Zippier Clip

You’ve already heard about my acquisition of a Sansa/SanDisk (choose one) music player. What you haven’t heard is that it came with a built-in issue: given any really ginormous number of files, it chokes on the database refresh, which it never quite finishes. Meanwhile, your battery plummets.

There being no easy way out of this other than to give up the extra space, I opted for something way out of the ordinary: a third-party operating system called Rockbox, versions of which are available for dozens of players, including the Clip Zip. Basically, it patches the Sansa firmware to hand over to the Rockbox OS, which has a much grottier, Unix-y interface, but which can update its database in three minutes rather than three hours. The trick was getting it to recognize both “drives”: it took a couple of hours of fumble, but I now have a proper 5000-item playlist.

And did I mention it’s now dual-boot? Yep. This experience raises my Techie Rating from “positively awful” to “merely clumsy.”

Addendum: The inevitable YouTube video.


  1. Good Lord! | Daily Pundit »

    24 March 2013 · 1:30 am

    […] Does anybody think reports like this would induce me (or anybody else) to buy one of these damned things? Much as Apple often irritates me, there is something to be said for the “It Just Works” approach to technology.[…]

  2. Old Grouch »

    24 March 2013 · 2:55 pm

    What did Sansa do, write their software in Clipper?

  3. CGHill »

    24 March 2013 · 4:05 pm

    The speed suggests a Commodore 64 reading a SEQ file.

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