plug and play ready mp3 player on opensuse 11.04

Im looking for a mp3 player that works out of the box with opensuse 11.04. By out of the the box i mean the the mp3 player will connect via usb and will work automatically with no need for drivers or command line changes. Ideally a player composed like a usb key in the sense that the player should have no moving parts (will be using the player in the gym a lot so player cant be fragile). I live in europe by the way.

Does anyone know what im looking for?

I can not understand your problem very clearly but because I have KDE as graphics interface, Amarok can do this job. If I am right(I mean If I am right about this problem who you post) When you connect the USB stick in PC, your pc recognise it and ask you with which program want to “play” your files.

what i meant was basically is there a mp3 player that works out of the box with opensuse 11.4?

I must say I do not understand either. When you have a system with openSUSE, you have an mp3 player (that is when the system has a sound card).

HCL:Gadgets - openSUSE

Also check archos mp3 players

Yes, I understand what are you looking for. And I hope you didn’t buy Creative ZEN X-Fi yet (do not buy it!).

Short answer:

What you looking for is player, which can be used in Mass Storage Device (MSC) mode. Go buy SandDisk Sansa Fuze (do not confuse with newer Fuze+ version, which I do not recommend).


A little bit longer answer:**

Nowadays mp3 players usually support…

  1. **Mass Storage Devic**e (MSC)]( mode - GOOD

2) [Media](]([/b] mode - BAD

If your player supports both MSC and MTP, you can easily switch between them (SanDisk Sansa Fuze has MSC/MTP/Auto in the settings).

MTP is special protocol designed to overcomplicate transferring files to your music player and make your life just a little bit duller ( with love). I recommend to** avoid devices, which** officially **support only MTP **(Creative ZEN X-Fi, I am looking at you!).

Players working in Mass Storage Device mode are acting just as you wrote: plug and play. On your system your player looks like just ordinary flash drive. Drop you files to the player in virtually any operating system, using any file manager and you are good to go.

Basically, any player supporting MSC will do. But as my only mp3 player which I have ever bought, and which I am now happily using is SanDisk, I am going to write about it.

SanDisk Sansa Fuze

So, what is so good about it?

  • Has big enough screen, but is not too clunky (you won’t feel like putting another mobile phone in your pocket)

  • Battery life is quite good (they claim something like 24 hours, but I never listen to anything for that long, so I cannot confirm)

  • FM Radio with recording option (I tried this function and liked the quality very much)

  • Voice recording option. I never tried recording on anything but SanDisk players, but I was not expecting such good quality of recorded sound. I suspect they use some cunning noise canceling algorithm, because it is just to good comparing to sound recorded by Canon PowerShot photo camera or my Nokia 5800.

  • Volume and navigating with big physical rotating button, which is convenient and feels natural

  • microSD expansion slot just in case you run out of free space on your player (I ran out pretty quickly, because I have 2GB version)

  • You can install RockBox on it. Rockbox is alternative firmware for the player, which has a lot of stuff in it. You will not probably need it, but it still funny. Just imagine: your will have your own player with blackjack and…

  • Navigation by folders, not only by tags. Beware! Not all players support that, which means that you will have to mess with tags (metainformation in audio-files, e.g. ID3). Even Sansa Fuze did not have it with initial firmware version, which made me very sad. I just was not expecting this, but probably Steve Jobs thinks that you do not need that function.

Luckily SanDisk is not Apple, so they added that function in the new firmware for Sansa Fuze, which made this model almost ideal mp3 player for me.

Why almost? There are a few drawbacks:

  • Battery is not replaceable, so if it will die, players will probably die too. (Or you will have to use some weird hacks to power it via mobile USB battery or something like that. Fortunately, my Fuze is just fine now and does seem to be dying.)

  • Proprietary USB cable. So if you want to use it as a flash drive, you will have to take the cable with you. I guess it is not very practical.

