My issues with SanDisk Clip Sport firmware

It’s amazing how much I learn about SanDisk’s MP3 player’s product range - and its differences - just by reading the replies on this thread. I’m not fond of some of the entries here, but at least they are informative. And that brings me to my original complaint, namely that SanDisk does not explicitely advertise the limitations of the SanDisk Clip Sport. I just payed a visit to the SanDisk website and I still cannot find any information about the player’s limited capabilites, e.g the maximum of 4000 songs (with the added memory card). Here’s one sentence from the advertisement that I still find very misleading:

“The SanDisk Clip Sport MP3 Player is available in a wide range of bright colors with file storage capacities of 4GB and 8GB**, and it also contains a memory card slot for additional storage**.”

Mind the double asterisks. I was hoping the first pair would warn me about the limitation of 2000 songs on the player itself, and the second pair would do the same for the extended memory card. Unfortunately, that is still not the case. The first pair gives me information on how much a gigabyte really is (as if no one knows that already), and the second one says that the card is sold separately. And that, in my opinion, is the real reason for the existence of this low spec’d MP3 player. SanDisk produces memory devices in the first place. But a memory device by itself is worthless, unless you can put it in a computer, or any other device, like an MP3 player. By producing these devices, SanDisk really is creating a market for itself to sell more microSDHC memory cards. The MP3 player, and its capabilities, are subordinate. From a sales point perspective, SanDisk couldn’t care less about how this MP3 player is perceived by its consumers. And Apple does or at least did the same, where the cheaper ipods really are meant to trick consumers into using itunes (and spend real bucks there).

Anyway, I could go on and on about how I feel cheated having bought this MP3 player, but I guess it won’t make any difference. My only hope is that people considering to buy this MP3 player will pay a visit to the SanDisk fora first, before making their decision. At least, SanDisk is keeping these threads with complaining consumers alive. I guess that’s a start…

Product pages only contain marketing info. They will never say what a device can’t do, marketing is putting the products best foot forward so to speak. There are literately millions of things this device can’t do for example, it won’t make you breakfast, should they put that on the page as well? I am being a bit facetious there but you can probably get what I am saying. The database limitation are listed in the sandisk knowledgebase. I went to their knowledgebase page and search for “number of songs” and this article was the first hit. it has the limitation for the database listed. see link below. 

I agree that it is not put right in your face but this is typically how marketing is done. When I research a product I am thinking of buying I always check the manufacturer knowledgebase and reviews before purchasing. I always got more info there than in marketing product descriptions.

I’m glad you call your example facetious yourself, so I don’t have to.

I usually do my research before buying any product. In case of the SanDisk Clip Sport, I went from the “marketing” pages on their website, immediately to the player’s User Manual, easily found on-line. At the end of chapter 7, I found what I was looking for:

“The SanDisk Clip Sport MP3 player is capable of working with microSDHC cards up to 32GB. The player can store up to 40GB* of total device content including internal memory (e.g., 8GB player with a 32GB card).”

Then, I turned to my other knowledge base, called “common sense”, being: more memory = more music. I usually do not look for information that makes no sense, like number of songs limitations due to a firmware hack by SanDisk, to fix whatever needed to be fixed with this device that the engineers had overlooked in the design fase.

I hope you get my point. But since you are so familiar with this SanDisk Knowledge Base, could you perhapse tell me what was changed on August 11 2014? Please don’t tell me they’ve added the “Sansa Database Limitation” part.

Also, do you agree that - next to the knowledge base - the user manual (I’m talking about the PDF with 39 pages, not some sort of quick start guide) would be a good place to include such limitations as well? I challenge you to find even the number “2000” mentioned in there.


Just some thoughts from the peanut gallery:

– Personally, I think that product pages, including (or even especially) at a manufacturer’s website, indeed should contain product factual information including at least basic product capabilities (also known as limitations).  With a DAP, that would include the size of the memory (internal as well as external capability); and with that, any practical limitations on that, such as file number limits–otherwise, the former information could be meaningless or, at least, less meaningful.  This avoids confusion, consumer upset, and returns, costly to everyone.

– As a partial explanation as to the Sport circumstances, I think that even SanDisk itself was surprised concerning issues with the Sport caused by the hardware choice, and then had to make a hard decision, after the Sport issued, as to cutting the size of the file number capabilities, to try to address some of the issues. Mind you, I’m not endorsing the player’s limitations or appraches taken; I agree that the limitations should be stated upfront–and candor can have its own rewards, even in difficult circumstances.  But it does help explain part of what’s occurred.  But, hey, I’m not a majority shareholder in SanDisk–yet.   ;) 

I ended up just throwing mine out.  I keep reading the excuses, that somehow this is not actually Sandisk’s fault, that it’s a problem with the hardware limitations.  Mmm Hmm.  I’m the plant engineer at a manufacturing facility.  I deal with industrial hardware, firmware, and software limitations all day long.  My job is to find the work-around.  There’s ALWAYS a work-around.  And Sandisk can’t figure out how to create a database with more than 2000 entries, and artist, song, and album titles need to be truncated to 12 characters when there are 8 BILLION bytes of memory?  Not buying that story.  There’s ALWAYS a work-around.

So true, but if the work-around minimizes revenues, it will never get worked-around! They can always sell you the next model up.

@bhutchin wrote:

So true, but if the work-around minimizes revenues, it will never get worked-around! They can always sell you the next model up.

Unfortunately, the next model “up” here is back, to the Clip Zip or Clip+ . . . .

@billparker82 wrote:

be truncated to 12 characters when there are 8 BILLION bytes of memory?  Not buying that story.  There’s ALWAYS a work-around.

8 BILLION bytes is NAND storage not DRAM. the thing that is limiting this player is the very limited amount of DRAM in the controller. 

Should make no difference.  Flash memory does have a slow write time but read times are fast.  Memory is still memory.  Once songs are transferred the player should be in essentially a static state with the only change being current song played.  The files and database don’t need to change unless another transfer occurs.

storing resume points, parsing id3 tags, building the database based off the id3 tag is all done in the DRAM of the controller. 

What gives? No further discussion. I received one of these from Amazon in the post yesterday and was immediately unhappy with the fact I can only play one album at a time and finding out that there is no rockbox port.

I loved my SanDisk Clip Zip and have only stopped using it after 8 years of faithful service because the headphone jack is damaged and music cuts out randomly, moving the jack around doesn’t make much difference for long.

Any suggestions?