Vorbis Hardware

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   This is a list of hardware, from !PDAs to DVD players, that can play Ogg
   Vorbis files.  Hopefully you can find what you want, if not, come back next
   week: several companies who can see the value and popularity of Vorbis are
   working to support it on their hardware.
   If you know of any other hardware or projects,
   please add them to the list.  More hardware info can be found at
   http://www.xiph.org/ogg/vorbis/hardware.html.

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Consumer products that support Vorbis natively:

  • Neuros Digital Audio Computer

    The Xiph.org Foundation has brought Vorbis playback to the Neuros Digital Audio Computer. See DI’s [http://www.neurosaudio.com/press/news_item.aspx?itemID=80 press release ] about the agreement. See the press release about the beta vorbis firmware. The final version will be more optimized.

    UPDATE: DI recently released stable firmware version 1.45 (available at [http://www.neurosaudio.com/support/support_updates.asp their Support Updates page]); this is the first stable firmware release for the Neuros that includes Ogg Vorbis support.
    Support for adding Ogg Vorbis files through the Neuros Sync Manager software is still in beta, but Xiph.org's Positron and Sean Starkey's Neuros Database Manipulator both provide support for adding Ogg Vorbis files to the Neuros.

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  • Rio Karma (Picture) <p> This 20Gb portable player has Ogg Vorbis and [FLAC] support, and has been available from Amazon in the United States since October 2003, currently for US$285 (the box also includes a US$20 mail-in rebate, valid if purchased before 2004-02-22).

    The unit should now be available from UK online retailers (e.g., Amazon UK, currently for £280), though full volume won’t be available until mid-late January 2004. A full retail launch in Europe is likely to happen in 2004.

    IGN have written preview and review articles about the Karma 20. Riovolution has a good Rio Karma forum and a [http://www.riovolution.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=17 nice gallery] of Rio Karma pictures. The official product annoucement was reported in The Register and Slashdot; the Slashdot discussion included [http://slashdot.org/~pdh11 several informative comments] from a Rio employee.

    Note that firmware versions prior to 1.25 cause stability problems for some people. Version 1.25 of the firmware fixes these problems, and also contains some new features.

    Originally, Rio also planned to release a 40Gb version of the Rio Karma: the Rio Karma 40. Unfortunately, it now appears that the Karma 40 is on indefinite hold, due to problems sourcing the 40Gb hard drives from Hitachi.

  • iRiver iHP-100, iHP-115, iHP-120, iGP-100, possibly others

    In September, iRiver released [http://www.iriver.com/company/news_view.asp?idx=355 a new announcement] detailing their plans for Vorbis playback.

    In summary, most of their players are sure to support Vorbis, with the possible exception of the iFP-1xx line, and iMP-50, 100, and 150 line. Getting Vorbis running on the low-end iMP line may be difficult, and is quite difficult with the iFP-1xx line. The announcement has more details.

    Currently, firmware upgrades are available for the iHP-100 and iHP-115 (only available in Korea?), 10Gb and 15Gb portable players. The iHP-120, a 20GB portable player, supports Vorbis playback out of the box. IGN have reviews of the iHP-100 and iHP-120.

    The iGP-100, a 1.5Gb portable player (only available in the US?), supports Vorbis, according to the FAQ, though no firmware upgrade appears to be required.

  • !PhatNoise’s PhatBox, Kenwood’s Music Keg (“Powered by !PhatNoise”)

    These are in-car players that are installed into the trunk of your car and hooked up to your car stereo. Both players run ARM-Linux and support playback of [FLAC] files. Beta firmware to support Ogg Vorbis is available at [http://phatbox.sixpak.org/phatbox/ogg.phtml http://phatbox.sixpak.org/phatbox/ogg.phtml].

  • KISS Technology’s DP-450 and DP-500 DVD Players (and others?)

    These DVD players can play .ogg files from CD-Rs and CD-!RWs (but reportedly have trouble with UTF-8 comments that aren’t also ASCII), as well as !DivX (but not !DivX Vorbis). Reportedly, other DVD players from KISS Technology also support Vorbis.

    There are reportedly problems with some versions of the firmware (2.6.6 ≤ x < 2.7.1), where playback is awful for a bitrates greater than 128Kb/s.

  • MPST Digital Jukebox

    The MPST Digital Jukebox is a Linux PC designed for audio playback and sold as a stereo component, which of course can play Vorbis.

