I just got my hands on Philips HDD100 MP3 player: 15GB MP3 player with support for MP3 and WMV formats (not that I would ever use the latter). If it was me, I'd never get myself a player which doesn't support Ogg (OTOH, $180 for 15GB USB drive is not that bad either :), but this one is my sister's :-) I just get to use it from time to time, and removeable storage is what I never refuse.
It's "usb-storage" compatible, so one can just plug it into any sufficiently new GNU/Linux system, and get access to another disk. So I did, and copied a few songs, but it turns out it requires proprietary database in order to read files (it doesn't read the directories themselves).
After some Googling, I couldn't find any existing software to create these databases, but I found just what I needed: technical specifications. This means that I don't have to do any reverse-engineering of databases, so it took mere 1-2 hours to write a Python program to create suitable databases (I first started writing it in C, but then I though, what the heck, it'd be faster and easier to do it in Python, though I never handled binary records using Python, which turned out to be very easy :).
So, if you've got this player and want to use it without using
Windows, grab create-index.py,
put it in your path,
chmod +x it, mount the player, and
run the program. If that's a bit too much, here's how I do it:
$ mount -o umask=000 /dev/sde1 /mp3player $ (cd /mp3player && create-index.py System/data Muzika System/music) $ umount /mp3player
It's certainly very buggy currently. You'd also need ID3 module installed (official web page is at id3-py.sf.net). Many features are currently missing (such as playlists). Any patches and improvements are welcome :-)
Although Philips' original software renames files to very short names, it's possible to use longer names if you modify some header fields, and that's what I do (and it works mostly :). SolonWeb, otoh, claims that it doesn't work correctly, so I just say: it works for me.
Note that Philips firmware is not what you'd call great: it occasionally freezes, and you have to resort to hardware reset: press volume up (on the right side of the player) and up arrow (previous track button on the player) for around 4 seconds to shut it down.
Hope this helps anyone in trying to use Philips HDD100 15GB MP3 player on some of GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, or any other free system. At least for playing music, since external hard drive features work out of the box.