ERR_NOT_SUPPORTED". There's no code there to implement it. There never was, and there still isn't today. The simulator got all the bugs out, so we never needed to put it in a real PJB.

    /Mitch.
  • Not being able to retrieve data is a firmware limitation.

    /Mitch.


  • Actually, the motivation for releasing this SDK was from requests from customers for Linux support. It wasn't for any recognition, or even money -- customers asked, that's all!

    The researchers working on the original PJB prototypes have been working on other projects lately, and writing *another* Jukebox Manager doesn't exactly qualify as research. So, for all those who asked, this SDK is for you.

    (I should know, since I helped get this kit released).

    /Mitch.

  • Okay, so it's not really the "spirit". What would I know, I'm just a Windows programmer?

    Maybe I should ask them to take it away? I think there will be "real programs" eventually, as soon as interested people write them.

    /Mitch.

  • Oversight, I think. It's supposed to be GPL.

    Thanks for pointing it out -- I'll try to find out if that message is just boilerplate or not.

    /Mitch.
  • That would only work if the PocketPC had a USB _host_ controller on it. Do they? I thought they were peripherals.

    The PJB's USB port is a peripheral port (square connector), and you can't connect two peripheral ports together.

    Then there's the whole matter of the PJB's file system only being really useful for MP3 data...

    /Mitch.
  • Cool - hopefully Creative will do the same with their upcoming Nomad Jukebox (6.5 gigs of mp3's!)
  • It will show companies that allowing people to add more functionality and compatibility to their products will make them better.

    I think that if companies let the public make changes, and then look at what the public does, they will see that there are some really smart people out there. People might even be more creative and able to come up with some idea's that just blow companies away. Partly, I think, because people can work at their own pace and don't have pressure from the boss.

    Of course, having that pressure can help. If one is lazy.

  • Portable mp3 player prices are quite high. I have an RCA Lyra, and getting another 64MB card for it would be about $125-175. But at that price, it's easy to understand that it's a new technology and people need to get paid.

    Of course, if the RIAA wins it's battles and does do something to circumvent the mp3 situation... they will be destroying 100's, if not 1000's of jobs.

    Hell, those people might be better off to go home and do some free enterprise and work with the free code that was just given out.

  • lets move aside from the D&D ideas of neutrality

    because the whole lawful/chaos/neutral spectrum sat on top of good and evil as i recall.

    any decision to take action without regard to right, while not inherently wrong, is inevitably wrong.

    I'm not going to dictate to anyone what actually constitutes what is right and wrong. (if anyone seeks my opinion i will share it.. thats another issue)

    But i will contest the idea that amorality, that is stepping away from notions of morality, can be anything other than a rationalisation of immorality.

    You can try to be right or you will be wrong.

    just my opinion

  • This is great, but what I'd really like to see is soft modems that can be run effectively w/Linux. I heard that Connexant is currently working on one. I also hope that Compaq and Dell and other retailers would at least bother to specifically label modems that aren't supported by Linux. The last laptop I bought I had to return since it had a winmodem that appeared on the spec as just a modem.

    Is it possible that the existance of decent (=nonM$) OS's is finally sinking in. Pigs are sprouting wings and getting ready...

  • It sucks because it means that mp3's cannot be transferred to a mates PC, which would be rather cool, if probably a little illegal.

    "...I can't imagine the firmware staying un-hacked for long..."

    Damn right! Sooner or later [probably sooner], just like DVD, it will be cracked/circumvented/reverse-engineered or whatever, *but*... I do not believe that the makers of the player will have a lawsuit brought against them, since they took reasonable steps to prevent it, and somebody totally unconnected with them was smart enough to get round it.

    Any lawsuit would die on its arse for at least the folowing reasons:

    > They didnt crack it, they tried to prevent it.

    > Who even thought of filing a lawsuit against DVD, which was cracked with ease and wasnt even as well protected as it could have been?

    > Hey, while we're at it, there are other things we could use to transferr MP£'s [amongst other things] so why dont we go sue the shit outta the makers of Zip drives, CDR's, Jaz drives, removable HD racks, Tape drives, DAT drives.......

    So, thats my piece said, lets hope it gets over here [UK] soon and its a little cheaper.
  • what is meant by firmware? the dsp that runs this joint?
  • Ok, brilliant. Anyone want to point the makers of the jazPiper at this? (anyone had ANY luck at snooping the protocol?)
  • "You may copy and distribute verbatim copies of the Program's source code as you receive it, in any medium, provided that you conspicuously and appropriately publish on each copy an appropriate copyright notice and disclaimer of warranty; keep intact all the notices that refer to this License and to the absence of any warranty; and give any other recipients of the Program a copy of this License along with the Program." would seem to indicate otherwise.
  • I don't think jesser was saying that you are doing anything wrong or not fully supporting open source. The title of the article was a little misleading (they open sourced hardware?!?!).