  • Freemax FW-960

    This hardware manufacturer’s new CD-R portable supports Ogg Vorbis playback out of the box. It will have 48 hours of WMA playback if an external battery pack (2 AA batteries) is used. In Korea, its retail price is 189,000 KRW, or approximately 160 USD.

    More information is available (in Korean) on the product page for the FreeMax FW-960.

    The !FreeMax FW-960 is also known as the mpman MP-CD550.

  • Umax/Yamada have a few standalone DVD players that support Vorbis.

  • Neuston provides a standalone DVD player (model DVX-1201) that supports Vorbis.

  • Samsung

    The MCD-CM600 is now available in Korea. It is a CD portable that can play Vorbis, MP3, and WMA. Page with photo of MCD-CM600. Closeup of MCD-CM600.

  • Havin Exonion HVC-400E, also known as Princeton Pocket Beat airCD

    The Havin HVC-400E, also known as the Princeton airCD is probably on sale in Japan since late November, 2003.

Consumer products that support Vorbis via third-party software:

Projects to support Vorbis:

  • Dioneer

    Their new players due out in July or August will support Ogg Vorbis playback out of the box, according to [http://www.dt.co.kr/print.html?gisaid=2003042402012267701001 The Digital Times] (Korean).

  • Nextway

    Announced at IFA 2003 in Berlin, Nextway will be selling portables with USB host capabilities. It will have no memory of its own, but will use external memory/external readers to access smartmedia cards, memory sticks, compact flash, external !HDDs, and more. Retail price is planned to be around 50,000 KRW, or approx. 42 USD. Vorbis firmware is planned to be released in November, according to [http://www.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/20030917/080300000020030917145246K9.html Yohnap News Agency] (Korean) and [http://www.nextway.co.kr/etc/hostplayer.html a Nextway news article] (Korean).

  • mpman

    Mpman will be releasing a 1.5Gb 1″ HDD portable that can play Vorbis. There’s no mention of it on the website, but an external preview is available.

    Mpman will also be offering the MP-CD550, the international version of the !FreeMax FW-960.

  • iops MFP-3xx players

    Rumours say that iops plans to release [http://www.iops.co.kr/home/iops_product.html four flash-based Vorbis portables] in December 2003. The specs are very impressive.

  • Apple iPod

    Independently of Apple, some people have µClinux (Linux for !CPUs without !MMUs) running on this. Right now, they are decoding Vorbis at 80% realtime, with hope for improvement.

  • Frontier Labs

    Frontier Labs are independently investigating the possibility of Ogg Vorbis support on the Nex !IIe. Details are not known at the moment. The Nex iA is advertised as supporting “emerging formats such as Ogg Vorbis through firmware upgrades”. At present, the available firmware upgrades do not provide Vorbis support.

  • [http://www.pontis.de/site_e/produkte/pl_600_e.htm Pontis SP600 Portable MP3 Player ]

    Pontis announced in the middle of 2002 that they would ‘soon’ release a firmware upgrade to allow their SP600 portable player to play Vorbis files. Unfortunately, after 18 months of silence, Pontis finally decided (in November 2003) that a firmware upgrade for the SP600 was not possible, due to CPU and memory constraints.

Vorbis in Silicon (non-consumer products):

  • Ogg On A Chip

    A hardware/software implementation with a good report showing how to make !FPGAs and the like to decode Vorbis streams.

  • FineArch

     !FineArch, Inc. developed a hardware core and control software for decoding Vorbis. This technology can be integrated into portable players or cell phones, and since it runs at only 12MHz, it uses very little battery power. It supports files up to 64Kb/s, but could be scaled to 16MHz and 128Kb/s, at the expense of battery life. For more information, see !FineArch’s [http://www.finearch.com/english/news/pr_20030715/pr_20030715.htm press release].

  • MCS Logic

    MCS Logic creates single chip decoders that can play Ogg Vorbis. They supply the Vorbis decoding chips for Havin and Freemax.

  • Tamul Multimedia

    Tamul Multimedia manufactures decoding chips for Samsung. They claim they have Ogg Vorbis decoding firmware, according to [http://www.dt.co.kr/print.html?gisaid=2003031002011367704002 The Digital Times] (Korean).

  • SigmaTel

    SigmaTel hasn't announced anything that we've heard, but we do like this quote:

    I talked to Deborah Clark, product marketing engineer for audio chipmaker Sigmatel out of Austin, Tex. She is the company's expert in audio decoders. She says there is a growing base of support for Ogg Vorbis. "We can't keep paying these high licensing fees for this. Manufacturers would flock to something that's free."

    from a 2000 column in Forbes
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