PC World rates SanDisk dead last in Customer Satisfaction for MP3 players? I'm calling BS

As someone who works in the software field, I subscribe to PC World to help stay on top of new devices and market trends.

However, the latest issue of PC World makes it clear to me that their reporting can no longer be trusted.

In the latest issue PC World rates SanDisk dead last in Customer Satisfaction  for MP3 players.

Right off the bat, I found this suspect.

While I have had certain issues from time to time with my Sansa devices, I found the overall quality to be quite good.

PC World actually rated iRiver 3 steps higher that SanDisk!

When I saw this, I knew the fix was in.

iRiver is not the company they once were.

I recently purchased a brand new T7 4GB model that I ordered from the iRiver site.

I am less than pleased with the unit.
It does NOT function as advertised.

As a happy user of a T30, I thought that most reviews of the T7 were good enough
to give it a shot and they were running a sale on the website.
What a mistake placing this order was.

If you want to switch from MTP to MSC, it automatically formats the unit and you will lose any data on it.

Battery life is terrible, less than 2 hours on a full charge.

The unit won’t recognize *.pla playlists created with iRiver’s own software for MSC mode!

The unit won’t recognize ANY playlists created in MTP mode!

You will ALWAYS get an error message that says “This file format is not supported” any time you try to execute a playlist!

The EQ is, for all intents and purposes, USELESS!
Choosing the custom EQ or SRS results in a substantial gain reduction when the opposite should be the case.

What is completely confusing to me is why iRiver would license a great technology like SRS WOW and do such
a TERRIBLE job of actually implementing it.

I’ve already wasted enough time with this piece of junk.
The T7 Volcano is utterly USELESS as an MP3 player.

I’ll stick with Sansa and I’ll be dropping my PC World subscription.

I can no longer trust anything they say.

Viva Sansa!

Count me in as one who agrees with PC world.

I gave my Fuze to my son and bought an Archos 605 4G wifi. I know, It’s bigger, but it actually does what it says. I have copied 26 movies so far and they actually play on the unit. What a concept. Entered in 1st try, and no audio lag.

You guys have fun with your POS Fuze.

And both my best buddy and myself feel that the audio quality is noticeably superior.

I know, I know, the Archos is bigger and (a little) more expensive ( the 4G flash drive unit I have can be had for 125.00 on ebay), but it is AWESOME. And it actually works as advertised…what a concept.

 If Sansa had even tried to fix SMC, it might have been different for me. But they won’t even acknowledge the problems with SMC, never mind repairing it.

I won’t be looking back.

Oh, and let the the attacks begin. I forsee the Sansa cheerleaders personally attacking me for speaking the truth.

No cheerleading necessary.  If you find a happy combination, that’s the whole point isn’t it? 

Hopefully, the issues with the SMC will get nailed down.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue:

 Was this PC word article just some top 10 list or a real survey?  Did they give specifics of leading issues wrt customer satisfaction?

@ickster wrote:

Count me in as one who agrees with PC world.

I gave my Fuze to my son and bought an Archos 605 4G wifi. I know, It’s bigger, but it actually does what it says. I have copied 26 movies so far and they actually play on the unit. What a concept. Entered in 1st try, and no audio lag.

 

You guys have fun with your POS Fuze.

 

With all due respect on the video knock - the player isn’t marketed as a Movie player - but a music player with limited ability to show movies at a lower quality video.

 

I just purchased mine - and after doing my shopping diligence I was under no impression that I would buy this unit if my intention was to view videos.  But if I have a video or two I want to put on the device for low quality viewing it’s a feature that the Fuze can do.  The Sansa View is around for those that want a video player.  I have no idea of the ability of that player since I’ve never used one. 

 

re: Music quality - I find this device does a great job for music.  I haven’t used the earbuds b/c I don’t like that style - but with a regular set of headphones the audio is sweet.

 

 

@donp wrote:

 Was this PC word article just some top 10 list or a real survey?  Did they give specifics of leading issues wrt customer satisfaction?

 

It is purportedly a real survey.

find.pcworld.com/62001

Message Edited by tmarkoski on 01-19-2009 09:04 AM

To say the Fuze is not marketed as a video player is absurd! 

