This my Sansa Fuze+ Linux-FAQ
it contains what I learned when tried to use my new Sansa Fuze+ without touching Windows.
It’s in FAQ form and might possibly help other Linux user to have more fun with this cool player.
It contains two parts (so far): the first longer one dealing with “Music” and a rather short one dealing with
viewing Photos on Sansa Fuze+
Hardware/Software I used:
Player: Sans Fuze+ 16GB, firmware 01.30.01F
PC: Ubuntu 10.04, Kernel 2.6.32
Q1: Can I use MTP mode on Linux?
A1: There is something called ‘mtpfs’ together with a lot of command line
tools mtp-*. But I didn’t manage it to work for me.
To keep life easy stick to MSC mode.
Q2: Which audio format is suitable for sound files?
A2: I tested MP3, FLAC, and OGG. All three seem to work.
I experienced sometimes problems with ID3 tags of MP3 files not being
My favourite is OGG (Vorbis).
Q3: Why does Sansa not recognise changes of sound file tags (e.g. album,
A3: It seems that Sansa is maintaining some kind of local database that
get’s updated during each startup. The firmware seems to inspect added
files for tags but (presumably for performance reasons) does not check
for tag changes within files that had been there before.
The following sequence of actions ensures that files get inspected again:
- attach Sansa to your PC
- save the files you are going to re-tag to your hard disk and
remove them from the Sansa drive.
(If your are using some graphical file management make sure that
you empty the “trash”. Otherwise the files will still turn up in some
stupid hidden directory)
- disconnect Sansa and check that the files are gone
- correct the tags of your sound files
- re-connect Sansa to your PC and copy the changed files to it
Q4: Some sound file information (album, artist, …) doesn’t show up correctly,
e.g. some files end up with ‘Unknown’ artist and ‘Unknown’ album.
A4: try the strategy from A3. If that does not help try another file format,
decoder, tagging tool. Additionally you can try to use simple file names
instead of long ones containing funny characters (as long as the metadata
gets parsed correctly it cannot hurt to stick to UNIX friendly filenames)
Q5: Which file structure should I use to organise my sound files on Sansa?
A5: It’s not really mandatory but I recommend to put all sound files into the
“Music” folder of Sansa and organize them by artist and album, i.e. each
sound file has a path like “Music/<artist>/<album>/<file>”.
Q6: The sound files for an album turn up in the wrong oder. What can I do?
A6: Normally titles within an album are ordered by track number read from the
metadata. If no track number is defined (or wasn’t recognised by the
firmware) sound files are order by title.
Check that the track number is part of the metadata tags.
It they are there but does not seem to be used for ordering see A4
Q7: How to I get the cover/album art displayed for my sound files?
A7: There a basically two different methods to store cover arts:
1) put them directly into the meta data section of sound files.
2) put a suitable image separate on Sansa.
I do not recommend 1). Here the test results:
FLAG (picture added with ‘easytag’): cover art not displayed
OGG (picture added with ‘easytag’): cover art not displayed
OGG (picture added as tag METADATA_BLOCK_PICTURE): cover art not displayed
MP3 (picture added with ‘easytag’): cover art gets displayed but album/artist/title information got lost
So I stick to 2):
just copy picture (JPEG format assumed) into the folder holding sound files for that album and rename it to ‘folder.jpg’
Q8: I’ve put a ‘folder.jpg’ file into the correct folder but still Sansa doesn’t
display it. What can I do?
A8: try the strategy from A3 but remove the complete folder temporarily
from your Sansa.
Q9: Which format and resolution is suitable for cover art?
A9: The method relying on a file named ‘folder.jpg’ already assumes JPEG format.
Pictures seem to be rescaled automatically but you can save some space by
transforming big ones (most are available with 500x500) to the display
size of cover art during file replay which is 220x220.
I used ‘convert’ from Imagemagick tool set for conversion:
convert <origfile> -resize 220x220\> <newfile>
The strange looking suffix “\>” tells ‘convert’ to not rescale files
already having lower resolution. Those are get displayed with a white border.
Q10: Does it make a difference whether to store sound files on the Sansa
directly or putting them onto a card in the expansion slots?
A10: No, both should work the same.
But you should respect the main file structure, i.e. put your sound files
into the ‘Music’ folder of your microSD cards root directory.
(Those top level directories are created when the Sansa “sees” the
card for the first time)
Q11: How do I create playlists?
A11: Still open…I don’t know whether the firmware can read .m3u files
and if yes where it expects them.
Q1: How to organize my photos on Sansa?
A1: Just create a directory within the “Photo” folder and put the image
files there. Each subdirectory is treated as a separate photo collection.
Q2: Which format and resolution is suitable for my photos?
A2: I only tested JPEG files so far.
To get the best balance between display quality and required storage
you should rescale photos to 320x240 which is the native display size
of Sans Fuze+ before copying them to your Sansa.
Using Imagemagick you can do something like:
convert <origfile> -resize 320x240\> <newfile>
If you have rotated some pictures for better displaying on your computer
you should rotate them back before copying them to your Sansa.
The nice feature of the aforementioned command line tool is it can
easily be used to transform a whole bunch of photos in one go. The
following example transforms all JPEG files from the current workding
directory into the collection named “My Collection” on your Sansa:
for i in *.jpg; do base=$(basename $i .jpg); convert $i -resize 320x220\> /media/SANSA\ FUZEP/Photo/My\ Collection/$base.small.jpg; done