Can't download music or firmware update--(Fuze a nightmare to figure out)

@sariah wrote:


I have NO idea what ID3 tags are, nor do I know what the MP3Tag application is.     And I don’t want to know and shouldn’t have to know.  All we want to do is easily put songs on this awful thing.   I didn’t expect to have to take a class to understand all the lingo or how to go through umpteen time-consuming steps to be able to use this.   If I have a well-written manual, I can figure pretty much any complicated thing out.   But there is one pathetic page that is useles.


I know it seems easy to you, but to the average person it is not.  Which is why Sansa can never hope to compete with Apple.  I’m ready to take a hammer to the thing.


But I do appreciate everyone’s help.   At least all your advice and suggestions have convinced me that this is way too complicated and time-consuming to bother with. :smileyvery-happy:


This thing is going back for a refund.

There is no need to bash the product, just because you do not understand it.  The fuze is a high quality product, and I was so happy with my first one, my wife got me a second one this morning for Christmas.

You cannot fault the product, just because you are unwilling to learn new tasks or techniques that are necessary when learning any unfamiliar product.  That’s like wanting to drive a car without taking driver’s ed or knowing what all the controls do.

I would rarely suggest that anyone take back their Sansa product, unless it was defective; but in your case, it may be the wisest approach for everyone involved.

 It’s sort of hard to feel sorry for people who are having trouble when they’re so quick to trash the thing… 

As to the firmware updater, that is Sandisk’s problem.  My wife has a 4GB and I have an 8GB model.  Both worked fine with the updater on previous occassions.  While trying to update my mother-in-law’s new 4GB I also got the error and replicated it on our Fuzes.  Somewhere the service got broken; the player is fine but you’ll have to update manually.

No need for people to be rude on Xmas either, frustration can affect anyone.  I agree the manual could be better and everyone’s entitled to a mistake about supported file formats.  I know some people who think any computer audio file is an mp3. 

“You are just an idiot.”

Wow, thanks for that most intelligent and useful comment:wink:

You are the one bashing a product because you are freaking out and can’t figure anything out, not me.

I can see some here feel I’ve ‘trashed’ the product, but I don’t consider it trashing.

I have legitimate concerns and frustrations. As another poster already said, the firmware update is not working correctly.   That is most definitely not my fault and my irritation with it is quite justified.

My other major irritation is with the poor excuse of a user manual that is neither thorough nor clear.  Anyone that thinks it is, has not had much experience with quality user manuals.

While I’m not a computer genius, I’m not a total idiot, either.  Had there been a quality user manual with it I have no doubt I would have been able to muddle my way through and figure it out, since I’ve been able to figure out more complicated things than Fuze due to excellent manuals. Writers of quality instruction manuals understand that they cannot assume a certain level of knowledge and must cover all the bases to ensure that the average person will understand every term and instruction, regardless of experience level.  

SanDisk seems to assume everyone is familiar with all the lingo, thus there is no explanation or definition of terms.  And from the lack of in-depth instructions, they also must assume everyone is somewhat familiar with these types of MP3 players.    Not so.   DH is not into music and does not ever deal with any music devices.  I have only had an iPod, so never had to know about different music formats or the advantages or limitations of each one.  And I know many people just like us.  Do not assume we all understand even the basic things that you all seem so comfortable with.   Insulting my husband just because he doesn’t deal with music devices or files says more about you than it does DH total computer experience.

I came here in good faith, hoping I would be able to get the help and guidance I needed to make it work.  While I realize I did get excellent advice, I just do not have the experience with the basics of this stuff to understand it, so it is not the fault of those here who were very patient with me and did their best to help.  I am grateful for that, as I know it had to be very frustrating.  

I feel safe in saying that I think a majority of people who purchase a product either for themselves or children for Christmas would come to the same conclusion as I did had they spent so many hours trying to get something to work with a poor user manual,  a help line that’s on vacation for a major holiday (a time when many new owners will need assistance), and an updater that doesn’t update unless you perform some ridiculous manual algorithm that doesn’t make sense to those of us who are not techies and haven’t had a lot of experience with these type of devices.

iTunes conversion aside,  the instructions for how to download music from other sources, where to get it from, and how to make it work on the Fuze was not covered well at all in the manual.   So it can’t be blamed on me just wanting to pull music from iTunes.    Taking iTunes totally out of the picture,  there are still huge deficiencies in  user education on the part of SanDisk.

Thanks again to those of you who took the time to help a frustrated mom and did not resort to insults and name-calling.  I do appreciate it.

Message Edited by Sariah on 12-25-2008 09:49 PM

It sounds like you’ve already committed to getting a nano instead, so I might offer a word of advice: change your import format in iTunes to MP3. By default, it uses AAC which most other players don’t support. At least if you change the import format, then the music you’ve imported from CDs will be in a format that other players recognize.

Apple provides a great integrated environment that makes it easy to use but hard to change to anything else.  This is particularly true if you buy anything from the iTunes store, which will most often be in a format that doesn’t work on anything but iPods. It can be converted, but the process will make today’s experience seem quite effortless. The Amazon MP3 store would be my recommendation for music purchases - it automatically gets added to iTunes, and the format is compatible with anything.

It seems the whole point of iTunes/iPods is to get people locked into the Apple environment. I’ve been there (and I still have a lot of purchased music that is in iPod-only format because it was just too much trouble to convert).

Sariah, I understand your frustration to some extent as I am in a somewhat similar situation today.  SanDisk pulled one of those stunts that so many computer related businesses are doing these days - put the user manual online rather than including it with each device.  Go to this link for the user manual:

That said - you came to a forum of Fuze users for help and then came down really, really hard on the product.  I agree that the lack of a user manual & the updater error are valid complaints, but I also agree with the responders that what definitely comes across as frustration that you can’t make it work like or with iTunes is unreasonable  (I wish they were less proprietary, too, but that’s business).  

The forum members who are helping you are here because they are Fuze users, & while I have no doubt that you were hoping SanDisk was reading your responses, it didn’t come across as particularly considerate of those content Fuze owners you were bashing indirectly in the process.

Once I found the user’s manual here at the top of the forums, the device was extremely easy to use.  SanDisk is remiss in failing to explicitly & directly provide that link in their package info if they’re going to cut corners that way.  And like you, I do hope that they are noticing the completely unnecessary frustration they are creating by not being more upfront about it.

@sariah wrote:

Thanks so much everyone.  Both DH and I have spent hours today on this.   We have come to the conclusion that this product is deficient in many ways, not the least of which is the extreme difficulty of downloading songs easily.   I am very sorry I purchased this. 


We called tech support and they are closed!   On Christmas day, when people are getting these things as gifts and are unable to use it due to the convoluted  instructions that don’t work and are not clear, the firmware update that does not work so that a laborious manual process is necessary to see if it ‘might’ work.

Just out of curiousity, did you call Apple support on Christmas day to see if they were open?

What’s funny is, I know people who say “Apple products just work.”  However, when you peruse forums for their products, they have just as many issues as well.  Everyone who got a Nano for Christmas will be dealing with firmware upgrades as well.

As far as a comparison, Sansa products are, hands down, the easiest to load music onto.  How much simpler can drag and drop be?  And, if iPods are so easy, why did I get a call from my brother when he bought his son an iPod and nothing they did could get the thing to work; let alone, put music on it?

But I agree with others that say take the Fuze back.  It is obviously not for you.

It amazes me that so many people complain when their Sansa doesn’t work with itunes, or when it doesn’t play AAC files. I wonder how many people complain that their ipod won’t play protected WMA files, or that their ipod won’t sync with Windows Media Player. Yes, the Fuze manual is sparsely written, however there are other sources of information on the net about using Windows Media Player or creating MP3 files. Yes, the Sansa updater is a pain, but updating firmware manually is so easy, so the updater should be avoided. Many had problems with SMC. Imo video on the Fuze isn’t worthwhile, and photos can be reduced in size for the Fuze by using any regular photo editing software. The Fuze plays regular JPG photos as long as they are small in dimension. Windows Media Player is so easy to use, and making mp3 files from CDs using it is so easy. Those who are obsessed with using itunes with their Fuze won’t be happy though.

Which is exactly what Steve Jobs wants.

If you come from ipod world, you have to convert existed data in AAC file format to mp3 file, which can be done by the newest itune software too.

To me, Sansa is much better and offers more functionalities, like Radio, Recorder and Memory Expanding.

If you are rich, you can always pay more for less, lol.

Message Edited by kevin02454 on 12-26-2008 07:45 AM

As many have said, if you start from the perspective that the Sansa is NOT a Mac product and doesn’t work that well with the Mac tools, you’ll do better.  Just remember that you can’t download to your Nano with Windows Media Player either.  Neither product is all that compatible with the other.

Now, rip a CD in Windows Media Player

Plug your Sansa into your computer

Sync your Sansa with your newly ripped songs.

Unplug your Sansa

Press play.

It works.

If you stop and realize that you have a player from as different a world as the Mac is from the PC, open your mind to that, you’ll like your player.  But you have to unblock this mental resistance you seem to have about this player.  It IS a good player, easily as good as the Ipods.

I’ve read through this thread, because I have the same error message (1003).  I read how to download manually, but where is the root directory on my fuze?  When I open the internal memory, I only have folders for music etc.

Do I just slap it in the internal memory (not in a folder)?

@kaycee1976 wrote:

I’ve read through this thread, because I have the same error message (1003).  I read how to download manually, but where is the root directory on my fuze?  When I open the internal memory, I only have folders for music etc.


Do I just slap it in the internal memory (not in a folder)?



Yes, the internal memory folder containing music folder is the root folder.

All you have to do is download the latest version of Rhapsody. Note: you have to be a computer administrator and make sure that your internet and proxy or firewall allow rhapsody and real networks. After you download it then you can click on library and it’ll have an option to upload all the music from itunes to rhapsody. After that you can try to sync it to your fuze.

Hope this helps! : ) 

Copying music to the Sansa is as simple as dragging and dropping.

  1. Connect your sansa to the computer

  2. Open Windows Explorer

  3. Click on My Computer (XP and earlier) or just Computer (Vista and later)

  4. Open the “Sansa Fuze xGB” Drive that should be listed under your computer

  5. Open the “Internal Memory” folder

  6. Open the “Music” folder

  7. Copy your music (in a compatible format - sansa supports MP3, WAV, WMA, secure WMA and Audible) into this folder


You can sync with Yahoo! Music, Microsoft Windows Media Player, and a host of other players automatically (assuming compatible format).

While I’ll hand it to Apple for the ease of use of iTunes Music Store, many of the other stores are usable such as emusic, napster, puretracks, passalong, and many other online stores that sell music in a compatible format. While some record labels require their music to have DRM, many will offer them in the secure WMA format. All of the stores mentioned above can all be accesed from within Windows Media Player (version 11 required for Audible) by selecting the righmost option in the menu in Windows Media Player (usaually has text “Media Guide” but can change if you visited help, online stores, etc.). In this drop down menu item you will find “Browse all Online Stores”. This is where you will find online stores to purchase music. Not at all different from iTunes except you don’t have to update the iTunes every 2 days (ok that was a cheap shot but come on is anyone else getting tired of updating iTunes every time you turn around?) 

As for the Firmware update not working:  

To update firmware you simply download the firmware file for your revision (1.xxxx or 2.xxxx) from the sandisk site and copy the fuzea.bin file into the “Internal Memory” folder and unplug the fuze from your computer and the firmware will be updated automatically. You will see “Firmware upgrade in progress” when you disconnect from your computer… easy.

There are plenty of other music managers that will keep your library in Sync (an example is MediaMonkey)-- some free, some you have to buy.

Hope that helps.

@kaycee1976 wrote:

I’ve read through this thread, because I have the same error message (1003).  I read how to download manually, but where is the root directory on my fuze?  When I open the internal memory, I only have folders for music etc.


Do I just slap it in the internal memory (not in a folder)?

That’s it exactly. If it is showing as ‘internal memory’, then your player is in MTP mode; a little different from MSC, but you should still be able to update the firmware. Just drag the extracted .zip file (should now be a .bin file) from wherever you’ve stored it (your Desktop is convenient) to the blank area next to, but not in the folders you see.

Done. Un-plug your Fuze and wait for the magic to happen. :smiley:

Ok, so now I have version 1.01.07A by installing the firmware from the link.  Is that the most recent firmware upgrade?

BTW:  thanks for all the great and fast responses!

@metalzoa78 wrote:

All you have to do is download the latest version of Rhapsody. Note: you have to be a computer administrator and make sure that your internet and proxy or firewall allow rhapsody and real networks. After you download it then you can click on library and it’ll have an option to upload all the music from itunes to rhapsody. After that you can try to sync it to your fuze.

Hope this helps! : ) 

I hope you are talking ONLY about the software and NOT signing up for another propriatary subscription DRM-crippled mess to try and straighten out & convert the Apple files. Even so, this approach sounds like intentionally trying to catch the flu just to get rid of a cold.