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

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.   NOTHING that is marketed to the general public should be this difficult and frustrating to use.     As much as we hate the monopoly Apple seems to have on this market, we can now see there is good reason–if all MP3 players are like the Sansa, then it’s no wonder there’s not much competition.

We have many tech devices and there’s not been one that DH hasn’t been able to troubleshoot or fix over the course of many years.   He saysthe Sansa Fuze is without a doubt THE most user-unfriendly device he’s yet encountered.

Pretty sad that my son is unable to use this ridiculous excuse for an MP3 player on Christmas day.

One more question,  if I just use WMP,  is there a place to purchase songs online that I can download directly into WMP?  Because the thought of purchasing from iTunes first, then ripping a CD, then uploading to WMP, then to Fuze,  is just not efficient.

Bob,

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.

“Welcome to the world of Sansa!  Oh yes, and freedom from the limitations of iTunes.”

:smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy:   OMG, this struck me so funny!  After this grueling experience with Sansa Fuze that has taken us HOURS of our time, trying in vain to figure out the most efficient way to download music,  and yet still not 1 song on the Sansa, I WELCOME the ease of iPod and iTunes.     You can’t get more ‘limitations’ than being unable to even download songs without a major investment of time and energy.

I really wanted to be free of the whole Apple thing, but this experience has convinced me how superior the iPod is in every way.  Reluctantly I will be buying him an iPod.

Message Edited by Sariah on 12-25-2008 01:40 PM

"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.   NOTHING that is marketed to the general public should be this difficult and frustrating to use.     As much as we hate the monopoly Apple seems to have on this market, we can now see there is good reason–if all MP3 players are like the Sansa, then it’s no wonder there’s not much competition.

We have many tech devices and there’s not been one that DH hasn’t been able to troubleshoot or fix over the course of many years.   He saysthe Sansa Fuze is without a doubt THE most user-unfriendly device he’s yet encountered.

Pretty sad that my son is unable to use this ridiculous excuse for an MP3 player on Christmas day.

One more question,  if I just use WMP,  is there a place to purchase songs online that I can download directly into WMP?  Because the thought of purchasing from iTunes first, then ripping a CD, then uploading to WMP, then to Fuze,  is just not efficient."

The Fuze is user friendly and easy to use. The problem comes in when people want to do the equivalent of putting a Honda engine into a Toyota. If you forget about itunes, go back to your CDs, and make mp3 files using Windows Media Player, it is easy. Converting songs from AAC to mp3 will lose quality, and as someone else pointed out, the tags will probably get messed up, so you have to fix the tags. Making mp3 files from the Cds makes so much more sense than converting the AAC files. You can buy music online for the Fuze from just about any online music store except Apple. The other places besides Apple tend to use protected WMA which the Fuze supports.

All I can say is that that is your choice. I know the fuze seems really tough at first especially comming from something like Itunes, The innitial frustration is often just that innitial. After you get switched over to Windows media the future is easy. any new downloads get added there easily and it syncs with the fuze easily. If you are ripping from the CD then its uber simple. Unfortunatly for some who are comming over from Itunes it is simply too much hassle. Thats fine… To Each his own… the minor frustration most have expericnced was well worth it for me.

Hey, we’re all here on Christmas day.

Sorry to gear you are having troubles with iTunes.  Remember, Apple likes it to be smooth with their own device, and whether it works on anything else is not their main concern.  Glitches make a handy sales pitch for one of their own machines.

I think it’s simply dirty pool.

Try the following simple demonstration:

Grab a Compact Disc.

Don’t have the Fuze plugged in just yet.

On the computer, do you have Windows Media Player 10 or 11?  Open the application, and drop the CD in the tray.  Click on the Rip button.  In the bottom of the Rip button, click on the little bar.  At this point, you can set the bit rate (128kbps is default), and the Format: select Windows Media Audio or MP3.

Then try this: just below that, select More Options.  A window will pop up, where you can do exactly the same thing (format and bit rate) via a drop down window or the little slider.  The main reason I mention this is BE SURE to turn Copy Protection OFF (unchecked).

Now, select the Rip tab.  Your CD will show up on the screen in a few seconds.  Right-click on the CD logo, and select Update Album Info.  Here, you can find album art automatically.  If you left click, note that it will direct you to sites to purchase the CD.  We don’t need that today.  Once you find the art and information, select “Finished”, and you’re ready.

Import the CD to your computer’s library by selecting the Start Rip button in the lower right corner.

Once it is done, plug in your new Fuze.

A window will pop up, asking you if you’d like to set up the device.  Let’s keep life simple for this test, as you can set it up later!  Select Cancel.

Now, click on the Sync tab.  Your Fuze will appear in the upper right corner.  If it is communicating in MTP mode, WiMP will work wonders for you.  It will even transfer the album art.

In the left side o fthis Sync screen, go to the library listing at the left.  Not the Library button at the top, but the one in the tree.  Look in Recently Added or Album for your newly imported CD.

Now, drag and drop it to the Sync Pane on the right.  Press Start Sync.

Once it is done, unplug, and enjoy the album!!

Congratulations on mastering the transfer half.  Now, all we need to do is work on converting the iTunes music for your Fuze.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

@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.   NOTHING that is marketed to the general public should be this difficult and frustrating to use.     As much as we hate the monopoly Apple seems to have on this market, we can now see there is good reason–if all MP3 players are like the Sansa, then it’s no wonder there’s not much competition.

 

We have many tech devices and there’s not been one that DH hasn’t been able to troubleshoot or fix over the course of many years.   He saysthe Sansa Fuze is without a doubt THE most user-unfriendly device he’s yet encountered.

 

Pretty sad that my son is unable to use this ridiculous excuse for an MP3 player on Christmas day.

 

One more question,  if I just use WMP,  is there a place to purchase songs online that I can download directly into WMP?  Because the thought of purchasing from iTunes first, then ripping a CD, then uploading to WMP, then to Fuze,  is just not efficient.

Just because you couldn’t figure out a simple drag-n-drop DAP, please don’t refer to it as a ridiculous excuse for an mp3 player.  You didn’t even know what format your music was in.  DH ain’t that great of a troubleshooter, eh?

You are just an idiot. Download music from Frostwire anyway. Almost all songs are in mp3 form that way.

The problems arise since people become obsessed with making the Fuze work with iTunes and their AAC files. It is like someone trying to get Nikon lenses to work on a Canon camera. They are separate systems. Don’t blame Canon since Nikon lenses don’t work on Canon cameras. The Fuze is very easy to use, but it is not meant to be used with Apple software or Apple proprietary formats.

@sariah wrote:

Bob,

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:  http://www.sandisk.com/sansa/assets/English/products/Fuze/fuze_userguide_en.pdf

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.