Neuros Firmware Open-Sourced

This is month-old news, but I haven’t really been monitoring the Neuros world much since my player died completely: Neuros Audio LLC has released the Neuros Audio firmware as open-source software.

This is really, really great news. Of course on a philosophical level I’m happy, in that open-source and free software improves the world in general. And it’s extremely rare for embedded code to be released like this, so that’s very exciting. But on a purely personal level, I’m just ecstatic: I was willing to overlook the Neuros’s very clunky form factor in favor of support for technically and legally superior music file formats (i.e., Ogg Vorbis), but the UI on the thing was just grating in so many ways—especially compared to the iPod’s elegance.

So now I have a chance to fix things up. The physical interface (the buttons and whatnot) have always sucked, but with the right firmware, it might be a little less onerous. Of course, the development environment is prohibitive—the TI compiler only supports Windows, and porting GCC would be a task as difficult as, well, porting a compiler to another architecture (though apparently there’s some gcc work on related TI architectures.), but it looks like there’s been some work on the firmware already.

I’m engaged in other efforts at the moment, so I’m not so sure of my immediate involvement. Certainly not until I get my device repaired—but hey, now I have some motiviation.

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