This is a known issue and should be fixed in the upcoming FW. The Clip had the same problem and it was fixed in the most recent FW, so it should be fixed soon on the Fuze as well.
I have found a workaround that helps a lot. It’s still slow, but at least it works. I have several large playlists as well (500-600 songs). When I select one of these playlists it takes around a minute to display the playlist contents. Then when I actually select a song to start playback, it will be another couple minutes before the “now playing screen” show up. At this point it can take anywhere from 5 minutes to forever before playback actually starts. However, I’ve discovered that if I hit the “home” button and go back to the main menu as soon as the “now playing” screen show up, playback will start in less than a minute.
Here’s the sequence:
- Select a large playlist
- After a minute or so the playlist contents will be displayed
- Select a song to start playback
- After a couple minutes the “now playing” screen will be displayed
- Hit the home button to go back to main menu
- Playback will start in less than a minute
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still slow, but at least it always works. When I just leave it on the “now playing” screen, it always takes at least 5 more minutes and sometimes will never start (I’ve waited over 45 minutes before giving up).
The good news is this much faster on my Clip with the latest FW, so hopefully we won’t have to live with the workaround much longer.