Doesn't Not Compute

My log of experiences with GNU/Linux and computers in general.

iPod Nano, 2nd Generation Fun: Part Two

Note: This is no longer cecessary, and the links are broken. iLoader is no longer *necessary* to run Rockbox happily. See instead. 🙂

Ok, scratch my previous statement about having absolutely no problems with the latest unstable Rockbox port. Occaisionally, it seems, something gets messed up when I try transferring themes to the .rockbox directory, or (as with my last encounter with the issue) attempt to rebuild the database of music, cover art, etc. Upon reboot, the iPod displays what I call the “White Screen of Death” and states that I must restore with iTunes.  Unfortunately, there is NO Linux utility for doing this, and although I can easily run iTunes 7.2 in the WINE 1.0 series, it cannot recognize the iPod, or even detect it. So it’s back to Winblows I go, momentarily.

I’m very surprised by this, as I used Rockbox on this iPod for nearly three months prior to reinstalling in preparation for writing this series. The only two differences? Later build of Rockbox, and actually using the default Rockbox bootloader. So, let’s try it with the iPod Linux loader, shall we?

You will need:

  • ipodpatcher 32-bit or 64-bit, whichever matches your Linux installation.
  • iLoader.ipodx in the same folder as ipodpatcher
  • a 2nd generation iPod Nano, with USB cable
  • Left half of a Homo Sapiens brain
  1. Open a terminal in the directory where ipodpatcher resides.
  2. If necessary, run chmod +x ./ipodpatcher
  3. As root, run ./ipodpatcher -a iloader.ipodx
  4. Eject the iPod, and it SHOULD reboot — if it doesn’t, just hold Menu+Select for a few moments and it will.
  5. Hopefully, the image to the right should show up on the screen.

Install Rockbox as described in the previous post, starting after the part about the ipodpatcher and bootloader.

When you want to add music, video, et cetra, connect the iPod to your computer, reboot the iPod, and when the bootloader screen appears, press Select (the center button). This boots the iPod into a disk-access mode, in which I have never had problems caused by adding files. Your Linux computer will properly detect it as a flash drive, and you can drag-and-drop music/video files onto the iPod.

When you’re done adding stuff, reboot the iPod and press play for Rockbox.

If you started with a freshly restored iPod (done from iTunes), pressing the Rewind button will load the original firmware. I’m sure experts could manually install the firmware, but I haven’t tried. And wouldn’t want to. :mrgreen:


Picture is taken from, with the screen portion cropped into a new file, darkened for clarity, and encoded in PNG format.


3 responses to “iPod Nano, 2nd Generation Fun: Part Two

  1. Pingback: iPod Nano, 2nd Generation Fun: Part One « Doesn't Not Compute

  2. nyan June 26, 2010 at 9:14 am

    when i download a video and try to play it on my nano 2nd generation, it shows a blank screen after that

    • mulenmar July 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

      The video has to be sized and encoded properly for the Mpegplayer plugin to play it.

      should help you find what you need.

      Helpful Hint to Save Time Looking For It:
      For the iPod Nano 2nd gen, the video needs to be 176×128 for 4:3 ration video or 176×100 for 16:9 ration.

      Also, thank you for pointing out that I need to write a simplified how-to for this. 🙂

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