Rockbox on the SanDisk Sansa e200 Series

sansa rockbox Rockbox on the SanDisk Sansa e200 Series

In a bid to gain some street cred, SanDisk has contacted the Rockbox community to see if they would be interested in porting their software to the e200 series. While it is unlikely that they would officially support the open source Rockbox firmware, they could easily sponsor its development.

This hardware/software mash-up could be a killer combination, considering Rockbox has support for nearly every major codec, gapless playback, and 5-band equalizer to name a few of the features. While there has only been talk of this project on the Rockbox forum and IRC channels, a member of our forums has kicked the project off by creating firmware extraction utility.

If you are well verse in software and hardware programming, please head over to Rockbox and see how you can pitch in. If you are not a hardware hacker at heart you can help by emailing or calling SanDisk to tell them that you support their Rockbox initiative.

[ABi Thread | Rockbox Thread]

50 Comments

608zz on May 31, 2006 12:49 AM

I wonder how satisfying Rockbox and its benefits (OGG support, etc) will be on a device that doesna have great battery life to begin with.

Bobo on May 31, 2006 1:17 PM

Battery life will always improve with each new generation of mp3 players, so bitching about battery life is kinda lame when you could accualy look at why they are doing this and the pro and cons.1. This could make their player ‘cool’, and a must have for music nerds. Gaining market share is the bottom line.2. Why not have someone else make your software for you for free? Then you can cut the cost of making your own software and pass the savings on. Lower price more market share.3. It means that they keep their software restictive enough to keep the RIAA happy, knowing that people will just put rockbox on and do whatever they want with the player.4. We can do whatever we to do with the player. People want to build a calander(etc) into it? Fine.. People mention it online and people buy it knowing they can add whatever they find to be helpfull in to this player instead of waiting for firware updates.Lastly, once wireless becomes build in, someone can put in email, msn, etc into it.. Market Share goes up, their effort and cost goes down on the software side.

608zz on June 1, 2006 1:06 AM

We’re not talking about “future mp3 players” though. We’re talking about an existing mp3 player (Sandisk Sansa e200 series), that happens to already have lackluster battery life. I’d agree that OGG support would be great for any flash device. However, it usually uses a lot of power (when the processing is software-based). Without a standard replaceable battery (AA, etc) to swap out when needed, I wonder how much use one could get out of a Rockboxed Sandisk e200 device. I suspect that it wouldna be much.I’ve no problem with the option of using Rockbox. Just trying to put this combination into perspective.

roger767 on June 1, 2006 8:41 PM

the sansa e250 has 20 hours of batterylife whats so lackluster about that???

608zz on June 1, 2006 11:30 PM

You consider 20 hours to be decent?!?!? It’s a flash device, the battery life could’ve easily been twice that. Why isn’t it?

6488hz on June 2, 2006 2:46 PM

Hey, at least you can put a new battery into the sandisk sansa, unlike Ipod. When an improved battery comes out, just pop it in.

Nick on June 2, 2006 2:57 PM

This will be the only reason I buy one if they come through on this one…

fred on June 2, 2006 4:40 PM

“if” a new battery comes out. which it won’t. sandisk would much rather you buy the next sansa

Lacene on June 2, 2006 5:04 PM

fred said:”"if” a new battery comes out. which it won’t. sandisk would much rather you buy the next sansa”why do you say that, fred? Why would a DAP company go through the trouble of designing a DAP that supports replaceable batteries if it had no intention of allowing for the batteries to begin with? Especially since so many competing DAP’s in the market are not designed for it, and a large portion of the consumer base are not really expecting or demanding the convenient feature….

Kris on June 2, 2006 5:58 PM

The Sansa E200 is a great player that can only be improved upon. Sure it has some glitches to date, but they can be solved with firmware updates. Rockbox would be great for that.As for battery life, I think it’s great. I’ve watched a full 1:30 movie, 2 40 minute TV shows, and 3 hours of music without recharging and I still had half the battery left. I think that’s pretty good.

rod on June 2, 2006 6:47 PM

608zz,Not sure how you figure short battery life… relative to the market leader, the iPod Nano, the E200 has a 50% longer battery life.

608zz on June 2, 2006 8:32 PM

Ultimately, I think the e200 series is exactly what needs to be Rockboxed. However, it would be wise to get a better battery, to accommodate the significant power requirements of this alternative firmware. Like with an mAh rating that’s at least twice that of the stock battery.What are the characteristics of the stock e200 series battery?mAh rating?.v rating?Type of connector?

Llorean on June 2, 2006 9:41 PM

“Significant power requirements of this alternative firmware”?So far in every revision we’ve qualified as “released” Rockbox has actually improved upon the battery life of the original firwmare, up to and including the H100 (which hasn’t been released yet.)While the battery life IS significantly worse on other ones, in the case of the H300 it’s due to a bug we’re still trying to track down, and the iPod and iAudio ports are very very young still.

Don Corleone on June 3, 2006 1:18 AM

“You consider 20 hours to be decent?!?!? It’s a flash device, the battery life could’ve easily been twice that. Why isn’t it?”Name me 2 flash mp3 player that gets more than 30 or 40 hours playback? name me 2 mp3 players that have to be recharged that get that much. Most mp3 players from what I have read get at least 20 hours playback (whether they be battery/recharged)

608zz on June 3, 2006 11:24 AM

Still waiting for answers to my questions…

Christopher Cashell on June 3, 2006 6:32 PM

“Name me 2 flash mp3 player that gets more than 30 or 40 hours playback?”The Cowan iAudio G2 and G3 both get 45 hours plus. The iRiver T10 claims about 45 hours, also.”name me 2 mp3 players that have to be recharged that get that much.”Pretty much every other recently released mp3 player I know of, including the SanDisk e200, iPod Nano, etc.However, what’s the huge difference between those and the SanDisk e200? The e200 has a (relatively) large and vibrant color screen. The G2/G3 and the T10 have very limited displays.The fact is, there’s not much in the way of portable audio players with decent color screens that gets much more than 20 hours of playback without replacing/recharging the battery.

608zz on June 3, 2006 7:43 PM

So the e200 is trading battery life away so that it can sport a color screen. Since switching to a more efficient type of display such as monochrome is not possible, one would have to add a more powerful battery to increase the amount of usage time. Again, I shall ask the following questions about the e200′s stock battery characteristics:mAh rating?.v rating?Connector type?

Gyp on June 5, 2006 12:25 AM

If you’d take the time to look at the e200 review here on this site, you’d see the picture of the battery right here:http://www.anythingbutipod.com/archives/images/sandisk-sansa-e200/sandisk-sansa-e200-apart-7.phpWhich will answer at least 2 of your 3 questions. There is no official mah rating on the battery.Now go buy one. :)

Brian Nguyen on June 5, 2006 7:40 AM

It would be nice if someone here had a multimeter and an e200 battery.

Sir Skillz on June 6, 2006 10:40 AM

It look like from that pic that the e200 uses a Cell Phone battery. I could be wrong.

squashed on June 9, 2006 1:43 AM

I own a sansa e260the battery is 750 mAh, user replaceable. (ie. unscrew yanked the old one, insert new one. It’s a square battery like cellphone. I don’t know if sandisk will ever sell replacement, but seems plausible enough)the ad says 20 hours battery life. (I have not checked it in real life yet. but so far so good.)Accessory suck.I am waiting for rockbox firmware hack

bobxombie on June 9, 2006 5:10 PM

you rock SanDisk! I like the iSheep campaign, and this just tops it off. if I just didnt spend $400+ on a Creative Zen Vision:M with accessories, I would be all over the e260.

Just an observer on June 13, 2006 1:51 AM

Ok, I’m not expert but here is my opinion.Rockbox is an awesome idea but it would be nice to know what would happen to the battery life once the new firmware is developed. As for 20 hours for this feature set, I’m not gonna complain. I use this for the train ride to and from work, at the gym, and occasionally when traveling on plane for 12hrs, and guess what; 20 hrs is enough for me. I paid $130 for this through a “slickdeal” and couldn’t be happier. Do you guys even see how much a 4 gig nano is going for?! I think ya’ll should appreciate the feature set, opensource gesture, and price flexibility. For me all this makes it better then the nano.Oh, and question about rockbox. How long will the development project for the e200 series take? Some of the firmware bugs are buggin the piss out of me.

Luke on June 14, 2006 11:36 AM

Personally i dont care as much about the battery life (Most people will never listen to it for 20 hours straight to begin with). I’m looking forward to Rockbox on the Sansa for the OGG and MPC support. Most of my music library has been ripped to one of those two formats, and transcoding/converting on the fly every time I want to change up the music on my current MP3 player is a huge pain (not to mention a quality drainer). If Rockbox gets released for the sansa, i’d buy one right away.

azman on July 16, 2006 3:04 AM

I think the sansa e200 series is great. 20 hours battery life is enough. Updateable firmware. Replaceable battery. MicroSD. A future for Video Out. I’m just wondering why Sandisk doesn’t fix the problem with the headphone jack. For a high stress point, they surface mounted it. This is my 4th e250 that I replaced. I finally fixed it myself, resoldered the dry joints and supported the jack on the other side. That crazy sandisk

sucka on July 22, 2006 9:11 PM

azman, PLEASE TELL ME HOW YOU DO THAT. Can you please be more sepcific and tell me how to fix the problem? I have the same exact problem…

shegoretheblablabla on August 27, 2006 11:46 PM

Um….. The Sansa e200′s have a problem with HeadPhone jack breakage? Uh oh, I was just about to buy one! :-( Ah well, I can always fix it myself should the problem arise. BTW Looking forward to RockBox and proposed SansaLinux releases. :-)

Mr. sickVisionz on September 6, 2006 11:46 AM

20 hours of battery life is fine for everyone that can get access to a PC at least once every 20 hours. Personally, I leave for school/work around 9am and get back home around 10pm. Thats 13 hours on average. I can drive from Atlanta to New York in like 15 hours. Thats still not 20 hours.20 hours may be less than others but what does it matter if the average person is charging it up once a day? I treat mine like a cell phone and charge it up before I goto bed each night. 608z is making it seem like the battery is damn near unusable.I don’t really care about Rockbox outide of its support for formats other than quicktime. The video resoltution of my video files gets reduced by 1/5 (but still looks good), the audio quality drops 1/4 (44.1 kHz to 11.5kHz) BUT THE FILE SIZE GOES UP 30%. Thats unacceptable. I wonder how much extra it would cost per unit to use WMV or MP4 rather than quiktime. If its only like $5 or $10 more, I don’t know why they didn’t persue that.

just a guy on September 17, 2006 10:17 PM

If there is going to be Rockbox for the Sansa e250 then is it going to support FM-radio on europe models?

Reasonability on September 22, 2006 5:39 PM

608zz doesn’t really seem to have much to say other than he thinks the battery life is too short. Well, it’s still top of it’s class for the size and type of device, and I haven’t had it die on me between charges yet.Maybe he needs a particularly long battery life because he can’t afford electricity at home and so must charge it when he has the cnace to at work or school. Maybe he needs to watch all of his videos and listen to all of his music on it because he can’t afford a TV or Stereo at home..Either way, I think it’s obvious that he really has no point in his argument that the battery life is too short. The battery life is perfectly fine for the type of device it is, and it would be pretty easy to pick up a spare battery for 20$ from Sandisk and carry it and a small screwdriver with you. One battery dies, just swap in another with no worries and a very short time delay. Ok, so you have to make sure you don’t lose the 4 little screws.. OOO big deal! I’ll take that over the Ipods with no option but to recharge the device once the battery dies any day.I think 608zz is just upset because he can’t afford one for himself…

