I just got my son an e280 player for Christmas. We updated the firmware using Sansa Updater, and set the player’s USB setting as a MSC device. And from everything I’ve read so far, it appears that the only way to transfer videos onto the player is to use the Sansa Media Converter software.
I’m sorry, but the SMC is major crapware! It works for transferring pictures, but for transferring video, it is a big pain in the rear, and does not work, period! Unless you’re transferring small video files, say less than 50MB, the program hangs or just crashes, especially while performing other tasks during a conversion, such as browsing the web. Also, there’s no option to convert offline, meaning doing conversion without having the player plugged in. Worse of all, it is agonizingly slow!!!
Now, I don’t have the fastest PC in the world, but mine is no slouch either. I’m running an AMD Athlon 64 Processor at 3700 MHz with 2.5GB of RAM under Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 3. The movie files are AVIs or MP4 previously converted over from store-bought DVDs. What I can’t understand is why it takes 4+ hours to convert an approximate 400MB of AVI or MP4 file with the SMC; and that only gets it to 25% - after 4 hours!? I’ve tried using other software such as Format Factory to convert to MOV file formats (which takes only 30 minutes), then copy directly to the e280’s Video folder, or using AVSMobile Uploader to transfer a MOV file directly, but the player won’t play the video. It just says - You must use the Sansa Media Converer, or something to that effect. Am I doing something wrong? Is there a workaround solution/alternative to the SMC? If not, does, or will, Sansa plan to improve the SMC software so that it actually works.
I own a Sansa View 16GB player, and am able to play MP4 full-length movies on it with no problem. But I use Format Factory to first convert my AVI files to MP4 files, which takes only 30 to 40 minutes (and that was for the two and a half hour long ‘The Dark Knight’). Then I just copy the movie file over to the Sansa View and watch it with no problems (except if I store videos on the expansion card, it inevitably duplicates file names! Another weird glitch no doubt).
To Sansa’s credit, it does have a great little player (and I love my Sansa View). Now if only they can make the video conversion process a little less painful process, it would be perfect.
So my dilemma is: Should I ebay the e280, and pony up the extra cash for a Sansa View (or maybe God forbid, buy an IPod)? Or will Sansa fix the deplorable SMC software?