PDA

View Full Version : Update Firmware WITHOUT SongBird



Caveman
02-05-2012, 05:36 PM
Hi,

Most electronics device I have used, it is possible to update the firmware by either connecting an USB key or by copying the firmware binary into the root of the device. Why Philips devices need Songbird for doing firmware update?

This is not convenient for two reasons:

1. I use drag & drop media files directly into the device. No need of SongBird.

2. I use Linux and SB is only available for Windows.

Is it possible to do firmware update without SongBird? Also can you post firmware updates in the forum with changelog?

Thanks in advance

jvpeters
02-16-2012, 09:14 AM
for philips products, the firmware either goes through songbird or device manager (for mix3)
this is not quite convenient indeed if u use linux.

for the firmware update history...
there are 2 type of updates > a) on songbird b) on firmware

sometimes, upgrades on songbird does not go through philips, so full log is not seen so far
for firmware upgrades, it's embedded in songbird, unlike other firmware on the philips website... it's out once there s upgrade... so songbird again.

Caveman
02-16-2012, 04:08 PM
sometimes, upgrades on songbird does not go through philips, so full log is not seen so far
for firmware upgrades, it's embedded in songbird, unlike other firmware on the philips website... it's out once there s
upgrade... so songbird again.

So firmware update needs SongBird but SB is not controlled by Philips? What kind of design is that? Firmware update is no magic. Usually, the manufacturer publish the firmware version, the changelog, and the binary to download.

Because of the dependency on the "Blackbox" design relying on SongBird, this makes the firmware updates an obscure procedure. So far I am lucky I didn't brick any device after firmware update. Philips needs to document clearly how to roll back a firmware.

Spike
02-28-2012, 12:02 AM
Let me second this idea for any Philips product that can accept firmware upgrades. On reset, if the device finds that there is a file of some magic filename in its root directory, it should regard it as new firmware and upgrade itself before proceeding to normal operation (then rename or delete the file to prevent the same from happening on the next cold-start). A file with a different name could reside on the device to provide a known-good version in case anything goes wrong with the upgrade operation.

My old Frontier Labs MP3 player (they are gone) worked this way--and I was able to view the upgrade file before copying it to the device, in order to modify the fonts and the text prompts.

kwinnie
03-01-2012, 03:24 AM
hi caveman,
there are 2 parts - songbird is kinda a bought software and then they add philips elements to it like the firmware...

so there are 2 parts of upgrade - 1) songbird upgrade 2) firmware upgrade (philips)

Caveman
06-16-2012, 04:40 AM
hi caveman,
there are 2 parts - songbird is kinda a bought software and then they add philips elements to it like the firmware...

so there are 2 parts of upgrade - 1) songbird upgrade 2) firmware upgrade (philips)
That's the Philips way of doing things. Other devices, you copy the firmware to the root of the device and upon power off and on, the device applies itself the firmware update.

Additionally, when you go to the web site to get the firmware update. You have the changelog of what has been changed in the firmware version. Also you have the history of all past versions. With Songbird, it works like a blackbox and you have none of these information. And you needs to install this monstrous Songbird software, connect your device. Only then, you can check if there is new firmware update. If you use Linux, then you are stuck. I hope you are convinced that the Songbird way of checking and applying firmware is an extremely bad design.

ahasver
06-25-2012, 12:25 AM
@Caveman,
you are not alone with your point of view. I've got the same issue with GoGear Sa2: no support for firmware update using Linux. But it was more than a year ago and this sound - sub-forum was opened later. So I asked Philips support and they did say sorry...
I also think it shoud be standard and simple to provide software update in an easy way of copying firmware to SD card root. But the devices don't support this way. They need a proprietary driver to communicate. And one design reason for that may be the various supported commercial services - assume they need to communicate during installation for DRM reasons..

And I did a bit research on Songbird and found, that the Songbird Crew stopped Linux support some month before Philips did start distributing its Songbird version bundled. Songbird is a open source project. Don't know how Philips is concerned to this Project an if the support its developement. But I think if they did really wont Linux support, there would be an Linux Songbird Version.

BunnyOlesen
10-26-2012, 01:42 PM
A shame, because of continuing problems with RAGASR4 series MP3 players not being able to update or repair through songbird. I found that out the hard way after attempting a factory reset, having all my files deleted, and then SONGBIRD won't connect to the player and download the updates or program files.

It happened to me the first of August, was told it was a known issue they were working on, it is now almost November 1st, and I have no settings files or anything on my MP3 player.

If I could download the factory settings a different way I could have fixed it.

Caveman
10-26-2012, 06:35 PM
Got an email notification so I go back here. I don't think that Philips will fix anything, for the firmware update issue or for other feedbacks I left in this forum. For the simple reason that they deem not cost effective. I still believe that there is still a cost effective solution: hire some hackers for example those who design custom ROM Rockbox. Instead of paying for the incompetent tech team at Philips.

Additionally, I think that the dedicated MP3 Players market is dead. I have switched to Android based devices. All the issues I got with Philips are fixed easily. There are tons of Android music player apps. The good and free ones I have selected are Cloud Skipper, WinAmp and Mort Player. Incredibly enough, it is possible to play MIDI files.

Overall, I no longer care although I still use these Philips players occasionally when doing outdoor activity. I understand why they are limited and there are better alternatives. If one day, Philips produces a 16GB Android music player under $100, I may be interested.