Nueros 442

You may remember Neuros as the company who had those early "backpack" audio devices, and more recently (soft-)launched their 442. Well, they've long tried to rock the open-source firmware for their products, but now it seems like they're stepping it up for some much-anticipated advances in their next device. Not only are they going directly to the audiophile crowd—a group largely un-catered to by the portable media device market—for input on their forthcoming player, but they're actually eliciting said audiophiles' help in designing the hardware platform. The product is still in the planning phase, but the "open-source" platform they're going with will run Linux and can support (but may not necessarily feature) a 200MHz ARM CPU, up to 128MB of SDRAM and 8MB of flash, USB 2.0, SD/MMC/CF slots, 10/100 Ethernet, S-Video out, 24/96 audio I/O, and SP-DIF. Anyhow, the real news here remains the paradigm shift back to the old school when personal computers were almost infinitely hackable; herein a niche product is developed not solely by a devicemaker's team, but with the welcome help of the wayfaring light of the actual user base. Next step: completely user-created electronics, designed by audiophiles through online collaboration for small manufacturing runs.

[Via slashdot]

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