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8  General Settings


Figure 8.1.: The general settings screen

8.1 Playlist
8.2 File View
8.3 Database
8.4 Display
8.5 System
8.5.1 Battery
8.5.2 Disk
8.5.3 Limits
8.5.4 Use Shortcuts Menu Instead of Quick Screen
8.5.5 Car Adapter Mode
8.5.6 Car Adapter Mode Delay
8.5.7 Button Light Timeout
8.5.8 Button Light Brightness
8.5.9 Keyclick
8.5.10 Touchpad
8.6 Startup/Shutdown
8.6.1 Start Screen
8.6.2 Idle Poweroff
8.6.3 Sleep Timer
8.7 Bookmarking
8.8 Automatic resume
8.9 Language
8.10 Voice
8.11 Hotkey

8.1  Playlist

The Playlist sub menu allows you to configure settings related to playlists.

Recursively Insert Directories.
If set to On, then when a directory is inserted or queued into a dynamic playlist, all subdirectories will also be inserted. If set to Ask, Rockbox will prompt the user about whether to include sub-directories.
Warn When Erasing Dynamic Playlist.
If set to Yes, Rockbox will provide a warning if the user attempts to take an action that will cause Rockbox to erase the current dynamic playlist.

8.2  File View

The File View menu deals with options relating to how the File Browser displays files.

Sort Case Sensitive.
If this option is set to Yes, all files that start with upper case letters will be listed first, followed by all files that begin with lower case letters. If this option is set to NO, then case will be ignored when sorting files.
Sort Directories.
This option controls how Rockbox sorts directories. The default is to sort them alphabetically. By date sorts them with the oldest directory first. By newest date sorts them with the newest directory first.
Sort Files.
This option controls how Rockbox sorts files. All of the options for Sort Directories are available in this option. In addition, there is a By type option which sorts files alphabetically by their type (such as .mp3) then alphabetically within each type.
Interpret numbers when sorting.
As whole numbers enables a sorting algorithm which is similar to the default sorting of, for example, Windows Explorer, Mac OS X’s Finder or Nautilus, with regards to numbers at the beginning or within filenames. It combines consecutive digits to a number used for sorting, taking leading zeros into account.
As digits disables this algorithm, and causes every digit to be compared separately. The following table demonstrates the two sorting methods.

As whole numbers

As digits

03 Jackson.mp3

03 Jackson.mp3

1 Ring Of Fire.mp3

1 Ring Of Fire.mp3

2 I Walk The Line.mp3

10 A Thing Called Love.mp3

10 A Thing Called Love.mp3

2 I Walk The Line.mp3

Episode 1.ogg

Episode 1.ogg

Episode 57.ogg

Episode 233.ogg

Episode 233.ogg

Episode 57.ogg

Show Files.
This option controls which files are displayed in the File Browser.
The File Browser displays all files and directories. Extensions are shown. No files or directories are hidden.
The File Browser displays all directories and files supported by Rockbox (see section A.1). Files and directories starting with . (dot) or with the hidden flag set are hidden.
The File Browser displays only directories, playlists and the supported audio file formats. Extensions are stripped. Files and directories starting with . or with the “hidden” flag set are hidden.
The File Browser displays only directories and playlists, for simplified navigation.
Show Filename Extensions.
This option controls how file extensions are shown in the File Browser.
The file extensions are never shown.
The file extensions are always shown.
Only unknown types.
Only the extensions of unknown filetypes are shown.
Only when viewing all types.
Only show file extensions when Show Files is set to All.
Follow Playlist.
This option determines what directory the File Browser displays first. If Follow Playlist is set to Yes, when you enter the File Browser from the WPS, you will find yourself in the same directory as the currently playing file. If Follow Playlist is set to No, when you enter the File Browser from the WPS, you will find yourself in the directory you were in when you last left the File Browser.
Show Path.
If this setting is set to Full Path the full path to the current directory will be displayed on the first line in the File Browser. If set to Current Directory Only only the name of the current directory will be displayed.

This has a similar effect on the Database browser. If set to Current Directory Only or Full Path, then the title of each menu will be displayed on the first line in the Database Browser.

8.3  Database

This sub menu allows you to configure the database. See section 4.2 for more information about using the database.

8.4  Display

LCD Settings.
This sub menu contains settings that relate to the display of the player.
The amount of time the backlight shines after a key press. If set to Off, the backlight will not light when a button is pressed. If set to On, the backlight will never shut off. If set to a time (1 to 90 seconds), the backlight will stay lit for that amount of time after a button press.
Backlight (While Plugged In).
This setting is equivalent to the Backlight setting except it applies when the player is plugged into the charger.
Backlight on Hold.
This setting controls the behavior of the backlight when the Hold switch is toggled. If set to Normal the backlight will behave as usual. If set to Off the backlight will be turned off immediately when the Hold switch is engaged and if set to On the backlight will be turned on and stay on while the Hold switch is engaged.
Caption Backlight.
This option turns on the backlight a number of seconds before the start of a new track, and keeps it on for the same number of seconds after the beginning so that the display can be read to see song information. The amount of time is determined by the value of the backlight timeout setting, but is no less than 5 seconds.
First Keypress Enables Backlight Only.
With this option enabled the first keypress while the backlight is turned off will only turn the backlight on without having any other effect. When disabled the first keypress will also perform its appropriate action.
Backlight Exemptions
This option allows some selected actions in While Playing Screen and FM screen to not turn on the backlight in order to save power.
Enables/disables the feature.
Allows to select actions that will not activate backlight.
  • Volume up/down.
  • Toggling Play/Pause.
  • Seeking in a track.
  • Skipping of a track.
  • Buttons that have no action assigned and accidental button combinations don’t turn on backlight.
  • When plugged goes back to regular behavior.

Selected actions are indicated by a leading +. Note: If all options get de-selected, the entire feature is disabled.

Sleep (After Backlight Off).
This setting controls how long rockbox will wait before turning off the display after the backlight is turned off. Turning off the display saves battery power but turning on the display takes noticeably longer than just turning on the backlight.
Changes the brightness of your LCD display.
Changes the contrast of your LCD display.

Warning: Setting the contrast too dark or too light can make it hard to find this menu option again!

