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Old 12-20-2010, 07:00 PM
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Pencheven Pencheven is offline
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Thumb Up Thumbs up from a new Rockbox user!

Hi folks,

I've only recently been introduced to Rockbox through purchasing a Clip+ for the first time, and I'm so impressed; you guys have done a fantastic job!

I first started playing around with the OF on the Clip+ which I was going to stick with if there were no problems, which unfortunately didn't last long. I am still waiting on a 16GB SD card to arrive through the post (and want to eventually upgrade to a 32GB card when prices drop) but first wanted to check all the features worked, so stuck an 8GB card I have spare running about.. "Samsung MicroSDHC Class 2 8GB"

The minute I attempted to introduce the SD card (which was correctly formatted and a legitimate card - as in not fake) it would take an age to load, or hang on refreshing media, and even when loaded it would not find any music on the card..

I tried putting music on the card externally first (copy music across, power off player, insert card, power on player), then through MSC with the card inserted and finally through MTP. Both externally and MSC would copy music over successfully, but when browsing through Music > Folders > External on the device, nothing would show up.

Attempting to access through MTP (using Windows 7 Pro), I could access the SD card; but it would hang on trying to copy music over, and eventually crash windows explorer if aborted.

Interestingly, even with nothing on the SD card, the player still hangs on "Refreshing Media", and ejecting it at this point then unhangs it.

Being the impatient type and interested in Rockbox from reading about it, I successfully ported the latest version onto the player using the auto utility, and it instantly recognised the SD card and the music on it with no problems!

I'm also astounded at the features and extras it comes with, along with the generous supporting documentation you guys have created! It's nice to have a range of different Themes and I'm liking the ability to fit more information and text on the screen, rather than endless scrolling..

I have noticed it freezing a few times in playing with it for the last couple hours, which I assume comes with the territory of using custom software, but nothing restarting the player didn't fix.
I've now got the pdf manual on my Desire HD for quick reference when im not in front of the PC, and think I've become a permanent convert

Bravo!
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:47 PM
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McDougal McDougal is offline
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Great, I'm glad to hear you enjoy Rockbox so much ! I quite enjoy using Rockbox myself on my Sansa Fuze...it adds battery life, the themes are GREAT, and most importantly, good sound enhancements . The Sansa Clip+ is a great device, maybe better than the Fuze if you don't mind the battery life and screen, the only reason why I don't have a Clip+ now is because I have better things to spend my cash on. Those firmware issues are odd....I've never had any card issues with my Fuze, but Rockbox usually fixes people's mp3 player problems ...

Good luck with your new Clip+ !

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Old 12-20-2010, 07:57 PM
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There is NOTHING better than spending cash on a Sansa clip+, except on another Sansa clip+!!! Oh yeah, feel the LUV!!!
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:13 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Congratulations on the new Clip+. Hope you enjoy it for a good long time. However I would take a little time, back up and check both the player and that card. What you're describing isn't isn't normal at all. Rockbox is indeed a custom firmware but that doesn't mean that it plays poorly or is glitchy during music playback.

I'd do a little more setup and troubleshooting. One of the things I always do to a new player and card is to format them both with the SDFormatter. It wipes them both clean and optimizes them to the SD card standard. It won't remove the Rockbox bootloader but it will wipe out the Rockbox folder itself so if you haven't backed that up you should.

Formatting might be overkill though in this case. Since you're in MSC mode you can easily check the disc for errors with the Windows error checking facility. I've had that straighten out quite a few problems without subjecting the card or player to a format.

Glad to hear you understand the value of the manual. Since Rockbox is so easy to install it seems as if a number of new users feel they don't need it. They may get basic functionality but Rockbox is so feature filled you can use it for a long time and not draw out a goodly percentage of it's features if you don't at least skim it for highlights.

Once again I seriously advise that you check the card and player again. One of the biggest strengths of Rockbox is audio playback. If that's freezing up something isn't right.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:58 PM
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Another convert, congrats & enjoy
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:50 PM
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The OP warms the cockles of my heart

Merry Holidays Rockbox Peeps!
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:52 AM
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Pencheven Pencheven is offline
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Thanks for the warm replies guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
However I would take a little time, back up and check both the player and that card. What you're describing isn't isn't normal at all. Rockbox is indeed a custom firmware but that doesn't mean that it plays poorly or is glitchy during music playback.

I'd do a little more setup and troubleshooting. One of the things I always do to a new player and card is to format them both with the SDFormatter. It wipes them both clean and optimizes them to the SD card standard. It won't remove the Rockbox bootloader but it will wipe out the Rockbox folder itself so if you haven't backed that up you should.

Formatting might be overkill though in this case. Since you're in MSC mode you can easily check the disc for errors with the Windows error checking facility. I've had that straighten out quite a few problems without subjecting the card or player to a format.

Once again I seriously advise that you check the card and player again. One of the biggest strengths of Rockbox is audio playback. If that's freezing up something isn't right.
I did search around prior to putting RockBox on and I'm not the only one with the SD card problem resulting in empty (when there is music on the card) as I described. I can only assume it must be an issue with the Sansa Firmware and certain SD cards..

