I can’t help but think your being feed info from marketing only. I have to ask myself why would marketing be involved in an engineering quality issue. Engineering doesn’t require a bunch of marketing people to make a fix to fimware.
It just sounds like its comming out of the wrong department. Since when did marketing have any say in bug fixes or improvements in Sansa’s firmware. Go back and look at features and bugs that were fixed in the firmware press releases. Engineering releases are technical not political.
You must not work in a manufacturing environment or work for one of those great companies, like H-P used to be, where the final call is made by engineering. In most companies, like the tech company I work for, marketing does get a lot of input and often does make the final decision. Or even worse, accounting and finance types do. It’s quite common. Marketing and finance decide if a fix is worth it or not, no matter what the engineers say. I’ve seen it countless times in my 20+ year engineering career.
I’m familar with Engineering that is empowered to make improvements within their own area of responsibility. A fix for pitch correction is such a small thing it wouldn’t need to go beyond a manager, let alone need approval from a seperate organization like marketing who doesn’t dictate to engineering how to maintain a mature product. As far as budgets go, you already have agroup with a budget to make changes. You have a group responsible for the mp3’s you add the pitch issues to a list of needed fixes. SansaFix took the issue to this group, An Engineer probably verified the issue, look at it and play with a fix. I guarrentee this fix wasn’t rocket science. Didn’t take a team of people to fix. One person, with a request from sansafix. Probably less than a few hours, a change, a few calculations to verify, maybe a fine tune, some verification steps, and document it into the code base. Your not building a new software product. Your fine tuning ARM parameters for playback of 44.1k files, choosing a different output frequency? or stepping frequency. Add to it a few coffee breaks, some talking about the new clip+ project, some talk about the weekend, a break for lunch at the local barbeque. An email to your boss. Maybe a day’s work.