Ainol V2000 is one of them Chinese portable media players we see pop up every now and then in a never-ending series – most of them never really reach the western markets.
For this particular player the firmware is available, and by simply inspecting the contents of that we can see that it is packed with open source and free software, but nowhere is the source for this package to be found… (not all of these packages are GPL licensed of course)
GEMDOS, Mplayer (various parts), unzip by Gilles Vollant, MAME, Snes9x, FLAC, wxMusik, VisualBoyAdvance, SDL, FFmpeg, Avifile…
The image also seems to contain code from Real and possibly also from Microsoft (based on a guess on the file name strings)…
And if you want to dig around more, here’s the 5.2 MB firmware file available for download. It seems Ainol’s official web site doesn’t even mention this V2000 model?
(Marcoen brought most of this to my attention.)
For supporters of Free Software and Open source, and if you’re interested in the licensing angle you just need to pay attention to this:
Last week Groklaw posted this nice writeup on the case where the primary authors of Busybox sue Monsoon Multimedia. For GPL violations.
Update: the settlement that isn’t yet a settlement.
I recently shot a little video with my phone (SE w580i) and when I copied it over to my Debian Linux box I of course immediately realized I had no video players that would show a 3GP film. Or rather, they all showed it but none of them played the sound! It seems the phone uses the ‘amr_nb‘ codec for audio, which is a non-free thing that my “Debian unstable” players (not very surprisingly) don’t have built-in support for…
Anyway, if you close your eyes for the problems with closed proprietary evil, I got pointed to the cool site www.debian-multimedia.org and then I could add the following line to my /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org unstable main
… and do a plain plain “apt-get update” and “apt-get dist-upgrade” and wham, my mplayer could now show the 3gp video with sound.
The only slightly quirk remaining is that I didn’t manage to transcode the movie with audio nicely with mencode, but I didn’t really spend enough time to figure out why.
Yeah, I only have five working days left until I take a bunch of months off to take care of Rex full-time. It may of course prevent be from being as active online as I sometimes have been. We’ll see.