in Hardware

iRiver H10 on Ubuntu Linux Howto

I’m pleased to announce that after looking into it off and on for the last 6 months, I’ve got my iRiver H10 5GB fully working in Linux for the first time.

The H10 comes in MTP mode – Microsoft Transfer Protocol, insead of being a UMS – USB Media Storage device. MTP is needed for Plays for Sure compatibility, so it will work with Napster-To-Go or Yahoo, for example. A UMS device, when plugged in, just shows up as a drive letter on your PC, so you can drag and drop files on to it. Sacrificing Napster-to-go (which I haven’t used in 6 months) is a small price to pay to use this on Linux – especially as no modern online music store has a Linux client yet.

The steps needed update your firmware, convert your iRiver to UMS mode, and then you need to install EasyH10 to rebuild your music database. Do this at your own risk!

How I did it, and be prepared to lose any music on your H10:

  1. I updated my firmware from 2.03 to 2.51 MTP, version 2.51 at iRiver.com.
  2. Go to the Misticriver.net H10 Wiki
  3. Follow the instructions to convert your H10 from MTP to UMS.
  4. Download EasyH10: Windows or Linux tarball or Debian / Ubuntu package. (I used the i386 Debian package on Ubuntu 5.10 with no problems).
  5. If installing on Ubuntu or Debian, at a terminal, type:

    sudo dpkg -i easyh10_1.2.1-1_i386.deb

  6. Plug in your H10 to your Ubuntu box. It should mount in /media/H10 (if it didn’t, for the purpose of this, I’m going to use that going forward).
  7. At a command line type:

    cd /usr/share/easyh10/model (On Ubuntu, could be /usr/local/share/easyh10/model on other distributions) and then ls

    Find your model in the list, I have a H10UMS_5GB_FW2.04-2.51.model so we’ll use that in the next step.

  8. From a terminal, type in the following:

    cp /usr/share/easyh10/model/H10UMS_5GB_FW2.04-2.51.model /media/H10/easyh10.model (Or whichever corresponding version you have, copy it over as easyh10.model in the root directory of the H10).

  9. Unmount your H10 (right click and click unmount), unplug the USB cable, let it reboot and install, and then plug it back in to your PC.
  10. Copy some music in to your H10/Media/Music directory. Not Music the directory!
  11. From a terminal type easyh10 -Un -on /media/H10 to rebuild your database.
  12. That should be it! However, if you run in easyh10 and see this, like I did:

    EasyH10 [CUI] 1.2.1 Copyright (c) 2005 by Nyaochi

    H10 model template: /media/H10/easyh10.model
    Path to database: /media/H10/System\DATA/
    Path to music: /media/H10/Media\Music/
    Path to playlist: /media/H10/Media\Playlist/
    Playlist extension: .plp

    Enumerating music files:
    236 files found.

    Reading H10 model template:
    H10 (UMS) 5GB firmware 2.04 - 2.51

    Obtaining media information from 236 files:
    236 files obtained.

    Updating database

    Writing H10 media database:
    Failed to write the H10 database (code = 8). (That smiley face should be an 8 )
    ERROR: Database update.

    Per this thread on the EasyH10 forums, delete all your files in the H10/System/DATA folder. Run it again, and you should see:

    silwenae@shaftoe:/usr/share/easyh10/model$ easyh10 -Un -on /media/H10
    EasyH10 [CUI] 1.2.1 Copyright (c) 2005 by Nyaochi

    H10 model template: /media/H10/easyh10.model
    Path to database: /media/H10/System\DATA/
    Path to music: /media/H10/Media\Music/

    Enumerating music files:
    236 files found.

    Reading H10 model template:
    H10 (UMS) 5GB firmware 2.04 - 2.51

    Obtaining media information from 236 files:
    236 files obtained.

    Updating database

    Writing H10 media database:
    100%: (H10DB.hdr)

It’s my understanding that after every time you add music files to your H10, you need to run EasyH10 to update your database to let your H10 know that the music is there. You could choose to play songs through the Browser on the H10, but it’s easiest in Music.

Unfortunately, the H10 isn’t recognized in Banshee, but with how the database needs to be updated each time, I doubt it will ever work. Though this is a great start for using in Linux, as this was the last thing that required me to have a Windows box.

  1. Thanks for this. I was thinking about buying an H10 and am a Banshee and Ubuntu user. I’m disappointed with the direction that iRiver is taking with this. They’ve dropped OGG support and are moving away from any sort of compatability with open standards. Thanks for sharing your experience so the rest of us can know what’s up.

  2. A couple things:

    1. When using easyh10, make sure that none of your MP3 file names contain characters that are > 127 (like most international characters) or it will seg fault (at least it does on my Linux system).

    2. The 20GB version of the iriver H10 works OK on Linux contrary to the Misticriver.net H10 Wiki. The issue is that you can’t permanently put the 20GB version into UMS mode. You have to reset the device every time you want to sync it up so you can hold down the O button while powering the device on.

  3. Thank you for the guide. I bought someone’s second hand UMS 5GB model cheap from eBay, and this guide has helped me to integrate the player with Ubuntu. As regards media players & organisers for Ubuntu, I am still hung up on MediaMonkey from my XP days! Even though it runs sort of clunkily under WINE, I have not come across a better system.

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