Sandisk doesn't want your money for a music player unless you run Windows
I bought a Sansa e280 last weekend to replace my aging and bulky Neuros (the last straw was when I lost the charger for the Neuros). It's nice to have such a small, light music player, and having 8GB of space is a big bonus. But when I went to the Sandisk web site to get a new firmware, I discovered that they only provide a .exe of a magic firmware download program. This is despite the fact that, as you can find by searching on the Web, the actual firmware upgrade procedure is just "copy the firmware file onto the device".
So, I wrote to support, mentioning that I don't have a running Windows installation and asking if they could provide an alternate means of updating the firmware. Here's the response:
Please be informed that your Sansa e280 is supported on Windows XP. If the operating system of your computer is not Windows XP, if you have just bought your Sansa e280, we do recommend that you contact the store where you purchased it and inquire about replacements that can be supported on your operating system or if that store honor refunds, please do ask for it. Please do provide the proof of purchase and packaging for verification purposes.
Now, I can work around this problem -- but after reading that brush-off I think I might just take their advice; as it happens, I saved the packaging just on the offchance something like this came up. Can anyone recommend a decent, small, flash-based media player that works well with Linux? Must-have features are:
- FM radio (this eliminates, e.g., the Archos).
- Some support for non-encumbered file formats.
- Support for installing firmware upgrades from Linux.
- Support for syncing music from Linux.
- Either .ogg support or a lively (even if unfinished) Rockbox port. (Rockbox is actually preferred, since I'll probably just switch over to it if possible; this was one of the deciding factors in my purchasing an e280)
I still haven't made up my mind: I might hang onto the e280 out of inertia and wait for the Rockbox guys to figure it out (it looks like they're making pretty good progress). But if there's a better vendor out there that actually wants my money, I'd love to hear about them.