How to Convert Movies for the Sansa Fuze Player

[Windows, Linux, Mac]

Late last year, I spotted a deal that I couldn’t turn down. I was able to buy a Sandisk Sansa Fuze 4G player for about $30 USD. When these were first released in 2008, they were over double that price. I already had an iPod Nano, but I wanted video and photos, and the price of the iPod Touch was over my playtime budget.

If you aren’t familiar with the Fuze, here’s some info from Google Products:

sandisk-sansa-fuzeListen, watch and play all day with 24 hours of battery life and room for up to 2000 songs. The Sansa Fuze from SanDisk is your portable music machine with 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB of storage. Watch your favorite video clips on the Sansa Fuze’s 1.9″ color screen. Jam to FM radio with 40 preset stations, play with the built-in voice recorder, and share your photos wherever you go. Choose from five electric colors: blue, red, pink, black or silver. Incredible battery life in a 0.3″ thin device – the Sansa Fuze marks the next wave of music and video players.

In the past few months, I’ve enjoyed using it at work and play, but there are two things that I definitely don’t like about the Fuze. First, they used a proprietary connector, instead of using a mini-USB. Secondly, they force you to convert all your videos to a weird AVI format, which can only be created by their special Sansa Media Converter (Windows only).

There isn’t much that I could do about the connector, but I’ve finally found an excellent alternative to the Sansa converter, called Video4Fuze. It is supported in Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, unlike Sansa’s lame converter. Now converting full length DVDs for use on my Fuze is as simple as creating an AVI file, then converting it with Video4Fuze. If you are a big fan of downloading Youtube video, the Video4Fuze utility also converts FLV and MP4 videos with no problem.

arrow-down-double-3 Download Video4Fuze

Here’s a video showing how to use Video4Fuze.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (Excellent)


How to Copy DVDs the Right Way with DVDShrink

dvd-ico Have you ever heard of DVDShrink? It’s a freeware program that allows you to make backup copies of your movie DVDs. The shrinkpart of the name of this software is the real power behind it. Movies are usually distributed on dual layer DVDs, while most blank DVDs are only single layer. The DVDShrink program can allow you to shrink a dual layer movie onto a single layer blank disk. However, there are a few tricks you need to know if you want to do it the right way and get the best possible copy.

I’ve used DVDShrink for years, but I never did know the finer points to using it. I always used it to create backup ISO files that I stored on my hard drives. Fortunately, I know someone who does know a good many tricks for using this freeware. Jim Hillier has posted a complete how toon one of my favorite newsletters Dave’s Computer Tips.

Here’s that post: How to use DVDShrink… The Right Way!

Wait! Before you head over there, here are a few things you might want to know.

• Where is the download for DVDShrink? The home site of DVDShrink is at, however, you won’t find a link to download it there. I always go to the DVDShrink page at Afterdawn to get the latest version.

• If you have any questions about DVDShrink, just post a comment below and I’ll ask Jim to lend a hand.

• If you’d like to read a good monthly newsletter, be sure to sign up for Dave’s Computer Tips.

What Is a VOB File? How To Open VOB Files?

If you have gotten your hands on a VOB file somehow, chances are they have been copied/extracted from a DVD. VOB stands for DVD Video Object and is the core file of a DVD containing the actual movie data, an MPEG movie stream and the supported audio.

To play the VOB files, you need to have a DVD player that supports VOB format. However, if you have the Windows Media Player (version 12 or higher) or VLC Media Player, it is good enough to play the file. Note that you will see a prompt telling you that it is an unsupported format, don’t worry about it and just play it anyways. It will play just fine.

If you want to obtain the VOB file from a DVD for some reason, just open the DVD in Windows Explorer instead of playing it through a media player. The VOB file would most likely be under the VIDEO_TS folder. Some other files that you will also see in the folder are IFO and BUP. The IFO files are the information files containing meta data about the DVD and instructions for the DVD player on how to handle the disc. The BUP file is simply a backup copy of IFO files.

If you want to convert VOB file to AVI or a similar format, aviNET is a great tool to do that.