Q. Why is this needed?
A. The Archos GMini MP3 players have a system called "ARCLibrary" - this allows you to browse through your MP3s based on various different categories. For example, you can search by artist name, genre, etc. This is similar to functionality which exists on Apple's iPod. The catch is that for the ARCLibrary system to work, you must install a program on your computer called "MusicMatch". This catalogs all the MP3s on your player and generates a file called "lib.jbm" which the player then uses. If you add an MP3 file to your player, it will not reappear in ARCLibrary until you rerun MusicMatch to update the library file. MusicMatch is proprietary software which only runs on Microsoft Windows. jbmgen is Free Software (in the Beer and Speech sense) which will run on GNU/Linux and possibly other operating systems.

Q. Can you do x,y?
A. The ARCLibrary system basically lets you build a tree of menus which you can browse. jbmgen contains some extra things that MusicMatch did not, eg. it generates random playlists. It should be fairly straightforward to add all kinds of extra functionality (ever wanted to browse by file size or the ID3 "comments" field for example?)

Q. What is this crazy language you have used?
A. jbmgen is written in Ruby, a high level scripting language created by Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto. See RubyCentral for more information.

Q. Is this legal?
A. Yes. Archos even released the technical specifications of the jbm library format onto Yahoo! groups. There is a copy of this here.

Q. Can I use this under Microsoft Windows?
A. Initial versions of the program did function correctly under Microsoft Windows. However, this should now run under Windows correctly, and code has been added to support this platform. To use this, you need a copy of the ruby interpreter, which can be found here.

Simon Howard