In regards to troubleshooting, I had already taken most of the steps you advise on. I know the SD card works flawlessly as I had it in my Desire HD prior to upgrading that card, and I had formatted it and checked for errors via windows after the first few attempts (I did all the previous attempts again after formatting it)..

I also formatted the Sansa internally from its Settings Menu (forgot to backup the default music , but nothing to cry about) and after reading your post, I have now checked for errors on its internal memory via windows which hasn't shown any problems.

The only thing I haven't done is make use of the SDFormatter, which I think must be a little overkill when I can't diagnose that there is anything physically wrong with the player or SDCard memory..

The freezing with RockBox "might" have been me being a little too impatient from the frustration of waiting for the Sansa OF to "Refresh Media", once I get the 16GB card in and make normal day to day use ill report back if it is still hanging
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Old 12-21-2010, 01:16 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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If you've already checked at that level I wouldn't format the player or the card either. The posts you usually see about not being able to find the files are due to transferring the files in one USB mode and then not being able to find them when they are viewed in the other. As long as you keep your player in MSC mode like you did for the Rockbox installation that shouldn't be a problem in the future. There is a separate issue where some cards are not recognized at all but I don't think that's what you're referring to.

As well organized and researched as you are you've probably read about this but the one thing I've found that really speeds up the database refresh in the OF is cleaning up your tags. When I first read about doing that I had foobar2000 rewrite all my tags and nothing changed. My refresh time stayed over 12 minutes. Then I read somewhere to use mp3tag or foobar and eliminate all the unneeded extended tags.

That did the trick. Across the years I've had at least 12 different apps write tags to the various files in my library. When i looked at them in the Properties page of fooby2k the list of extended tags ran off the page. It took overnight to eliminate all the APE, ID3v1 and extended tags. The process is automated thankfully, but my computer was really happy when it was over.

Since then my refresh times have dropped to a reasonable 5 minutes or so. In Rockbox it's even quicker. The database for about 3100 songs refreshes in about 90 seconds.

If you've all ready have a well tagged library, and I suspect you do, this wouldn't apply to you. However it's the only other thing I could think that might be causing long refresh times and lagging.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:57 PM
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Once again, +1 with everything skip252 suggests.

<man, that guy is good... >
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:04 PM
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Pencheven Pencheven is offline
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I can't believe Rockbox actually ships with Doom pre installed, trying to run it on the Clip+ is hilarious! The other games and demos that manipulate the screen very nicely (although I doub't ill ever make much use of them) do show off how well programmed the software is tho!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
As well organized and researched as you are you've probably read about this but the one thing I've found that really speeds up the database refresh in the OF is cleaning up your tags. When I first read about doing that I had foobar2000 rewrite all my tags and nothing changed. My refresh time stayed over 12 minutes. Then I read somewhere to use mp3tag or foobar and eliminate all the unneeded extended tags.

That did the trick. Across the years I've had at least 12 different apps write tags to the various files in my library. When i looked at them in the Properties page of fooby2k the list of extended tags ran off the page. It took overnight to eliminate all the APE, ID3v1 and extended tags. The process is automated thankfully, but my computer was really happy when it was over.

If you've all ready have a well tagged library, and I suspect you do, this wouldn't apply to you. However it's the only other thing I could think that might be causing long refresh times and lagging.
Thanks again for the kind advice! I'm sure you'd be horrified to find that historically I have used my file / directory structure to organise my music and as such have never really properly sorted my tags (which I'm sure are a complete mess)

When I described the OF refreshing earlier, there were only a hand full of songs (less than 15 or so) on the card / player at the time, which I was using to test, so I don't think the hanging had anything to do with unsorted tags..

As it happens my 16GB Kingston Class 4 SD card arrived today, which I formatted, checked for errors, and popped into my Clip+ to find it recognised it instantly in both the Sansa OF and Rockbox (with files attached), so I can only assume the OF must have an issue with the previous 8GB Samsung SD Card. I also haven't had any problems with Rockbox freezing (only been playing for a couple of hours), so maybe the previous card really was causing some problems.

I am a little confused with how many music files I actually have now, both Sansa and Rockbox say I have 3294 and 3295 songs respectfully; where as windows media player thinks I have 3307 in my library, I can only assume I may have a few strange formats laying around in the collection..

One thing I would like to confirm if anyone has read this far, is the use of Shortcuts..

Since my music is now split between the 8GB Sanas Player and 16GB SD card, I wanted a way to "merge" both sets of folders into a single view, which I thought seemed possible through the "Shortcuts" option in the directory context menu ("Add to Shortcut"), the content in the manual (specifically the Clip+ manual) seems positive in that files/directorys can be added to shortcuts and viewed via a Plugin, but further searching in the Rockbox PluginIndex doesn't have the Shortcut plugin ticked for the Sansa Clip..

I thought this may be the case, as although my shortcuts.link file does seem to exist in the root directory after adding my selected directory (and one test file) to the shortcuts (when viewed from windows), the file doesnt show up in the File Browser in Rockbox itself..

Is this an inconsistency or are shortcuts supported in the Clip+?
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:51 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Shortcut are supported on the Clip+. The Shortcut plugin is a Viewer. The Viewers are stored in the .rockbox directory. I don't *think* you need to access the Shotcuts viewer directly for it to work. I haven't, I just create the shortcuts for the various places I access most often. They wind up in the shortcuts.link file in the root of the file browser. Once I have them all made I create a directory with the Context menu in the file browser. Then I mark that directory in the context menu as "Start File Browser Here". From then on when I power up it just takes one click to be presented with a list of my most used items.

Whenever I want to add to the shortcut list I just cut and paste the shortcuts.link file back into the main file browser. When I add any locations I need by browsing through and using the context menu, they then get added to the existing file. After I'm finished I put it back in the shortcuts folder so the file browser starts with my updated list of shortcuts . Alternately you just go through and create shortcuts when and where you want and just leave the shortcuts.link file in the root directory. When you have them all made delete the one in the Start Here directory and cut and paste the new one in from the root directory.

I don't think there's a way to see the combined contents of both the card and the main memory except from the Database. But if you want to know exactly how many audio files you have on the card and the main memory it easy. While you're in the file browser go to Playlists=>Create Playlist. Rockbox then scans for every file it recognizes as an audio file. Look in the file browser for root.m3u8 and play it. The number of files in that playlist is what you've got on the player.

That's just some of the ways I do a few things. Each user comes up with their own way of getting a Rockboxed player customized for their uses. I bet there's no doubt someone that's going to read this and say "Why bother?". They're right too. What works easily for me may be an incredible PIA for the next person.

One other thing. Save .cfg files frequently. Name them something that lets you know what they will do. At some point everybody tries a setting that jacks up their whole setup. It easy to fall back to your last great setup if you saved it as "Best equalizer ever!".cfg. If you didn't you have to start again. That can be real discouraging. Don't let it happen to you. It happened to me all to often before I built the habit of frequent saves.

You've got the manual and a good head on your shoulders. Dig in and start punching buttons. Rockboxed players tend to be incredibly resilient. I haven't broken one yet and I've done some things that charitably be called really stupid. If you don't smack it with a hammer you probably won't hurt it and if you do someone will be around to try to help you fix it.

Have Fun.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:36 AM
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Pencheven Pencheven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
Shortcut are supported on the Clip+. The Shortcut plugin is a Viewer. The Viewers are stored in the .rockbox directory. I don't *think* you need to access the Shotcuts viewer directly for it to work. I haven't, I just create the shortcuts for the various places I access most often. They wind up in the shortcuts.link file in the root of the file browser. Once I have them all made I create a directory with the Context menu in the file browser. Then I mark that directory in the context menu as "Start File Browser Here". From then on when I power up it just takes one click to be presented with a list of my most used items.

Whenever I want to add to the shortcut list I just cut and paste the shortcuts.link file back into the main file browser. When I add any locations I need by browsing through and using the context menu, they then get added to the existing file. After I'm finished I put it back in the shortcuts folder so the file browser starts with my updated list of shortcuts . Alternately you just go through and create shortcuts when and where you want and just leave the shortcuts.link file in the root directory. When you have them all made delete the one in the Start Here directory and cut and paste the new one in from the root directory.

I don't think there's a way to see the combined contents of both the card and the main memory except from the Database.
Hmm.. As it happens this is exactly what I have done, but unfortunately the shortcuts.link file just isn't showing up in the players file browser..

Ah HA! I found out what the problem was [/facepalm], from tinkering with the player the other night I had set the file browser to only show "Music" files rather than "Supported / All", meaning the shortcuts.link file was hidden from view..

Have it working now and it's exactly how I wanted it.. Since the music on the SD card and in the player are seperated by a few clicks, I've added the key directory's that both locations have music stored in, so its easy to go straight into the file browser and then to where the music is stored exactly as you have your's set up

Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
But if you want to know exactly how many audio files you have on the card and the main memory it easy. While you're in the file browser go to Playlists=>Create Playlist. Rockbox then scans for every file it recognizes as an audio file. Look in the file browser for root.m3u8 and play it. The number of files in that playlist is what you've got on the player.
Again as it happens, I had already added all my music into one giant playlist like this, but just incase you hadden't seen it, there is also an application in the plugins section called "stats" which scans the device for the number of files / music files / directories etc, which is where I pulled the figure 3295 music files from in my previous post (which is correct as it matches the same figure as my giant playlist described earlier)

That's me all sorted now, thanks again for your kind words and help
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:04 PM
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Pencheven: Congrats! Once you figure out RB [not terribly difficult], you will likely wonder how you ever got along without it

And like I said: that skip252 guy is good!
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
I've done some things that charitably be called really stupid.
is more like it. You break your toys a lot you learn how to fix them ...eventually.
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