Sansa Fuze or Clip: The deal breaker for me...

I was at BB the other day; debating between a 3rd clip (previous clips were problematic for me) and this new Fuze. I had never seen it before but than the rep told me it was new but that they were all out so that solved my dilemma of which to buy. But it was so small and seems to fit nicely in the palm of one’s hand so I got to thinking of returning the clip in favor of the fuze until I read the bomb shell in a device review…

Fuze requires all vids to be transcoded; insult to injury, you must use crappy propriatary software to do so…

Sufficed to say, I’m not a big fan of devices that make you transcode even though they are unfortunately the majority these days, I steer clear, as IMO, it ruins the functionality. So I’ve stuck with WM5 for the purpose of watching native vids…

So question is… are there any unofficial fw releases that unlock the ability to play back native xvid/divx/flv/mp4? Or any plans in the future to offer a less offensive DRM platform similar to the fuze?

Something like the ibiza rhapsody H1B008 but with Sandisk support would work REALLY WELL.

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-06-2008 11:06 AM

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-06-2008 11:06 AM

Rockboxers are working on the preliminaries to getting a port on the device, but they don’t even have executable code for it yet.

The conversion for the Fuze is fairly painless, and compresses it down to decent MPEG4 files…  I’m not really sure what you expect in a device.  The dimensions of the screen and bitrate overhead dictate that pretty much any file has to be customized to the portable player you plan to use it on. 

@romzombie wrote:

The conversion for the Fuze is fairly painless, and compresses it down to decent MPEG4 files…  I’m not really sure what you expect in a device.  The dimensions of the screen and bitrate overhead dictate that pretty much any file has to be customized to the portable player you plan to use it on. 

I wish I found this to be true, but I ran a video through SMC for my Fuze and it made it ten times bigger. Unless Sandisk does something or Rockbox get ported to it I consider the Fuze useless for video. 

“I’m not really sure what you expect in a device.”

For it to play pretty much any QVGA res content I throw at it, w/o the need to transcode it or add some meta information from a propriatary application. My 2 1/2 year old T-MO SDA PHone does this just fine with TCPMP so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to seek out a 2008 PMP that can at the very least do the same.

I can understand devices requring the resolution to be scaled down (though even better if said device can downsize on the fly itself) but wasting processes on a proper variant of a codec/container is simply a nuisance. I wish more folks would get out of the mindset in thinking this is acceptable to play video on a PMP; it should not be.

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-06-2008 04:45 PM

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-06-2008 04:46 PM

I’d like to see what you are coverting.  The MPEG4 format used by SMC is (more or less) the same as I was getting out of MediaCoder…  I find it hard to believe that a file would be having it’s framerate reduced and dimensions scaled down to the Fuze’s screen, yet end up “ten times bigger”.

I have found that the SMC can’t convert several types of common media formats;  I keep MediaCoder set with a preset to run though them first. 

“I consider the Fuze useless for video”

Of course it is.   I consider anything smaller than a 7" panel useless for video.  These tiny screens are an optometrist’s dream. :slight_smile:

The only reason any of the players in this footprint offer video is because the screen real estate is already there for the GUI and they can claim another feature for the price of the video driver.  If you want to watch movies, get a laptop or dvd player.  A decent 10" dvd player costs less than the FUZE.

Message Edited by Thaumaturge on 05-06-2008 05:22 PM

Some players are more video-oriented than others. The Fuze is clearly not mainly video-oriented. Its a great, small audio player that happens to play some video.

True;  I tried converting “A Nightmare Before Christmas” to it, and gave up trying to watch the screen about halfway in, just ending up listening to the soundtrack instead.

I have found it amusing to carry my favorite YouTube clips around with me, although since the SMC can’t read FMV files, I have to run them though MediaCoder first. :confused:

@romzombie wrote:

I’d like to see what you are coverting.  The MPEG4 format used by SMC is (more or less) the same as I was getting out of MediaCoder…  I find it hard to believe that a file would be having it’s framerate reduced and dimensions scaled down to the Fuze’s screen, yet end up “ten times bigger”.

 

It’s a .wmv file. Unconverted by SMC it is 39MB and plays fine on my Toshiba T400 without conversion. After running it through SMC it is 377MB. 

I was just reading up on the fuze from anythingbutipod and it seem the bloated file size is relative to the weaker processor that can’t handle more efficient (process intensive) mpeg 4 variants. I could see how this might be the case with AVC part 10, but I would think it would be up to the challenge of Advanced Simple Profile part 2 (xvid)… Ahhhh, DRM. Still, 39MB to  377MB sound egregious!

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-08-2008 10:02 PM