  • Does not play AAC. What is so special about this format? Well, a lot of videos (if not all) on YouTube use this codec (and it considering a little bit more efficient than mp3). So if you rip some video from YouTube and then get the audio from flv** without reencoding** it (reencoding will make quality worse), that audio would be in AAC format. I tried playing it in RockBox on the same player, but it did not work.

I have thrown those aac files to my Nokia 5800 and it plays them without any problems, but I still prefer my beloved Fuze.

**Why I don’t recommed Sansa Fuze+?

**It seem that SanDisk tried to make Fuze better, but it came out worse than previous version. They removed actual buttons and the scroll wheel from the front panel and made some kind of iPhone-like sensors (hello Steve Jobs!). I did not looked at the device myself by literally everybody, who tried it, criticize this sensor-button design decision. Even those who actually like the new player due to some other parameters.

My father has Sansa Clip, which basically has the same advantages and drawback as Sansa Fuze but:

  • Is a lot smaller and lighter
  • Is robust
  • Is quite cheap
  • Uses non-proprietary very common USB cable connector
  • Does not have folder navigation even in new firmware
  • Does not have microSD slot
  • Due to the size screen is smaller and simpler
  • Again, due to the size battery life is shorter

Sansa Clip+ is the new version, which actually seems to be better, because it adds microSD slot and navigation by folders. On the other hand some people write that it has problems with battery (which I cannot confirm, nor deny).

the player should have no moving parts (will be using the player in the gym a lot so player cant be fragile

Overlooked this part…

I probably won’t recommend dropping Sansa Fuze on the floor on purpose just for fun, but it is not that fragile to be easily broken (it dropped from my pocket on the floor a couple of times, but just got some scratches).

But if you don’t need a big screen you may prefer Sansa Clip, which is robust an too light and too small to be fragile. I don’t think you will break it too easily even on purpose. Though consider that I wrote in the previous post:

  • Sansa Clip does not have navigation by folder (you can work around that by using playlists, but it’s not fun)
  • Sansa Clip**+** has folder navigation and microSD slot, but battery life may be not good

Though both have standart USB connector, neither is in the form of the USB key, so you may consider something else. Though as far as I know those USB-key-like players are mainly “no-names” these days. But if they the player is cheap and you do need USB-key and player in one case, it may be worth a try. However, I cannot recommend anything here.


RockBox does play AAC files (as long as file extension is set to .m4a). I just used wrong command to rip audio (without reencoding) from YouTube’s *.flv, which generated somewhat broken files. So now I used this command if anybody is interested (note that extension of the output file does matter - ffmpeg produces different results depending on the extension you specify in output file):

ffmpeg -i /path/to/input.flv -vn -acodec copy /path/to/output.m4a

Previously I tried .aac extension, which produced half-playable files. Still I am not sure that the command is corect, but the output is playable.

Though there may be still some problems with seeking and tracks may skip under certain conditions: not very reliable in Rockbox. But if you just set file to play and don’t touch equalizer and similar stuff ruring the playback it seems to play fine without skipping.

  • Sansa Clip does not have navigation by folder
    You can correct that by installing RockBox.

I am using the Sansa Clip+ (2GB with an 8GB SDHC) since a few weeks, I can not confirm a general problem with the battery life. Sandisk claims it can play 15h, I usually have to recharge after about 10 to 12 hours, which I find not too bad. However, I do notice that the battery life is increased by one or two hours after installing Rockbox.

I highly recommend taking a closer look at Rockbox in case one owns a supported player. In my case the original firmware is not too bad (sound is good, supports ogg / FLAC etc.), but Rockbox boosts this tiny thing to dreamdom, really - theme-support, →parametric equalizer, speech-supported UI, even more codecs,, plugins including imageviewers, editors, converters, games, demos, videoplayers etc. pp. The manual of Rockbox has almost 200 pages, that gives us an idea how many options it offers. Rockbox can be programmed with Lua. The Rockbox project exists for almost ten years, the developer team is huge and is supported by many many “unofficial” contributors.

…and it’s open source.