Fuze with Mac OSX

SO … I bought an 8GB Sansa Fuze to load 6.5GB of audiobook mp3s for my mother – I have a Mac running Snow Leopard, and though I personally have an ipod, we decided to go a different route for this one.  I read up on a ton of forums before buying the Fuze and it seemed like it could connect easily to Mac, though you would have to forego playlists.

I spent about 2 weeks trying various ways to make this player work.  The only way I found to load mp3s was to launder them through iTunes, then export those mp3s onto the desktop and manually drag them, in small bundles, to the Fuze’s music folder (acting like an external drive).  This was the only way the Fuze would recognize the files as playable mp3s.

However, eventually I had the problem that others on here have also had with the “refreshing media” happening every time the player is turned on, regardless. It took over 5 hours to start up (yes I timed it!) and had to be plugged in so the battery wouldn’t die … this was every time the player went idle.  Obviously, not ideal, and rendering it basically unusable.

I ran a disc repair on it several times, I’ve wiped it clean and started over, I’ve named the files in different ways (it has a weird habit of categorizing the mp3s in its own way, skipping the regular numerical order in favor of an algorithm I cannot seem to break, which makes listening to audiobooks rather frustrating!), but to no avail.  

Any help on any of this (the constant refreshing media, numbering tracks so they play in order even without Windows Media, etc), or should I just wipe it clean and give it to a family member who has Windows? And what would be the best way to do that so that they don’t go through these same headaches?

Sorry for the novel!  Thank you in advance

If your files are not natively mp3 or another format the Fuze plays then you need to convert them to such a format. I also use OSX so I went thru this when I started with the Mac. What I do is just import the audio I want into Itunes then use the show in finder function of Itunes to go to the folder on the computer where the file is then I drag and drop or opt-drag and drop to my fuze. Once this is done I let it reload the library. Then just to be safe and paranoid I hold the power button in the up position for about 20 seconds and do a hard reset (Im not using any where near the space you are so yours may take a while). This usually works. One other thing is if you have a PC accessible hook the fuze to that and delete all the small data files left on the player by finder.

I have not experienced this yet. But would be interested in trying to replicate it.

I’m not a Mac user, but I’ll try to help you.

WIpe it and start again with Settings/Systems Settings/Format–wipes out all user-added files.

Your problem is tags and finder files. Something in your tags is making the Fuze choke as it refreshes. 

Put the Fuze in MSC mode (Settings/Systems Settings/USB Mode), which should be happening anyway even if your Fuze is in Auto Detect. MSC is a generic USB connection, makes the Fuze look like two thumb drives (the second one is the card slot).

If you can find Mac tagging software that makes tags in this version–ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1–get it and run all your Audiobooks through it before puting them on the Fuze.

ISO-8859-2 is the way the characters are displayed in Windows. Mac probably displays them in Unicode, which disagrees with the Fuze. And iTunes–at least my Windows version–only makes ID3v2.2 tags. Both Unicode and ID3v2.2 are not the Fuze’s favorite breakfast treat.

Playing order is gotten from Track Number. Look through your files and make sure the tracks have numbers in that field, and that they are in the right order. There’s a Windows program that does Auto-Numbering, mp3tag–I would guess there is a Mac equivalent.

The Genre tag should say Audiobook. Add it with your tagging software if necessary. If you’re desperate, you edit tags in iTunes with Get Info under File—but you may have the v2.2 and Unicode problem.

  MAC OSX makes folders full of finder files (sometimes folders called MACOSX) that are useless (to the Fuze) 0kb or 1kb files called something like ._01-Track1.mp3. The Fuze, being told they are mp3s, dutifully indexes them all. You may need to leave them in your album folders for OSX on the computer, but remove all the MACOSX folders or any little 0kb or 1kb files with the .mp3 filetype  from the Fuze.

ok, I’ve formatted it and made sure it’s set to MSC. I checked and my iTunes does auto-format the mp3 tags as ID3v2.3, so I wonder if the problem is with the “ISO-8859-1” part … I’m posting in a few Mac forums to see if anyone is familiar with how I can change that aspect (and if there is software I can use to make this change).

I definitely had problems with the phantom _01-Track1.mp3 files at first - without putting the mp3s through iTunes, they all showed up like that on the Fuze.  looks like iTunes is creating it’s own issues as well, though, and in translation the files are not in order and tripping up the Fuze on startup.

If there’s anything else you can think of let me know! If I can find a solution I will come back and post it (fingers crossed!)


@Conversionbox, I’m going to try a few files your way now – still having trouble with the ordering but at least that may solve the “refreshing media” issue … thanks!

Just a thought–are your Audiobooks on multiple discs?

The tracknumbers may start again with 1 on each disc. And the Fuze doesn’t know that those Track 1s are on sequential discs.

Do you have WINE for Mac? You could run mp3tag on that. Boy, would it make your life easier. Mp3tag can Write to your preferred format and Auto-Number files with leading zeros–01, 02, 03–just the way the Fuze likes tham.