Audiobooks and new firmware - Great but could be better

I’ve got to give them credit, this is probably the best mp3 player for audiobooks now, but the resume feature is so close to being super that it is sad they didn’t (or couldn’t) make it so. I wonder sometimes if they actually use their own players to listen to audiobooks or are just doing the best they can from our feedback… because if they were using them I would think they would have seen what I have noticed about the feature.

The good:

Every audiobook track is bookmarked automatically.

If you leave to go listen to the FM radio and then go back to the Audiobook folder it has an option to play previous that takes you right to where you had left off (but won’t help you if you’ve gone to listen to your own music).

You can’t accidentally skip to another track if you press the FF or RW buttons.

Audobooks are all grouped together, separate from the music!!

Chapter count on top line of display when playing Audible titles with Chapter mode turned on (I think this is new).

The “could of been better” – BOOKMARKS/RESUME:

Say I’ve got books A, B and C. Each with 100 mp3 files.

OK, I’m listening to A and am on file 50. I stop and switch to listen to music.

I go to select audiobooks and I see options for A, B or C. I select A and expect the option to resume… but no, I see page after page of the next level of the book menu, all 100 mp3 files. I’ve got to remember which specific file I was listening to (yeah, right), find it and then select it to finally get the “resume” option.

This could have been so much better if I was given a resume option right when I pick the book, or even better a resume option when I selected Audiobooks (to take me to the last one I was listening to), and another at the book level in case I had multiple books in mid-listen and didn’t select the resume at the Audiobooks level.

My only guess is that instead of reinventing the wheel they just used the same methods that were already being used in the player for Audible books… good enough for those books since there is seldom more than 2 or 3 files per book. But not so great for books from CD with lots and lots of files.

So, many, many thanks for the new firmware!! And please, can you make it even better with the next update?

Message Edited by rdow on 05-18-2008 07:34 PM

Message Edited by rdow on 05-18-2008 07:34 PM

you can use mp3 merger to crete one large mp3

 http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/MP3Merger/

why cant sansa make bookmarx as a separate menu item?  you wanna mark a place and it shows in bookmarx list; say w/15 or so total max. then you choose from list which one you wanna resume…

@amkoas wrote:
why cant sansa make bookmarx as a separate menu item?  you wanna mark a place and it shows in bookmarx list; say w/15 or so total max. then you choose from list which one you wanna resume…

That’s exactly the waythe Rockbox (open source) software works on my iRiver player.

@amkoas wrote:
why cant sansa make bookmarx as a separate menu item? you wanna mark a place and it shows in bookmarx list; say w/15 or so total max. then you choose from list which one you wanna resume…

Personally I prefer what Sansa has done. I have an Insignia Sport that does just what you are asking for and I don’t find it as useful since you have to remember to bookmark (hit the bookmark button) before you switch to the radio, or plug it into the computer etc. I prefer the player just remembering where I was.

Now if the bookmarking would still take place automatically, but there was a bookmark menu item for going back to restart your book, then that could work pretty well too. Just make sure that there is only one bookmark stored per book. The Insignia doesn’t do that, so you can end up with 10 different bookmarks for a single book for all the times you pressed the bookmark button.

Message Edited by rdow on 05-19-2008 08:41 AM

Re:

you can use mp3 merger to crete one large mp3

 http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/MP3Merger/

Thanx tk421!  Great advice on the merger program.  I used it on my mp3 format books (many, many files per book), and it works perfectly.  No real skipping to the next/last section with the button click either now (which is good…prevents accidents from a too-quick button press), but this completely solves the bookmarking issue for my uses.

I came to this thread because I had the exact same problem as rdow.  For example, I have one book that’s over 900 tracks.

However, few of my tracks are in mp3 format and MP3Merger only handles MP3. So to supplement tk421’s note, I found a free program that handles different formats for both input and output: MediaJoin.  Found it on tucows.  Also handles variable bit rate and I think MP3Merger may have a problem with that.

MediaJoin is a great but not perfect program – e.g., its static list of preset genres doesn’t include “audiobooks.”  LOL, can deal with that separately.