No. I tried replacing my iPod with a clip+ (with rockbox), and it has been a painful experience. The main advantage is the price and portability. There is no audible improvement in sound quality - in fact it is actually worse, because every time the clip+/rockbox uses CPU (like when navigating or updating your database, which takes forever with a 64 gb microsd) it generates audible noise. The buttons and the screen on the clip+ make navigating a large library extremely difficult, because you have to click the button and hold it down to scroll quickly. The navigation is also really laggy, which is weird because it is flash based. It sometimes will go to the 'pitch' settings in my pocket and cause the pitch to change, which is really irritating. The battery life sucks. There is no good software for managing music files on it for mac - I tried MusicBrainz Picard and it is dismal (buggy, slow with large numbers of files, confusing interface).
I have a Clip+ 8gb with 32gb Class 10 card. It's full,
I find browsing and navigating is really fast, quicker than any other player I've used. I use a good quality microSDHC and Directory Cache is enabled in the settings. From the Rockbox manual:
The Directory Cache takes a small amount of memory away from Rockbox
that would otherwise be used to buffer music, but it speeds up navigation in the
file browser by eliminating the slight pause between the time a navigation button
is pressed and the time Rockbox responds. Turning this setting on activates the
directory cache, and turning it off deactivates the directory cache.
Note: The first time you enable the directory cache, Rockbox will request a reboot
of the player and upon restarting take a few minutes to scan the drive. After this,
the directory cache will work in the background.
You can't stop the annoying noises but it is possible to reduce how often they appear. The following will also help with battery life:
Disable the database auto updating and disable the gathering of runtime data. I found that runtime data being gathered kept the player busy an awful lot, as did database refreshes. This killed battery life and also made generated the squeaks, hums and clicks and ticks. It's easy enough to run the update yourself if and when you add or remove music.
On my Clip+ I actually deleted the database files and disabled the database update in the settings. I'm happy with a file browser player. This doesn't stop tags being read and displayed but does mean needing to either have music well organised or relying on playlists in preference to file browsing. I keep my music very nicely organised and use playlists generated on PC.
Another aspect of battery life is the type of audio being decoded. Some formats are easier on the player than others. If you're using lossy music and coming from an iPod I assume your collection is mostly m4a and mp3. m4a takes more CPU time to decode so it uses the battery quicker. mp3 is very efficient on Rockbox, as is Ogg Vorbis. If you have the original CDs or lossless original files you could encode to mp3 or ogg instead of m4a.
You can lock the player before putting it in your pocket. Press the Select and Home button at the same time. Same to unlock. No more pitch changes. If you set the player so first button press only enables the backlight then you get fewer unexpected in-the-pocket button presses anyway.
I can't help with management software. My experience with players is that in the end it's simpler to have a well organised music library on PC and then just use normal file manager and file sync tools. I use my own script for making correctly formatted playlists for Rockboxed players.
I hope some of that helps. You can find out lots more in the Rockbox manual, downloadable from rockbox.org. It is well worth browsing.
Edited by julian67 - 5/27/13 at 12:04am