Fuze Firmware Inadequate

The fuze is a great player and I do really like it after just a few days of using it. It has a nice look and feel, is easy to use, and has great sound quality. But does anybody else feel that the firmware is just a tiny bit inadequate? I mean there isn’t even the most basic function of pausing when headphones are unplugged! And there are very few settings to tweak in the Settings menu. The arrows on either sides of a menu item are redundant and take up space. Equally annoying is the fact that a ‘default’ album art picture is displayed everytime: I do not use album art and I would rather be able to see my full song/album names without having to wait for it to scroll. When it shuffles, songs seem to be shuffled “on-the-go”, so there are repeats and missed songs, and I can’t go back to play a song I liked. Looking at firmware like Rockbox (which has been ported to the Fuze v1 so I know that these changes can be implemented), it just has so many useful features compared to the Fuze, fade out when pausing, fade out to no backlight, etc. So why isn’t there a firmware update? I can’t imagine that some of these features are terribly hard to implement :stuck_out_tongue:

I still love the fuze, just wondering if anybody else shares my feelings on this :) 

I doubt, there’re any folks in the Sandisk development team interested in promoting Fuze any longer. It had taken almost one year to introduce folder browsing, no text reader, no rotating browsing menu… And now when the player is over 2 years on sale there is a possibility they are going to discontinue its production. Just a guess. 

Anyway no production team would be able to produce anything matching the quality of Rockbox. To be honest it drains your battery more than original Sansa firmware, but who cares …

I myself happily moved to Rockbox and enjoying it. 

Message Edited by Etoja on 05-17-2010 07:58 AM

Here’s my view on the Sandisk firmware:

It’s basic for the sake of simplicity.  You can change some things, but most of it stays where it is so people cannot really mess it up if he/she does not know how to use it very well.  In other words, it was made for everyone.  It has a large font, but it’s not too large.  A child cannot really just hit a setting and crash it forever.

Rockbox was very confusing in the beginning for me.  I eventually got used to it (about 15 minutes) and there are many ways for it to screw up if you don’t know how to use it.  There are so many settings that can confuse the crap out of someone.  There are some things even I don’t know, such as the fact that I have no idea what crossfade is, nor do I know what Party Mode does.

For a default firmware, simple is the way to go.  Sansas, iPods, Philips, Zunes.  These, and more of course, have simple interfaces where you can’t really change that much and anyone can just pick it up and almost immediately start using it.

P.S. - It’s a shame they may be discontinuing the Fuze.  It’s a great little player. 

I suspect if they were to discontinue the Fuze it would be replaced by a similar and perhaps better model (one hopes!) as they are unlikely to be getting out of the mp3 player business.

I use Rockbox on my Fuze v2 and it’s great but I can understand why they wouldn’t want to provide so many features in the stock firmware. Every feature is another thing they have to try to provide customer support for and that costs money.

It is an amazing device, both in terms of hardware and firmware.  And at a pretty amazing price point compared to the competition.  With the (farily good) voice recorder, FM, FM recording, microSd expansion and really good sound quality, it’s hard to beat.  I think it’s darn near perfect.  I imagine there might be a market for a larger and more robust version, with maybe a 3.5" screen, that does video more efficiently…something analagous to iTouch.  However, smart phones are becoming much more popular and there you have everything in one package, pretty much eliminating the need for a standalone mp3 and video player.

Technology keeps changing.

saxmaster765 wrote:

 

For a default firmware, simple is the way to go.  Sansas, iPods, Philips, Zunes.  These, and more of course, have simple interfaces where you can’t really change that much and anyone can just pick it up and almost immediately start using it.

 

Bingo! Not everyone are born geeks. Just look around here on the forum; some people can’t (or won’t) even read the manual so they know how the things are supposed to work.

Duhhh! Where’s the On/Off button?” :smileyvery-happy:

Just to add a couple of words.  I spite of being annoyed by the unwillingness of Sansa Fuze team to add such a features as a text reader, a rotating browsing choice to get to folders, I must admit that the official firmware has an excellent voice recorder.  In many ways it is more comfortable to use than Rockbox recorder. 

The radio is also brilliant, nothing wrong with it. On the whole this is a nice little wonder - that’s why I’m a bit baffled why the developers are so unwilling to make it even better.

Because it’s only an $80 device!  There’s only so much up-front R&D you can do within a budget.  And after the sale, the firmware upgrades are a complete freebee.  It’s truly amazing that there’s ANY after-sale support and improvements for such an inexpensive device.  Any investment SanDisk makes in firmware upgrades brings no revenue and. in fact, may discourage purchases/device upgrades that users might have otherwise made.

If you are rather technically oriented, you may opt for a smartphone, which now are essentially small computers.  Especially with Android platform, you can get into all sorts of tweaking for many aspects of the device.  The hacker community has also been pretty partial to the (now rather outdated) Windows Mobile platform ala the HTC Touch Pro2.  Many user-created custom-builds of operating systems and various parameters.

Guys, don’t get me wrong, the Fuze is a great player and I REALLY REALLY DO like the simplicity of the original firmware. But there are a few very simple settings missing (which honestly could not “mess up” your player no matter how hard you tried–as somebody above mentioned). You can’t really calculate in the price of the device because tons of these are sold and these changes would only take several hours of programming in all honesty. I can live without most features but:

  1. Displaying default album artwork when none is available: Seriously? How hard is it to create a separate screen for no artwork. I never use it and as the names of my songs are generally quite long, having the extra space would be nice, the default image is distracting and a bother.

  2. Auto-pause when headphones are unplugged: This is a basic feature with all players on the market, I see no reason why it shouldn’t be included with the Fuze. Playlists should also be pre-shuffled: this is a HUGE issue because it makes it impossible to go back to a song as is right now, and repeats/skipped songs are inevitable and really affect the experience. There are several other playback features which I can live without but would definitely make it a better player: ie. fade out on play/pause, etc.

  3. Finally, there are many bugs with the firmware! Even after half a week with the player I’ve gotten into situations where the firmware glitches up, songs freeze, etc. Honestly, how hard is it to fix the bugs?

If the original firmware had these features I wouldn’t even bother with rockbox because the simplicity is great and I do like how easy it is to. But SanDisk needs to clean up their act and take the extra time to add in some of the most basic features. That’s all I’m saying.

OR they could make the code for their firmware available so that we could change it to have the features we want, haha XD 

All I can say is that initially in the first 2 or 3 months of use, I had contant problems.  Freeze-ups, files that played extremely slowly, hard crashes that required complete reformatting, etc.  I had files from various sources, some mp3, some wma, I didn’t understand mp3 tagging at all, didn’t fully understand file management, etc.  In the last year I have had no problems whatsoever.  I’ve cleaned up all my files and folders, properly tagged files, and abaondoned wma for mp3.  (re-ripped many CDs)  (Thanks to the gurus and contibutors here for all the invaluable help- would not have made it without y’all)

There are no more wma files on my device.  I also operate exclusively in MSC mode with drag-n-drop windows file management, and do not utilize syncing of any sort.  No problems.

I’ve always used a mixture of wma and mp3 files on my Sansas, and MSC mode. I don’t auto-sync, but do use Mediamonkey to load my players…and I’ve barely had any issues.:wink: