Eastwood28 wrote:And, finally, I'm glad I got this Fuze, if only because I realize I've been missing out in terms of video bookmarking. I've had the E280 for last couple of years, and there's nothing more frustrating than having to fastforward an hour into a video. And don't accidentally come up with your finger and end up fast forwarding to next video JUST AS YOU MAKE IT TO YOUR APPROX TARGET-SPOT!
There's a real easy cure for that: Rockbox.
The best news is that they just released the STABLE versions for the e200 V2 and Fuze V1.
I do agree that the Fuze is usable without Rockbox -- it's got decent video bookmarking, unlike the e200. And, unlike the e200 V1, it takes full size AVI files, rather than a series of minuscule MOV files (every few minutes a long pause while the player finds the next file, ugh).
Here, in a nutshell, the pros/cons of the e200/Fuze (original firmware), and Rockbox (for video usage):
e200 V1 -- LOUSY video, truly useless (short segments, proprietary format, MUST use the abysmal SMC to convert, unstable, bad A/V sync, short fragments, etc., etc., etc.), NO bookmarking, and, NO ability to view videos via the SD card slot. And, it's limited to SD (NON-"HC" type), meaning that you can't use anything larger than 2GB.
e200 V2 -- MUCH better video handling, but still far short of the mark. Uses the same AVI files as the Fuze -- semi-proprietary, "needs" the SMC (a different version SMC from the V1 e200, but still cruddy beyond belief). Gone is the problem of scads of tiny MOV files, but, the lack of bookmarking really kills the deal for anything but the most casual use. And, although it theoretically supports video via the SD slot, AND, accepts SDHC (for larger than 2GB capacity), in my experience it's just not reliable unless you use just the right kind of card, and I don't have a clue as to which type of card that is.
Thankfully, since it uses the same format as the Fuze, you CAN use the "video4fuze" program (easy to find via web search, is located on a google developer site), you can create content WITHOUT being frustrated by the SMC.
The Fuze, V1 -- similar to the e200 V2, BUT, with decent video bookmarking, making it the first Sansa I've seen that can truly be viable for video using the stock firmware. However, it's still a proprietary variant of the AVI format (needing SMC or, preferably, video4fuze), and, it's still subject to the vagaries of the SDHC port (very few cards will work properly for video), meaning that for all practical purposes, you're limited to the internal memory for video.
Rockbox -- finally available for the e200 V2 and the Fuze V1 -- INCREDIBLY better video handling. Uses a STANDARD video format (MPG) that is easily produced via a variety of open source transcoding apps (i.e., WinFF, which has built-in Sansa Rockbox presets).
Not only does it have bookmarking, but it has BETTER bookmarking, and, scads of video options (for how to display and process the video content). It is also flawless when dealing with video content on the SD/SDHC cards. I've not run into problems with ANY make or model card. And, when running on the e200 V1, it lets you use "HC" type, meaning you are no longer restricted to 2 GB maximum capacity cards.
Also, it lets you use file/folder navigation for video content. (The Fuze standard firmware does have SOME file/folder nav, but ONLY for audio content. Rockbox lets you access everything.)
I've barely scratched the surface of what Rockbox provides. In addition to the video improvements (which by themselves are worth the effort), it has even MORE features for audio handling. Example: you can speed up or slow down audio playback WITHOUT changing pitch! The Sansa firmware does let you tweak the speed up or down (one "bump" in either direction), BUT, the pitch does NOT remain constant. In fast mode, you're listening to the chipmunks, and in slooooow mode, a bunch of drunken ghouls. With Rockbox, you can speed it up as fast (or, slow it down) as much as you like -- just bump it up as many percent as you prefer -- and, you can tell it to NOT change the pitch!
It's also got a slew of games (including a chess game!), a clock, a text file viewer (and editor), etc., etc. -- it even has a guitar tuner! (My toddler enjoys yelling at it and seeing it display the notes on its screen.)
The only bad news is that Rockbox is NOT available for the Fuze V2 -- and is not likely to become available for it for quite some time, possibly never -- and, there's no real way of knowing if your Fuze is a V1 or a V2 until you buy it and check the firmware. (There is NO way to convert a V2 to a V1 -- the hardware is very different -- each needs its own firmware, you can't cross-load them.)
But, since the Fuze V2 DOES work OK with video on the SDHC, and, since it DOES have workable bookmarking, the inability to run Rockbox on it is NOT a total deal-killer (unless you truly need some of the Rockbox-only features). For the vast majority of us, a Fuze v2 is perfectly usable in its own right (in large part due to the availabilty of video4fuze, of course).
I own both incarnations of each series, so "all of the above" is based on my personal observations.