There is a law in the federal retail guidelines (which most states abide by) pertaining to “Implied Marketability”…ie what you buy is ASSUMED to do what it says it does. IMO, this applys here. I keep hearing many people say that my un happiness is my fault because I didn’t research the Fuze and its video issues enough. Bulls**t!

The Fuze is sold as an MP3 player AND a video player, and it doesn’t perform as advertised PERIOD.

I still feel gypped. I invested 100.'s of dollars, and got nothing but frustration.

I say again…my new Archos 605 does EXACTLY what it is advertised as doing. What a concept.

I read the article.  As I was hinting, no specifics.  I could believe (not that it is necessarily the case) that ALL the “out of the box” “severe problems” and “usability” issues are with the video conversion program, and for many people that won’t matter at all.  

@ickster wrote:

I still feel gypped. I invested 100.'s of dollars, and got nothing but frustration.

 

Hundreds? How? And you bought an Archos, why did you only a 4GB?You can get them up to like 250GB!

@ickster wrote:

To say the Fuze is not marketed as a video player is absurd! 

 

There is a law in the federal retail guidelines (which most states abide by) pertaining to “Implied Marketability”…ie what you buy is ASSUMED to do what it says it does. IMO, this applys here. I keep hearing many people say that my un happiness is my fault because I didn’t research the Fuze and its video issues enough. Bulls**t!

 

The Fuze is sold as an MP3 player AND a video player, and it doesn’t perform as advertised PERIOD.

 

I still feel gypped. I invested 100.'s of dollars, and got nothing but frustration.

 

I say again…my new Archos 605 does EXACTLY what it is advertised as doing. What a concept.

That Archos is a nice unit. And the Fuze does what it says it does. It will play video, Just because some people havent had good luck with video does not mean the fuze doesnt play it. There is a reason the player is listed as an MP3 player, that is its primary function, were it listed as an AVI player I differeny expectations would be understandable. HERE IS A CONCEPT WORK A LITTLE BIT MAKE THE FUZE WORK FOR YOU! A little bit of time and sine work and an open mind and you can do exactly what the fuze is supposed to do. And Just an FYI but it wont matter because you wrote your Fuze off already, but in an upcomming firmwire they are eliminating SMC, or at least fixing it, too bad you couldnt deal for a few months.

You only need to search this forum to identify a number of the issues…

  1. SMC & video conversion.

    Not only is is awkward and slow to convert the video, but it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to get videos

    converted without A/V sync issues.  I had some videos with 20 minutes of A/V sync error. Shurely you guys can figure

    this out!  You must keep the fuze plugged in for the conversion… and if anything goes wrong at the end like having the fuze

    unplugged you have to convert the whole file over again.

  1. Play music by folder…  I have some collections of my favorite tunes organized by folder, and when I put them on the fuze and

    forget to edit the MP3 tags first they are scattered to the winds. I should not have to edit the MP3 tags of my music collections

    organized by theme (like my favorite dance music) or music that I recorded like concert recordings that have no MP3 tags

    and show up as “unknown” in the fuze.

  1. My fuze as well as a few others that have bothered to check plays music and videos a little slow, changing the pitch of the sound

    a small but noticable amount. Some users will not notice this as a pitch change - it just won’t sound as good to them.

  1. The voice recorder makes a ticking sound when recording.

  2. You cannot use the fuze when it is plugged in to charge…

I only touched the tip of the iceberg here…

@mp3geek wrote:

You only need to search this forum to identify a number of the issues…

 

  1. SMC & video conversion.

    Not only is is awkward and slow to convert the video, but it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to get videos

    converted without A/V sync issues.  I had some videos with 20 minutes of A/V sync error. Shurely you guys can figure

    this out!  You must keep the fuze plugged in for the conversion… and if anything goes wrong at the end like having the fuze

    unplugged you have to convert the whole file over again.

If you look around you will see that SMC is not gonna be around for long. It is ■■■■ a PITA that they are probably doing away with it all together. 

 

  1. Play music by folder…  I have some collections of my favorite tunes organized by folder, and when I put them on the fuze and

    forget to edit the MP3 tags first they are scattered to the winds. I should not have to edit the MP3 tags of my music collections

    organized by theme (like my favorite dance music) or music that I recorded like concert recordings that have no MP3 tags

    and show up as “unknown” in the fuze.

 Check the next firmwire… It should be in the next upgrade

 

  1. My fuze as well as a few others that have bothered to check plays music and videos a little slow, changing the pitch of the sound

    a small but noticable amount. Some users will not notice this as a pitch change - it just won’t sound as good to them.

Some people dont notice this at all… I think that this is a isolated incident - like a bad batch from the manufacturer, Mine is not slow at all. 

 

  1. The voice recorder makes a ticking sound when recording.

 Yeah that ■■■■■… I agree this needs to be checked out.

 

  1. You cannot use the fuze when it is plugged in to charge…

You cant use any of the major brand players when they charge. You can use it when plugged in to a wall charger.

 

I only touched the tip of the iceberg here…

Just an FYI

@conversionbox wrote:


@mp3geek wrote:

You only need to search this forum to identify a number of the issues…

 

 

  1. My fuze as well as a few others that have bothered to check plays music and videos a little slow, changing the pitch of the sound

    a small but noticable amount. Some users will not notice this as a pitch change - it just won’t sound as good to them.

Some people dont notice this at all… I think that this is a isolated incident - like a bad batch from the manufacturer, Mine is not slow at all. 

 

 

I checked my players.  My e200 seems just right.  My clip plays a little fast (and high pitched), about 1/3 percent.   I can see a lot of people dismissing this as trivial, and I can see it being a PITA if you try to play along with an instrument that isn’t easily retuned.

 

An easy way to tell is make a file with a single tone (I used A-440).  Play it back on both computer and player and listen for the beat note that indicates by how many Hertz the 2 are out of tune. 

 

@mp3geek wrote:

You only need to search this forum to identify a number of the issues…

 

  1. SMC & video conversion.

    Not only is is awkward and slow to convert the video, but it takes a rocket scientist to figure out how to get videos

    converted without A/V sync issues.  I had some videos with 20 minutes of A/V sync error. Shurely you guys can figure

    this out!  You must keep the fuze plugged in for the conversion… and if anything goes wrong at the end like having the fuze

    unplugged you have to convert the whole file over again.

 

  1. Play music by folder…  I have some collections of my favorite tunes organized by folder, and when I put them on the fuze and

    forget to edit the MP3 tags first they are scattered to the winds. I should not have to edit the MP3 tags of my music collections

    organized by theme (like my favorite dance music) or music that I recorded like concert recordings that have no MP3 tags

    and show up as “unknown” in the fuze.

 

  1. My fuze as well as a few others that have bothered to check plays music and videos a little slow, changing the pitch of the sound

    a small but noticable amount. Some users will not notice this as a pitch change - it just won’t sound as good to them.

 

  1. The voice recorder makes a ticking sound when recording.

 

  1. You cannot use the fuze when it is plugged in to charge…

 

I only touched the tip of the iceberg here…

I hope you don’t plan on buying an iPod instead.  They have the same “issues” with #1, #2 and #5.

It’s interesting how on the chart all MP3 players except those from Apple and Microsoft have bad ease of use. Clearly this survey went out to people who are mainstream consumers who don’t have much technical know how. Since I’ve used mp3 players from Apple, Creative, Philips, Sandisk, I’ve got to say that they are fairly close in ease of use. I would say the Sandisk was no less easy to use than the Apple. At the very least all mp3 players should get average score for this category. Maybe Apple deserves the best ease of use. Then again an Ipod has no extra features (like radio, recording) and is pretty much tied into Itunes for every function possible, so of course one would expect it to rate high.

lukev wrote:
It’s interesting how on the chart all MP3 players except those from Apple and Microsoft have bad ease of use. Clearly this survey went out to people who are mainstream consumers who don’t have much technical know how.

 

Maybe Apple deserves the best ease of use.

It should, since it’s made for and marketed to I-sheep. Bahhh . . . Baaaahhh!

It’s extremely hard to operate controls with cloven hooves. :stuck_out_tongue:

While  I  understand  that  the  Fuze  and the  Clip  are  well-regarded players,  the reason for dissatisfaction  could be the View.

