I really like my View and haven't had any problems with the format of my songs. I got my directly from Sansa at www.shopsansa.com. I love the screen and I really like the amount of space I have on mine. You can never have too much space on an MP3 player...
After a great experience with the Connect, I wanted to give another Sansa product a try and borrowed a Sansa View. By comparison, it doesn’t hold a candle.
One of the cool features about the Connect was the external speaker, which the View was lacking. I never thought I would “need” something so superfluous until I didn’t have it! Even though it’s not very loud, and not a great quality amplifier, it was still kind of nifty in the car (whereas earphones can block out traffic sounds and wind up being dangerous to your driving).
One of the most frustrating problems I encountered with the View was its inability to play some files. When I first started using the View, I filled it with all the same songs as I had the Connect. Every few songs or so, I would try to click forward to the next song and the screen would freeze for a minute or two (which is an eternity when you’re running on the treadmill waiting for your song because the only sound keeping you company is your sneakers pounding on the conveyor belt) and then a little pink message window would pop up saying “bad track” and it would remain frozen for another minute or so until the next song picked up. This drove me insane, especially when I knew that whatever wasn’t playing didn’t have a problem on the Sansa Connect.
Even when the songs progressed with no “bad tracks”, the reaction time was a little slow sometimes. I would go forward or backward and it would pause itself for a few seconds before the song would begin (certainly not as long as it would if I had come across one of the dreaded “bad tracks”). Additionally, sometimes I would be listening to a song, would want to forward on through, and the next song would begin, but the screen would still be displaying the info on the previous track. And heaven forbid I should want to forward through THAT song, because it wouldn’t move on until the screen updated to the current and correct song info.
Overall, the View does have more room than the Connect, and it has a thinner, sleeker physique. And from what I hear, it’s good for viewing video files (this is more important to some mp3 user than those who use them strictly got music; I belong to the latter group). But from my glitchy experience, I prefer the Connect over the View any day.
Problems with .mp3 playback on the view can be due to how the source files are encoded. VBR (variable bit rate) files can cause problems. I have over 1600 CBR .mp3's on mine and it has never froze yet. The only reason I am not happy with my view is that after having a Sansa e200 series with RockBox loaded I cannot get used to the severely lacking Sansa factory firmware. With RockBox I could start my old e200 in 5 seconds and it always started playing from exactly the place I left off when I powered it down. Not the case with the Sansa firmware, if you select "last played" it goes back to the first song it played the last time I selected "play all"...
The latest firmware updates seem to have solved these issues. My personal View 16GB plays great. Video is excellent, though blues and yellows are a little too vivid.