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-   -   Rockbox on Sansa Express (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17236)

chrisjs162216 07-11-2007 11:03 PM

Rockbox on Sansa Express
 
Here's official word from the Rockbox Team, after giving them links to http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...mbled.php#more

Quote:

[...]
[Wed Jul 11 2007] [20:33:31] <chrisjs169> I can't remember who it was that was asking me if I had pics of the SE earlier, but I found them on ABi
[Wed Jul 11 2007] [20:33:36] <chrisjs169> (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archi...mbled.php#more)
[...]
[Wed Jul 11 2007] [20:51:30] <saratoga> chrisjs169: looks like a sigmatel chipset, so probably not
[...]
[Wed Jul 11 2007] [21:11:08] <chrisjs169> "<saratoga> chrisjs169: looks like a sigmatel chipset, so probably not" <- so the SE most likely can't be ported?
[...]
[Wed Jul 11 2007] [21:29:00] <saratoga> chrisjs169: theres almost no info for those chips
[Wed Jul 11 2007] [21:29:19] <saratoga> if that model is based on arm, it might be possible, but would likely be a gigantic effort to get working
[Wed Jul 11 2007] [21:29:23] <saratoga> so i'd say the odds are near zero
So from the looks of it, there's a very small chance of having Rockbox ported to the SE.

terrence1019 07-12-2007 03:38 AM

Possibilities
 
It might possible, but the effort will be huge. This might be the toughest Rockbox build ever.

Ace12 07-12-2007 07:25 AM

Why would you even bother? The OLED technology is very basic... the best thing I could think of that RockBox could do with the player is maybe put old school NES games on it?

Donkey Kong
Pong
Tetris

You wouldn't want pictures on the thing, I forget the max colors avail on the player, but it's a budget line product people!

Save 20 bucks a week for a e200 for god's sake.

chrisjs162216 07-12-2007 07:50 AM

I also agree that it would be very basic, due to such a small screen. Here's a 'product brief' on the Sigmatel 3600 series (SE uses 3630)
http://www.sigmatel.com/documents/3600-ProductBrief.pdf

terrence1019 07-12-2007 06:24 PM

We must prevail. Don't stress guys. chrisjs162216 that pdf file have you sent it to the Rockbox team? I'm taking a look at it, and it seems a little difficult. But I'm still interested. BTW: this Rockbox for Express is purely for music. No pics, no movies, nothing besides music and a few workable plugins.

chrisjs162216 07-12-2007 06:44 PM

No, I have not send that pdf to the Rockbox team, because I doubt that'd be enough information for a port.

terrence1019 07-13-2007 03:58 AM

send it. a little bit of information goes a long way.

katilkurt 07-13-2007 09:26 AM

wow

Audio/Image Decoder Support: MP3,WMA,W
(PCM,IMA-ADPCM, MS-ADPCM), AAC, Ogg
JPEG

STFM1000 FM Playback and Recording with Radio
JPEG Data Service (RDS) Support

Bookmarking/exact resume

these specifications are very good.

Andreas 07-13-2007 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katilkurt (Post 144743)
wow

Audio/Image Decoder Support: MP3,WMA,W
(PCM,IMA-ADPCM, MS-ADPCM), AAC, Ogg
JPEG

STFM1000 FM Playback and Recording with Radio
JPEG Data Service (RDS) Support

Bookmarking/exact resume

these specifications are very good.

More like "standard" on any decent player :P

katilkurt 07-13-2007 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain Ødegård (Post 144754)
More like "standard" on any decent player :P

But on SE, This would be great! :)

terrence1019 07-13-2007 10:10 PM

Due to the limited GUI of the Sansa Express, the Rockbox SE would be more music oriented. BTW: When I want to boot my Sansa e260 in Rockbox mode immediately, what do I do? I'm tired of having to press and hold the << button. Can anyone direct me to a thread link?

chrisjs162216 07-14-2007 12:22 PM

By default, Rockbox boots by default, not the OF. Unless you're using the ReverseBL bootloader...

mt_100 09-11-2007 12:29 PM

I would be very interested if it would do two things. First is allow SDHC cards in the Express, and second support Rhapsody To Go (Subscription) music.

I know Rockbox can already do the first on other Sansa players but I don't think it does the second at all.

RCM 09-11-2007 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mt_100 (Post 164747)
I would be very interested if it would do two things. First is allow SDHC cards in the Express, and second support Rhapsody To Go (Subscription) music.

