SanDisk Gives the Sansa Clip a Major Update

clip fw SanDisk Gives the Sansa Clip a Major Update

Having used a Cowon D2 for over a year I must admit that I was losing hope in the manufacturers’ ability to make useful firmware updates that actually fix stuff and add useful features instead of breaking what’s already there and adding “scicntific” calculators. Luckily it’s not just Samsung that knows how to do firmware and the latest update to the Sansa Clip shows that there is still hope if a player doesn’t have everything you want at release. Read on to find out what’s new in 1.01.29

Beside fixing a number of bugs, SanDisk has also added quite a few useful features. The biggest one of these is the support for Ogg Vorbis files which goes a long way towards making the Clip a real audiophile player. The shuffle feature has also been improved to allow for skipping to previously played tracks without reshuffling. Playlist are improved to support up to 1000 songs, screen brightness of the 4GB version is increased and there’s also a power percentage indicator added in settings.

The feature that interested me the most however is one that I personally added to the feature request thread on the forums: Audiobook and Podcast handling similar to that of the Sansa Fuze. This feature allows you to sort audiobooks and podcasts into their own submenu on the music browsing menu by either tagging the genre as Podcast/Audiobook or putting the files in the podcasts/audiobooks directories on the player. There is also a auto-bookmark feature that lets you switch to music playback and then back to podcasts/audiobooks without having to start from the beginning.

With this update SanDisk has managed to make the Clip more useful both to Ogg users and to audiobook/podcast users like myself, and it’s nice to see that some companies actually listen to the users and don’t run off doing whatever they think will please the user base. The feature request list on the forum is growing shorter by each firmware release and the Clip is gaining support every day as a result of it. Personally I might have to consider upgrading my 2GB to a 4GB after this to make room for more podcasts.

[ABI>> Forums]

25 Comments

locona on May 17, 2008 9:36 AM

Still has no sleep function and you still cant entire genre/album/artist/playlists to the ‘on the playlist’.

Martin Sägmüller on May 17, 2008 10:21 AM

The Clip always had a sleep timer, if that’s what you mean. It goes up to 120 minutes. It also has an auto-off function.

aaa on May 17, 2008 10:59 AM

while they’re listening, dear SanDisk, QVGA Fuze, and real DivX playback on your DivX certified View and Fuze please

A.z on May 17, 2008 2:39 PM

Thank you for the info, Cap!SanDisk, File/Folder, please!!!!

Tim on May 17, 2008 3:42 PM

FLAC is by far my biggest request.

Martin Sägmüller on May 17, 2008 4:41 PM

FLAC on the Clip? I’m not sure if I personally would find that useful. However, I tried aoTuV and Lancer up to -q10 (500kbps VBR), and it worked fine. Not that it sounds any better than LAME -v2 or -v0, just saying…

Andreas Ødegård on May 18, 2008 12:12 AM

FLAC is nice to have but unless they boost the storage capability youll have to be very adamant about the sound quality to want to sacrifice storage for quality

Fabio on May 18, 2008 5:29 AM

Folder browsing still missing… I really don’t want to “preprocess” with mp3tag any file that I put on the clip.,,

thither on May 18, 2008 7:56 PM

It’s cool to hear that they’re actually fixing the firmware on this thing, but I got burned so hard by the insanely buggy POS firmware on the Sansa Express that I don’t think I’ll be buying one of these.

Zoodar on May 18, 2008 11:19 PM

It’s great that they give this player Ogg Vorbis. But why only this player? Why not all their players? I mean, they re not making them worse if they would. O_o

Andreas Ødegård on May 19, 2008 3:02 AM

thither: I know how you feel. After having had an e200 for a while I swore off sandisk for a while, it’s hands down one fo the worst players ive ever had. Luckily they have turned around and the clip is simply awesome

siwiwid on May 19, 2008 4:48 AM

great update..! for asian user like me, which firmware should use? in sandisk forum i saw there’s only american and europe version.

KHOT on May 19, 2008 8:00 AM

“cant entire genre/album/artist/playlists to the ‘on the playlist’.”What would be a sense in it? Just select entire genre “to play” and problem solved, or make a playlist in winamp, foobar, whatever. Sounds like whining to me.

loopfreak on May 19, 2008 9:26 AM

Proud owner !!!Thats the way it should be done

jim on May 19, 2008 11:03 AM

This is great, as I JUST bought the 2gb clip over the weekend to use as a workout/gym player, apart my aging 30gb Creative ZV:M which I’m keeping hooked up to my home stereo.Now, if Sandisk decides to revamp and improve the View, give it the same audio quality as the Clip and add a lossless format along with a better quality build of materials, I’ll consider it for a replacement of my Zen rather than the Zune or ipod Classic.

Claes on May 20, 2008 11:04 AM

How do you get the firmware update?

Andreas Ødegård on May 20, 2008 11:26 AM

Claes: follow the link to the forums and instructions are there

Trainathought on May 20, 2008 2:18 PM

This is great. I recently bought one from http://www.shopsansa.com and this thing is the bomb. It is way better than the other MP3 playersI have tried out. I don’t know about the issues with the older firmware, because mine is newer, but I can say this version works great.

Mike on May 20, 2008 3:06 PM

Having compared over the weekend, I don’t see much, or possibly even any, difference in the brightness of the 4gb display with the firmware upgrade, as the release notes state. An inquiry has been placed at the SanDisk Clip forum about this. Maybe it’s just my eyes; or maybe the upgrade as to this is subtle; or maybe some code inadvertantly was left on the coders’ floor?

BlueFoxx on May 28, 2008 1:46 PM

sound cool, i think they would be better off collaborating with the rockbox community and using that for the default firmware on they’re next player, more people working on it means for faster fixes, and supporting open source means for a huge +1 for them

Yo Spiff on July 17, 2008 11:32 AM

I bought and returned a clip when it first came out because I could not easily separate my podcasts and music. Otherwise I really liked it, but that was the deal-killer for me. This firmware update may make me go and obtain another one.

Yo Spiff on July 17, 2008 11:34 AM

I bought and returned a clip when it first came out because I could not easily separate my podcasts and music. Otherwise I really liked it, but that was the deal-killer for me. This firmware update may make me go and obtain another one.

e on August 21, 2008 5:17 AM

Flac is the format I’ve chosen to archive my music in. When the next wizzy bang media format comes along, I’ll always have a copy of my music with lossless compression rather than downgrading it with each transcode. Not having to mount my music through mp3fs before copying it to the clip would be much more convenient. The sound quality deal is a bonus.Something to consider.

hyiu00 on December 1, 2008 9:25 PM

Too bad all these Sansa MP3 players do not support low bit-rate MP3 and WMA. I have setup a PC to record radio talk shows in 16kbps MP3 or 20kbps WMA in mono format, just to make it smaller for 3G handset to download. But the Sansa can only support bit-rate of 32kbps or above.

hyiu00 on December 2, 2008 8:53 AM

Finally purchased a Sansa Fuse, and found out that it does play low bit-rate MP3 and WMA. Glad that they must have upgraded the firmware.

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