GSoC/GCI Archive
Google Summer of Code 2011


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Our ideas list can be located here: .  If you're serious about working on Rockbox for GSoC, then the best way you can show us is to start getting involved in the project before you make your application - i.e. download the code, hang out in our IRC channel, subscribe to our mailing lists, and start submitting patches!


The Rockbox project is a complete portable digital audio player replacement firmware - including operating system, GUI and application suite. It has been in development since 2001 and receives new features, tweaks and fixes every day to provide you with the best possible music listening experience. Rockbox aims to be considerably more functional and efficient than your device's stock firmware while remaining easy to use and customizable. It is a goal to not only offer a wide range of functionality, but where possible make sure that this functionality is presented in a consistent manner that is easy to learn and use. Rockbox runs on a wide range of platforms including devices from Archos, Apple (iPod), iriver, Cowon, Olympus, Toshiba and SanDisk with more in development. The development team consists of over 50 active committers and nearly 600 individual contributors. See for more information.

Thanks to previous Google Summer of Code projects, Rockbox is staying relevant with the changes in digital audio listening. The "Rockbox as an App" movement began, to provide the same freedom in audio tasks as we have for years past in dedicated digital audio players. This movement has been successful, and Rockbox now runs as an application on multiple smartphone platforms. We have large userbases in the blind community as well. Since Rockbox has a spoken interface, it has provided them with the ability to navigate and listen to their audio on the go. Audiophile users use Rockbox for its many "tweaks" that can be done to audio, to say nothing of our massive audio codec support. Open source and freedom lovers enjoy the ability to make their devices do whatever they wish it to do, as well as get away from many proprietary and closed formats. Rockbox also has developed the most comprehensive collection of open source, fixed point and ARM optimized audio decoders in existence. Our project has optimized more than 30 open source decoders for minimum memory requirements and very high power efficiency on embedded devices. Additionally, we have developed several new fixed point decoders which have been incorporated into libraries such as ffmpeg and VLC, and into mobile phone applications.

Working on Rockbox provides several opportunities that can not easily be found elsewhere. There is work close to the hardware, possibly involving reverse engineering. Other people may prefer working on audio codecs - either porting existing code to work in rockbox using only fixed point calculations, or optimising codecs that are already supported. Students who want to improve their SCSI or USB knowledge and skills can do so. All of this, and much more, is done within the constraints and challenges of embedded systems. There is a very active development community, with people who are very knowledgeable in each of these fields and more ready to help others work and learn.


  • Port buflib from the pluginlib over to the core The proposed project will bring buflib from the plugin library to the core, enabling dynamic memory allocations.
  • Standalone audio library Rockbox includes highly optimized fixed-point implementations of many common and uncommon audio codecs. This project will extract the codecs, metadata parsing, and DSP code into a separate library that can be used by other embedded software. An automated test suite will be written for the new library, making codec development easier.