Upside Down.
Displays the screen so that the top of the display is nearest the buttons. This is sometimes useful when carrying the player in a pocket for easy access to the headphone socket.
This feature controls how text will scroll in Rockbox. You can configure the following parameters:
Scroll Speed.
Sets how many times per second the automatic horizontal scrolling text will move a step.
Scroll Start Delay.
Controls how many milliseconds Rockbox should wait before a new text begins automatically scrolling.
Scroll Step Size.
Defines the number of pixels the text should move for each step, as used by the Scroll Speed setting.
Bidirectional Scroll Limit.
Rockbox has two different automatic horizontal scrolling methods: 1) always scrolling the text to the left until the line has ended and then beginning again at the start, and 2) moving to the left until you can read the end of the line and then scrolling right until you see the beginning again. Rockbox chooses which method it should use depending of how much it has to scroll to the left. This setting lets you tell Rockbox where that limit is, expressed in percentage of the line length.
Screen Scrolls Out of View.
Screens can be manually scrolled horizontally by pressing Long Right/Left. Setting this option to Yes will keep the list entries at their fixed positions and allow them to be scrolled out of view, whereas No will only scroll those entries which surpass the right margin.
Screen Scroll Step Size.
Defines the number of pixels the horizontal manual screen scroll should move for each step.
Paged Scrolling.
When set to Yes scrolling vertically on pages that surpass the screen size will page up/down instead of simply changing lines. This can be useful on slow displays.
List Acceleration Start Delay.
This setting enables the acceleration of scroll speed in lists when holding Up or Down. When set to Off the acceleration is disabled. When any other value is set the acceleration will start to accelerate after holding Up or Down for the chosen time (in seconds).
List Acceleration Speed.
This setting controls how fast the scroll speed accelerates. The scroll speed will increase every N seconds. For example, selecting Speed up every 3s will increase the scroll speed every 3 seconds while Up or Down is held.
Peak Meter.
The peak meter can be configured with a number of parameters.
Peak Release.
This determines how fast the bar shrinks when the music becomes softer. Lower values make the peak meter look smoother. Expressed in scale units per 10 ms.
Peak Hold Time.
Specifies the time after which the peak indicator will reset. For example, if you set this value to 5 s, the peak indicator displays the loudest volume value that occurred within the last 5 seconds. Larger values are useful if you want to find the peak level of a song, which might be of interest when copying music from the player via the analogue output to some other recording device.
Clip Hold Time.
The number of seconds that the clipping indicator will be visible after clipping is detected.
Select whether the peak meter displays linear or logarithmic values. The human ear perceives loudness on a logarithmic scale. If the Scale setting is set to Logarithmic (dB) scale, the volume values are scaled logarithmically. The volume meters of digital audio devices usually are scaled this way. On the other hand, if you are interested in the power level that is applied to your headphones you should choose Linear display. This setting cannot be displayed in units like volts or watts because such units depend on your headphones.
Minimum and maximum range.
These two options define the full value range that the peak meter displays. Recommended values for the Logarithmic (dB) setting are -40 dB for minimum and 0 dB for maximum. Recommended values for Linear display are 0 and 100%. Note that -40 dB is approximately 1% in linear value, but if you change the minimum setting in linear mode slightly and then change to the dB scale, there will be a large change. You can use these values for ‘zooming’ into the peak meter.
Default Codepage.
A codepage describes the way extended characters that are not available within the ASCII character set are encoded. ID3v1 tags do not have a codepage encoding contained so Rockbox needs to know what encoding has been used when generating these tags. This should be “ISO-8859-1” but to support languages outside Western Europe most applications use the setting of your operating system instead. If your operating system uses a different codepage and you are getting garbled extended characters you should adjust this settings. In most cases sticking to “ISO-8859-1” would be sufficient.

8.5  System

8.5.1  Battery

Options relating to the battery in the player.

Battery Capacity.
This setting can be used to tell Rockbox what capacity (in mAh) the battery being used has. The default is 2000 mAh, which is the capacity value for the standard battery shipped with the player. Rockbox uses this value for runtime estimation, not battery percentage calculation. Changing this setting has no effect whatsoever on actual battery life. This setting only affects the accuracy of the runtime estimation as shown on screen.

8.5.2  Disk

Options relating to the hard disk.

Disk Spindown.
Rockbox has a timer that makes it spin down the hard disk after it is idle for a certain amount of time. This setting controls the amount of time between the last user activity and the time that the disk spins down. This idle time is only affected by user activity, like navigating through the File Browser. When the hard disk spins up to fill the audio buffer, it automatically spins down afterwards.
Directory Cache.
Rockbox has the ability to cache the contents of your drive in RAM. The Directory Cache takes a small amount of memory away from Rockbox that would otherwise be used to buffer music, but it speeds up navigation in the file browser by eliminating the slight pause between the time a navigation button is pressed and the time Rockbox responds. Turning this setting on activates the directory cache, and turning it off deactivates the directory cache.

Note: The first time you enable the directory cache, Rockbox will request a reboot of the player and upon restarting take a few minutes to scan the drive. After this, the directory cache will work in the background.

8.5.3  Limits

This sub menu relates to limits in the Rockbox operating system.

Max Entries in File Browser.
This setting controls the limit on the number of files that you can see in any particular directory in the file browser. You can configure the size to be between 50 and 10,000 files in steps of 50. The default is 400. Higher values will shorten the music buffer, so you should increase this setting only if you have directories with a large number of files.
Max Playlist Size.
This setting controls the maximum size of a playlist. The playlist size can be between 1,000 and 32,000 files, in steps of 1,000 (default is 10,000). Higher values will shorten the music buffer, so you should increase this setting only if you have very large playlists.
Glyphs To Cache.
This sets the default memory allocation size for fonts in unique glyphs. This should be set to the number of unique language glyphs and punctuation marks that are frequently displayed. The default is 250.

