Philips HDD100/120 on Linux

This page is about my Philips HDD120, a piece of equipment I both hate and love. I also love Linux, but unfortunately these two don't play nice together.

Being a mass-storage device, the HDD120 works fine for storage, but it's impossible to put music on it for playing, because the PC needs to update the internal database of the HDD120. Of course, with a lot of help from others, and a little coding by myself, I've managed to create a python-script that creates this database easily.

0. Contents

  1. Linux software for HDD100/120
  2. Firmware
  3. Battery replacement

1. Linux software for HDD100/120

Pylips2 - Python script to update devices' database

1.1 Introduction

The HDD120 uses a database to remember which songs it holds and to store the ID3-tags. Pylips2 is a python2 script that updates the database on the Philips HDD. In contrast to the official software, pylips2 runs on Linux.

Danilo Ĺ egan already made a script based on these specs and published it on his blog. However, I fixed some problems with his script and added some features to it, eg:

1.2 How to install

  1. download pylips2 and extract it to the root of your Philips HDD100/120, like this:
      |_ philipshdd/
           |_ music/
           |_ pylips2/
                |_ mutagen/
                     |_ ...
    you can rename the pylips2-folder, as long as you make sure the is in a subfolder of the device's root;

  2. it's smart to make a backup of your current /System/Data/ folder, just in case pylips2 screws something up;

  3. in case of trouble: make sure you've got python 2 installed along with the following python-modules: sys, os, math, shutil, struct, hashlib, zlib, re

1.3 How to use

  1. mount your HDD100/120;
  2. place your music in the music subdir;
  3. run and wait until it is done;
  4. unmount your HDD and check if it worked.

1.4 What it will do

  1. listing all the MP3-files in the music subdir;
  2. moving them to /music/artist/year-album/track-title.mp3, with a maximum path-length of 28 characters and a maximum filename of 15 characters;
  3. cleaning up all empty directories in the music subdir;
  4. saving the database in the System/Data subdir.

1.5 Download

2. Working Firmware

In case your player crashes at random moments; get this working firmware (update your player with the Philips original software). It's version 4, which I find to be the most stable version. If the database appears to be corrupt, download a fresh one here, place it in System/Data and then update your player with pylips2 or any other tool.

3. Replacing the battery

Several people were talking about replacing the 1200mAh battery of their HDD100/120 with a 2200mAh battery from a 1st/2nd generation iPod. I've tried this but my battery actually started inflating and I was afraid it was going to blow up :-/ I was meaning to write some instructions for you, but until I've successfully changed my battery, instructions from others can be found here.