dcool on November 22, 2006 12:44 PM

i would love to see the rockbox feature on the sansa since i think its a nice player no scratch that it is a great playerfor teh amount of feature that it offere i dont think i will look at anyother player ever and if or more so when they come out with the rockbox for it i will sure hail it as teh best player aroundthe ipod lost alot with it screen and battery life in comparison to the e200

phr on December 2, 2006 5:45 PM

I’m with 608zz, I have an M260 and would love to run rockbox on it, is there any chance of that? Of course the E2xx’s beat the crap out of the ipod, but the whole point of “anythingbutipod” is that EVERYTHING beats the crap out of the ipod, so there’s nothing special about the E2xx beating it. I hate lithium batteries and I don’t want to spend $20 on a spare E2xx lithium battery when I can instead spend 20 cents on a spare AA cell for the G3 or T10 or an AAA cell for the M260. (I actually rotate a couple of $1 AAA NiMH rechargeables in my M260). I don’t see any point of a power sucking color display on a device like this; it’s an audio player, not a TV set. I don’t have the slightest interest in watching video on any screen smaller than 8 inches or so. Also, the microSD expansion slot is silly, what’s the point of a 2GB slot on a player with 8GB internal already? I’d rather have the player a little bigger so it can have an SDHC slot, for which I can get an 8GB card.Anyway my ideal player runs on an AA cell and has an SDHC slot and uses Rockbox. I wish someone would make that. Meanwhile any chance of an M2xx port instead of E2xx?

sunshine on December 23, 2006 11:43 PM

PHR, think outside of the box! 8GB is not a lot when you start putting video and pictures on a device. And, you don’t have to look at the videos and pictures on the Sansa e200. You can (or at least will be able to soon) hook the player up to your TV (or a computer or maybe even a portable DVD player) and look at the content that way.Another use for an expansion slot, I record the BBC overnight on my Radio Yourway (it’s a Tivo device for the radio). The device saves the recordings to an SD card. In the morning, I get up pop out my card, pop it into my MP3 player and listen to my recordings on my way to work. So, I need a player with rechargable batteries, more memory, FM radio, and bookmarking capability. My ideal player will be a Sansa e200 with rockbox. I’m just biding my time. I realized that I’m in a little bit of a niche. But, hey, the Radio Yourway is in its 2nd generation, so there are more of us out there.Oh, and as far as battery life goes, Gomadic makes portable charger for the Sansa. It uses 4 AA batteries to charge your device on the go.

Dayton Peek on December 28, 2006 5:37 AM

The economic value of user contributions to Internet sites..

bob scott on December 31, 2006 6:20 PM

Wonder why no one comments on other problems with this player that I have read about: playlists hard to create, freezes, function buttons too small.You folks seem to have concentrated your attention on battery life, which, it seems to me, is this unit’s highest point. I have an e140, which uses 1 AAA — the worst battery in the world.. and gives me only 4 hours of play.

Shmoove on February 18, 2007 4:28 PM

I think that 2 hours of play is great, you can even get longer then that by shortening how long the back light is on and brightness. I don’t think that expanding the number of formats the e200 series can support is important what is important is to start to get some of the features that the Ipod has and then some

Anataki on March 3, 2007 10:30 AM

my sansa has glitch after glitch after glitch. right now the screen is fuzzing blue and white, and i cant delete some songs, it is apparently not there or the device has stopped working, and copying files is a massive challenge. boo

gmccalli on April 7, 2007 12:49 AM

i have never had any probz with my sansa, even when i screwed it up by installin my rockbox firmware in the wrong directory, (which made the “refreshing database” never refresh the databse).I was still able to format it, and reinstall the original firmware, provided by sandiskso if its that messed up….download the sansa updater from sandiskformat when in MTP Mode, by right clicking on your sansa in “My Computer”and open the Sansa UpdaterTHURR YA GO!by the way….im not a huge ipod fan, its poser now!so Sansa e200 series are rockin!, ‘sepcially with RockBox

