· I don't have a serial port on my PC. Is the serial port required?
(Entry last updated on October 1st, 2010)
The serial port is not required to load music onto the player. In fact, USB and Ethernet are the preferred methods because they are much faster.
However, the serial port is required whenever you upgrade the player software. It's also the only way you can send custom logos or kernels to to the player. And if you intend to do any software development for the player, you can't even get started without the initial serial connection. The serial port is also very useful for troubleshooting.
If your computer has only USB ports, there are USB-to-serial adapters available which should work in theory, but it has been reported that it's hit-and-miss as to whether a given adapter will actually work or not. Also, if you have a desktop computer with a free ISA or PCI slot, you can add an inexpensive serial card to your computer.
If your computer is a laptop with a PCI-Express slot, search around the internet for PCI-E-to-serial adapters with the keywords "Oxford Chipset". These will be more likely to work with the player than the USB-to-serial adapters.
As a last resort, you could perform your software upgrades on a friend's PC if it had serial ports.