    I personally agree that opening the libraries and protocols, and not the end-user application is the right way of doing it. That way, we get a small, clean source tree that we can understand. If you (I haven't looked at it yet) made even the smallest effort to make the source readable, then it should be easy to build support into your own apps. A jukebox is nice, but I can code a simple one up in an hour or two.

    Oh, and you're right, I certainly do NOT want the MFC :)

    -Dave
  • Compaq have code which runs under Linux and they have code which runs under Windows. Now if you want to port it to BeOS, or Apple's OS-of-the-week, or DOS, or VMS, or CPM, that's your project, not Compaq's, and not Hemos'.

    GPL my ass. Who said anything about violating the GPL?

    --
  • I wonder how well that verse survived after all the translations throughout history though. I wonder what it originally said.

    That translation is direct original Greek (the same Greek is in all of the approx. 5000 copies of the New Testament we have from around around 250 AD) -> English. There have been no intermediate translations.

    It's amazing how many people believe this myth that the Bible has been retranslated many times over the years, and has in some way "lost it's meaning" (as if a few translations could change the entire meaning of a book anyway).

    In fact, we have many copies of all of the Bible in its original languages.

    Gerv
  • Fair enough - thanks :-)

    Gerv
  • (If it's firmware I can't imagine the firmware staying un-hacked for long to remove it as it's the biggest "suck" feature on this box.)

    Why does this suck so bad? if this is the way a company avoids lawsuits from the RIAA then more power to them. This device is made for playback purposes. It's like complaining that your walkman can't record.

    Note: I still think the RIAA is evil, but I want cool toys and I'm not willing to wait until someone manages to knock them down for a decent MP3 player...
  • Can you use Wrapster to make this thing double as a backup device? Or will it choke on the bogus mp3s and prevent you from listening to the actual music you, umm, ripped from your cd collection?

    From the FAQ:

    Q: I want to copy the MP3s from my PJB-100 back to my PC. How do I do that?

    A: You cannot. To ensure that the PJB-100 complies with the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), It is not possible to retrieve the MP3 files from the PJB-100. You should physically posess each CD that you transfer to the PJB-100, or have rights to the material you download from the Internet.

  • When reading the product documentation for the PJB several months ago, it seemed to indicate that I needed to rip my CDs directly to the PJB in order to play them. That would be a big problem for me, as I have already digitized my 200+ cd collection.

    Now that there is Linux source out there so we can make our own tools, is it possible for one to simply upload MP3s to the PJB, without ripping them directly to the unit?

    That was the only thing that stopped me from purchasing one before....re-ripping hundreds of CDs is just no fun.

    Anyone know?
  • ...a suitable error-correcting protocol that can cope with there being no feedback from PC back to MP3 player.

    Why, of course there is [funet.fi]! And another one too [demon.nl]...

    Isn't modern technology great?

  • You're comparing Apples to Volvos. The Nomad and Rio arent in the same class as this device. Most of the cost stems from the harddrive, just like most of the Rio's cost stems from the FlashRAM. I cant help but wonder why a project hasnt been born, to the best of my knowledge, to just create a hardware decoder that interfaces into an ATAPI device. Or even just a plug in hardware decoder to smack into a USB port.

    ...and the geek shall inherit the earth...
  • MEEPT!

    Gawd I hope you're the one and only, because the Mastah seems to have left us for greener pastures of karma..

    Oh, and it appears your last post felt the wrath of the Mighty Moderation Race, as have so many before it. If the management fized it there would sure be a bit less bytching..

    Would some moderator kindly promote the post to -1?? You'll have to change your URL to read '...&threshold=-5....', but it would be the right thing to do..

  • I'd buy one in a heartbeat if it were $500-$600 cheaper than what they're asking for it. Hopefully the Nomad will compete and the price will drop quickly.

    numb
  • This actually caught me a bit off guard. I'm so used to seeing Compaq screw over consumers and businesses with their junky desktops it amazes me that they would do something this cool. I mean, sure they have the *nix test drive thing going on, but they only do that to try and get people to stop running to Dell for servers.

    I mean, hell, this is the company that released a line of PC's last year so underpowered and overloaded with proprietary bloatware right out of the box that they tried to blame it on Windows (Sure Windows sucks, but you didn't see any other manufacturer blaming crap performance on 400+mhz machines with 64+ megs of ram on M$), and now they turn around and give people an easy way to have all kinds of fun with an mp3 player under the GPL..

    Kinda makes me wonder why tho.. anyone know anything about quality/sales levels of those players?

    Or is a big corporation actually just being nice?
  • Is anyone interested in attempting to hack the firmware?

