Audiobook limits?

I have an 8GB Sansa Fuze with an 8GB expansion card.  I placed approximately 20 audiobooks in the Audiobooks directory on the internal memory, for a total of 426 tracks, using MSC mode.  These books took about 5 GB of space.  The external card has some 745 tracks that are a mixture of music and speech.  Then I removed the player and allowed the database to refresh.

But, there are only 16 titles showing in the Music->Audiobooks listing.  A bunch of audiobooks seem to be tossed together indiscriminately with a title of “Unknown.”

Further, the tracks of one of the audiobooks that has about 75 tracks are not in track-number order but are somewhat jumbled.  Track numbers in this book run from 101 through 701, where the first digit is the disc number.

Am I encountering some kind of limits of the Fuze?  Is there a limit of 16 (or some other number) of audiobooks?  Or, what might be happening?  I’d appreciate any suggestion on how to solve this problem.


You have ID3tag issues along with this other poster here.

My ID3 tags are well organized.

I did find the problem with the tracks being dumped into the “Unknown” book.  The author, and the name of the folder the tracks were in, was “Pema Chödrön”.   Note the ö character.  When I changed the spelling to use just the letter “o”, then the titles showed up properly.  The Fuze apparently has some restriction on character sets that causes this problem.  So that means I am required to mis-spell Pema’s name for the Fuze to be able to handle it.

In the book with jumbled track, the tracks are not sorted in track number order.  The track number is of the form “Cnn” where “C” is the disk number (1 to 7) and “nn” is the track number on the disk.  Track numbers run from 101 through 701 using this numbering convention.  Artist, Album, Genre are all consistent throughout all tracks.  (I’ve seen sorting problems before if the genre is not consistent, but that is not what is happening here.)

Are there any restrictions on the number of tracks, maximum track number, or anything like that?

[Updated–previous description was a misidentification of the problem:] Found the problem with track ordering!  Some of the ID3v2 track tags were numbered in the form “701/40” where “/40” was the total number of tracks on the CD.  Other tracks in the same audiobook had been ripped by a different program and lacked the “/40”.  That difference caused the Fuze to sort the tracks oddly.  Only mp3tag showed the “/40”.  All other programs I have just showed “701.”  Even editing the track number in those programs didn’t delete the “/40.”  Once I edited the track numbers in mp3tag to completely eliminate the total track count, all was well.

The “unknown” album problem still appears to be a character set (unicode?) support problem in the Fuze as I described in an earlier message.

Message Edited by GuyScharf on 11-11-2008 06:59 AM

Message Edited by GuyScharf on 11-11-2008 08:54 PM

SanDisk does not seem interested in providing a mode that would allow a simple folder and filename view of the contents of the player.  Some of the “experts” even make jokes about why would anyone want it to work that way.  Not very productive responses. 

I’m not surprised that non-english characters make the player go stupid.  With all apologies to the authors and titles, you’ll just have to pretent that there are no non-english or accented characters on your keyboard until SanDisk fixes the problem.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for a fix.

From my experimentation, I think the track number problem is not the “/40”.  It is the fact that some have it and some don’t.  Then there is the issue of sort order giving you 1, 11, 12, 13, 2, etc…  Use 01, 02, etc if less than 100 tracks.  Use 001, 002, etc for 100 to 999 tracks.  The same applies in track names if you expect to be able to sort the chapter list in order.

I wrote the following instruction for my brother (a PhD who has worked over 30 years with computer systems and electronics).  He was frustrated to the point of trashing the Fuze he bought specifically to listen to audiobooks because he couldn’t make it do anything rational.  And NO HELP from SanDisk.

Music players and your sanity: 

For your own convenience and sanity, you can use any folder and file organization you want on your PC and when copying files to the player.  No matter what the folders and filenames are, the player will display the files and sort them by the Genre, Album Name, Artist, Track Name, Track Number, etc embedded in the “ID3” tags hidden in the files.  If the “Genre” field isn’t “Audiobook” all of your book chapters will show up as songs no matter where you put them in the player’s directory structure.  If there are no tags at all, all of your books and chapters will show up listed alphabetically by filename in a single list under Songs with unknown artist, unknown album, etc.

