Installation Notes for Rockbox on Sansa
Adding RockBox to my Sansa E250 was not easy at first. Sansa is not the main target of Rockbox, but it works nicely. The manual is terse, and I had to endure some trial/error to come up with these Sansa-specific notes. That said, it works nicely. Here are the steps for installation:
1. Download the necessary tools:
...b. Current Sansa Build
...c. RockBox Utility for Windows
2. Unpack all the files
3. Boot the Sansa unconnected, go into Settings, USB Mode, and change AWAY FROM MTP mode to MSC mode. By default, it's on the one you don't want. You have to make a change.
4. Connect the Sansa to the USB port of the computer. You should see a popup bubble about finding a new device. If not, revisit the USB mode in the previous step, and change it off the default, whatever it was.
5. Run Sansa Patch to install the bootloader. Note - the program will complete, but the player will still show "writing...".
6. Without disconnecting the player, now start the Rockbox Utility, and click "Full install." You may be prompted to autodetect your sansa, or manually find the mountpoint. If so, use My Computer to see what drive letter it comes in as, and set appropriately.
7. Unplug the Sansa from the USB, observe "system restart."
8. Suggest using the UniCatcher theme.
Power off the player BEFORE docking. Docking starts Sansa firmware mode and XP will "see" it. XP will NOT see the player in Rockbox mode.
Add in Sansa mode. Go to Database, press select. Reboot machine.
In the "database" area (only after a reindex).
If locked up, push power button and hold firmly for 15 seconds.
Boot Sansa Firmware
Press power-on, then press/hold the "<<" left arrow button. Several firmware messages will appear, then it will start.
Create Playlist on PC
Connect player, go into DOS, CD into the root (top-level) folder, do "DIR /S /B *.mp3 > mylist.m3u8".
Playing from Playlist
In Rockbox, go to "Files..." and will see "mylist".
Viewing Song Files in Rockbox
When docked to your PC, the Sansa firmware hides the MUSIC folder. Before undocking, right-click on MUSIC, properties, and unhide recursively. Next boot into Rockbox, you can navigate to individual song files. Regardless, the database sees everything, but if you want a specific file instead of hunting by artist/album/track, you have to do it this way.