I received a SanDisk Sansa e250 v1 for Christmas this year and was surprised to find that it didn't work with the Mac very well. I figured that it would automatically load things, that it would be all manual drag 'n' drop, but I thought it would at least support some common formats for files and videos. So, I'll detail here what I've done to improve the usability of my player. Mostly, trying to figure out how to convert files and script the process. If you can think of improvements to the methods below, suggestions are welcome.
- OF - Original Firmware
- RB - Rockbox
- MSC - Mass Storage Class, use this USB mode to connect to your Mac.
- MSP - Media Transfer Protocol, for use with music subscription services.
- To completely power down your player, press and hold the power button for ten seconds.
- The first step for the initial setup requires a windows computer. In this case, find a friend or visit your local library. Better yet, find a solution that works on a Mac.
- For the Rockbox install you need to unzip a file that contains a folder that begins with a period. On the Mac, this indicates an invisible file. Run 'defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE' in the terminal with out the quotes to view hidden files. Change the TRUE to FALSE to hide the files again.
- The first time I tried to install Rockbox, I tried the auto install and bricked my player. Just do the manual install. It's not that hard.
- Any of the scripts that I've written have the code included in the them. Just open the with Script Editor and feel free to modify however needed.
- Unless modified, the scripts require that your player be called SANSA E200.
- The version of your player is found in Settings > Info > Version. If this number begins with 01, you have a v1 player. If 02, you have a v2.
- Some of the steps below may require the Developer tools be installed on your computer. They should be on your OS X install CD/DVD.
I found that the beta firmware 1.03.01H from SanDisk worked better than the other firmware versions. There are issues with it, but every other version seemed to have issues as well. I installed Rockbox mostly for use with videos since the OF doesn't use a decent format. The games and applications it provides are nice as well. I dislike the RB interface, and since I use the player mostly for podcasts, I installed the ReverseBL so the OF comes up first. Yet, since playing with both more, I am now leaning more to RB. Mainly due to the vast superiority of the fast-forwarding and it's ability to remember where I left off in a file. Steps are as follows...
- Download and run the e200 1.03.1 beta firmware on a Windows computer.
• Is there a .mi4 file for this version somewhere? Then a Windows computer wouldn't be needed.
Note: If you don't want to use the OF primarily, I don't suggest the 1.03.01 firmware. Due to the fast boot feature introduced.
- Download the files for Rockbox.
• SanDisk Sansa e200, Manual PDF, and the English voice from here.
• sansapatcher.dmg from here.
- Install Rockbox
• Unzip rockbox-sansae200-3.1.zip and drag to your player. You did enable the viewing of hidden files, right?
• Unzip rockbox-fonts.zip and replace the fonts folder on your player with the one you just unzipped. (In the .rockbox folder.)
• Unzip sansae200-3.1-english.zip and drag the langs folder to the .rockbox folder on your player.
- Install the Rockbox bootloader.
• The Rockbox manual outlines this step quite well. See Bootloader installation from Mac OS X.
- Download and install the ReverseBL.
• Download the ReverseBL-2007-12-14.mi4 from here.
• Connect your player to the computer.
• In a new terminal window, drag the sansapatcher application from earlier into it. Add '-a ' without the quotes, but with the space and drag the ReverseBL-2007-12-14.mi4 into the window and press enter.
• Disconnect your player and reboot.
Note:To reboot into RB, completely power-down and hold down select (middle-button) while powering-up. Without the ReverseBL, hold down the back button ( |<< ) while powering-up to get into the OF.
I must have 'bricked' my player at least three times during the process of figuring things out. Fortunately, I managed to recover it each time. The page here
on the Rockbox wiki gave me all the info I needed. For the ROM and .mi4 files, I used the 1.01.11A versions.
When I had to do the manufacturing mode method, I did it on a Ubuntu computer, though it should work fine on Mac OS X. If you want to use Ubuntu, you can download and boot from a LiveCD found on the Ubuntu website. That way you won't have to install it. I don't remember if I needed to, but if you have trouble running the commands try adding 'sudo ' before them.