SanDisk Sansa Clip+ stock firmware update and Rockbox install

I'd used the stock firmware for a while and had no feature issues with it. Then I noticed the device occasionally freezing, seemingly when coming across certain music files. Power button would not work, requiring a long select+power key press to restart. According to the release notes for the stock firmware update 01.02.18 (released in May 2013), it fixed an issue with the device hanging "after finished playing special mp3 files, which contain CRC error at the end of frames".

Steps to update Sansa Clip+ with stock firmware

0. Make sure the player USB mode is MSC (should be the first thing to do with the new player anyway).

1. Check forum for latest FW posts.

2. Attach the player to computer via USB.

3. Get the latest FW, extract, copy to player root dir:

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mkdir ~/Downloads/sansa.clipplus.fw.update
cd ~/Downloads/sansa.clipplus.fw.update
wget http://mp3support.sandisk.com/firmware/clipplus/clipplus01.02.18.zip
unzip clipplus01.02.18.zip
cp clppa.bin /media/0123-4567/

4. Unmount the player, FW update should commence.

5. Afterward, set Language/Region, USB mode to MSC.

Before (with both 4GB and 8GB players mounted):

egrep "Product|FW" /media/0123-4567/version.sdk
Product: Clip+
FW: V01.02.17A
egrep "Product|FW" /media/0123-4567_/version.sdk
Product: Clip+
FW: V01.02.16A

After (with both 4GB and 8GB players mounted):

egrep "Product|FW" /media/0123-4567/version.sdk
Product: Clip+
FW: V01.02.18A
egrep "Product|FW" /media/0123-4567_/version.sdk
Product: Clip+
FW: V01.02.18A

However, freezing continued, so I decided to give Rockbox firmware a shot. Thankfully when choosing this player, Rockbox support was a factor. :-)

Installing Rockbox on SanDisk Sansa Clip+

0. Download/Launch RockboxUtility

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cd ~/Downloads
wget http://download.rockbox.org/rbutil/linux/RockboxUtility-v1.3.1-64bit.tar.bz2
tar xfj RockboxUtility-v1.3.1-64bit.tar.bz2 
RockboxUtility-v1.3.1-64bit/RockboxUtility

1. Pick the correct mountpoint for the player, click Install:

It'll ask for stock firmware, browse to clppa.bin (which I had downloaded during stock firmware update, described in the beginning of this article).

2. Switching from default theme:

Rockbox includes lots of user contribued themes for the Sansa Clip+

After trying a couple, settled on YellowBar. To install:

  • Launch RockboxUtility
  • Select "Themes"
  • Click "Customize"
  • Select theme you want, e.g. "YellowBar"
  • Click "Install"

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