Sandro: "- takes at least 5h to recharge
IMPOSSIBLE to scroll trough albums/songs/artists, yes IMPOSSIBLE (unless you have 2 albums). so forget choosing the song to listen to, either you put it in shuffle mode or you can spend 10 minutes to search for each specific song
while recharging doesn’t show the status!
cant even keep the time
takes 1 minute to load for reasons we will never know
Was I too harsh? Think twice""
I largely agree with most all of your criticisms and as you know I certainly lit the fire that finally led to Firmware 02.38.06. It really was prematurely released by over a year and still is far from the quality of a shipping product. But yes, I think you’re a little too harsh here.
The slow load, the feedbackless 5 hour charge, the navigatonal difficulites are all indeed beyond amateur coding. However, the load used to be even slower and when it finally finished it shut right off unless you tapped it. At least now you can start it, put it down and then grab it in a minute. The 5 hour charge is a known quantity, I just live with it… we don’t need feedback to know that it’s a charging dog. Navigation is indeed super touchy and has a freeze/jump quality to it which is very amateur… but it is no longer impossilbe to get to a song or album. Before it really was physcially impossilbe to make it through the song list to the genres… it really was unachievable. Now it is lame, but it is usable. And there is the folder mode, which works perfectly. On the time issue, outside of a sleep mode, why would anyone care if this thing even knew the time?
Sandro: " I just cannot believe that the developers can’t fix those things or that they actually released it like it was in the first place. It sucks now, imagine how it was with the very first firmware! there must be someone above them driving the programmers to stupidity."
I think that you might have this a little backwards. I’ve worked for a few companies who have moved their software development offshore and although there is no way to be certain, in my estimation this has all of the hallmarks of offshore development . A change in team would explain the incredible 3 year lag in getting out a new Fuze+. Furthermore, the defining characteristic of offshore programming is a siloed almost tunnel visioned apporach to fixing a bug without consideration of what else may break, ie the interrelationship of the current block of code with other portions of the application. This is why virtually every change, even simple ones, repeatedly breaks other parts of the Sansa software (clock.podcasts,timer, etc). The traditional U.S. software development approach (where all this stuff was invented) was to create decoupled resusable stateless compenents while thinking holistically about and viewing the applicaton in its entirety… pretty much the polar opposite approach of this device.
Judging by the stellar software design of the older Sansa devices, I assume that those product managers are probably used to specifying the features that they need to a team that has a meeting of the minds, says “Gotcha, know exactly what you mean” and then goes off and implements. It just doesnt’ work that way offshore. My guess is that this all started by showing the team some visual aspects of the iPod. The PM’s probably anticipated that the team would “get it” but then they started from the user interface down with no sense of the great feel and interdepency of the UI and the indexing and timing interaction. Offshore development is a very linear and scripted approach. Understanding of UI goals from a human facotrs or tactile aspect is completely outside of the mindset and the PM’s would have actually had to delve into the feel and timing specifications in great detail to acheive any success. This is why this development is so fast but so fragile and unsatisfying. Contrast this with Apple’s approach where the slapping together of the physical components is moved to the cheapest stable location and the brains are in Cupertino with an engaged software team collaborating with a visionary and expert techncial human factors people. The difference is palpable.
Let us be thankful that this is only an mp3 player and not the medical and financial systems where I first encountered and learned to understand this issue.