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New Sansa Clip Firmware - dramatically limits volume if you select Eur, select USA instead and it's fine
2Bdecided
post Mar 18 2010, 20:44
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I'm still looking into this, but I thought people might appreciate a heads up ASAP.

When I connected my Sansa Clip to my PC today, I was told there was new firmware available. The changes were mostly minor bug fixes, and I said yes. The firmware update went without a hitch.

When I next powered it up, it asked me to set the language, needed the EQ re-setting, but remembered where to resume various half-played podcasts.

However, the Volume option "normal / high" had vanished, and the unit played very quietly.

A ReplayGain menu had appeared under Music Options (this is a clip, not clip+), but it didn't seem to work properly. I've yet to investigate fully.

The result is very quiet playback, even at full volume, of all tracks.

Useless. Just say no!

EDIT: see here: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=696162

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Mar 25 2010, 11:26
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saratoga
post Mar 18 2010, 20:46
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This has been in the Sandisk firmwares forever. Its because you set the region to Europe. Set it back to America and the EU volume cap will be removed.
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2Bdecided
post Mar 18 2010, 21:04
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Thanks for the workaround saratoga - switching to USA fixes it. Have to then switch the FM setting back to world, but that's still allowed in "USA".

However, it's certainly not been like this in the Sansa Clip firmware forever - I've just checked my Wife's Sansa Clip, which I haven't updated, and:

1. The old firmware will happily switch between volume normal and volume high when set to Europe. The new firmware won't - and is stuck (invisibly) in volume Normal.
2. In the old firmware, volume normal sets a limit which is about 4/5ths (visually) of volume high. In the new firmware, volume normal is half (visually) of volume high. Ridiculously quiet.
3. The new firmware includes ReplayGain in the music options menu - though it has absolutely zero effect.

So, some rather silly changes in the new firmware, V02.01.35A. Makes me wonder if they've released a Beta test version by mistake.

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Mar 18 2010, 21:05
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fuflo
post Mar 18 2010, 21:11
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Mar 18 2010, 21:46) *
This has been in the Sandisk firmwares forever.


really? i've been using my clip v1 for two years now, updating firmware whenever new one appeared and using europe as a region i've never had a problem with volume normal/high setting.

all i can think of is maybe sandisk decided to implement the EU's suggested quietier volume overall ( i remember reading something about EU forcing vendors to have much quietier volume on devices because of dangers of high volumes to your ears )

i've yet to try the new firmware... using rockbox right now, and quite happy with it despite lower battery life
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saratoga
post Mar 18 2010, 21:20
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 18 2010, 16:04) *
However, it's certainly not been like this in the Sansa Clip firmware forever - I've just checked my Wife's Sansa Clip, which I haven't updated, and:


Well not forever, but a few years now. Its just the menu option thats new. Before you had to actually reflash the firmware to get rid of the EU volume cap. Now you can do it within the GUI. Take a look here:

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25408

It was definitely there in January 2008.

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 18 2010, 16:04) *
1. The old firmware will happily switch between volume normal and volume high when set to Europe. The new firmware won't - and is stuck (invisibly) in volume Normal.


Let me guess, the old firmware is the American version, not the EU version?

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 18 2010, 16:04) *
So, some rather silly changes in the new firmware, V02.01.35A. Makes me wonder if they've released a Beta test version by mistake.


Why aren't you just using rockbox ?
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timcupery
post Mar 18 2010, 21:27
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I don't think Rockbox is available for the Sansa Clip.

David, do you suspect the new Clip setting is in response to the over-regulating EU bulls*** that I noted in this thread?


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dsimcha
post Mar 18 2010, 21:35
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Mar 18 2010, 16:20) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 18 2010, 16:04) *
However, it's certainly not been like this in the Sansa Clip firmware forever - I've just checked my Wife's Sansa Clip, which I haven't updated, and:


Well not forever, but a few years now. Its just the menu option thats new. Before you had to actually reflash the firmware to get rid of the EU volume cap. Now you can do it within the GUI. Take a look here:

http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25408

It was definitely there in January 2008.

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 18 2010, 16:04) *
1. The old firmware will happily switch between volume normal and volume high when set to Europe. The new firmware won't - and is stuck (invisibly) in volume Normal.


Let me guess, the old firmware is the American version, not the EU version?

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 18 2010, 16:04) *
So, some rather silly changes in the new firmware, V02.01.35A. Makes me wonder if they've released a Beta test version by mistake.


Why aren't you just using rockbox ?


Rockbox doesn't work on the Revision 2 Sansa Clips. If your firmware is V2.xx.xx, you have a Revision 2 clip. Rockbox is officially beta for the Clip Revision 1, but works well in practice. I used it for a while before my Clip crapped out.
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saratoga
post Mar 18 2010, 22:15
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QUOTE (timcupery @ Mar 18 2010, 16:27) *
I don't think Rockbox is available for the Sansa Clip.


Hi Tim, no need to guess. If you don't know, it only takes a couple seconds to check here: www.rockbox.org

QUOTE (timcupery @ Mar 18 2010, 16:27) *
David, do you suspect the new Clip setting is in response to the over-regulating EU bulls*** that I noted in this thread?


Please read more carefully so I don't have to keep repeating myself. There is no setting, this was added back in 2007 or 2008, and only just noticed by some people now that they inadvertently turned it on. And like I said you can just turn it off if you don't want it.
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botface
post Mar 21 2010, 18:24
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Reading this made me check my Fuze - I've had it for 6 months or so and always needed to use at or near full volume. Using the "reset to factory settings" in the settings menu and then selecting "Rest of the World" introduced a new "volume" option in the menu. Selecting "High" there gives far greater output while still allowing the FM preset scan to pick up UK stations (selecting "USA" seems to screw up the radio). It also means I can now use one of those little transmitters to enable me to play back over the car radio. Before I had to turn the volume up so high on the car radio that it introduced all sorts of "nasties"

Thought others might find this useful
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2Bdecided
post Mar 21 2010, 20:22
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@saratoga,

...and please read carefully what I and other people have said: the "normal" volume limit setting is now far lower than it was before, and now (for the first time!) it cannot be defeated when set to "Europe".

This is new behaviour on the clip, following the latest software update. It looks like a mistake - like the introduction of the non-functioning ReplayGain menu!

Cheers,
David.
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Kohlrabi
post Mar 21 2010, 21:54
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On a sidenote, replaygain doesn't seem to work on Clip+ either, no matter what I set in the menu (using Ogg Vorbis files).

@2Bdecided: Does the new firmware allow folder browsing and gapless playback on Clip V1/V2?


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saratoga
post Mar 21 2010, 22:10
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 21 2010, 15:22) *
This is new behaviour on the clip, following the latest software update. It looks like a mistake - like the introduction of the non-functioning ReplayGain menu!


Since no one else seems to think its changed, and you apparently didn't even realize it existed before, I tend to think this is just placebo. Noticing changes in volume, particularly over a period of minutes hours or even days is quite hard and error prone. Have you actually compared them side by side?
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Kohlrabi
post Mar 21 2010, 22:13
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If they used the same menu as in the Clip+ firmware, there should be a pre-gain option, which, according to my tests, does nothing on the Clip+ (and pregaining by +12dB SHOULD be noticeable, no?)


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saratoga
post Mar 22 2010, 01:38
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QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Mar 21 2010, 17:13) *
If they used the same menu as in the Clip+ firmware, there should be a pre-gain option, which, according to my tests, does nothing on the Clip+ (and pregaining by +12dB SHOULD be noticeable, no?)


I think it only applies pregain if it finds replaygain. My guess would be the tag parser is having trouble with your tags.
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2Bdecided
post Mar 22 2010, 10:14
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Mar 21 2010, 21:10) *
QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 21 2010, 15:22) *
This is new behaviour on the clip, following the latest software update. It looks like a mistake - like the introduction of the non-functioning ReplayGain menu!

Since no one else seems to think its changed, and you apparently didn't even realize it existed before, I tend to think this is just placebo. Noticing changes in volume, particularly over a period of minutes hours or even days is quite hard and error prone.
Not when it goes from perfectly fine to inaudible!

QUOTE
Have you actually compared them side by side?
Yes, and I've explained both the visual and audible difference above. Whereas AFAICT you don't even own the device being discussed. I appreciate you pointing out the fix for the problem, but please credit me with being at least a little competent. wink.gif

As for "no one else has noticed", that does seem strange, but I did receive this email yesterday...
QUOTE
Subject replay gain
From: PAUL ******* <**********@*********.com>
Sent: Mar 21, 2010 10:52:52 AM
To: david@r*binson.org

hi, thanks to replay gain my sansa clip is now, no use to me at all ,have just ordered a sony .yours * *******

...which I'm guessing is down to the same issue. It was from a UK based ISP, so presumably that user selected Europe as well.

Cheers,
David.
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Kohlrabi
post Mar 22 2010, 14:57
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So, people now blame RG for the decreased volume? Marvellous biggrin.gif


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wa11u
post Mar 22 2010, 15:50
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To add my thoughts on this subject, I'm an EU user of the clip v1, and this volume level option has been switchable between normal/high at least with firmwares older than 1.01.32.

With 1.01.32, if I remember correctly, the firmware switched the identifier automagically without reset from 1.01.32F to 1.01.32A when volume setting set to High.
With 1.01.35 this cannot be changed without full reset of the settings when the identifier indicates EU region=> keep in mind that the firmware has all regions built in and the last letter describes the region. In addition, the normal volume option has reduced full volume compared to older firmwares. Regarding RG support on v1, I believe v1 doesn't have it even planned. (feel free to correct me)

tl;dr
2Bdecided has it correct


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Martel
post Mar 22 2010, 19:20
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ReplayGain definitely works on Clip+ with Ogg files, you just have to rewind the song using the |<< button.

(firmware 01.01.05A, bought in Europe and I get the High/Normal volume option and RG menu is under the song's context menu)

This post has been edited by Martel: Mar 22 2010, 19:22


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saratoga
post Mar 22 2010, 20:54
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 22 2010, 05:14) *
Not when it goes from perfectly fine to inaudible!


You're saying that with the volume set to "high"?

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 22 2010, 05:14) *
Yes, and I've explained both the visual and audible difference above.


How many dB did it change roughly?

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 22 2010, 05:14) *
Whereas AFAICT you don't even own the device being discussed. I appreciate you pointing out the fix for the problem, but please credit me with being at least a little competent. wink.gif


Why would you assume that? And anyway, given this thread, I think I'm giving you the right amount of credit. You've jumped to conclusions at every step rather then taking the time to understand whats going on.

QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 22 2010, 05:14) *
As for "no one else has noticed", that does seem strange, but I did receive this email yesterday...


You received an email that makes no sense at all and then told me about it for no real reason. Great. What does this have to do with anything?
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saratoga
post Mar 22 2010, 21:40
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Just to make sure my ears weren't playing tricks I recorded both the latest firmware and the previous. Both produced identical level to with a small fraction of a dB.
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Takla
post Mar 23 2010, 01:47
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There have been plenty of identical complaints (new firmware, lower volume) about the Sansa Fuze at the sansa forum http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/board?board.id=sansafuse and it's the same thing. Change the region to something other than Europe and set the volume range to high, everything then works just like it always did. And they fixed a serious white screen of death problem when replay gain was enabled as well. 1 minute exploring the settings menu is time well spent.
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2Bdecided
post Mar 23 2010, 12:40
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@saratoga - if you didn't have 2550 posts to your name, I'd be convinced you were trolling.

Anyway, no need for me to reply, just see post 17

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=695387

Cheers,
David.
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saratoga
post Mar 23 2010, 18:09
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 23 2010, 07:40) *
@saratoga - if you didn't have 2550 posts to your name, I'd be convinced you were trolling.

Anyway, no need for me to reply, just see post 17

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index....st&p=695387

Cheers,
David.



Then I'll take this as an acknowledgement that you were mistaken.

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saratoga
post Mar 23 2010, 18:37
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QUOTE (wa11u @ Mar 22 2010, 10:50) *
With 1.01.32, if I remember correctly, the firmware switched the identifier automagically without reset from 1.01.32F to 1.01.32A when volume setting set to High.


AFAIK it changes when you change the region. The 'F' code means EU with volume limit. 'A' means north america without limit. On mine if I change the volume setting the letter does not change and the volume limit remains in effect.

QUOTE (wa11u @ Mar 22 2010, 10:50) *
With 1.01.35 this cannot be changed without full reset of the settings when the identifier indicates EU region=> keep in mind that the firmware has all regions built in and the last letter describes the region.


No, on both versions you have to do a full reset to change the region. AFAIK all sandisk firmwares even before the Clip have always required this.

QUOTE (wa11u @ Mar 22 2010, 10:50) *
In addition, the normal volume option has reduced full volume compared to older firmwares. Regarding RG support on v1, I believe v1 doesn't have it even planned. (feel free to correct me)

tl;dr
2Bdecided has it correct



ON the new firmware you only get the lower volume if you've set the region to 'F' and thus limited it. Hope thats more clear. Just disable the limit and you get the same output, at least to within the accuracy of my 16 bit ADC smile.gif

I think the actual change here was simply removing the "High" setting from the .35 firmware. Which IMO makes sense, since if you were volume limited before, even selecting "High" did not give you full volume. I'm not sure if it did anything at all. This way if you're volume limited, theres no "High" option and the software lets you know that you're being limited. IMO this is better then letting you think you're getting full volume while actually not smile.gif


If this still doesn't make sense, google. Theres a lot of threads on the Sandisk forums explaining it. Its a really common and easily fixed issue.
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2Bdecided
post Mar 24 2010, 14:10
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QUOTE (saratoga @ Mar 23 2010, 17:37) *
I think the actual change here was simply removing the "High" setting from the .35 firmware. Which IMO makes sense, since if you were volume limited before, even selecting "High" did not give you full volume. I'm not sure if it did anything at all.
Oh please - now you're arguing about things you're "not sure" about. The answers are in this thread - you don't need to guess.

"Normal" is now lower than before (whichever region you select)

"High" is now removed if you select Europe

"High" has always been louder than "Normal" - even in Europe.


You've got me wondering now - did Europe previously have a lower "High" than the rest of the world? I suspect not - but I suppose someone can check.

Cheers,
David.
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