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Old 11-05-2010, 06:58 PM
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Grez Grez is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Posts: 32
Default The Fuze+ Arrived: Grez's initial Verdict

I took delivery of the Fuze+ just a couple of days ago and so I've had chance to have a little play with it and get a few things going! The machine is a Black 16GB model and arrived with a carry pouch, set of earbuds and a mini-USB lead.

I'm a Linux user and so I'm using the machine in MSC (drag-and-drop) mode, but it also seems to synchronise with Banshee music player in MTP mode - although I don't think I'll be using it like this. Similarly, I'm not a "playlist" builder: I like listening to albums so that's what I'll be doing in the main.

Initial problems dragging and dropping were caused by by my mp3 files having the wrong id3 tag protocols, so all information appeared to have been "lost" and the poor Fuze+ had no information to sort the tracks with - so I had a machine which was working similar to the cheapie mp3 player that I already owned! Admittedly, the sound quality is an improvement.

Having done a bit of research, I found that I needed to have my files id3 tagged as: ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1. This was fairly easy to and painless to change using the EasyTag program and as soon as the tag type had changed, the player arranged the music very well in order, and searching through the albums, artists, etc. was the proverbial piece of cake. The only problem I encountered was with Jeff Wayne's "War of the Worlds" double CD, where the tracks were interleaved as CD2 Track1 followed by CD1 Track1 then CD2 Track2 followed by CD1 Track 2 and so on. To get this ordered correctly I had to alter the track numbers manually but it now plays like a dream. I have the album art id3 tagged in the files, so I don't know how the machine handles album art stored in any other way, but it works fine in this way.

Sound quality is good - the buds supplied aren't particularly brilliant, but I've got a nice pair of Philips over-ear hi-fi cans and it sounds really nice through them - crisp, punchy bass and clear but not harsh on the treble end. There is a volume limiter on the machine which caused the higer impedance hi-fi cans to sound rather quiet, but having turned the limiter off, I got a decent volume out of them. I reckon the sound's better than the (admittedly much cheaper) Sony Walkman NWZB143 owned by one of my daughters, and at least on a par with the iPod Touch owned by the other.

The controls, as mentioned elsewhere, are probably a matter of taste and training. The more I use them and get used to the sensitivity of the touch-sensitive capacitive controller, the more I like it. It's fairly simple to use and works well - sensitive and light to the touch. Skip forward and backward are easy to do with a tap, whereas touch-and-hold supplies fast-forward or rewind. I haven't run with it in my pocket yet, however!

A final word about music-playing: I have some albums where the tracks run together ("War of the Worlds" for instance) and the way this machine plays them is seamless! There is only sometimes a very slight indication that there's a break in the tracks. I was very impressed with that.

I haven't as yet tried much else with it other than music. The screen's quite nice and good for photos. I don't know that my almost 44-year-old eyes would find it comfortable to watch video on for a long time, but I didn't buy the machine for that in any case.

I'll try to post more as I use it more and get more features under my belt. However, my initial impressions are good and it's really good value. Obviously, I'm not a huge expert with digital musical players, but this is doing a good job for me at the moment, and I'd happily recommend it for a listen!
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controls, fuze+, id3 tags, linux, sound

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