Audiobooks, resume feature, and Ch.Mode

I am having some problems with audiobook playback.  I have audiobooks consisting of 10 to 70 mp3 tracks each, ripped from 2 to 10 CDs for each book. The mp3 files that constitute an audiobook are in the MUSIC directory and have the genre set to “audiobook.”  They do show up in the audiobook menu on the Fuze.

When I want to resume an audiobook, I have to find the right track and then the resume feature works within that track.  That’s moderately useless; I really want to resume within the book as a whole.

Is there any way to accomplish this?

The options for audiobook includes something called “Ch.Mode,” which can be set On or Off.  What does this do?  I’ve been unable to determine any difference between the behavior with this setting on or off.

 Thanks!

Use “MP3Join”  a free program to combine all the MP3 files into a single file and youll be set.

I’m not really too happy with that solution, as I think it would discard all of the chapter and section information implicit in the existing structure.

What does the “Ch.Mode”  option do?

“Chapter mode supports Audible .aa format audiobooks only.  Playing an Audible file, the book is indexed into convenient chapters, rather than individual files as in generic audiobooks.”

More here

A detailed explanation of how bookmarking works on the Sansa Fuze can be found here.

Message Edited by lost101 on 11-05-2008 05:01 PM

The Fuze  needs a return to podcast and a return to audiobook function, so that someone can listen to a book or podcast for a while, listen to some music files, then return to their place in a podcast or book without having to remember which file and album they were in, and how to navigate there. The player also needs a way to mark podcast and audiobook files as read after each is played through completely, and a way to be able to show just the unread podcasts or audiobook files.

I also want the Fuze to be able to show a song list or an album list when one chooses an artist or a genre, and have an easy way way to togle between the two.

Amen to this. I use my fuze primarily for audiobooks and this drives me nuts to have to ‘find’ the file I left off on when moving between sections.

@jk98 wrote:

The Fuze  needs a return to podcast and a return to audiobook function, so that someone can listen to a book or podcast for a while, listen to some music files, then return to their place in a podcast or book without having to remember which file and album they were in, and how to navigate there.

What I really want is this: when I restart an audiobook, I want the current track and position to be the track that was being played when I left the audiobook.  The work-around of joining all of the tracks to a single mp3 file does not always work because it discards chapter and topic identification that may be associated with individual tracks.

For example, I have one “audiobook” of about 10 CDs and about 130 tracks.  I need to keep the tracks because they identify sections of the audiobook and topics discussed.  I frequently need to go back and listen to specific topics.  

I have less need for a “return to the last audiobook listened to” capability.  That would be useful sometimes but I don’t have so many audiobooks that I don’t remember which audiobook I was listening to.

Another audiobook enhancement that I would like is to be able to see the author in the audiobook listing.  I have several audiobooks with confusingly similar titles and the best way to distinguish them is by author.  Another approach that would be ok is the option to sort audiobooks by author instead of by title.


@sansafix wrote:
Use “MP3Join”  a free program to combine all the MP3 files into a single file and youll be set.


 

Sorry, but this is no good option. As mentioned before, the chapters get lost and if you want to find a specific position, you are lost (Harry Potter audiobook consists of 20CDs , over 20 hours, I don`t want to search through one big file).

Bookmarking should also remember the played file, this could look like this: Open Audiobooks, and select “resume previous”, and the TRACK and position is continued. 

They actually tried to have a “Resume where you left off” for all audiobooks but blew it. 

I don’t think this “Resume” feature is present for “songs” or files of any “genre” other than “Audiobook”.  Don’t know about podcasts, recordings made on the player, etc because I haven’t played with them.  Also have never tried the genre “Spoken Word” so have no idea what the Fuze does with files having that in the “tag”.  Remember that it completely ignores the directory structure so sticking files in the Audiobook directory is just to make them easier for you to find.

Here’s how the Fuze actually works with Audiobook in the file tag: 

If you select a track of an audiobook that you have previously listened to, the player offers you the choice to resume that track where you left off or start at the beginning of the track.  The default is to “resume”.  So far, so good. 

If you have EVER listened to any of the tracks in the audiobook, it remembers the last position FOR EACH TRACK.  Again, not the screw up because you might want to go back to any or all of those points if the files in the displayed track list are different topics, and if you go to them individually with the aim of resuming each track where you left off. 

Hey!  It sounds like “bookmarking” is there AND it’s automatic AND it’s the default so you return to the exact spot in each selected track.  Wow!  What else do you need?

Now let’s say that instead of a list of independent “audiobook” reference files or chapters in a reference book, you are listening to a novel.  More the sort of thing that a lot of us do to pass the time while driving, exercising, etc. 

