I’ve been using the unofficial version for a few days now and I’m absolutely amazed how good it is. Of course, there are some minor bugs,some visual glitches from time to time, but overally…
Dear Sansa designers - you really should take a closer look at this firmware and learn from it. Learn some basic ideas, not necessarily visual concepts as such. I realize it is not possible to allow so much customizability in a mainstream device, but to some extent, this really does change a lot of things. I for instance have set a theme that is totally minimalistic and is text-only. Small white font with absolutely no graphics. One might think that this would be unappealing for an avarege consumer. But I believe its the other way around. The theme is extremely elegant and looks quite spectacular in combination with Fuze’s body , which is btw very pretty IMO. The original gui looks like Microsoft Office, with ths black and white theme you get the sensation of using something much more ‘serious’, so to speak.
(the photo does not really capture the feel of this gui, it looks much better in real life ;P)
Not to mention how EFFECTIVE it has become. Much more readable, with quicker access to most options. Besides, there is another thing which actually kind of puzzles me. The wheel mechanics with Rockbox is MUCH better. How come an unofficial alpha version-whatever firmware can handle the hardware better than its creators themselves? Acceleration has been added to the Fuze but unfortunately it has been implemented rather poorly - it was very difficult to access the items which are in the MIDDLE of the list, because it accelarated way too fast. And here - there is absolutely no such problem. I have an 8 Gb fuze with 16 Gb card - this provides space for really a lot of music - and I can reach everything instantly and with great precision.
!(file:///Z:/fuze/P1170298.JPG)Another feature that really should be taken into account by Sansa itself - optional reloading of the database. In Rockbox, I can decide when I want to update the database. For instance, if I only place data and use the Fuze as a storage device, I don’t have to refresh everything each time I plug in the player (which sometimes happens even if I do not access any files whatsoever). Plus, the file view does refresh, the only thing I have to wait for is the mp3 database. Which , btw, takes place much quicker.
There are tons of such useful little features here. I’m not too excited about being able to play Doom on my Fuze (although it is completely playable and fun), but the changes introduced by Rockbox really make the device much better. And don’t get me wrong - I’m not writing this to bash Sansa. On the contrary. I have done some research and I see no other player of this kind that could be compared with the Fuze. It’s size, durability, memory extension capacity, ease of use, sound quality… its just top-notch, and for a really modest amount of money. Seriously, you guys did a GREAT job. However, take a look at Rockbox. I know that certain things are too advanced for an average user and I don’t blame him/her. However , there are some very interesting ideas which could inspire future changes.
P.S. I’m not saying that everyone should try it - if you are not absolutely sure how to handle this - don’t do it (although I can’t imagine how anyone could damage the Fuze by using Rockbox). Battery life is a bit shorter , there are some bugs from time to time… It really needs a lot of work.
Message Edited by Riven on 08-19-2009 06:34 AM