Question before buying FUZE

Hello,

Recently, Fuze has caught up my attention and seems like it’s the next big thing. I am looking to buy it in a very near future. I also have been lurking to the forums and found the Sansa gurus very helpful and sometimes even more than patient. I have a couple of questions before accomplishing this purchase:

My music store is entirely in FLAC. I will have the Sansa to carry around dozens of FLAC albums when I travel. That is all I need it. I don’t expect to store my entire collection in the Fuze. Say 30 albums is just fine and pratically all I need. The FLAC codec is 1.2.1 and it is level 4. The files also have embedded art, which is 600x600 pixels and have a size from 80kb up to 600kb (just a few this big). The average size of album art is 200kb. Some of this art is collected from www.albumartexchange.com and some of them have custom color profiles stored in them.

1. Battery

a) How much can I expect only playing FLACs, having a reference of 21 hours on lossy/MP3.  

b) I didn’t understand an article which said “Battery not user replaceable”. Does that mean that I never change the battery but only recharge it when it runs out? How long can it last over recharges? Can you “actually” replace the battery? Is it rechargable via USB or via AC power?

2. Album Art

a) Will 600kb embedded album art definitely choke the Fuze, or last case scenario, would it be not viewing albumart for those image sizes while viewing smaller arts in other files?

b) Can fuze cope color profiles inside images. Not “honor” these profiles, but just display the picture. I don’t expect such crazyness. I ask this because I don’t want to “re-do” my covers that have profiles in them.

3. Sound quality

a) I have read one article which says that fuze sound quality is *excellent*, and another article saying that sound is *good* but iPod is quite much better.  Although I would still buy the fuze because of this, I am wondering if anyone can confirm this, or the other way around. Sound is very important to me, and I use quality Sennheiser headphones - I don’t think is going to be a problem, but I don’t want to come across an iPod later and say “oooh my god this is so much better…”

4. Sound out-put

a) When I plug the Fuze on a stereo system through line-out -> aux-in, will that definitely work?

b) When I plug the Fuze on a USB-ready dvd-player or USB-ready mini-system stereo, will the fuze be recognized and be able to play the “supported formats” that the USB-DVD or USB-System supports? (Notice: I don’t expect these devices to see the FLAC files…)

5. m** icroCARDs **

a) If I buy a Fuze today, I know there is a 16GB limit for the microcard (totalizing 24GB of storage space). Will this limit be broken through updateable firmwares or only through new fuze retail releases?

6. Gapless Playback

a) LAME is not natively gapless. FLAC and OGG are. While some people are nagging the hell out of developers to have this feature in their MP3 (just to find out later that it won’t work with their 2000’s FhG/iTunes coded files!!!  :) ) Can I assume that my FLACs are going to play gapless as of today, or am I gonna have to wait firmware updates?  I ask this because I know FLAC is another territory compared to MP3 when gapless comes to talk - and a LAME implementation would be hard enough and I know it is in the works, however we have the native gapless codecs all over us now…

7. FLAC Support

a) I have some FLACs ripped from DVD, they are 24bit/48000Hz. Are they playable in fuze or will it cause issues / are they potentially not recommended? 

Thank you so much for answering.

Looking forward to buy the fuze.

Sorry if I hit a persistent already discussed topic in this questions.

Bourne. 

Message Edited by BourneShell on 07-08-2009 09:56 AM

Answers here.

Some answers:

I. Battery

  1. Don’t know. Search.

  2. The battery, as with an iPod, is a rechargeable built in to the unit. When it dies, so does the unit. But I have been using my Fuze steadily for a year and it still recharges fully. 

  1. Album Art

Search

  1. SQ

a)  I compared a E200v1 to a Nano with my own 320kbps mp3 files and the E200 blew the Nano away. The E200v2 is supposed to be an improvement, and that uses the same chip as the Fuze. Of course, iPods keep changing generations, but iPods are not generally known for fantastic sound quality. 

  1. Output

a) There is no line-out. There is a headphone jack. I regularly connect the Fuze to my car stereo from the headphone jack to its aux-in. The Fuze has to be cranked up pretty high, and so does the car stereo. You’re not going to find many little mp3 players with a full line-out. 

b) If you put the Fuze in MSC mode, and if you transferred your music in MSC mode, it will depend on your USB-capable device. Some are smart enough to read subfolders. Others want the music in the root directory. You can put the music in the root directory, or just about anywhere else (not TEMP) on the Fuze.  The Fuze also has MTP mode, used to sync the unit with Windows Media Player and only really necessary for tracks with DRM. I don’t know if you can play those through an outboard USB, but I doubt it. 

  1. MicroSD

At the moment, there is apparently a limit on the number of files–not the size of the card–that the software geeks are working to fix.  You may not have to worry about it since FLAC files are so big. Otherwise, the Fuze has apparently handled all cards observing microSD specs, so larger ones seem likely to work.  But none of us will know until we try. 

  1. Gapless

They’re still working on gapless mp3. I have no idea about FLAC

  1. 24bit

Search. 

