Proprietary Connector

Is there a good reason for my new toy not being compatible with any standard USB cables that I own? It seems it isn’t compatible with the iPod connector, which would be about the only possible justification I can imagine. Is there a mini-usb adaptor I can just keep attached all the time?

No, it’s a proprietary connector. Don’t use the iPod connector or you risk frying it, since the iPod connector sends power through different pins.

I, too, would rather it had a mini-USB or micro-USB connector. But it doesn’t. Neither do mp3 players by Sony, Zune, Samsung, iPod…I’m sensing a trend here.

Generic replacement cables are pretty cheap, though–like about $5 on Amazon–so you could always get a spare.  

Message Edited by Black-Rectangle on 08-13-2010 05:15 PM

Well, I had a clip, which had a sensible connector. It scores them a 1 star review on amazon, and another vendor on my hate list. It’s just more junk to carry if I’m travelling.

That must be a long list.

It’s pretty amazing how photos, specs and absolutely every other bit of information about the Fuze were completely withheld from you before purchase. 

The connector supports a USB connection, a power connection, Line Outputs Left and Right, as well as control pins to allow a dock to control some of the features of the player.(Play/Pause, Forward, Reverse, volume etc) There’s also an input to select line or headphone outputs, and in the case of the View, there’s even a video output pin.

That is more than will easily fit on a 4 pin USB connector.

But it IS a standard! Since the Sansa Dock supports most current models, they all must be adhering to the same dock connector.

Now, to be honest, I think using the exact same connector as the IPod is a bit dangerous… too many people will damage their players that way.

If you MUST have a “USB Standard” , just check out the connector at the other end of the cable. It looks like USB to me!


The photos on most sites SELLING the device only show it with no connectors attached. The picture on the box even looks like a mini-usb. So, I didn’t know about the dock, but if it is not the same as the ipod, that is pretty useless.

My issue with the cable is a) I need to have it with me when I need to charge (which means one at work, one at home), and b) it is yet another cable to carry in a bag when I’m travelling - and I specifically opted for the longer battery life of the fuze.

So I have ordered a spare lead, and some mini-usb sockets so I can at least make up an adaptor.

Gomadic makes different “tips” for various electronic devices.  All you’ll need is one cable for charging and a tip for each device.

The USB chargers and battery packs come with tips, but none are for the Fuze.

I guess the idea of the proprietary connector for the Fuze was to allow the use of docking station which offers many features. They should have included an adapter plug with the Fuze that is compact and fits into the bottom of the Fuze which then allows the use of a stard USB cable with a standard mini usb connector on the end. Sometimes I think the people who design mp3 players don’t use them, otherwise they wouldn’t incorporate such things as proprietary connectors or built in batteries which cause great frustration.

My hatred of built in batteries isn’t just for mp3 players. I have two shavers I like that work perfectly except that their built in batteries are worn out! UGH!!!

I’ve been using my Fuze steadily for two years and the rechargeable still shows no sign of wearing out or weakening. With a battery that good, I don’t care if it’s not replaceable–by the time it goes, the rest of the Fuze will probably be kaput too. 

If you want a tiny unit–as a lot of people do–then the rechargeable saves space. A replacement battery would probably be just as proprietary as the cable, and harder to find, and then you can guarantee people would be complaining about losing the battery cover. Obviously SanDisk decided a sealed unit with a small, robust battery was a better idea. 

@tshoulihane wrote:


So, I didn’t know about the dock, but if it is not the same as the ipod, that is pretty useless.

I guess the rest of the world’s devices are pretty useless by your definition then.

Apple products have always been the leader in proprietary software, connectors, etc. _ Nothing _ is compatible with them by design. And that’s just how Steve Jobs wants it.

I love the ominous implication of the phrase “proprietary connector”, especially in the light of comparison with the iPod one.

The only company I know of that makes a hobby of pursuing their “proprieties” is Apple.  Just try to make an adaptor for the Apple dock and you will discover this.  Lawyers will surround you like sharks around the chum bucket.  The 30 pin connection used on the Sansa is indeed different, upon close inspection.

There are two metal tabs that prevent installation of the connector upside-down, and that also interfere with trying to jam an iPod connector in place.  The problem is that these tabs are not of sufficient depth to prevent “cross-pollination” between the Sansa and an iPod dock; the two can be wiggled together with often disastrous results.

The dock connection does allow for expansion and future design additions,  like the speaker dock / remote combinations available.  I wouldn’t think of the 30 pin as a big negative, but I do see the logic in simply foregoing docking options for simplicity, as most users are quite happy with power + data available via a four-pin USB socket.  I prefer expandability, but to each is own.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

I have two usb connectors on usb cables but neither fits my camera/phone. The phone connector is sized between the two cable connectors. How do I get the correct size?

You’re looking for a cable for your phone? You’re on the wrong site. Sandisk doesn’t make phones (or phone cables).

Go to your phone manufacturer’s website, or try Amazon.