Firmware roadmap: FLAC / OGG support?

Hello everyone. I was following messages in the forum and searched in some other places, but I can’t see any date/ roadmap about next firmware update.

Me (and quite a lot of people) are waiting to see the commented FLAC+OGG support in Fuze. A few months ago  people started to write about this and I think we should have a concrete and “official” answer from Sandisk.

So, my question is: Will Fuze *finally* have FLAC and OGG support or we should forget about this feature? If so, when should it be available?

Any response will be really appreciated. We already have waited a few months with no advance about this feature. Meanwhile I won’t buy any new audio player :confused:

Thanks in advance.

Message Edited by mudo on 09-04-2008 05:26 AM

I too would like to at least have some kind of confirmation that ogg and flac support is really going to happen and an approximation of when.  I have about 10GBs of ogg files and don’t want to waste the time reencoding them only to find out shortly after that it wasn’t necessary.  You would think that Sandisk would make an effort to keep it’s customers better informed about these issues.  It’s good Public Relations…

same here… and what about AAC?

 I’m about to re-rip 500cd or so :I d’ like to use aac. Please let me know if you plan to do it soon (or never).

_ if you, fuzers, are concerned about a new firmware with more compatible formats, please leave a message here and let Sandisk Fuze Firmware Specialists know about your needs. _

The last firmware word was, “It’s in QA testing.” Before that it was “In about a month.” This has been a few weeks ago, so it should be “Any time now.” (my words :stuck_out_tongue: )

I know these all sound like "pat’ answers and are rather vague, but QA testing doesn’t always go according to plans. If firmware is set to release on a certain date, and 2 days before that date, someone discovers a previously un-seen bug/glitch, obviously they have to fix it, and push out the release date. This looks very bad! SanDisk (quite correctly, IMO) has elected not to publish any date for release or exactly what all the fixes and/or enhancments are planned. This way there is no “public up-rising” when it doesn’t come out on time or doesn’t meet everyone’s expectations.

Sansafix  has said, “It would be irresponsible to release ‘buggy’ firmware!” I read that as, “We know we’ve released ‘buggy’ firmware in the past, and we want to make sure it doesn’t happen this time!” And I say, “Good for them!” I’d rather wait a bit longer and get something that works, rather than sooner and b!tch about it because it wasn’t ready for release!

I think the only reason we have any news at all on this is in reponse to all of the nagging posts on the subject here on this forum. Sansafix is throwing us a bone.

Patience, grasshoppers.:smiley:

Ok, we can’t have any concrete release date. If I just could know that OGG and FLAC will be *certainly* supported in future (note: “certainly”, not “probably” ), then I would be really happy.

Sansa people should see things from our side: I would like to buy a Fuze, but I won’t until I can trust that someday Fuze will support the formats I use. And these months of waiting and silence don’t help us to believe in anything…

Come on, Sansa people: add this features and you will have a supperb product!

P.S.: I’m also hearing someone shouting something about cue sheet support… :slight_smile:

Message Edited by mudo on 09-04-2008 08:54 AM

I have a few songs in AAC, but have mostly avoided it because of its limited support in players. I would really like to see it in Fuze firmware as well. I think it would be a smart move on Sandisk’s part to lure iPod owners.

The next rev of firmware isn’t going to have it, so at best it is several months away.

@zorba wrote:

same here… and what about AAC?

 

 I’m about to re-rip 500cd or so :I d’ like to use aac. Please let me know if you plan to do it soon (or never).

 

_ if you, fuzers, are concerned about a new firmware with more compatible formats, please leave a message here and let Sandisk Fuze Firmware Specialists know about your needs. _

I think AAC support would be good for the Fuze in terms of market.  It would help a lot of people coming from iPods/iTunes.

However, if you’re going to go to the trouble to rip 500 CDs, do yourself a favor and rip to a lossless format like FLAC.  Then you transcode to as many different format/bitrates as you want without ever having to re-rip.  Not to mention you can recreate your CDs from the FLAC files if the originals are ever damaged.

I’ve ripped about 3000 CDs to FLAC and use Winamp to transcode to MP3 for portable use.  I’ve changed my mind a couple times on bitrate for my Fuze and it was just a matter of changing my transcoding settings in Winamp and kicking off a sync overnight.  No re-ripping needed.

I also have a Clip and use a lower bitrate than the Fuze so I can fit more songs.  Again, I just specify a different transcoding setting in Winamp for the Clip versus the Fuze.  Both use the same source FLAC files.

@mudo wrote:

Ok, we can’t have any concrete release date. If I just could know that OGG and FLAC will be *certainly* supported in future (note: “certainly”, not “probably” ), then I would be really happy.

 

Sansa people should see things from our side: I would like to buy a Fuze, but I won’t until I can trust that someday Fuze will support the formats I use. And these months of waiting and silence don’t help us to believe in anything…

 

Come on, Sansa people: add this features and you will have a supperb product!

 

P.S.: I’m also hearing someone shouting something about cue sheet support… :slight_smile:

 

Message Edited by mudo on 09-04-2008 08:54 AM

Ogg and FLAC were officially announced by Sandisk, so unless the Director of Product Marketing flat out lied (well, he is in marketing, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt), I think we can believe that it’s coming soon.

Considering 99.9% of users have no idea what a cue sheet is, I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one!  :wink:

Thanks for your post, Skinjob. I bought a Fuze 5 minutes ago, after reading it. Let’s trust those news :slight_smile:

i’m just going to add to this in case the sansa developers are reading this

FLAC support would be AWESOME, esp if you can make it GAPLESS

FLAC support would put the FUZE at the top of the list of must have portable devices for a HUGE community of live music afficianados (like myself). Build it and they will buy the FUZE - it’s the #1 reason i bought a FUZE.

I would like for it to play wav files, which is my I bought the **bleep** thing in the first place

The FUZE is supposed to play .wav files. Doesn’t yours?

No it does not play wav, it just passes over them

I might have it worked around.  The first time I cpoied the wav files they were ripped by Windows Media Player and copied by Rhapsody. Fuze refused to play them.

Today I downloaded Music Monkey and had it rip then copy. And they are playing, although I will not be able sit down and listen to them fully until tomorrow.

Robert

Yes please SanDisk, listen to your costumer!

I really want OGG support. Most of my music, and I bought the Fuze with the hope to play OGG soonish.

@skinjob wrote:


@mudo wrote:

[snip]

[T]hese months of waiting and silence don’t help us to believe in anything…

[snip]

P.S.: I’m also hearing someone shouting something about cue sheet support… :slight_smile:

Message Edited by mudo on 09-04-2008 08:54 AM


Ogg and FLAC were officially announced by Sandisk, so unless the Director of Product Marketing flat out lied (well, he is in marketing, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt), I think we can believe that it’s coming soon.

Considering 99.9% of users have no idea what a cue sheet is, I wouldn’t hold your breath for that one!  :wink:

mudo, our positions are very similar: I really want Ogg and FLAC support, particularly the latter, and the upcoming support for these formats is what finally tipped the scales for me. To be clear, though, there are many reasons why I believe that the Fuze is an excellent product:

  • the build quality is quite acceptable;
  • the brilliant support for external media, and especially the fact that MicroSDHC cards are supported, is a very big deal;
  • the sound quality is very, very good;
  • the battery life is excellent;
  • SanDisk’s decision to use a single chipset across a wide swath of the product line implies that they are taking support seriously, and that they intend to continue refining their firmware;
  • SanDisk’s support for the RockBox project, although not exactly overwhelming, still eclipses that of almost other major manufacturer;
  • users who insist on mass-storage mode are not treated as second-class citizens
  • the firmware can be updated in mass-storage mode, and therefore Linux users can perform this key operation cleanly.

The promise of Ogg and FLAC support is what convinced me to take the plunge, but it was the merits of the player as-is that laid the groundwork for that decision.

As for CUE sheet support, gosh, that sure would be nice; but converting a single FLAC file to multiple files with an accompanying CUE sheet for reconstruction is thankfully a pretty trivial task, and doesn’t discard any information. I’m willing to make that compromise.

Skinjob, I’d like to share a worry with you: when you say that the format support was officially announced, you linked back to a RegHardware article. I went looking for the exact text of Jan Hauer’s June 11th announcement, but I haven’t been able to find any official release from SanDisk on the topic: nothing in the Press Releases section and no corroborating stories. Every other mention in the press points back to the Reg article as the primary source.

What I’m getting at here is that we all we’ve got to go on is a single report from a tech tabloid and several leading posts in an explicitly unofficial community forum. SanDisk has not put ink to paper and committed to supporting Ogg and FLAC. As much as we’d like to, we cannot treat support for these formats as a promise.

@gnomon wrote:

Skinjob, I’d like to share a worry with you: when you say that the format support was officially announced, you linked back to a RegHardware article. I went looking for the exact text of Jan Hauer’s June 11th announcement, but I haven’t been able to find any official release from SanDisk on the topic: nothing in the Press Releases section and no corroborating stories. Every other mention in the press points back to the Reg article as the primary source.

What I’m getting at here is that we all we’ve got to go on is a single report from a tech tabloid and several leading posts in an explicitly unofficial community forum. SanDisk has not put ink to paper and committed to supporting Ogg and FLAC. As much as we’d like to, we cannot treat support for these formats as a promise.

It’s certainly possible the article could be BS.  However, Ogg support was added to the Clip around the time of the article, so I think that adds to the credibility.  Also, I don’t recall ever seeing any new FW feature officially announced with a press release, so it’s not suprising there’s not one for FLAC/Ogg.  So I remain optimistic.  But, as you said there hasn’t been an explicit promise that FLAC/Ogg would be in a specific FW release.

@gnomon wrote:

  • SanDisk’s support for the RockBox project, although not exactly overwhelming, still eclipses that of almost other major manufacturer;

Not exactly overwhelming? Try virutally NON-EXISTENT! While the team at Rockbox cracked the code for the v1 units and many, many people are happily using this ‘alternative’ firmware, the ONLY help or support for the v2’s that SanDisk gave the Rockbox team was 2 free players! No code, no specs, no diagrams, no nothing!

And thanks to SanDisk for programming (or not programming) in _ NO RECOVERY MODE _ on the v2 units, it is likely that we may NEVER see Rockbox on these units (that includes the FUZE & CLIP as well)! That is (now and has been for several months) the ‘brick wall’ that the Rockbox developers have run into. They need a recovery mode to restore the player after they test code on it that doesn’t work.

You would think that with the success of Rockbox on the v1 units, and the repeated pleadings from many owners that SanDisk would at least “throw them a bone”. Nary a scrap! Frankly, I’m 'under-whelmed’ by this attitude. :cry:

That’s a great shame. I didn’t equate the Sansa Fuze with the v2 Sandisk players that are on the Rockbox site and currently not working. If I had known that there was little possibility of Rockbox running on the Sansa I wouldn’t have just bought one. I hope Sandisk you change your mind and help these guys out, they’re helping your marketshare.

The recovery mode of the v1 is a necessary function for the PortalPlayer / NVIDIA processor.  The new family (Fuze / Clip / v2) use a different processor, the AustriaMicrosystems device.  Recovery mode isn’t necessary with the new platform.

The v2 devices are far more stable (just look at the multitude of I2C rom failures), and aren’t vulnerable to accidental formatting of the reserved partition.

I wouldn’t say that SanDisk conspired to make porting Rockbox over more difficult.  They have opted for a superior chipset, with increased capabilities and sound quality.  Anyone who’s listened to a v1 knows that these products are in no means a “slacker”, in fact, they’re a wonderful machine.  Being able to customize them via Rockbox is a welcome option. 

The OGG Vorbis addition to the Clip hasn’t been entirely without glitches.  Filename issues have been found as a bug, and no doubt will be resolved.  Let the issues shake out a wee bit, and the improved code will be quite useful for the Fuze.  Running the same processor, it’s possible to try new things on different devices.  I’m sure the Fuze version will be an improvement, even if the differences are subtle.

There are several overlapping issues with the new Fuze firmware that take time to iron out.  Remember, compared against even the new v2 device, the initial code for the Fuze is superb, doing most tasks better.  It’s kind of an ironic twist that the wraparound scroll of the v2, and its rate, were left out.  The logic for the scroll wheels is different between the two.

I’m enjoying the Fuze as it is, and patiently await the next firmware.  Regardless of the quirks, it’s all about how well the wee machine drives those earbuds.  I’d better get 'em back on.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue: