Pitch bug on Clip+?

Wow, I don’t check in for a while on the problem, and I see Sandisk goes and does something incredibly stupid.

@slotmonsta wrote:

Over the last few days there have been several meetings with Engineering, Marketing, and Product Management regarding the pitch issue some users have seen. Please see below a statement regarding the decision that was reached as a result of these meetings.


At SanDisk, our goal with our Sansa MP3 product line is to provide products which deliver a quality consumer experience at price points which are accessible to the majority of the population.  Our “value” positioning has served us well historically, although we acknowledge that occasionally our products do not live up to some users’ expectations.  The issues raised on this Forum regarding sound fidelity are important to us however due to trade-off decisions that were made in engineering these products to deliver superior consumer value at what we believe are extremely attractive price points, our sound fidelity isn’t perfect.  We have re-evaluated the possibility of reducing the pitch variation and due to the engineering trade-offs the decision was made to stay with the current design. Very few listeners, however, have noticed or complained about it as an issue in actual practice.  For those who can detect sound differences with their naked ears during actual use and not via frequency analysis, our products may not be the best choice for them.


Forum Admin


This is easily the most hilarious thing I’ve read in the past couple weeks.  Not only are they saying that they refuse to fix the problem, BUT THEY ARE ACTUALLY TELLING YOU TO GO BUY FROM A COMPETITOR.  In addition, this is such a piss-poor argument that it’s beyond sad.  While it’s true that more expensive players may have more “fidelity” (pro tip Sandisk: playing back music accurately has NOTHING to do with fidelity), I can go out right now and purchase a piece of crap $10 mp3 player from some no-name company, AND IT WON’T HAVE ANY PITCH PROBLEM.  If you can’t make a mp3 player that accurately plays music, something that a basic, no frills $10 player can, then you should just give up as this is clearly the wrong business for you.

I mean, holy crap Sandisk. I knew you were a bad company when you hadn’t fixed the pitch problem in the 7+ months time you’ve had, but this takes the cake.  Let’s review.

  1. Sandisk lied about a fix for the problem being in the works that was originally confirmed here. http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/board/message?board.id=clip&thread.id=15109&view=by_date_ascending&page=12

  2. Sandisk has now officially stated that the pitch problem will never be fixed on either the Clip or the BRAND-NEW Clip+.

  3. Sandisk is saying if you don’t like it, too bad.  Go buy from someone else.

Too bad for you Sandisk.  You had an opportunity to capitalize on creating the best player of 2008, and instead, you decided to crap all over your customers and the good will you created by producing such a (at that time) fine product.

@p3ndr4g0n wrote:

My decision is to order the Cowon although is more expensive (but so much worth it) and a lot bulkier (I will have to wear it on an armband). I just wanted to give corporate some honest and sincere feedback exposing my case.

Very good choice p3ndr4gon.  The Cowon is a far, FAR superior product and you will enjoy it immensely.  Be sure to post here after you get it to let people know of your impressions.

Message Edited by Warrior1986 on 09-29-2009 08:04 AM

The Sandisk programmers are probably much too busy to work on this now. My guess is that they may be working on a replacement for the View, which should have come out long ago. Imo Sandisk will probably have one more firmware update for the Clip giving it folder navigation. My guess is that this might be out some time next year. This seems to be  a matter of triage, with the most important matters being handled first, and the less important things being addressed when there is time. I would like to have folder browsing on my Clip.


Finally, some proof that my ears are not bad, and that almost no one can hear the difference.

@yelped wrote:
Finally, some proof that my ears are not bad, and that almost no one can hear the difference.

I never could hear it, but my ears are admittedly not the greatest…all those childhood ear infections surely took a toll, although I couldn’t hazard a guess as to how much of a toll.  But as I’m not rich, I won’t be going to an ear doctor to have my hearing tested. :wink:

Apparently the Clip is doing on the fly sample rate conversion to 48khz that’s why 48khz files don’t have the problem they aren’t getting resampled by the dodgy algorithm

It has never bothered me I have enjoyed the Clips immensely!!

No the reason is the PLL Clock settings / dividers are less optimal for 44 Khz vs 48 Khz material.  Nothing is on the fly resampled.

You’re back?! Slotmonsta called you back?! Are you re-employed at SanDisk or just answering these questions as a helpful forum poster? I hope the former!

Welcome back sansafix!!

Just being helpful


@yelped wrote:


The man, the Legend!

Hello Sansafix!

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

I guess everyone knows that even a cheapest junk mp3 player is able to play mp3s with correct pitch and that has nothing to do with the price. It seems to me that some terrible conceptual engineering mistake was made with clip series of players right from the start, when such a trivial problem persists and can’t be easily solved by software. In other words a hardware bug which can be fixed only by complete redesign - and that is expensive. I believe that’s what they meant with the official statement about this issue. Of course they are never going to admit something embarrassing like that…

Message Edited by m9zf3n5w on 10-12-2009 07:10 PM

No, that’s not the problem.  The Clip has a very limited power supply, due to physical constraints.  Despite this, we have a long operational life on a full charge.  This is possible by carefully managing the device’s power consumption. 

Decoding at various clock speeds is possible by modifying the PLL parameters and clock dividers.  This was done previously, as discussed.  Please take into consideration that the Clip and Fuze each have several different variants, the revision 1 and 2 families.  Each of these has a different configuration internally.

The Fuze has different display and memory requirements (TFT display and µSDHC socket), plus video.  The Clip has two revisions, plus the new Clip+ has integrated µSDHC capability.  The original Clips have the illuminated control buttons.

In short, it’s not just a matter of tinkering with the PLL algorithm, there are issues unique to each revision and device.  Note that the Clip+ is closer in measured speed.  Slotmonsta is right, there are many issues behind the scenes that affect the final firmware releases.  A far greater number of users would be upset if the battery life dropped considerably, I would bet.  A happy balance between processor demands and battery life is the “holy grail”.

Time permitting, future firmware revisions will get us closer to this goal.  And there are cool things “behind the scenes” too, that require time and effort.


Now that’s a teaser:  “cool things ‘behind the scenes’ …”


Thought you’d like that.  The Lil’ Monsta never sleeps…


  Are you trying to say that all other mp3 players on the market would have a longer battery life if they’ve chosen to play MP3s at wrong pitch ? :slight_smile: Or it is about wrong choice of components used (no native support for 44,1KHz), which is closer to my assumption.

Message Edited by m9zf3n5w on 10-13-2009 05:38 AM

Actually, you should market it as an audiophile feature. Wow-and-flutter is inherent to analog audio reproduction :) 

@m9zf3n5w wrote:

Actually, you should market it as an audiophile feature. Wow-and-flutter is inherent to analog audio reproduction :) 


*Ding* *Ding* *Ding* *Ding*

We have a winner!  Authentic analog reproduction of digital files exclusively from Sansa! Like having vinyl on a turntable in the palm of your hand!

Suck on that Apple and Sony…