So I find myself in possession of a Sansa e250 (thanks, woot!) and I”m going to try to “Rockbox” it. As far as I can tell, this will mean downloading some software from the Rockbox site and flashing the player to take advantage of the updated firmware. It should eliminate the need to run silly conversion software for movies, play more media formats and more easily allow the player to act as a portable drive. Basically, the thing will be more useful all around.

Okay, so this turned into one of those live-blog things, so I”m going to move it past the jump for those interested in reading on and on about my nonsense. Click Read More to, you know, read more.

The first thing I notice is that there is no firmware for the e250 – the e200, yes, and something about the e200 “series” which I assume means the e250 as well. This may be tougher than I thought. The autoinstaller (which, for some reason, I had to d/l separately) doesnt correctly identify the player, despite the fact that Windows recognized it just fine and it sits here as drive G: in my system.

There seems to be consensus that the Rockbox software will install on the system, but the main reason that Im installing it is to avoid converting video files (Im lazy), and its looking like Id have to do a conversion anyway. Hmmm… Also, theres precious little information on actually making the thing work on the e250, despite the fact that everyones installation seems to “just work” but mine. Maybe they got it preloaded. While Im working on this, Im converting an episode of “The Office” with the provided software to see how it works. There is some space-conservation consideration here, I now remember.

Okay, Manual Installation, here I come.
By dragging the files to the player and then running the “sansapatcher” .exe, I got Rockbox working pretty much immediately. I think the reason that I had trouble finding the instructions or any notes on it is because theres like one line, and its nearly impossible to fuck it up. I preemptively panicked. Bad move, techno-phobe!

Holy shit, its ugly. Google: Find me info on themes, because no one will want this ugly-ass interface, not even design-retarded me. Wait, there are themes right on the Rockbox site. They make it a little easier. /me messes with themes…

Which is also easy. Although I dont have any plugins installed yet, so now Im off to figure out which I need to make the e250 theme look like it does in the screenshot. Something is going on because it doesnt seem like anyone else has my problem, but my screenshots are much simpler and not nearly as rad as theirs. Hmm. I do have a VU meter that none of the pictures have…
Okay, I have no idea. Moving on to another theme now. I like plenty of them – no need to get all bogged down.

Okay, thats working, now to test video files on the thing. Do I have to convert?

So wait, how do you play video on this thing again? Hmm… Oh, right. Files DO still have to be converted, but it sort of makes sense to save the space.

Okay, so its all working. The upshot? I dont know that all the trouble is worth it, honestly. If you want to do advanced things like play FLAC, definitely. Wanna play Doom on your player? Definitely. If you just want to play MP3s, I think its probably best, in terms of time and effort just to stick with the original firmware.

Removal of the Rockbox software was easy, too, so it was a couple hours well spent for me. I don’t really need to play Pong while listening to FLACs on my 2GB player.

As you were.
Sorry to let you down with this post.