wrong in every possible (good) way

deathchase on rockbox on sansaI found my bricked Sandisk Sansa E250 in a pile in the basement. I thought I’d give it one last try to get it going. After much faffing about, I found that applying this fix – Corrupted version.txt/Fw update not working in recovery mode? The solution !!! – Sansa e200 FAQ – abi>>forums (which resulted in a failed boot saying something about an mi4 not being found) followed by Recovering a bricked Sansa had it working with the fairly awful Sandisk firmware. So it was off to Rockbox for the latest version.

I have to say, Rockbox 3.4 is pretty neat. They’ve now got proper USB reading/writing/charging, so that you never have to see the clunky Sandisk UI again. When plugged in, the player acts as a USB keyboard for controlling your music. Apparently the E250 can now support MicroSDHC cards, which it couldn’t before. But best (and least useful) of all, is that you can play 3D Deathchase and other ZX Spectrum games on it …

iTunes ate my iPod!

Kind of what my iPod now does, until the battery runs out
Kind of what my iPod now does, until the battery runs out

I have, well had, a 2GB second-gen iPod Nano. Now I have a very slim brick.

When I upgraded to iTunes 8, it offered an update for my iPod. I let it do its thing, then resync’ed it. I noticed that the iPod rebooted after the sync — no big deal — but then kept rebooting (back and forth …) forever.

I tried resetting it; nope, it would just start doing its thing again.

I tried putting it into disk mode, then restoring it; nope, back and forth, back and forth

In desperation, I tried restoring it on a PC, which needed to reformat the iPod. Partial success; it sync’ed music from the PC, but since my working music library is on my iBook, I had to restore and resync, and guess what? back and forth, back and forth

I’d heard that the problem could be caused by empty podcast folders, so I cleared out and rebuilt my library, put the iPod into disk mode and restored it on a PC, resync’ed on the iBook and … back and forth, back and forth

As a last try I’m going to fsck it under Linux. I might be stuck using yamipod, which is probably a bonus, as all I use iTunes for is as an iPod conduit. I really miss having a Rockbox-capable player, as it just worked the way I expected.

UPDATE: yeah, that last one did it. Shame about yamipod’s UI.

a sample of what I was raving about

The Singing Saw Shadow Show could be my new favourite band. Here’s one of their pieces: The Singing Saw Shadow Show, recorded live at the Tranzac, 10 May 2006 (mp3).

(I used my iRiver H120, flashed with the RockBox firmware, and Minigear Labs binaural mics.)

TTC Subway: Pape to Chester, 4pm

TTC Subway: Pape to Chester, 4pm (MP3).

A man was reading the Autos section of the Toronto Star in a testy manner.

Recorded on iRiver H120 + cheapo iRiver mic, and Rockbox firmware.

Rockbox rocks my iriver

Red letter day today: the Rockbox team have added peak level meters and on-the-fly gain control to recording on the iRiver H120. They fixed the infamous glitch months ago.

I now have a really good little digital audio recorder thanks to the Rockbox developer community.

you can’t hear the join

Further to Doug’s comment, I installed Rockbox on my iRiver. While it may not be very pretty, it adds so many handy features to the thing. Most immediately noticeable of these is (almost) gapless MP3 playback. With LAME-encoded MP3s, there’s no apparent gap between tracks at all. I love it!