When you select your book title - the equivalent of an “album” with the book’s title in the ID3 tag field for “Album Name” - you see a list of the chapters or tracks.  If you select any track in the list, you get the option to resume THAT TRACK if you have ever listened to that track and stopped listening before the end of the track. 

Still sounds OK!  Just like I’d want it.  Yeah, I do have to remember which chapter/track I was listening to if I want to go back to the chapter/track where I left off, but it remembers the exact spot in every interrupted track!!!  So a pencil and sticky-note fixes this little oversight.

Once you have started playing the chapters/tracks in the list, one would logically, rationally expect that at the end of the selected track the player would go to the BEGINNING of the next track, play the ENTIRE track, and then to the BEGINNING of the next track, and so on until it reaches the end of the list.  Right???

Remember that the default when MANUALLY selecting any previously interrupted track is to “RESUME”?  Well guess what the Fuze does as it comes to each and every previously interrupted track as it steps through the list? 

Here is where they blew it with absolutely illogical, irrational, indefensible behaviour! 

Instead of the logical and rational choice of playing each successive track from the BEGINNING, it takes the default choice to RESUME the previously interrupted chapter/track where playback last left off FOR EACH AND EVERY PREVIOUSLY INTERRUPTED CHAPTER/TRACK!!!  It does this quietly, without offering you a choice - which would be **bleep** annoying as you are driving or jogging or even just quietly relaxing, so don’t even think about popping up the Resume/Restart choice at this point as a “fix”!!!  Can you say “Oops!”???

Say you had just copied the audiobook files onto the player and wanted to spot check tracks to see if they sounded OK, complete, or whatever and scrolled toward the middle or end of a few tracks and listened a bit.  Or did this on a lot of the tracks…  Or on all of the tracks…  Now you get settled for a long drive with 20 hours of a novel cued up to the beginning, plug into the thoughtfully provided jack on the car stereo, and head down the road.  The novel doesn’t make any sense at all and playback is done in much less than the advertised 20 hours!!!  Maybe 20 minutes!  Maybe 20 seconds or less, depending on where you left each “interrupted playback” pointer. 

Irrational, illogical, indefensible behaviour!  All because the software writers probably have never listened to an audiobook! And software management haven’t either or they just weren’t paying attention during the design review - assuming they did a design review.  Don’t blame it on Marketing because the software designers are supposed to be smarter and find the holes in the marketing spec.  Software test never found the problem because they were just as clueless or never actually tried things a user would do!!! That’s assuming that they actually run the software through INDEPENDENT internal testing before turning it loose on customers!!!   #!%&*%$#*&%#!

Never mind my “check the tracks” scenario.  Anyone who reads will often pick up the book at the next opportunity, turn back a page or two, and reread a little just to refresh your memory about what was going on in the story.  Same goes even more for audiobooks where you are driving, exercising, doing yard work, or whatever.  You get interrupted or just distracted.   You can’t reach the pause button so the player continues.  You return to listening and scan backwards until you find a spot that sounds familiar.  Now you would expect the player to play all of the subsequent chapters/tracks IN THEIR ENTIRETY!!!   Right!!!

The really bad thing about all of this is that you may never be aware that you’ve missed sections, maybe even whole chapters.  With dramatic pauses by the readers and writers who “jump cut” from scene to scene, you may never notice the skipped sections.  You may just end up thinking that the author is an idiot that can’t develop characters or tie a plot together by the end of the book.

I guess they’ve never heard the rule that “One aw**bleep** cancels 10,000 attaboys.”

Suggestions above for the “fix” are a start but don’t cover the issues adequately.

Comments anyone?

SanDisk, is anyone listening?

Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 11:52 AM

Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 11:53 AM

Message Edited by fbtjr1947 on 11-13-2008 11:58 AM

We are working on a resume the current segment capability.

So much for your illogical, indefensible, irrational rant.

I think those who can offer reasonable input and suggestions are more effective in influencing the implementation of enhancements.

Those who like to pontificate and listen to themselves rant can easily be put on “ignore”  by our developers.

So try to remain less emotional please.

@sansafix wrote:

We are working on a resume the current segment capability.

Thank you a thousand times over!  That’s great news!

Sorry if over 6 months of frustration with little or no help from SanDisk shows thru. 

Now, did anyone pass the detailed description of how the software actually works and how it should work along to the guys who did it wrong the first time and are now making another try?

The bookmarking feature (lack of) has been a long-term problem for Sandisk players.  As an E200 user, I can very much see the point of the user “rant,” and have no sympathy with the developer or the tech support person who believes the needs of “developers” to not have to listen to “rants” outweighs the needs of paying customers who actually bought an inferior product.

Costco is having a sale on Sansa Fuze this 2008 black Friday, and I thought I’d come and see if Fuze is handling bookmarks better than the E200 series.  Apparently Sansa’s strategy is to put those pain in the ass customers on “ignore” rather than address the problem.

Because of that, I’ll try a different brand…

Fuze is much superior to e200 with Audiobooks.

They may work better with the Audible format.  I don’t know, since I don’t use Audible.  However, judging by the complaints people have in using other audiobook formats, I’d say “much superior” is an exageration.   

@mydd wrote:
They may work better with the Audible format.  I don’t know, since I don’t use Audible.  However, judging by the complaints people have in using other audiobook formats, I’d say “much superior” is an exageration.   

I’m going to have to agree.  I used a 200v2 before the Fuze.  To my mind, they operate exactly the same in regards to Audible.  I couldn’t tell you a single difference between the two.

Oh wait, yes I can, my 200v2 still works with Audible but my Fuze (with the last firmware "up"grade) does not.

Interesting definition of “superior”, don’t you think?

Message Edited by jfencl on 11-18-2008 01:11 PM

e200 does not offer Resume feature of non Audible Audiobooks.  Fuze offers automatic  (passive) bookmarking of audiobook and podcast content.

Fuze has a problem with Audiobook contents on the external card currently,  which will be fixed in the next release.  You can use internal card for Audible content for now.

For Netlibrary content,  if you stop the audiobook and listen to the radio or music,  you can come back to the book at the exact position you left with Fuze.

For Overdrive,  the Audiobook is broken into several chapters,  currently the Fuze does not remember which chapter you were in,  but it remembers the seek position within each chapter.

We will enhance the Fuze to remember which Overdrive chapter you were in when you left the book.

e200 groups audiobooks under the music library,  Fuze has a separate section for Audiobooks.  If you play/ shuffle all with e200 it will mix in Audiobooks with music. Fuze does not.

I think Fuze is far superior for Audiobooks,  especially if you mix Audiobooks and Music on the player and like to put down a book to do other things, then resume…

Message Edited by sansafix on 11-18-2008 03:34 PM

…don’t forget that the Fuze does the chicken dance with Audible Format 3 (64KB/s) too.  Format 4 (128KB/s) is the only format that runs properly on the Fuze.  At that file size, a nice piano black 8GB looks like the hot ticket.

The e200v2 is still happy with Format 3 and the µSD card.

I am hopeful that a future update to the Fuze will include displaying an asterisk, or a different size FONT, or a different color, or a highlight - for the active file.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

>> Fuze is much superior to e200 with Audiobooks.

I’ll go a step farther than this and say that the Fuze (and the Clip) are one of the best audiobook players around.  Not THE best but they’re sure going in that directy.

I’ve been an avid audiobook listener for over 25 years and I’ve been listening with MP3 players for over 10 years.  I currently own enough players that I’m embarassed to say how many.  I’m always looking for the perfect one for book listening.  Sansa is showing real promise of trying to get there.

Here are my suggestions, although I suspect you’re already aware of them.  Add bookmarks!  Resume is not the same thing.  A bookmark lets you mark a place to come back to, even within the current file.  Resume is important but there’s only so much it will do.  If I can easily set bookmarks they let me mark where I am if I’m laying in bed in case I fall asleep and the player plays on.  The last bookmark (or THE bookmark if I can only set one) tells me just about where I was before I drifted off.  This is very important for audiobook listening in bed!

Bookmarks also serve as a backup when I lose my resume point, which happens if I don’t press the button just right or if I get distracted and forget to release it.

Your plan to include the file within the book as well as the place within the file in the resume feature is a good one.  Thanks for thinking of that.  I can live without it but it would be very nice to have.

Don’t mess with the accelleration on your fast forward and rewind…it accellerates little fast but it’s very usable and a little fast is way better than a little slow.  User settable would be nice but no big deal.  It works good now.

You guys are very close right now but you’re not quite there.  Please make the Fuze the perfect one. :slight_smile:

By the way, your two main competitors, the Cowon D2 and the Creative Zen X-Fi, are just as flawed.  Their resume is less reliable than yours.  The X-Fi has to be on hold to keep the light from cutting battery life in half and that’s a pain when you’re always rewinding to hear something again.  They also only resume on the current file, not on a set of files.  The D2 would be perfect if it didn’t have that clumsy touch screen that I was always hitting by accident and losing my place.  But they do both have bookmarks (the single most important feature for audiobooks) and just about everything else.

You guys are neck and neck at the moment but I think you have less to fix to get it right and if you do get it right, your player has the best feel in my hand.  Here’s hoping!

Barry

I am considering purchasing a Sansa fuze, however I wanted to know if you are expecting to have Bookmarks with your next firmare update, and if so when will that be?

thanks