Okay then, let’s look at the confusing graphic a wee bit closer. Toshiba and Archos are listed in the fourth and fifth positions in the “ranking”.

Pity, this rank position is severely skewed, despite PC World using, how did they say it, “We used methods of statistical analysis to determine which companies were significantly better or worse than the average, based on all responses about a certain product type.”  This description is rather sophomoric.

Simply put, the statistics as displayed in the graphic do not explain how two manufacturers with three out of five categories omitted from the ranking, that’s a 60 percent omission, still make positions four and five.

Do the math.  Let’s take 60 percent of the basic data from any of the manufacturers, and you can rank them anywhere you so desire.  This blatant omission aside, one only has to assign a numerical value to each of the fields to see the holes in the graph.

Frankly, I’m insulted at their final result, not solely from the rudimentary display, but from the horrible graphic and their elitist aire, claiming that the respondents are “tech-savvy” and above the general population.  Calling the respondents tech-savvy means no more that they had responded to a PC World “inquiry” or survey; it has little to nothing to do with general qualification to summarize their collective experiences fairly, or shall I say, objectively.

There isn’t enough clarification of what kind of problems the respondents experienced.  Without clarification, minor issues get subjectively lumped in with large ones.

Take into consideration the category, “ease of use”.  I have personally sampled every manufacturer listed in the graphic, and after a few moments with any one of the units, I had a good idea of the controls and interface.  Simply put, every manufacturer has a design and production team, comprised of industrial design (the overall package, display and controls), engineering (implementation of controls, touch screen, wheel, buttons, and user interface), and production (building the device to specification, and quality control).  They all have the same basic objective: retrieve a music file and begin playback.  So, as each device has a different design of control and display, we cannot compare them in an entirely objective way, as we all have our own preferences and needs.  Depending upon the individual, they choose the device based upon looks, feel, size, capability, affordability, and their familiarity with operation.

If a user is asked about the Philips player that he hates, because it has a quirky control scheme compared to the Sony he previously owned, the Philips gets a bad rating.  Yet another use has purchased the exact same player, is quite used to it, and finds it to be superb.

Just what constitutes a “severe” problem with the audio player?  Wait a moment before you answer that, because your response will be based upon an earlier page in the article.  A severe problem was only clarified, roughly, in the survey of laptop computers.  There isn’t any clarification of this ominous category regarding audio players.

Indeed, the manufacturers listed all have a right to voice their anger at this ranking, unworthy of publication even in a high school newspaper.  Even in this environment, I’d bet the instructor would demand more of his pupil.  Yet what we see here is the final product of a commercial publication!  I am insulted on behalf of all of the manufacturers who were inaccurately and unfairly represented in the article, and this means every one of the manufacturers listed in the list.

The manufacturers at the top of the list are simply giving a sigh of relief at not having been torpedoed by this drivel.

PC World should leave such graphics to the folks at Consumer Reports.  Though I find such rankings rather two dimensional in any venue, I see things in a far wider field of view than this exceedingly myopic one. Frankly, I have a far greater sense of responsibility to the manufacturer, and the reader, than demonstrated in this case.

If a manufacturer deserves to be savaged in this list, they deserve a precise description of why they are ranked as such, especially if two manufacturers listed got a free ride for 60 per cent of the survey results.

Yet the manufacturers undoubtedly suffer as a result of schlock journalism.  Well done, PC World, well done indeed.

Bob  :cry: 

When I looked at the graph I immediately saw how useless it was. Anyone who thinks they can derive any useful information from this graph… oh wait. There is one useful information that can be gleaned from the graph. PC World has no freaking clue how to do a proper survey. The symbols hide a LOT of information about the survey methodology and statistical analysis used. It’s utterly nonsense. Even if Sandisk was on top of this ranking, I’d dismiss it as well.

This is all so amusing. Remember all those posts saying that Sandisk players are junk since they don’t work with itunes? I wonder how many people call a Lexus junk since it won’t work with Cadillac parts? Were there ever people who said my digital camera is junk since it won’t work with Kodachrome? :slight_smile: