the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Monthly Archives: July 2008

rockbox

ever want to play ogg or flac files on your apple ipod? all you need to do is load rockbox firmware and you're in business. now if you're asking why you would want to play those formats, you'll need to read further…

i recently upgraded the hard drive on my linux (ubuntu) box to a whooping 500GB (yes, it was one of those Western Digital "green" drives). This gave me plenty of room to rip all those "remastered" cds into flac format – if I was going to pay for all that remastering, I might as well really enjoy it, right? but would I play those songs on my ipod?

rockbox to the rescue. The easiest route to installation was do download the automatic installer, rbutilqt-v1.0.6, extract it to the desktop, and run it as root:

sudo ./rbutilqt

that's it. The program finds your ipod, identifies the model, downloads the necessary software, and updates the ipod. One hard reset (menu + select) later, and I was in business. rockbox operates in msc mode, which means it's just like a usb drive – drag and drop folders directly to the device to load them.

if you're completely committed to rockbox, you may want to remove all the files you previously had on your ipod under the apple firmware; they'll still be there after rockbox installation (and presumably un-installation). But wait, if you initialize the database feature, rockbox will find those files (in your iPod control directory) and you'll have access to both!

now back to that original question – why use flac and ogg? load both flac and mp3 versions of the same song and flip back and forth between them – the proof's in the listening. plus, rockbox allows me to view album art on my 4th gen ipod!

On the web:
Rockbox.org