I know Rockbox can already do the first on other Sansa players but I don't think it does the second at all.

No, it doesn't do the second at all in Rockbox, and any subscription music will NEVER be supported in RockBox.

skaos 11-25-2007 01:46 PM

Sigmatel has done some Linux work on the STMP3600 (http://linux.sigmatel.com/) and I would guess that you could get some hardware info by looking at the Linux code (?).

alsaf 12-03-2007 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisjs162216 (Post 144485)
No, I have not send that pdf to the Rockbox team, because I doubt that'd be enough information for a port.

I'm not sure if i've got my wires crossed here but for a lot of ports it doesn't work that way where you send info to the Rockbox team and they will port it. It involves people having the player and willing to spend time to port it themselves.

Saying that it doesn't mean they are unwilling to help. I am looking to try and port rockbox to the m200 series. I don't have much skills but the guys have been really helpful and patient even when I'm asking even the most basic questions. IMHO, as long as you're willing to put the effort in they will give you all the support you need.

BTW, from the rockbox thread, http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?...5846#msg105846 , it looks Rockbox can be ported to the Express.

I think the biggest problem that an express port will have is like the m200 series which is the firmware upgrade.

From my understanding of things, some players have two partitions, one to store the music files and a hidden one, which can't be accessed and contains the firmware. The easiest rockbox ports is when the player can be put in to recovery mode so the hidden partition is accessible and the firmware updated.

Unfortunately the m200 player doesn't have this recovery mode and I suspect the express won't either. The reason for this is that as these have basic features, there is no need for one.

It's not impossible but it requires a lot of work and knowledge which I am slowly learning.

As to the quote about why bother with a Rockbox port, to answer:

1) Rockbox is software for a music player. They have plugins for use with extra features that the player offers like viewing photos, playing video etc. It just means that an express port won't have much plugins.
2) Criticism of small screen. Rockbox has a feature where you can search for particular albums, artists, songs etc via user input (morse or onscreen alphabet). A small screen won't affect this.
Another point that needs to be made is that the whole philosophy of Rockbox is that anybody can write code for it. You may want to write code for a User Interface for Rockbox that specifically to take into account a small screen.
3) The reason why I am trying to port Rockbox to my m240 is that I want a tiny player that uses replaceable batteries which can play OGG files and has a good navigation UI.

If anybodys interested, then here's a link that gives all the information to start a Rockbox port.

http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/NewPort

Suleeto 12-05-2007 01:24 PM

Who was the guy on here who disassembled his Express and wrote the article for ABi? We need to start the basic documentation on the Rockbox wiki, and that means PCB scans and chip identification published on the Rockbox wiki. Not because it's required per se to develop this, but because I think it would go a long ways towards showing the Rockbox community that we want this.

These are the things we need to get done:

- Take it apart *COMPLETED*
- Scan the PCB's
- Publish the PCB scans on the Rockbox wiki
- Identify components (i.e. chips)
- Trace the connections with a multimeter and draw schematics
- Publish the schematics


I think if we can manage to do that bit, the Rockbox community would be more interested in developing this. I know engineer-type thinkers. Once you present them with workable data, they can't help themselves.. they have to play around with it!

That guy Grahm Skee on here (I don't know his username) took his apart for the inside look article. Maybe he can scan his PCB's.

alsaf 12-05-2007 02:54 PM

In reply to Suleeto:

This would be a great start. As the Express is inexpensive, there is more of a chance of somebody motivated enough to go out and buy a player and get their teeth into to, so to say.

Another thing that is essential is gathering information for port, has anybody got Linux? If so, can they type the following command in their Terminal with their express plugged in and post the results:

Code:

sudo fdisk -l
The command displays the partitions of all disks including the express and will determine if the hidden partition I was talking about is accessible.

ode 12-07-2007 08:15 AM

Here is the relevant info from fisk -l:

Disk /dev/sda: 1022 MB, 1022623744 bytes
24 heads, 23 sectors/track, 3618 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 552 * 512 = 282624 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 3619 998532+ 6 FAT16

alsaf 12-07-2007 09:30 AM

I've posted this over at Rockbox as they will have a better understanding but it definately looks promising.

It looks like the partition that is visible to Linux is the boot partition and there is a 23M hidden partition. The good thing is that you see the partition sda1 which doesn't show with my m240.


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