Note: You will need to restart your player for changes to Max Entries in File Browser or Max Playlist Size to take effect while Glyphs To Cache will affect the next font load.

8.5.4  Use Shortcuts Menu Instead of Quick Screen

This option activates the shortcuts menu instead of opening the quick screen when enabled.

8.5.5  Car Adapter Mode

This option turns On and Off the car ignition auto stop function.

Car Adapter Mode.
When using the player in a car, Car Adapter Mode automatically stops playback on the player when power (i.e. from cigarette lighter power adapter) to the external DC in jack is turned off. If the Car Adapter Mode is set to On, Rockbox will pause playback when the external power off condition is detected. Rockbox will then shutdown the player after the length of time set in the Idle Poweroff setting (see section 8.6.2). If power to the DC in jack is turned back on before the Idle Poweroff function has shut the player off, playback will be resumed after Car Adapter Mode Delay seconds after the power is applied. This delay is to allow for the time while the car engine is being started.

Once the player is shut off either manually, or automatically with the Idle Poweroff function, it must be powered up manually to resume playback.

8.5.6  Car Adapter Mode Delay

This option specifies the time between power being applied and playback resuming

Car Adapter Mode Delay.
As different car headunits take varying amounts of time to start up, the Car Adapter Mode Delay is configurable between 5 and 30 seconds, in 5 second increments.

8.5.7  Button Light Timeout

This setting controls the amount of time the button lights shine after a button press. If set to Off, the LEDs will not light when a button is pressed. If set to On, the lights will never shut off. If set to a time (1 to 120 seconds), the buttons will stay lit for that amount of time after a button press.

8.5.8  Button Light Brightness

Changes the brightness of the button lights.

8.5.9  Keyclick

This menu controls key clicks on button presses.

This setting controls how strong the keyclicks are. If set to Off, the keyclicks will be disabled.
Keyclick repeats.
This setting turns keyclick repeats On and Off. If set to On, the keyclicks will be repeated when you hold down a button. If set to Off, you will hear only one click.

8.5.10  Touchpad

These settings control the functions of touchpad devices.

Touchpad Sensitivity.
This setting controls the amount of pressure needed to register a touchpad press. If set to High the lightest touch will register. If set to Normal a firmer press will be needed to register on the touchpad.

8.6  Startup/Shutdown

The Startup/Shutdown sub menu allows you to configure items which are run at startup, or initiate a shutdown when conditions are met.

8.6.1  Start Screen

Set the screen that Rockbox will start in. The default is the main menu but the following options are available:

Previous Screen.
Start Rockbox in the same screen as when it was shut off.
Main Menu.
Show the main menu.
Display the file browser, starting in the root directory of your player.
Show the default database view.
Resume Playback.
Go to the WPS and and resume playback from where it was before turning off (if there is a playlist to resume).
Display the main settings menu.
Recent Bookmarks.
Show the list of recent bookmarks as described in section 8.7. Bookmarking needs to be enabled.

8.6.2  Idle Poweroff

Rockbox can be configured to turn off power after the unit has been idle for a defined number of minutes. The player is idle when playback is stopped or paused. It is not idle while the USB or charger is connected . Settings are either Off or 1 to 10 minutes in 1 minute steps. Then 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes are available.

8.6.3  Sleep Timer

The Sleep Timer powers off your player after a given time, whether playing or not.

Start Sleep Timer (duration):
Shown when the Sleep Timer is inactive, this option will initiate a Sleep Timer with the duration shown in brackets.
Cancel Sleep Timer (remaining):
Shown when the Sleep Timer is active, this option will cancel the current Sleep Timer.
The time remaining before completion is shown in brackets.
Default Sleep Timer Duration:
The default number of minutes a new Sleep Timer will run for.
The values range from 5 minutes to 5 hours in 5 minute steps.
If a timer is currently active, the timer’s duration will be set to the newly entered value.
The value set is persistent, see section E.
Start Sleep Timer On Boot:
If set, a Sleep Timer will be initiated when the device starts.
Restart Sleep Timer On Keypress:
If set, when a Sleep Timer is active and a key is pressed, the Sleep Timer will be restarted with the initial duration.

8.7  Bookmarking

Bookmarks allow you to save your current position within a track so that you can return to it at a later time. Bookmarks also store rate, pitch and speed information from the Pitch Screen (see section 4.3.3). Bookmarks are saved on a per directory basis or for individual (saved) playlists. You can store multiple bookmarks, even for the same track. When there’s already a bookmark for a directory or playlist, new bookmarks are added before existing ones.

Bookmarks are stored next to the directory or playlist they reference, in a file with the same name as the directory or playlist and a “.bmark” extension. To load a bookmark, select the bookmark file and then select the bookmark to load. There are other ways to load a bookmarks mentioned below.

Note: Bookmarking only works when tracks are launched from the file browser, and does not work for tracks launched via the database. In addition, they do not work with dynamic playlists.

Bookmark on Stop.
This option controls whether Rockbox creates a bookmark when playback is stopped manually.
Do not create bookmarks.
Always create bookmarks.
Ask if a bookmark should be created.
Yes – Recent Only.
Always create a bookmark, but only in the recent bookmarks list.
Ask – Recent Only.
Ask if a bookmark should be created, but only add it to the recent bookmarks list.

When either Yes – Recent Only or Ask – Recent Only is selected, bookmarks are only created if the Maintain a List of Recent Bookmarks is enabled.

Note: The Resume function remembers your position in the most recently accessed track regardless of how the Bookmark on Stop option is set.

Update on Stop.
If set to “No”, this setting has no effect and does not affect any other settings. If set to “Yes”, and the file to which a new bookmark would be added already exists, this option overrides the previous setting (Bookmark on Stop) and unconditionally creates a bookmark. This is useful if you don’t generally want to create bookmarks but only want to add them to already existing bookmark files. In this case you should set the setting Bookmark on Stop to “No” and the setting Update on Stop to “Yes”.
Load Last Bookmark.
This option controls if Rockbox should automatically load a bookmark for a file, when that file is played.
Always start from the beginning of the track or playlist.
Automatically return to the position of the last bookmark. Start from the beginning if there are no bookmarks.
Ask if playback should start from the beginning of the track or from one of the bookmarks.
Maintain a list of Recent Bookmarks.
If this option is enabled, a list of the most recently created bookmarks may be accessed through the Recent Bookmarks option in the Main Menu. This list contains up to ten entries.
Do not keep a list of recently used bookmarks. This also removes the Recent Bookmarks from the Main Menu.
Keep a list of recently used bookmarks. Each new bookmark is added to the list of recent bookmarks.
One per playlist
Add each new bookmark to the list of recently used bookmarks, but only keep one bookmark from the current directory or playlist; any previous entries for the playlist are removed.
One per track
Add each new bookmark to the list of recently used bookmarks, but only keep one bookmark from the current directory or playlist and the current track; any previous entries for the track within the playlist are removed.

The following keys can be used to navigate in any bookmark list.


Remote Key



Volume Down

Selects the next bookmark.


Volume Up

Selects the previous bookmark.

Select or Right


Resumes from the selected bookmark.

Left or Power


Exits Recent Bookmark menu


Long Menu

Deletes the currently selected bookmark

Long Select

Long Menu

Enters the context menu for the selected bookmark.

There are two options in the context menu:

8.8  Automatic resume

The automatic resume feature stores and recalls resume positions for all tracks without user intervention. These resume points are stored in the database, and thus automatic resume only works when the database has been initialized.

When automatic resume is enabled, manually selected tracks resume playback at their last playback position. It does not matter in which way you start the track; tracks are resumed whether they are navigated to through the database browser or file browser, by starting a playlist, or by skipping through tracks in the current playlist. (As an exception, when a track is resumed by loading a bookmark, the playback position saved in the bookmark takes precedence.)

Optionally, you can also enable automatic resume for automatic track transitions. In this case, the next track will be resumed as well instead of starting playback at its beginning. This is most useful for podcasts, and can be enabled on a per-directory basis.

