Rockbox mail archive
Subject: Re: basic questions
From: Brian Wolven (brian.wolven_at_verizon.net)
Jim Denham wrote:
> Hey all:
> I'm fairly new to the product and have some basic questions I was not able
> to find answers to on the site. I recently purchased an Archos FM Recorder
> that I want to install the Rockbox software on. I see that the release
> build is 2.2. However, I am a totally blind user and want to install the
> software to make the product talk. The site states that a daily build is
> required for this. My question, do I need to install the 2.2 release prior
> to installing a daily build or can I just go ahead and install the daily
> build? Also, can someone recommend a daily build with the speech module
> that is fairly stable? I want to learn how to use the basic features and
> enjoy the product a bit before I start beta testing various builds with
> bugs. Also, any tips and tricks for installing the software from a Win XP
> machine are appreciated.
> Thanks in advance for any information.
I'm just going to give a reformatted version of a very nice summary
written by Aman Singer, posted to this list earlier this year. I think
everything in here still holds true. Feel free to ask additional
questions if something is not clear. Does anyone know if this is in the
wiki yet, BTW? I suppose I could look myself...
To activate the talking menus on the Archos, you first need to
download the daily build of rockbox. This is not the stable version
2.2, but a later build, and is available at
Make sure to download the build for your unit, whether Player,
Recorder, FM Recorder, or Recorder V2. Then install it as you would
any other version of rockbox. Extract the .zip file to the root
directory of your archos. You should now have a .rockbox directory in
the root directory of your unit. Make sure that you have a file called
archos.mod file (player), or ajbrec.ajz (recorders), in the root of
your archos. This file is the actual firmware file. The .rockbox
directory contains plug-ins and configuration information. Now
download the language.voice file (note, when I say to manipulate the
language.voice file, I mean the specific voice for a language. That
is, the voice file for English is called english.voice, the German
voice is called deutsch.voice, etc.) from
The voice file is one of the .zip files in that directory.
Crystal.zip is the English AT&T voice Crystal speaking the prompts,
Mary.zip is the English Microsoft Mary voice speaking, and deutsch.zip
is a German voice. Voices for French and other English voices are
The Crystal voice is natural but sometimes mispronounces things, the
Mary voice is robotic but has good pronunciation.
Make a langs directory (if such a directory doesn't exist already),
inside the .rockbox directory on your archos and put the
language.voice file into that. That is, the path to the language voice
file should be
Assuming your archos is assigned drive letter J. Now disconnect your
archos as usual, turn it on, and hit menu. You should have talking
menus. Now, you'll need to get your directories and file numbers
spoken or spelled. There are three ways to get the directories
talking. You can have them announced by number (folder 1, folder 2,
etc), have them spelled audibly, (M U S I C), or have them announced
through recorded clips. To have them announced by number or spelled,
simply change the setting in menu />general settings/> voice. There's
an option called "voice directories". You can set it to off, numbers,
spell, on enter, or while hovering. The last two options relate to
voice clips, but the first three don't need voice clips.
If you want your directory names spoken as words, rather than spelled
or given numbers, you need to know that rockbox doesn't have any TTS
capabilities. It wants to see a file called '_dirname.talk' in the
folder. That _dirname file contains the name of the folder in MP3
format. One of the rockbox programmers has released a script to create
these _dirname.talk files automatically see
to get that script and
to get the lame executable which it requires. Install lame, copy
lame.exe and the mp3clipgen.vbs script you get from the first link
above to the same directory, then run the mp3clipgen.vbs script. You
will be asked to enter the folder where all your music is stored.
Enter the path to your jukebox (make sure it's connected). That is, if
your jukebox is drive letter J:, enter 'j:\' and hit enter. The script
should, in a few minutes, give you a success message.
Disconnect the jukebox and reboot it as usual. You'll need to set the
voice directories option alluded to above to while hovering or on
enter, depending on whether you want your directories spoken when you
enter them with play or right arrow, or as you hover over them.
To get names or numbers spelled or spoken for your files, you need
only set the "voice files" option in the voice submenu of the general
settings submenu off the main menu to either spell or numbers. Your
files, as you go through them with the arrows, will either have their
names spelled or numbers spoken for them.
Page was last modified "Jan 10 2012" The Rockbox Crew