JotaC on April 10, 2007 1:36 PM

Mp3 Player sansa e250r, can’t read mp3 files, I don’t know what happend. Also I can’t erase a folder and file called “n” into folder “MUSIC” (../MUSIC/Clasica/n/n )

digitaldd on April 16, 2007 8:52 AM

bob scott: also have an e140 here and 1 AAA battery gives me about 10-15 hours of battery as long as I don’t use the SD card slot then it drops to half that. I hate the volume controls because I need to have the volume set high for podcasts then when a music mp3 plays its supper loud, loud enough to pop and eardrum.

vj on April 30, 2007 3:41 AM

ROCK BOX in E260(4GB) produces random colored horizontal lines for first two rows of pixels in LCD..

sansaowner on June 9, 2007 4:26 PM

rockbox came out for sansa , is rockbox good fr the sansa e2xx good or is it bad , i don’t want to mess up my mp3 player, sansa.

sansalover143 on July 22, 2007 3:09 PM

@anataki:have you tried contacting SanDisk Technical support they would help you fix ur sansa, and if the device si deemed defective they can process a replacement if they have troubleshooted your device :D

cmroanirgo on August 15, 2007 10:03 PM

I’ve been using Rockbox on an old 10gb iRiver H110 for years and have just purchased a new e280 for the following reasons:i) It supports Rockboxii) It supports Rockboxiii) It support Rockboxiv) Sansa also seem keen for RockboxsupportDo I sound enough of an evangelist yet?Of course there are other reasons:i) longer battery lifeii) color screeniii) smaller dimensions (and lighter too!)iv) flash drivev) MicroSD expansionthe only con I have with the whole setup is the lack of AC charger.

dean on August 17, 2007 12:51 PM

I have a sandisk sansa 6GB, would welcome anything that makes it easyer to put videos on the player. If any one nows if it is posible to put it on my player know that would be good.

adri on August 20, 2007 11:53 AM

i love my sansa but takes much time to get it just the way you want it………………..does anyone know if i can take my recordings off and into a seperate folder? also, will any sandisk memory card(compatible with cell phone(tiny)) work?i have a e250 by the way……………oh and not a tech……..so be kind……..

thomas on January 21, 2008 8:22 PM

Hello.. I am considering buying a Sansa e200..I would like to confirm if this player allows / performs bookmarking..I listen to long podcasts and would like to have the flexibility to switch between podcasts and come back to it without having to listen to the whole thing again.Could anyone confirm if e200 has this capability?

Ann on March 13, 2008 4:49 PM

Can anyone tell me why my audio and video are out of sync with my Sansa e260? I have Rockboxed the thing and am using VLC video transcoder but am still having the problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is making me insane!

Avatar on July 2, 2008 9:22 AM

Yeah im still waiting for v2 to be ported for my e280 cause sansa firmware is painful to use

Jade on September 8, 2009 8:56 PM

Player is fine if you want to just use it out of the box with no interest in capacity and play lists. I just found this out because after owning mine for about 6 months I purchased the SD micro 4GB to increase the storage capacity. I have it in my car amped through my stereo. I have tons of music and have it organized, in my car, by playlists would be awesome. However, ever since I inserted the micro card, my computers do not recognize it. And good luck trying to find the driver. The only thing the web site offers is firmware update, which you can not complete if your computer is not recognizing the device. Furthermore, through my frustrated researching I have learned that you can not save playlist to the Micro card anyway. You only save palylist by using Window Media Player, which you can only use in MTP mode, which does not recognize the card. What a bunch of hooey!

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