New Sansa Fuze firmware with Ogg support

There is a new firmware update available for Sansa Fuze. It updates the firmware to version 01.01.15. Most notable improvement, long awaited one even, is support for ogg and flac files. The first ogg file I tried froze up my player and I had to reboot it, but after that I haven't encountered problems. Not yet at least.

Firmware update on Linux was easy following the instructions provided and involved just unpacking the new firmware file to the root of the device. And using the Sansa Fuze is easier now on Ubuntu also because the new Ubuntu 8.10 Beta seems to recognize the player without any command line magic required previously.

Playlist seem to work somewhat better too. Now if only the huge problems with video conversion were fixed. Perhaps after that I could actually recommend this player to others.

Ubuntu 8.10 (Beta)

I had some extra time so I decided to upgrade my Ubuntu 8.04 to Ubuntu 8.10 Beta (codenamed Intrepid Ibex, would you believe it). My earlier pursuits with Ubuntu and my Acer 2920Z are detailed here for 7.10 and here for 8.04.

My first try to upgrade failed miserably. The reason was probably that I had selected a country specific server from program sources. I switched to the main server and tried again. This time everything seemed to go fine, but apparently it did not, as Gnome wouldn't load after reboot. My first try had probably messed something up. So, from console, I used apt-get to redo parts of the upgrade (I tried several commands, such as sudo apt-get update, upgrade, dist-upgrade, install, autoclean). After this Gnome loaded and everything seemed to be fine.

Everything, that is, except wlan. Madwifi drivers wouldn't work anymore. I had a look at the madwifi ticket for this chipset and learned that it was no longer necessary to use the hack I had been using earlier. The patch had been integrated to a madwifi branch. Unfortunately, this branch was not yet available from Ubuntu repositories, so it had to be installed manually. So I downloaded the new madwifi HAL, compiled and installed it (make, make install). After reboot wlan was working again.

It seems that after the upgrade the random problems with sound seem to be gone and, finally, the internal microphones are working. Incredibly, even TV-out works now. It was a struggle finding the correct settings for the displays, though. When mirroring screens the main laptop display was forced into a suboptimal resolution. Through trial and error, reboots, and turning mirroring off, I finally found a configuration which enabled me to watch video clips on my TV while surfing the net.

So, again, some minor problems with the upgrade, but nothing major. I'll update this entry if anything interesting happens.