My main gripe with the Sansa Fuze

I’ve previously owned a hard-drive player, the iRiver H340. I’ve also used quite a few smaller mp3 players. I have to say the Fuze is brilliant. It’s feature filled, especially given the price and it’s expandability through the mircoSD slot is a great boon.

However, immediately after opening it my excitement sank as I saw there was a proprietary connector to charge the device and connect it to the computer. This is not a cool feature. I’d like to see Sandisk just use a mini or microUSB connector in the future. People don’t want to be carrying around yet another cable with them.

Does anyone else agree?

I greatly dislike the proprietary cable and connector. You will also probably find that you can’t keep the headphone plug in the player all the time, and that the headphone plug must be removed to press the release button on the USB cable in order to release the USB cable from the player. I find this very annoying!

I also hate navigation by ID3 tags. I hope a new firmware will be developed for the Fuze that allows a choice of navigation by folders or by tags.

Am I happy with my Fuze? Yes and no. For the price the Fuze is a great value. The Fuze has great sound quality.My 256 kbps mp3 music files sound great on it. It has played every mp3 and wma file I tried playing on it, including 16 kbps mp3 and 12 kbps wma files(lectures, not music) Voice recording on the Fuze is better than I expected, and decent enough if the player is within around 3 feet of the speaker. Navigation by ID3 tags can be very frustrating though, especially for podcasts. The other player I was considering(not made by Sandisk) was almost double the price. For that higher price though, it has navigation by folders or by ID3 tags, a full sized SD card slot, and much longer battery life than the Fuze. Perhaps I might sometime buy the other player as well.

Message Edited by JK98 on 09-14-2008 09:31 PM


Good point about the earphone jack!  My Fuze end holds very well with out the push button clips help… I just put a small rubber-band around the push clips…  I really don’t have a issue with the proprietary cord. I have a usb wall adaptor that’s smaller and almost as thin as the fuze. No need to plug into a computer and you would have to carry the adaptor around anyway proprietary or not…  I guess what I’m saying is I’m fine with both small issues All worth the sound quality of the Fuze…Again IMO George

I guess my question is - Is there a good reason to have a proprietary plug?

I don’t see how, you can only have as many lines in as a USB allows.  I don’t know if there is a mismatch from a USB plug to a mini-USB plug.

I do find it VERY annoying that I have to have YET ANOTHER cable to keep track of.  I like the idea that my camera and phone all use the same cable, it would be nice if this did, too.  Then I could just plug and play as necessary.

A proprietary connector allows accesing more features of the player than just a mini USB, and allows the use of a docking station. Why can’t a connector be designed so that it will take either a mini USB plug, or a larger proprietary connector, or else have on the player both a mini USB connector and a proprietary connector?

Precisely. Many other players have miniUSB connectors with extra pins in them for dock capabilities. So that a normal miniUSB cable can be used to access music at a friend’s house for instance yet also be used at your house for enhanced capabilities.

I’m not saying that it outweights the benefits of the Fuze, it’s a great little player. It does however let it down a bit for me, personally. I’m looking forward to OGG and FLAC support. The miniUSB jack would have made it perfect. Along with a replaceable battery. I was just airing my views so hopefully Sandisk is listening.

Well, if the mini-USB plug needs to be non-standard, I’d rather have a proprietary plug rather than chance the cables getting mixed up.

 “Along with a replaceable battery”

MP3 player makers don’t seem to want to make high quality players that use a replaceable battery.

Cell phones and digital cameras use batteries that are easily user replaceable, and for which spare batteries are easily available. Why must mp3 players be more disposable than digital cameras or cell phones? there are shirt pocket sized digital cameras with a 2.5" or larger screen that run off 2 AA batteries and have a full sized SD card slot. Why can’t we buy similar mp3 players? Perhaps a player that uses just one AA battery and that has a 1.5" screen might be practical. I would love a slightly larger version of the Clip that uses a AA battery and that has a card slot.

It’s not a proprietary plug. It would have a slightly modified plug to enable both the extra features but also the compatibility with the standard mini/mircoUSB.

I’m just in support of designs that are friendly to user tinkering. Including opening it up and replacing the battery.

If it’s modified, it’s proprietary.

I suppose having it support normal mini-usb for downloading music and/or charging would be ok, but please make sure the proprietary min-usb cable that handles extra functions is clearly marked as a Sandisk Sansa cable with a label that can’t come off or rub off.  And it would be nice if the proprietary one would not fry any other equipment it might get hooked up to accidentally (like my phone).