The short answer is that you are stuck with having to use mp3tag or something like it to add tags to files that don’t have them, delete improper tags, &/or fix incomplete tags applied by rip programs including Windoz Media Player.  The tag edit features in Windoz Media Player and Windoz Explorer won’t do the job 'cause they leave rubbish in tags &/or fields they don’t show you, and they don’t allow you to change the tag type or add a missing tag.  There are other programs that claim to be able to do the job, but mp3tag is the best one I’ve tried.  And it’s free.  Any web search should find “mp3tag”.  Download it from a reliable source like Cnet.

mp3tag will add missing tags, strip off the incorrect tags, and write only the tag types you select.  If you wish, you can have it write ID3v2, ID3v1, and tags for some other music player programs too.  The good news is that mp3tag is an easy to use tool that will let you fix groups of files - a whole book - at one time.  Features allow you to pull info out of the filename and use it in the tag fields and vice versa.  For example copy part or all of the filename to the track name field.  Or copy track name to filename. 

Before you start, make a copy of your files in a ‘work’ directory just in case you foul things up and need to start over. 

For audiobooks use the name of the book = album name, author = artist, chapter name (or disk and track number) = track name, genre = audiobook (VERRRRRY IMPORTANT so books show up under “audiobooks” instead of “songs”).  For genre you’ll have to type in “Audiobook” because it isn’t in the pulldown list for the Genre field.

Select all of the files for a book, then select which fields to leave alone and which to change all in one pass.  At a minimum make the Album Name, Artist, and Genre identical as suggested above.  If you want, add the year of publication and any other info in the appropriate fields.  Click “save” and give it a few minutes to work especially if you are doing a lot of tracks and having to add missing tags. 

If necessary either use the tools mentioned above to copy parts or all of the filename into the Track Name field or manually fix the Track Name fields so they have chapter numbers and names or disk and track numbers that will sort into logical order. 

Be sure to SAVE each change.

Once you’ve done the major fields, scroll down the list and make sure the track numbers are correct and and consistent.  Fix if necessary. 

One other tip:  If you use filenames or “chapter” names like “disk 1 track 1” remember that if there are more than 9 or 99 disks, tracks, or chapters you must use “01” or “001” to keep from ending up with a list that shows “tr 1, tr 10, tr 11, tr 12, …, tr 2,…”.

A fringe benefit is that once you’ve fixed the tags as described above, Windoz Media Player will also show you a rational listing that can be viewed by author, title, etc. instead of lumping everything under “unknown” with all the track 001’s listed followed by all the track 002’s, etc.

Of course the same process can be used to fix music files that don’t “behave” properly when transferred to the player.  Or your own sound recordings of lectures, the kid being cute, etc.

If someone at SD had pointed me in this direction in May, I could have avoided a lot of frustration.  This information should be part of the User’s Manual.  I guess that’s expecting waaaaaayyyyyyy too much…

Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 01:33 AM

@fbtjr1947 wrote:

From my experimentation, I think the track number problem is not the “/40”.  It is the fact that some have it and some don’t. 

Yes, that is what I found too.

Your message is an excellant tutorial on how tags have to be used with the Fuze and should be required reading for everyone new to tagging!

A quick and easy fix is to make a playlist with the audiobook tracks in the proper order. When done on a pc, it takes only a couple of minutes. Make sure you save the playlist in your “playlist” folder. Works like a charm :slight_smile:

I know that all audiobook from Audible are encoded in the format of AA and AAX protected by digital right management (DRM). Therefore, Audible’s content is only accessible through Audible. However, we can remove all DRM protection and convert Audible audiobook to plain formats via a audible audiobook converter.

As I know, Audible audiobooks are saved in special AA and AAX formats. These special formats protect Audible books so that users can only listen to them within the Audible app. If you need to move Audible books to SD card it is necessary to change AAX to MP3 or other common formats first. There are many Audible AAX converters that can achieve this target.

To break the limits from Audible audiobooks, I use the Audiobook Converter for Mac to make it. Then I can convert Audible audiobooks to the audio format that my device supported. And then I can listen to the audiobooks files on the go on my device.