aftermarket notes on the nook color

Just recording some notes on my Nook Color here. For starters, the Nook Color can be easily rooted by heading over to The process (I did an AutoNooter rooting, which leaves the original software intact rather than fully replacing it with Android Froyo/2.3/Honeycomb…) is straight-forward once you start doing it. In fact, the hardest part is simply getting the microsd card inserted into the awkward slot in the corner of the Nook. Other tricky parts include making sure you have a Google account on hand as well as an open (or easily-connected-to) wireless network for the device setup. You won’t have a chance to get the MAC address during setup, so if you use MAC whitelisting, be sure to harvest that item first.

Whenever rooting a device, there is usually that risk of turning it into a brick, but with the Nook Color there is very little risk since you can factory reset the device including the original software. Basically, why wouldn’t you make a try of it?! I personally used the AutoNooter tool so that I can still at least have the default software running, but with the extra capabilities of installing apps from the Android Market, and beyond.

Also read this post (or this original location) that goes through the initial process, but also details some great “next steps” to do after rooting the Nook Color. Specifically, follow the suggestions for SoftKeys and Advanced Task Killer so you can refresh the installed apps list (Extras) without a full reboot. Since this post is hosted on a public education site, I’ll be quoting portions of it below for my own future reference in case the original goes away. That link also reminded me that I can play movie files on the tablet, and includes some suggested settings in Handbrake to encode files in playable format. Score!

Lastly, I’ve been trying out some of the games on the android market. While I find app games to be pretty and kinda fun to control with touch, none have really been nearly as solid or exciting as games I’ve been able to get on various dedicated gaming consoles or handhelds. Yes, Angry Birds is addicting, but it’s not a fulfilling game for a hardcore gamer; I’d even prefer to fire up SMB3 or FF1 all over again. So I’ve gone ahead and installed Nesoid, SNESoid, and Gameboid, to start out. Pair this up with all my ROMs on the microsd card I leave in the Nook, and I’ve now got a nostalgic and gorgeous handheld gaming system to play ‘golden age’ games! The touchscreen controls take time to get used to, and just won’t ever feel good in some games, but most of the time that is forgivable. Now to just get a controller and stand…

(Aside: The NookColor comes with an unused Bluetooth radio, so it does have the potential to become enabled and start attaching Bluetooth controllers! Would also enabled the use of microphones/headsets…)

Video conversion for Nook Color (to unprotect DVDs or rip them local, I use AnyDVD):

[paragraph formatting has been removed for space] The trick with Handbrake is figuring out what settings are best for a particular device. Lucky for you I’ve already done this for the Nook Color. Note that Hadbrake will not convert any videos that you have purchased on iTunes, as these are copy protected and only work with Apple devices. When using Handbrake to encode video from a DVD or other (un-protected) video file, set Handbrake up as follows: On the main page, set the Video Codec to “MPEG-4”, check the “2-pass encoding” box, and set the “Average bitrate” to “1000”, as you see below: Next, click on “Audio” and set the first track to a bitrate of “128”, then disable any other tracks you see: Finally, click the “Picture” button and set the width to “512” (the height will adjust automatically).

Fixing Extras (because it won’t refresh and list newly installed apps until you reboot…or do this!):

If you decide to install Advanced Task Killer, you’ll need to change a few settings to get it to do what we want. Once installed, launch Advanced Task Killer, then tap the menu button, followed by Settings. Scroll the page up and tap “Security Level”, then set to “Low”. I also uncheck “Show Notification” because I don’t like having an advanced task killer icon in my notification bar, but that’s up to you. Press the back button twice to close Advanced Task Killer, then re-open it. You should now be able to see in the app list. Hold your finger on and select “Kill” from the menu that appears. The next time you open Extras, it will reload the launcher and refresh the list.