A track’s resume position is updated whenever playback of that track stops, including when explicitly stopping the track, powering off the player, or starting playback of another track.

If you intend to start a track from its beginning but notice that it was resumed, you can press Left in the WPS to skip back to its beginning. When pressing Left again in the first few seconds of a track to go to the previous track, the previously (on first button press) saved resume position is retained. Therefore, you can also use Left and Right to skip across tracks in a playlist without losing their resume position.

Automatic resume.
This option enables or disables automatic resume globally. When Rockbox detects that the database (which is needed for this feature) has not been initialized yet, it asks whether it should be initialized right away.
Resume on automatic track change.
Controls whether the next track in an automatic track transition should be resumed at its last playback position as well.
Automatic resume works only for manual track selection.
Always attempt to resume – for both manual and automatic track changes.
In custom directories only.
Configure directories in which to enable resume on automatic track change. Selecting this option starts the text editor, in which you can enter the (absolute, case-insensitive) directory names separated by colons (“:”).

A typical value is “/podcast”, which matches all files in directories /PODCAST, /Podcast or /podcast and their subdirectories, but not in directories /podcasts (mind the trailing “s”) or /audio/podcast.

8.9  Language

This setting controls the language of the Rockbox user interface. Selecting a language will activate it. The language files must be in the /.rockbox/langs/ directory. See section 12.1.4 for further details about languages.

8.10  Voice

Voice Menus.
This option controls the voicing of menus/settings as they are selected by the cursor. In order for this to work, a voice file must be present in the /.rockbox/langs/ directory on the player. Voice files are large and are not shipped with Rockbox by default. The voice file is the name of the language for which it is made, followed by the extension .voice. So for English, the file name would be english.voice. This option is on by default, but will do nothing unless the appropriate voice file is installed in the correct place on the player. The Voice Menus have several limitations:
Voice Directories.
This option controls voicing of directory names. A voice file must be present for this to work. Several options are available.
Speak the directory name by spelling it out letter by letter. Support is provided only for the most common letters, numbers and punctuation.
Each directory is assigned a number based upon its position in the file list. They are then announced as “Directory 1”, “Directory 2” etc.
No attempt will be made to speak directory names.

You can use pre-generated .talk clips to have directory names spoken properly, but you must enable this explicitly (see below).

Use Directory .talk Clips.
This option turns on the use of .talk clips for directories.
Use special pre-recorded files (_dirname.talk) in each directory. These must be generated in advance, and are typically produced synthetically using a text-to-speech engine on a PC.
No checking is made for directory .talk clips; they are not used even if present. This can reduce disk activity.

Use of a .talk clip takes precedence over other directory name voicing. Otherwise (e.g. if a .talk clip is not available), voicing uses the method set under Voice Directories above.

Voice Filenames.
This option controls voicing of filenames. Again, a voice file must be present for this to work. The options provided are Spell, Numbers, and Off which function the same as for Voice Directories. You can use pre-generated .talk clips to have filenames spoken properly, but you must enable this explicitly (see below).
Use File .talk Clips.
This option turns on the use of .talk clips for files.
Use special pre-recorded files for each file. This functions the same as for directories except that the .talk clip file must have the same name as the described file with an extra .talk extension (e.g. Punkadiddle.mp3 would require a file called Punkadiddle.mp3.talk).
No checking is made for file .talk clips; they are not used even if present. This can reduce disk activity.

Use of a .talk clip takes precedence over other filename voicing. Otherwise (e.g. if a .talk clip is not available), voicing uses the method set under Voice Filenames above.

Say File Type.
This option turns on voicing of file types when Voice Filenames is set to Spell or Numbers. When Voice Directories is set to Spell, “Directory” will be voiced after each spelled out directory.
Announce Battery Level.
When this option is enabled the battery level is announced when it falls under 50%, 30% and 15%.

See VoiceHowto for more details on configuring speech support in Rockbox.

8.11  Hotkey

WPS Hotkey.
File Browser Hotkey.

These options set the hotkey function for their respective screens (see section 4.5). The default for the WPS is View Playlist. The File Browser default is Off.