An Australian company called Cool Tech Zone is crowdfunding the Tangara, a portable music player with more than a passing resemblance to the original iPod.
Unlike Apple's device, the Tangara is designed to be easy to fix: It's "100% open hardware running open-source software, which makes it easy to customize, repair, and upgrade," the developers write. The housing is held together with four screws, making it easy for you to open, and the company has made the design files publicly available, so you can 3D print or CNC machine your own housing if desired.
The device is meant to appeal to both old-school sensibilities and those who like to hack.
"We think most people will find Tangara's input methods reassuringly familiar when they interact with the device. It has a physical lock switch, two volume buttons, and a large (1.6" diameter) capacitive touchwheel. There's also a small ERM haptic motor inside, which provides really pleasant, subtle feedback as you navigate."
"Listen to music, audio books, and podcasts on a purpose-built device with a tried-and-true form factor, a familiar user interface, and no interest in your data. Or tear it apart and put it back together again. By tweaking our current firmware, you can experiment with alternative user-interface patterns, new types of content, tracker-based music production, alarm-clock applications, and much more. Or you can design a new faceplate with a different kind of display panel, more physical buttons, speakers, different jacks, or…a custom cherry-wood enclosure? Whatever turns your touchwheel."
I can't imagine Apple's lawyers will take this lying down, but the $249 Tangara has landed roughly $140K at press time on a $10,000 goal, with 35 days left to pledge.
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