Rooting the device was pretty pretty simple. I found a bash script online somewhere that used the zergkode exploit, and walked through the script manually via adb.
I wanted to watch the root process myself and interact with it in case something went wrong. It worked fine. I had more trouble finding an amd64 version of the adb binary than I did anything else actually.
Next I tried updating the kernel to the entropy's daily. I think the most recent I could find was for last month, but it worked just fine. I briefly considered firing up winxp in a virtualbox to try and get odin working - but considering the problems I've heard others have with kies and drivers - I just bypassed it and looked around for a linux rom flashing solution. Heimdall was easy to find
Checked out the lasted sources out at git://github.com/ambrice/Heimdall.git, compiled, and flashed the kernel with it. I think the command was something like
heimdall flash --kernel zImage --verbose
By the way. I couldn't seem to get the hang of the keypress to kick in the recovery mode or download mode. I'd usually try various combinations of power and upvol until at some point in the boot process it'd kick in. Do you hold the volume key down while depressing power, then releasing it, then volume or is it some other combination? In any case, I rebooted enough times to eventually stumble into recovery mode.
After that, install worked pretty much like what I expected it to. Did a Wipe Data/Factory Reset, install from zip. Installed gapps from zip. Reboot.
CM7 fired up fine, and I thought the bootsplash is nifty. Heck, the whole thing is very pretty and has nice effects. I noticed right away that Google apps didn't take, so I rebooted (again and again) until eventually I manged to find recovery and re-applied the zip. Worked this time.
Fired up Titanium Backup and began restoring apps. Took me an hour or two to get it all working. Some apps didn't want to restore and would freeze Titanium. Especially anything samsung related like the FM Player, which I still don't have installed. In fact, I don't think I have *ANY* samsung apps installed, which I kinda like.
* Headphones do not work at all unless you use the stock earbuds that shipped with the player are used. Took me about a halfhour to figure that one out. I imagine that the stock earbuds with their inline mute have some different wiring, and regular earbuds/headphones just aren't seen the same and cm7 doesn't like em. Dunno. Annoying.
* Wifi doesn't work unless you go into airplane mode and enable wifi. I imagine this has something to do with disabling the software that handles the non-existant phone hardware? Is there a way to do this without going into airplane mode?
* Wifi seems flakey, drops connections after 10/15 minutes. Comes back usually, but it's annoying. This is on an open network too. In my experience (with linux), things can become all sorts of extra fun when you start adding wpa/wep to the mix. So I'm not hoping for better behavior when I try on an encrypted net.
* Camera works, but I can't figure out how to use the small one facing me. No big deal, but ... ugh.
* On initial (cold) boot, it seems to reboot as soon as it startes the "scanning media" phase... Once. Subsequent reboots seem to act fine.
* Not a fan of adwlauncher, so replaced it with launcherpro. On first startup, It shows a black screen, sliding to the left or right to another "page" fixes the big black space on the screen. Not sure of this is launcherpro problem or a cm7 one. A little bit annoying, but not a big deal.
* CM7 seems to eat up a lot of space. I have a few gig free on /mnt/sdcard and on /emmc, so I assume the warnings I get when trying to install new apps refers to the root directory. I think I saw some options about where to install new apps somewhere in the settings, which would solve that problem. I could also use Titanium to move system apps back to userspace (terminology right?) I think.
Other than that - everything seems to be running fine. I have other third party software that I used to take care of setting power/cpu profiles which I notice CM can handle on it's own - so I'll probably need to spend some time figuring out how all of that works.
I'm happy for the most part at this point. The earbuds thing and the wifi flake-out are the most annoying bugs, which I can live with for a while I suppose. I never use the FM Radio anyway.
Anyway, thanks to all the folks out there working on the CM project for the Galaxy Player. It's amazing that it works as well as it does at this point. Keep up the good work! I might even try CM9 at some point, but I'll wait until the camera is reported working first.