forewarning…this is long.
there has been discussion with regard to the m250 and its inability to properly handle audiobooks. here’s another thread in which its spoken.
some background and other info…
I have other sandisk players, but my 2 m250 players with firmware v4.1.08a frustrated me with its skipping/looping on large files (> 15 min) to the point I gave them to the kids to listen to music with and went back to the older e140 (1gig expandable to 3gig)…it has accelerated scrolling but DOES NOT have a bookmarking feature…a big weakness for audiobooks IMO.
after the e140 and because of sandisk’s (non)response to the m250’s shortcomings for audiobooks, I tried and have been fairly happy with a completely different brand…the Panasonic SV-MP020. this is a 2gig flash memory unit that is smaller than the m250, and uses the simple folder/file system of organization rather than ID3 tags. it also uses a AA battery which gives it a claimed 75-80 hour time per battery. I haven’t measured, but its gotta be close to that. I also prefer the folder/file system…especially for audiobooks. this is a very simple unit with no FM radio or voice recorder and only pre-set equalizer settings. the downside with this unit for me is it doesn’t have a sleep mode that automatically shuts the player off after a pre-determined time…i like this feature because i like to listen to audiobooks while laying in bed and most of the time i fall off before turning the player off…this uses battery and I have missed my place by hours instead of 30min that i set the sleep mode to.
OK still not having found the perfect player for my audiobooks, i decided to re-visit the m250 today…to see if there’s a way around the skipping/looping problem. i believe i have a solution. before i started, i ran the updater program on one of my m250s. i rip and encode my own audiobook files and prefer WMA encoding because you can get roughly the same quality @ half the bit rate…and thus half the file size. so i loaded audiobooks in both MP3 & WMA formats which were composed of either long (> 60min) and short files (< 10min).
what i found with MP3 files…there is now no problem with skipping/looping regardless of file run time. WOW, didn’t expect that and I think I sampled enough books to confirm.
what i found with WMA files…skipping/looping still exists on files > 11 min of run time. files < 11 min of run time worked without issue.
so, what to do? i found a freeware program that will slice up MP3 files into minute increments you can specify…you can take an audiobook composed say of (10) 60min files and slice that up into (60) 10min files. the only downside is the program only works on MP3 files and NOT WMA files. so, if you’re like me and prefer WMA encoding, just file slice before you re-code your MP3 files to WMA. slicing also removes certain tag info as well…so a tag editor program can re-insert that info. tag editor function is available with the paid version of this program.
here’s a link to the audiobook file slicer…
anyway, i hope this helps those who have been suffering with the skipping/looping problem with audiobooks associated with the m250 v4.1.08a
Message Edited by jjrphs on 05-20-2008 06:03 PM