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gymnart 02-15-2008 11:09 AM

mount and/or sync Philips Portable MP3 player?
I inherited a Philips portable mp3 player and it has songs on it already. What I wanted to do is to add more songs and even a playlist.

This is what I tried so far:
I can read what is on the device fine in Konquerer so I tried to just drag and drop songs. That did not work. Once the device was unplugged, the songs did not show up. The previous owner said that it had to be synced. What Linux app will do that?

I looked at both Amarok and Banshee. Amarok could not connect but I was able to import the songs from the device in Banshee but there was no way to do the opposite.

Do I have to mount this device first?

oskar 02-16-2008 05:09 AM

If you can read it, it is already mounted. Why doesn't drag and drop work? Is there an error message?
Most likely you just don't have permissions to write for some strange reason.
Anywho - here's a quick guide how to add it so it gets mounted with rw permissions every time.

$ sudo fdisk -l

To see what the device name is.

Find out the uuid:

ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid

Add the device to fstab:

UUID=[whatever it said in the above command, without the'[]'] /media/[you-have-to-create-this-folder] auto user,defaults,rw 0 0

You might have to do a

$ chown [your-user-name]:[your-group] on the mountpoint.

I haven't done this in so long - there is probably a mistake somewhere.

gymnart 02-16-2008 10:32 AM

Thank you very much.
What is happening is that the song files are on the device but the device does not "know" that they are there. When you look at it on the computer, you can plainly see the songs and play them from the device but like I said, once it is unplugged from the computer, the new songs don't show up. The device is acting like a mere usb stick and not a player. The previous owner said it needs to be sync-ed.

Is there a way to tell the thing to sync with the computer or re-index it's contents?

oskar 02-16-2008 02:11 PM

Oh, so it probably needs a program that writes some indexing data on the device, like the ipod's do.
Find out the exact name of the model, and do a search, maybe someone has written something to make it work. If I'm right then the player should come with a program to "sync" it - for windows at least

A quick search brought me to those. Of course, without knowing the model...

gymnart 02-18-2008 08:53 AM

The model is SA411X. At least that's what I got from hwinfo --disk

gymnart 02-18-2008 04:41 PM

I just looked at the player and it is the GoGear model. I was going to try out Pymaj (

I have a question about the /mnt folder: can I add folders to it? It seems that many apps want this folder for media. My system mounts stuff using the /media folder instead and the /mnt folder is always empty.

oskar 02-18-2008 05:34 PM

You can mount stuff anywhere you want. I think /media/ has been the place where devices mounted with pmount or plug-and-play devices used to go... so it seems to be intended as the place where user accessible devices are mounted, and /mnt/ is for system wide stuff.
To be honest I don't quite get the distinction.

You'll need root permission (sudo), but yes, you can create folders there.

But apparently your device got recognized and mounted, so there is no reason for adding it to fstab or creating a custom mountpoint if you already have write access as regular user. All you need is one of those syncing programs.

gymnart 02-19-2008 08:54 AM

Thank you so much oskar. :D

Now, I have gotten that pymaj python script/app and this is the part of the instructions that I don't quite understand:

The Philips GoGear SA411X is mounted as /media/TELECHIPS and the directories are as follows:


In the directions for the python app it says:

2) Open the file with a text editor and set the parameters of jukebox
      object initialization at the end of file

      "dbfile" points to the MyDB file on your mounted player
      "audiofolder" is the mp3 directory on your player
      "verbosity" can be 0 (almost no output), 1 (standard) or 2 (details)

      So there would be something like: (e.g.)

        if __name__ == "__main__":
            jukebox = PyMaj(dbfile="/mnt/usb/_system/media/audio/MyDB", \
                            audiofolder="/mnt/usb/_system/media/audio/", \
                            verbosity = 1)

There is no /audio and there is no /MyDB directories on the player. All the music (mp3's) are in the /Music folder. Do I have to make a MyDB folder and will that ruin what is on there or end up consuming all the space? (it only has room for 1 GB).

oskar 02-20-2008 08:15 AM

If it needs syncing, then there has to be a database file somewhere on the player. Creating a folder won't help you since the player will probably not search its flashdrive for a db file, it will look for it where it expects it to be. You'll have to browse the folders or do a "find -name" search.

the "/audio" is a placeholder. In your case you should replace it with:
/media/TELECHIPS/Music in the

I did a search for your player. And I found some entries of people who have trouble getting this particular model working on windows too, since it demands XP-SP2 and Windows-Media-Player-10.

You could try to install WMP10, but... I would suggest you just dump it on ebay, and get a mp3 player that is not broken by design - one that you can just drag and drop the files on. I have yet to see the benefit in using a seperate, undocumented and possibly hidden data base. (It could be on a hidden partition, in case you don't find it on the filesystem)

oskar 02-20-2008 08:24 AM

Also, if you have a couple of projects to choose from, I would not necessarily go for the "this is my first python project" script... At least it wouldn't be the only thing I'd try.
There are a couple of projects that attempt to provide compatibility with gogear devices. None of them claim copmpatibility with your particular player though:

gymnart 02-20-2008 08:40 AM

I looked at it's file system on Windows (XP SP2, WMP 10) (I used Windows explorer for this) and it listed it like this:
\philips SA411X\Data (devicediversity.bin, SETTINGS.DAT, DevIcon, WMPInfo.xml, and DevLogo were in this folder)
\philips SA411X\Media (where the music, playlist, and voice folders were)

Then I used WMP10, but there was no way to just sync the files I had already put on there. It wanted to sync playlists not just files.

btw, what does the "_system" (in the pymaj instructions) mean?

Where did you do your search from? I tried Google (and only came up with this conversation) and Yahoo (and only came up with 2 manual websites that don't have a manual for this particular model).

gedw 03-01-2008 07:36 AM

Isn't this really a unix question?
When any device is mounted, the system sets aside a memory pool as a buffer.
From time the automagically flushes these buffers to the device. So in order for your files to actually to the device, try this command from a shell prompt "sync device" after the file copy (where deviceis either a physical device OR a mount point). Also try "man sync" to help understand what's happening.


gymnart 03-01-2008 12:19 PM

That sounds interesting, gedw, I gotta try that next time I want to add more songs.

gymnart 03-03-2008 02:34 PM

It Worked!!!
@ gedw:

It Worked!!! It Worked!!! It Worked!!! *jumps up and down excitedly*

After placing the song into its own folder (Artist folder/Album folder/Song) then I copied it over onto the device I did what you said, sync /dev/sdb and it worked!! :D :Pengy:

(I knew about how the device was connecting to my system from the above stated command: hwinfo --disk)

trentag1988 12-05-2011 04:55 AM

regarding syncing issues.
I have a philips 8gig, used on ubuntu and other linux's, all I had to do was drag and drop into the devices music folder itself. I've never been able to actually sync through program (device never showed up). best regards in the future in making this easier for you :)

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