    I'm writing a jukebox manager at the moment and I'm probably going to have a go at hacking the PJB firmware. All I know so far is that it has a Motorola 56309 DSP. I have a flash update file, "player3-215-rev-oem.img". But of course it is in some unknown format. Anyone have any ideas of a way to go about this/

  • More info on the 56309.

    56309 Web page [199.104.132.208]

    If you are interested in attempting this hack or have any knowledge of how it could be done send me an e-mail at and65@mail.com.

  • Yes, the meaning is quite different in the Bible version. I wonder how well that verse survived after all the translations throughout history though. I wonder what it originally said.

    I agree more with the Bible version though. But money is like the company - amoral. It is neither evil nor good. It is a tool, a medium, an energy, if you will. And it could be used for good or evil - and that also largely depends on how you define such concepts.

    But with the Bible version of the quote, you'll have to agree that companies ARE evil - because their reason for being is the bottom-line - meaning, the corporation, though emotionless and amoral, by its very agenda for existence, is evil because it "loves" money. This kind of throws off the original post about companies not being evil, doesn't it?

  • Do you mean that corporate entities, because they don't act with a single consciousness of an individual, are more analogous to automata? Meaning, as a collective, because it is not acting out one person's will, it cannot make conscious decisions about moral and ethical issues? (I guess I'm not quite sure I understand).

    But I think you bring up a good point - corporations are created for the best interest of itself. And it is composed of shareholders who have vested interest. One of the main features of the corporation is limited individual liabilities, right? So the individuals are not responsible for the liabilities of the corporation, and by the same token, the individuals are not responsible for the "evils" that the company does in pursuit of increasing the bottom line, right? Because they are not only not responsible for the company's liabilities, they are also not responsible for the companies moral and/or ethical conducts.

    But someone must be the target in the company, and it's usually the CEO of the company (e.g. Bill Gates, Microsoft). Perhaps we will villanize the CEO as the figurehead representative of the company's moral conscience. But as the CEO, he is obligated to put the bottom line on top, it is his responsibility to the shareholders. So who's evil, if anybody is to be called evil at all?

  • You want info on LCD's? Here:

    ftp://ftp.armory.com/pub/user/rstevew/LCD/
  • they remove the 'politics' from the damned thing.

    if I want to store and retrieve files from it, its MY business.

    the rio somehow got away with store AND retrieval. why didn't DEC^h^h^hcompaq?

    I won't support companies that cave in so easily to the Music Muscle(tm). so for now, I'll be content with building my own linux boxen to do whatever-the-hell-I-please with my mp3 files. sure, my boxes aren't as small, but they're OPEN and are politic-free.

    and you know, even if you DO comply with the MusicMucle's wishes, they'll just find other reasons to sue you. there's never enough licensing and money to keep TheMuscle happy, it seems. sigh...

    --

  • So what does everyone think?

    I think that moves like this will be more common in the future. It will show companies that allowing people to add more functionality and compatibility to their products will make them better. This way, they will sell more, and have to invest less in production.

    Remember, companies are not evil, as many people think they are. They just do what is the most profitable, if this turns out to make them more money, they will continue to do so.

    ---Lane


  • No, Compaq didn't open-source the whole thing. They can't, since there's lots of licensed material in there that Compaq cannot redistribute.

    I did much of the work preparing this kit. It was derived from the actual sources, and it includes the key parts you'll need. The rest of it (the stuff that was not included) is Windows MFC stuff. Does anyone here really want that? I thought not :-).

    Maybe I shouldn't have said "In the true spirit of open source..." stuff since I'm not even sure I know what that is myself :-).

    I'm hoping people will write some interesting applications with this.

    /Mitch.
    Disclaimer: I speak for me, not Compaq.
  • If you're considering purchasing the PJB, you may want to wait on Creative's Nomad Jukebox. Not only will it store a more music (6GB), it costs a couple hundred less, has some very interesting add-ons coming out (transmit music to your car's FM radio), and looks a hell of a lot cooler. http://www.nomadworld.com/products/qna.html#jukebo x
  • by meff ( 170550 )
    This is the stuff that is nice to see in the community. Compaq will, also, get alot of recognition in releasing this too, which is partly probably what they are seeking.

    A good idea would be to figure out how to rig up a LCD to this and hook it up in a car with some stuff, and then you'd have a really good car MP3 player!

    Mmm... soo many possibilities :)

    Have fun with this one..
  • by Gerv ( 15179 ) <{ten.vreg} {ta} {vreg}> on Monday May 01, 2000 @10:16AM (#1098884) Homepage
    "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" - The Bible, 1 Timothy 6:10, NIV

    The original source actually says something quite different - the love of money is the problem, and it's only a root (there are plenty more ;-), and not of all evil, but all kinds.

