It’s even worse than that. I bought the Sport because of the longer battery life and larger screen (the Plus and Zip are so small that either only the current positon in the boook is listed and not the total time or they drop the seconds). I’ve gone through 3 Fuzes, other than each lasting no more than a year, they were great. After that, it’s been a Clip+ and 3 Clip Zips. The Zips have all gone bad in under 1 year. The + is the only solid workhorse in the bunch in terms of longevity.
At least with Audible audiobooks on the Sport, there is a noticeable lag time in play beginning after pressing (5 - 10 seconds initially). The lag increases progressively further into the audiobook so that by 18-20 hours in, the lag is about 45 seconds. I’m told this is a hardware issue and cannot be remedied by a firmware fix.
I prefer a standalone mp3 player for audiobooks as I mostly use it at the gym and using it doens’t drain my phone battery. It’s sad that Sandisk can’t make an inexpensive, functional device, that while a niche market would certainly have customers. A 2-4 Gb Sport size player that had a battery life of 25 hours would be an ideal device for audiobooks.