MCI730 Linux status update

After getting root access i was able to do a lot of interesting tricks with my sound system. Some of them:

  • I was able to compile and run mplayer and mpg123. Mplayer perfectly plays audio in all known formats. It also able to play from remote streams, seems to be more reliable then player software. CPU seems to be to slow to play video (running at 150Mhz).
  • Sound interface is OSS, but mixer is controlled not (or at least not only) with /dev/mixer, so it is not yet known how to control volume.
  • Mount my NAS music folder by NFS. It is also possible to browse it and play files from it (supported by firmware formats only). With mplayer it possible to play any format. Tried FLAC, MP3 and WAVPACK without any issues.
  • Player software is keeping /dev/dsp open only while playing, so it is possible to use it without unloading it.
  • WIFI problem caused by buggy WIFI driver. After some time device may hang completely. Currently i completely disabled internal WIFI by unloading driver.
  • In the “Sleep” mode (when clocks are displayed) device is not really sleeping – Linux is functioning as usual.
  • Its possible to record from FM Radio (!) to the file, by reading /dev/dsp. I tried with  “/dev/dsp > /tmp/sda1/nfs/123/out.raw” and then reading this file on desktop with aplay -f dat  /nfs/out.raw and it works fine (Signed 16 bit Little Endian, Rate 48000 Hz, Stereo)

And a lot of other interesting findings. I will do  “rooting device” post a little later. Now, to consolidate all knowledge and to share Philips GPL code i created SourceForge project.

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16 thoughts on “MCI730 Linux status update

  1. Janusz says:

    hi, can you tell how do you get access to devices ?

  2. Janusz says:

    I found how you did it :). Do you think it is possible to add support for acc+ ?

    • sammczk says:

      It should be possible with mplayer (i`m already using it on this dev). Please give me a link to test and i will check

    • sammczk says:

      I was able to play AAC+ stream in self-compiled mplayer. Some notes – CPU is not very powerful, so streams with bitrate up to (and including) 128 are working fine, but on 192 i had some glitches. To get reasonable result i used libfaad2 with FIXED_POINT optimization. If you are interested to test this – drop me a comment, i`ll prepare binary package.

    • sammczk says:

      “Antyradio” is only 96kbps so it works fine. Only problem is that for now i`m using mplayer from telnet, so it is not possible to run it from GUI. I have some ideas on how to hack the gui, but now my time is limited.

  3. Janusz says:

    I try enabled telnet on my MCI730, like you wrote on your post. But it don’t work. When I start device in rescue mode it check for new software on USB key but after that it said “No software update found on USB device” and downloading and install software from the web. Actually I have version 1.20.1149, Disc version 22, MCU version 4.2.

    • sammczk says:

      Please make sure that file is placed as is (is not unpacked!) in the root folder of the USB disk. Then it should work.

      • Janusz says:

        Strange thing, I try two times and it don’t work, but I try once more and success. I had problem with change mnetowrk.conf, I try edit this file by VI edytor and now telenet work in non rescue mode :). Thanks for help.
        If you could send me a package with mplayer, I could test it.

      • sammczk says:

        I`m glad it works. I`ll prepare blog post about mplayer on this device nearest days, stay tuned 🙂

    • sammczk says:

      I updated blog with mplayer binary package. Please test

      • Janusz says:

        YOU ARE GREAT. I turned on the radio by mplayer and its work very nice :). Processor is heavily loaded in about 55 % when I listen antyradiowith bitrate 96kbit/s.
        I will test some other station and write how it works. Thanks

      • sammczk says:

        Ok, thanks for testing. 55% is not a problem, i am using libfaad compiled with maximum optimization for AAC+, because native (ffmpeg) fail completely on this CPU.

  4. Janusz says:

    Do you think it is possible emulate MCI on virtual machine eg. QEMU? I try compile kernel and start it on qemu. Virtual machine start, I don’t get any errors but display don show antything. Do You try this ? This could be a nice test bed 🙂

    • sammczk says:

      While it is not possible directly, because qemu arm hardware is very different (there are no standards like in x86 word) it should be possible with qemu supported arm kernel and rootfs from the device. But i’m not sure that software will start without devices on i2c bus. I have this on my todo list to see if its possible to hack native firmware with LD_PRELOAD and custom library.

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