    Kind of changes the meaning a lot from the misquoted version, doesn't it?

    Gerv
  • by Cheerio Boy ( 82178 ) on Monday May 01, 2000 @09:56AM (#1098885) Homepage Journal
    From the PJB FAQ:

    Q: I want to copy the MP3s from my PJB-100 back to my PC. How do I do that? A: You cannot. To ensure that the PJB-100 complies with the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), It is not possible to retrieve the MP3 files from the PJB-100. You should physically posess each CD that you transfer to the PJB-100, or have rights to the material you download from the Internet.

    Does anybody know if this is a firmware limitation or a software one?
    (If it's firmware I can't imagine the firmware staying un-hacked for long to remove it as it's the biggest "suck" feature on this box.)


    The Tick - "Spoon!"
  • by DeepDarkSky ( 111382 ) on Monday May 01, 2000 @09:15AM (#1098886)
    Right, companies are amoral. They care only about the bottom line (i.e. making money), so unless you believe in the adage that "money is the root of all evil", companies are not inherently evil.

    More and more companies will open source their products, and the Open Source community can point to it as a sign of victory. But I'm not sure that it would be because of the reason that the Open Source community wants, or maybe I'm just being naive, a very good possibility.

    The Open Source movement is very much like the Patent system in some ways. It begins as a great idea and then the companies start poking at it, using it, "enhancing" it, then you end up with something you are not quite sure about.

    Companies may now be embracing Open Source not because it is superior philosophically or technically, but it's just better PR and good business. So in the end, it's always about the bottom line of the company. It's not about the users or innovators. It's about companies' bottom lines. And if it happens to be better for users and be good business as well, great!

    So what I'm getting at is, what is the spirit of Open Source anyway? Is it to grow to a point where the companies can use it as a selling point to improve their bottom line? Or is it some other ideal? Or more likely, maybe it's somewhere in between?

  • by MitchL ( 158959 ) on Monday May 01, 2000 @11:30AM (#1098887) Homepage
    grumble... this issue again.

    You have *ALWAYS* been able to just upload the MP3s you have. You don't *HAVE* to use the original CDs, but it sure is convenient if you do have them. (The included Jukebox Manager rips, encodes, and transfers in one step... that's what the documentation is trying to say).

    One reason to use the Jukebox Manager is it includes Fraunhofer's best encoder. I re-ripped everything I had when I got my PJB working the first time, but the other encoders have improved in the past few years as well.

    If you have a bunch of MP3s, just press the "Add stored tracks" button (4th from the left) and point it at the files to upload.

    This SDK is for the part of the code that does that. You wouldn't have had to re-rip your hundreds of CDs ever... not even if you had the first PJB.

    Someone _must_ fix that web site it seems!

    /Mitch.
  • by whoop ( 194 ) on Monday May 01, 2000 @10:28AM (#1098888) Homepage
    Considering people here refuse to by a Tivo for $400 until it has ethernet, firewire, steering wheel, rocket boosters, and an A&W Root Beer dispenser, how would someone here buy a device for so much when all it does is play MP3s?
  • It's well and nice to have this release; it has two significant problems:
    • $800 is rather expensive.

      Hopefully competition and time will bring the cost, and thus, the price, down.

    • It's inflexible in what output is permitted.

      I find it rather useful that my Diamond Rio can be treated as a 64MB "silicon disk" via use of the SnowBlind RIO utility [world.co.uk], rio .

      In contrast, according to the PjBox FAQ [pjbox.com], there's no reasonable way of getting digital data off the unit.

      Ignoring, of course, the notion of encoding other sorts of data into MP3, and then doing a modem-like demodulation of that back into digital data, which would take additional hardware and the entertainment of building a suitable error-correcting protocol that can cope with there being no feedback from PC back to MP3 player.

  • by jesser ( 77961 ) on Monday May 01, 2000 @08:19AM (#1098890) Homepage Journal
    The player itself isn't being open-sourced; just the drivers to upload songs to the player. Not that it makes sense to expect the company to "open-source" its hardware and the software that does simple things like "play" and "pause"; it looks like they open-sourced the right parts.

    Quoting the linked href="http://bboard.mp3.com/mp3/ubb/Forum5/HTML/00 1491.html">article:

    There isn't anything in there for hacking firmware. The firmware will remain proprietary, since much of it is under license from other people.


    In addition, it also sounds like they didn't open-source the whole thing:

    In the true spirit of the Open Source world, this kit doesn't contain a Linux Jukebox Manager, but it does contain what you'll need to get started and write your own.

    But that's probably good, because it means an interface can be written between existing jukebox managers (are those the same as playlists?) and this program, allowing the same programs to be used with competing mp3 players.

    --

Of course there's no reason for it, it's just our policy.

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