Adding few more answers:

  1. Battery

a) You can expect 12 hr of continuous FLAC playback.

  1. microSD card

The limit on number of files - mentioned by BR - is about 8000 with the current firmware. It is hard wired by the internals of the music database on the Fuze.

  1. Sound Quality

IMHO, sound quality is pretty good if you use quality headphones. I very rarely use any EQ settings and I wouldn’t recommend using them.

  1. FLAC Support

a) The Fuze unfortunately doesn’t play 24bit sample size audio files (neither FLAC nor WAV) but it supports the 48000Hz sample rate (e.g. 16bit/48000Hz).

My summary: I love the Fuze! Go and buy one … :smiley:

Some good answers. 

Just a clarification on microSD cards:

I am referring to storage space, not number of files (my entire collection is below 3000 files).

For example, if Sansa releases the 64GB microSD card, will it be able for the fuze to recognize it, totalling  72GB of storage - e.g. 8GB fuze + 64GB card? Or would a new firmware have to be released in order to recognize that amount of GiBs.

A few more comments:

I’ve read that there is a 32GB limit on microSDHC cards, but I’m not sure this is really true. It will be years before anything more than that is affordable anyway.

Sound quality is very subjective, so comparisons can be biased. I will say this: I went from an iPod to a Fuze, and the difference was quite noticeable with a good set of headphones (Fuze being much better). It wasn’t until I had been on the forum awhile before I had heard that it really was supposed to be better. iPods aren’t exactly the best for sound quality anyway; if anything they’ve gotten worse over the past few years as Apple has moved to cheaper components.

Album art: The Fuze is kind of picky about this, and often won’t display larger images (its not consistent, but anything more than 500x500 is doubtful).

If you want to plug the Fuze into a line-in, you really have to disable the equalizer. I can imagine this would be annoying, changing this setting every time you use it in the car, then changing it again when you use the headphones. There is no true line-out, but with the EQ off it doesn’t sound too bad (it depends how picky you are).

On USB-ready stereos it should be fine as just storage. Your USB-ready stereo has to be able to handle multiple drives on one device, otherwise you can’t play what is on the microSD card.

The Fuze does have a line out on the multiway, but you need a special cable to enable it and connect to it:

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39842

@bdb wrote:

A few more comments:

 

I’ve read that there is a 32GB limit on microSDHC cards, but I’m not sure this is really true. It will be years before anything more than that is affordable anyway.

 

 

 

32GB is the limit of SDHC cards. anything larger than 32GB will be SDXC which is yet another specification that is not backwards compatible. the fuze will be compatible with 32GB cards when they come out but it is unlikely it will be compatible with SDXC cards once they become mainstream.  

I would like to add one more question:

Is there any plan for Sansa Gurus to implement Musepack (MPC) support ?

What amazes me is that LAME encodes with a 12x speed, while MPC is something like 35x.

Some of the gurus may even have thought of it already, but I wonder why didn’t it happen?

@bourneshell wrote:

I would like to add one more question:

 

Is there any plan for Sansa Gurus to implement Musepack (MPC) support ?

What amazes me is that LAME encodes with a 12x speed, while MPC is something like 35x.

Some of the gurus may even have thought of it already, but I wonder why didn’t it happen?

 

 

currently this is not in the roadmap for the fuze 

Sound quality os very good, confirmed.  I was very impressed when I first demoed the Fuze after using an e260 for over a year. In my opinion, it would be difficult to imagine better sound quality from a $100 device.  Pretty amazing- good sense of space and separation and really nice clarity.  Even with relatively low bit rate mp3s.  With the firmware upgrades that Sansa issues and all the support here on the forum,. I think the darn thing is the deal of the century.

@blackdog_sansa wrote:
Sound quality os very good, confirmed.  I was very impressed when I first demoed the Fuze after using an e260 for over a year. In my opinion, it would be difficult to imagine better sound quality from a $100 device.  Pretty amazing- good sense of space and separation and really nice clarity.  Even with relatively low bit rate mp3s.  With the firmware upgrades that Sansa issues and all the support here on the forum,. I think the darn thing is the deal of the century.

Agreed 100%.  With all the constant griping on the forum about “this” or “that”; I was starting to think that I was the only one that thought this way.  Nice to hear!

@fuze_owner_gb wrote:


@blackdog_sansa wrote:
Sound quality os very good, confirmed.  I was very impressed when I first demoed the Fuze after using an e260 for over a year. In my opinion, it would be difficult to imagine better sound quality from a $100 device.  Pretty amazing- good sense of space and separation and really nice clarity.  Even with relatively low bit rate mp3s.  With the firmware upgrades that Sansa issues and all the support here on the forum,. I think the darn thing is the deal of the century.


Agreed 100%.  With all the constant griping on the forum about “this” or “that”; I was starting to think that I was the only one that thought this way.  Nice to hear!

I’m really lucky to have done my research before I bought my Fuze…because it was my first ever DAP, and I actually chose a good one, that has gotten even better with added features since I bought it…:smileyvery-happy: