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.