Loading & playing audiobooks on Sansa Fuze+

This guide applies to Sansa Fuze+ with Firmware 2.38.06 installed. You’ll need an mp3 tag editing program such as the free Mp3tag – which you can download from http://www.mp3tag.de/en/ (I used it with  v 2.5 which was the latest at the time of writing) and make yourself familiar with its tag editing options  such as appearing in the “convert” menu item.

In this guide I assume that you typically have more than one audiobook that you want to store and play on the Fuze+. Each in the form of a set of mp3 files, perhaps ripped from an old set of CDs is in the form of many tracks (I have such audiobooks with 20-40 tracks), each track converted to one mp3 file (could correspond to one book chapter) and is stored in a directory on your PC. We’ll carry out all manipulation on the PC and then transfer the files to the proper location on the player.

It is important to note that although you can store your files in the “Audiobook” section of the device memory – it is much preferred  to use the “Podcasts” section of the memory as it allows you easier navigation on multiple books - more on it later.

To start – you should runthe Mp3tag program and navigate to the directory on the computer where the mp3 files of an audiobook are stored (it is preferred not to edit tags of files while on the Fuze+ device) . Use the program to change (if necessary) the Title tag of all tracks in an increasing alpha-numeric order. You can use a sequence such as:  part 01 of Book Ch 01, part 01 of Book Ch 02….part 02 of Book Ch 01, part 02 of Book Ch 02… etc (the "0"s  are important to add to single digit numerals). I prefer to put in the titles just chapters numbers such as Ch01, Ch02,… Ch10, Ch11…The title of the books should be placed in the Title tag field and the Author in the Artist field. Naming of the titles can be performed withe the Mp3Tag program by using the Tag-Tag conversion: Specifiy that you convert the Title field and create a string like " Ch %track% " while seletcing all files in the folder - this will create such a sequence of titles…

Keeping the increasing order of alpha-numerals of the titles correctly will ensure that the files will show in the right order on the Player. You can use the Mp3tag program to enter or change the tags of Artist, Album (name of book), Track etc. But do not change the Genre to “Audiobook” (or if set so change it something else) – Having the Genre as Audiobook  will cause the files to show under Audiobook section which will not be easy to navigate if you have more than one book is stored in the Player.

The next step is to add cover-art to the mp3 files  with the Mp3tag. The covers will serve as icons and will make it easy for you to navigate among several Audiobook that are simultaneously stored on the Player – each cover picture can serve as a separate icon. To accomplish this choose pictures of your choice (I use book cover pictures I download from some of the internet bookstore sites – since it is for my own personal use I assume it is OK). You can use MS Office Picture Manager to convert the picture to images that of the appropriate dimension. I recommend that the larger side dimension to be  300 pixels in .jpg format. If the picture is a rectangle – it will show stretched to a square on the Mp3tag display – but don’t worry – it will show with the correct aspect ratio on the Fuze+ display after loading it.

Accomplishing the above for each of your book you should have a set of directories  with the names Book1, Book2, Book3… on your computer. Now connect the Player with the micro USB cable. The Fuze+ should show as an external disk with the name SANSA FUZEP. Navigate to the disk. You will see list of directories. By dragging-and-dropping you should place your Books directories directly in the Podcasts directory. Do not put them in the Audiobook directory. . Fuze+ will show them as Audiobook only if the Genre tag classifies them and such which I have already told you to avoid.

Now disconnect the cable. The Fuze+  should turn on automatically. Navigate to the Podcasts display. You would normally see either a display of an image of the cover of one of your books referring to the last track you were reading (on top of other covers) with a section title saying “books”, or a list of your cover arts miniaturized (like icons) of the various books with section title saying, for example,  “podcasts 2 episodes” (in a case of 2 books stored). In the latter case you’ll see under each icon the number of tracks also as the number of  “episodes”. In the first case (if you see “books”) , using the Select option (center of the touch pad) you will be transferred to the latter display (saying “podcasts”)…

I note here that for some reason occasionally some files transferred or some of the covers were not seen on the display. In such rare cases I erased the transferred folders and repeated the drag-and-drop action - and the repeated action worked for me in all cases.

Now you can navigate to the book you want to listen to with the Scroll or tap the Up/Down keys. Then hitting the Select key again it will show a list of icons of the “episodes” (the tracks or book chapters) each with its own cover (on mine all covers of tracks in the same audiobook are identical but it does not have to be so).  Navigate again with the Scroll or Up/Down taps and Select the track or chapter you want to read. Hitting Select on an fresh (not recently read and stopped at) track will result in the Player start playing it. To stop playing hit Pause (the upper right arrow key on the touch pad). You can navigate away to another chapter and or to another book and return to listening at the point where you stopped.  The device will show the Pause symbol to the left of the last track played, but only one such symbol is shown – so if you have navigated and played other tracks and want to get back you have to remember only the identity of the  track that you want to get back to(except the very last one which the device remembers). On each partially-played track the device remembers the location reached on the last playback and will prompt you with a “Resume Playback - Yes/No” choices when you select any such track.

I hope the above is of some help. I have enjoyed using the Fuze+ now for many hours of audiobook listening and found it most comfortable and easy to use.