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Sad news, folks – well, maybe sad for you.  I attempted to install Rockbox on one of the iPod minis I’ve recently refurbished.  Although the install was a success, and I can easily choose between booting Rockbox and iPod OS, I’m not going to pre-install Rockbox on any of the iPods I ship from RSF.

iPod Sad Face - Retro Sonic Fidelity

The reasoning is simple to me.  I loaded up my iPod with about 31GB of music (of the 32GB card), using iTunes.  I browsed the music in the iPod OS with no issues.  I then attempted to browse the music in Rockbox.  It spent about 15 seconds “creating the database”, then it never finished.  I was able to browse the individual files, but Rockbox couldn’t create the database for all of my music.

It did create a database when I only loaded about 5GB of music on.  I went through my entire iTunes library to make sure there were no errant comments on songs with hex codes in them (I had to fix about 25 songs that DID have these hex codes), and once I did that, I ONLY transferred non-protected mp3’s and AAC’s.  Still no dice.

I worked on a solution for about a day, but since I wasn’t able to find one, I don’t want my customers to have to find one.  I only want to ship iPods that work 100% – no questions.  If you want to install Rockbox on your RSF iPod once you get it, be my guest!  But I simply won’t pre-install them with Rockbox because I don’t think it’s up to the task.

Personal Niggles with Rockbox

On another somewhat unrelated note, I don’t really like Rockbox in that it doesn’t natively support smart playlists.  I’m sure there are workarounds, but they don’t work naturally enough for me to switch from iPod OS to Rockbox.  I know the addition of FLAC is nice, but ALAC is a suitable substitute for me.