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Creative Nomad MuVo and Linux

MuVoCreative Nomad MuVo is a miniature MP3 player that can also serve as a data storage device. MuVo is available with either 64 MB or 128 MB in memory. No cables are needed to connect MuVo to a computer's USB port.

Linux kernel (2.4.20 and probably older versions of 2.4 too) recognizes the device as an SCSI hard drive and uploading MP3 files (or any data) is just a matter of copying them over from other disk. The kernel must have USB support compiled in or as a module. The other required drivers are the USB hub (usb-uhci, uhci, or ehci) and the usb-storage drivers. They can be compiled as modules and loaded before plugging-in the device. The kernel must also support the vfat (FAT16) file system.

On connecting MuVo to the computer, my /var/log/messages displays the following information when everything is going well:

Nov 16 00:12:19 poppy kernel: scsi0 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Nov 16 00:12:19 poppy kernel: Vendor: CREATIVE Model: NOMAD_MUVO Rev: 0001
Nov 16 00:12:19 poppy kernel: Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Nov 16 00:12:19 poppy kernel: Attached scsi removable disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
Nov 16 00:12:19 poppy kernel: SCSI device sda: 256001 512-byte hdwr sectors (131 MB)
Nov 16 00:12:19 poppy kernel: sda: Write Protect is off
Nov 16 00:12:19 poppy kernel: /dev/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0: p1

Furthermore, cat /proc/scsi/scsi should show something like

Attached devices:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
Vendor: CREATIVE Model: NOMAD_MUVO Rev: 0001
Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 02

Data stored on MuVo can be accessed after mounting partition /devices/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 (Note that I use devfs and the device may be accessed through a block device like /dev/sda1):

mount -t vfat /devices/scsi/host0/bus0/target0/lun0/part1 /mnt/muvo/

Or you can put a line in the /etc/fstab to allow the users mounting MuVo:

/devices/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0/part1   /mnt/muvo   vfat   owner,users,noauto,rw   0 0

If you inspect the files on MuVo, you find a file called settings.dat. Do NOT remove this file or the player will not be able to play MP3 files anymore. In order to restore the player's functionality, the file must be recreated. You can reformat the device using the provided utilities for MS Windows or copy the file from your backup. Making a back-up copy of this file sounds reasonable, do you reckon?

Correction: Francis Whittle pointed out to me that settings.dat can be safely removed as it holds only volume settings and is automatically regenerated if removed (at least in firmware versions 1.506+).

Francis also suggests that the most likely thing to stop the player's functionality is if the buffer at the end of the device's memory where there is no apparent partition is overwritten. This appears to be where the firmware is held.

This description is rather verbose and all of the required modules will be most likely available by default in your Linux distro. On the other hand, the increased verbosity may help you to check whether your system detects MuVo correctly.