Friday, October 24, 2008

Customizing Your Ipod With Rockbox

Have you ever wanted more from your Ipod like games or maybe just more options. Well there is something called Rockbox that you will probably like. Rockbox is another operating system that you can install onto you Ipod without having to erase or delete anything from your Ipod. It is a great utility to add to your Ipod and best of all it is free to use. Lets get started then shall we.

First off you will need to goto http://www.rockbox.org/download/ and choose the right kind of Ipod that you have and download the .zip file (you will only have to do this if you are doing the manual install). You will also want to download the manual for your specific Ipod that you have because I only have an Ipod video 30gb so your process may differ from mine just a bit. You will also need to download the Rockbox Utility if you would prefer a graphical install. I am going to cover going both routes in this tutorial (graphical install and manual install).

Now lets get started with the installation process.

Graphical Install:
First you will need to unzip the Rockbox Utility and then double click on the rbutilqt.exe to start it up. You should then see a window come up that looks like the one below.


Rockbox Utility Screen

Now we have to let the program know what kind of device that we want to install Rockbox on. So you will have to navigate to File > Configure. A window should come up then you just have to hit the Autodetect button in the bottom right hand corner. It will then show your device and also the dropdown menu with all of the other Ipod versions in it.


Configuration screen

Now from here you just have to hit OK and it should bring you back to the first screen. Now you have to decide if you will want to do the Complete Installation or the Small Installation. I will be doing the Complete Installation. When you click Complete Installation a dialog box comes up asking if you would like to go through with the install and since you do you will want to click Yes.


Confirm Installation screen

After you click yes it will proceed to install the Bootloader and also download it. After the bootloader is downloaded and installed it will then download the rockbox.zip file and install it. Then the program will download some fonts and install them too.


The Installation screen

Now you are done just click OK and then close out of the Rockbox Utility. Now just unplug your Ipod and it should boot right into Rockbox. So now you are done and you have successfully installed Rockbox onto your Ipod. If you would like to go the other route and do this manually then just keep reading.


Rockbox interface on the Ipod

Manual Install:

To start you will have to unzip your Rockbox.zip file (mine was called rockbox-ipodvideo-3.0.zip yours should be something similar) you will then need to take the unzipped folder (should be .rockbox) and put it in the root directory of your Ipod.


Extracted Rockbox folder

Now you will have to install the bootloader so that you will be able to boot into Rockbox on your Ipod. You will need to download this to install the bootloader: http://download.rockbox.org/bootloader/ipod/ipodpatcher/win32/ipodpatcher.exe. You will then have to run the ipodpatcher.exe. It will open in a command window and will do a scan to find your Ipod.


Command window after scan for Ipod

After the scan you will need to type i then hit enter to install the bootloader. You will then see it start to install and after only a little bit it should be done. You just need to hit enter again to exit the window.


Successfully installed bootloader

Now you are done just eject your Ipod from you computer and it should load right into Rockbox (if it doesn't you may need to hold the middle and menu button in for a couple seconds).


Successfull Rockbox install

Now that you have Rockbox installed on your Ipod you may be wondering if you will still be able to get back into you normal Ipod install. Yes you can and very easily too all you have to do is reset your Ipod by holding in the middle button and menu button and then when you see the Apple logo you need to push the hold switch into the hold position then wait for it to boot into the normal Ipod firmware. Now you have a very customizable Ipod and if you look around on the Rockbox site you will be able to find a ton more goodies to install on it.

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