Okay, you have a few steps to learn for this process, after which, it’s a breeze.
The files on the CD are in PCM format, “wav” files, sampled at 44.1kHz. They are big files! You’ll need to convert them to a handy format for use on the Fuze (or any portable player, for that matter).
I’d recommend a program that’s most likely already on your PC, Windows Media Player (WiMP), for two reasons. First, despite it’s being a klunky program (more on that later), it will convert your PCM audio to mp3 format or even wma (both will work just fine); and second, as you load the CD, WiMP may locate the actual names for those chapters from its online database.
First, you can try a simple test. Don’t have the Sansa plugged in just yet, as WiMP likes to poke around the first time it finds a new toy on that USB port. Open Windows Media Player, and insert the CD. It will take a few seconds, but see if the title of your Harry Potter CD comes up, aling with chapter names. This may be interesting. If not, click on the Rip tab at the top, and see if the chapter titles fill in.
In the upper left of the screen, go to Tools > Options > Rip Tab and select mp3, 64kb/s for your audio books. You can use a higher bit rate, but at 64kb/s, voice sounds great (close to FM quality), and takes half the space as a 128kb’s music track (if you use this speed- I prefer 192 for music).
The process of “ripping” is a buzzword for the transfer of PCM data to a compressed audio format. MP3 or wma files have tags built into them as part of the format. These tags are needed to find the files once loaded onto the Sansa. The tag is called an ID3 tag , and it’s written into the beginning of each file. If you use WiMP, as we’re using for this example, the ID3 tag data will be written to the mp3 or wma file automatically by WiMP.
Do you see chapter names when the Rip tab is clicked? If so, we have a great head start. Please note, WiMP isn’t the only “kid on the block” there are many other programs, like Media Monkey or Winamp, that can “rip” to mp3 for you. I’m simply starting with my goofy little friend first, since Microsoft includes WiMP with your operating system, and updates are simple and free.
Let me know what you see so far, and we can go further. In a nutshell, here’s what you’ll need:
- Rip the CD audio files to MP3 or WMA
- Add ID3 tags to your files (WiMP uses ID3v2.3 ISO 8859-1 format tags that the Sansa likes).
- If WiMP doesn’t do this, Download MP3Tag. It’s free, and it edits your tags crazy fast.
- Set the genre tag to “audiobook”.
- Transfer to the Fuze. Audiobooks can be located under Music > Audiobooks.
- In Audiobook mode, you will have a basic bookmark feature.
Let me know if WiMP finds the titles for you.
Starting with audiobooks is a unique case, a wee bit more complicated than simple music files. In comparison, the process is the same, but the CD track names and album art will most likely pop right up. For audio CD music, be sure to select something higher then 64kb/s, as it sounds much better.