Adam's Images

By ajt

ROCKbox

Hot on the heels of the success of upgrading an old laptop from HDD to SDD I thought I'd have a go at re-flashing my old SanDisk/Sansa Fuze+ media player. I don't have a commute to work any more, so I've not really used it in years, and my phone actually has more storage space than it has any way so I don't actually need it any way if I was travelling again...

The Fuze+ is a nice little device, unlike many devices of the same age it plays Vorbis ogg files as well as the more common but inferior MP3 files, and came with 16 GB of SD RAM and could take a micro SD card, with another 16 GB on it, so that was a fair number of songs... 

ROCKbox is an open source alternative firmware for a wide range of devices. It supports a more sophisticated set of features, had a less gimmicky interface and in the case of the Fuze+ can increase the play time from 20 hours to about 30 hours...

The worst part of doing this was the the installer program which copies the new image over wouldn't run on Debian 10, the current stable version. It required a bunch of very recent libraries, so I had to use a Debian SID image, which had most of the libraries it needed, and then manually added in the missing ones from Debian experimental. Once that was all done, it downloaded the correct files and copied them to the Fuze+ via a connection USB. I power cycled the device and after a few minutes it came up with the ROCKbox interface, and I didn't even lose any of the music on it!

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