How to get some Fuze features back?

I have been a very happy owner of a Sansa Fuze (without “+”) for many years; it has proven to be very robust, even on an offshore sailing trip. I mostly use it to listen to audiobooks. So, when the Fuze+ came out, and it addressed my main wish: being able to rewind past  the beginning of an audio file (and had a USB plug instead of the proprietary one), I didn’t think twice and just bought it. But I was very disappointed; it is almost useless for my purpose, and end up using the Fuze far more than the Fuze+. My main problems are:

1.There seems to be no way to navigate folders. All audio files are presented in a long alphabetical list - hundreds of them! Switching between audio books takes several minutes and intense concentration, since the scrolling often overshoots.

  1. With the touchpad, rewinding also takes a lot of time and concentration. This is a feature I often need, because when I’m listening to foreign language files, or when I’m interrupted, I need to rewind some 5 seconds.

  2. It can not be used in your pocket: The controls have no haptic feedback, and are so sensitive that they easily get tapped from sitting in a pocket. (Unlocking also relies on visual feedback, and takes additional time; so it can not be used in any situation where you want to reply immediately to interruptions.)

Is there any way to get at least some of these features back with a firmware update? I read somewhere that a firmware update had improved navigation, but I already have 02.38_06A, which is the latest I could find by googling for “sansa fuze firmware update”.

Most of your issues can be resolved by installing Rockbox. Unlocking is a bit faster with is (as is everything else), you can program it to auto-rewind every time you pause it and has better file navigation (you don’t even need to refresh the database if you don’t want to!). Rockbox will also give you better battery performance. Be warned though: it doesn’t rewind across tracks!. If you don’t like it, you can also boot to the original firmware by pressing the Volume DOWN button when you turn it on.

If you’re interested, see HERE for instructions on how to install Rockbox (uninstallation instructions can also be found), HERE for a PDF version of the manual, HERE for the HTML version.

Other than Rockbox, the only thing I can suggest is a different player. Either way, good luck!

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Thank you for your solution. Just a follow-up question: Rewinding across tracks is an important feature for me; is there a chance that that might be implemented soon?

(There’s a possibility that I might contribute by programming this feature myself, but I currently don’t have a Unix box or VM; only Cygwin, so the time required for setup + learning curve would probably be inordinate.)

Possibly. When it comes to new features, the Rockbox community tends to have a “if you want it, go ahead and implement” mentality. In fact, there have been requests for this on the website HERE and HERE, although no developers have really looked into this, AFAIK.

Heck, if you decide to implement this, I’ll be glad to call you my hero!

I’d say the odds are pretty slim of someone else doing this anytime soon.

If you want to compile you can use cygwin, although unless you are on a dial up modem, setting up the compilers in cygwin will likely take much longer then just downloading virtualbox and the preprepared image (which contains the compilers already).