Weird sound quality issue with Fuze backlight and VBR mp3

Hi everyone,

I got my Sansa Fuze (firmware 01.01.11F) 2 weeks ago and I am noticing a weird problem:

When I play certain VBR mp3 files, the duration is not correctly shown. The files start playing all right, but when the backlight of the display gets switched off (tried different time settings, all exhibit the same problem), the sound quality degrades strongly. Those are mp3 files I ripped directly from audio CD, samples are available on request.

Has anyone else had such a problem?



What is the memory capacity of your Fuze?  This may be a key issue.

Also, it’s possible the VBR format may be causing you grief.  Try retransferring it at a constant bit rate and see if the sound improves.

  • and let us know the memory size (GB) of your Fuze.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

It is (or rather was) a 2 GB model. After speeking to SanDisk tech support on the phone and being told that I should re-encode my music, I sent it back.I have quite a lot of VBR encoded music, so this problem combined with the unsure arrival time of OGG support led me to giving up on the Fuze.

Thanks for the reply anyway.



I’ve had exactly the same probelm.  All VBR mp3 files that I ripped play fine till the backlight goes off. At this point with some songs “flutter” distortion starts.  When you turn the backlight back on, the problem goes away.  Sometimes the distortioin is minor; othertimes major…either way it’s not acceptable to me.  Since I have a large library of VBR mp3’s, the suggestion to go back to FBR is not a solution for me.  I’ve sent an email to SanDisk.  Hopefully, they have a fix.

No problem with VBR MP3 on my 4gb Fuze. If Sansa tech is telling you to convert to CBR, than Sandisk should quit making MP3 players if they can’t playback VBR. Many people use LAME encoded high quality VBR as the only way they encode to MP3 (me included). Make sure your ripping is error free with EAC, encode with the old LAME V3.92 -aps, and enjoy nearly transparent MP3s that sound fantastic on the Fuze. Even my no name “Ear Gear” MP3 player handles VBR with no problem.

Now that OGG and FLAC support arrived, I actually got a new Fuze (2 GB again), but the problem is still present. My VBR files are encoded with LAME. I don’t remeber the version because I encoded them some years ago.

No other device or software ever had any problems with those files, and I do think that the correlation with the state of the backlight is really strange. But I now started re-encoding most of my music (to Vorbis :)), so I won’t have this issue anymore.



The problem with the fluttering sound when the backlight goes off still persists in the .15 firmware. It seems to appear only with vbr files. Could any dev shead some light on this, I hope they’re at least aware of the problem. Any word on a fix for it?

Edit: I have a 8GB Fuze, so it seems to not matter what version of it you have

Message Edited by rizzly on 10-19-2008 02:19 PM

The issue is being worked on.  Lower VBR rates can trigger the processor to a slower rate, causing the issue.  If the backlight is activated, there are more duties for it, and the rate increases.  The noise disappears.

The lower rate increases battery time.  This issue will no doubt be resolved in a future firmware release.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy: