In addition to standard MP3 files, the Sansa View can play back a healthy array of other digital media files. There's direct support for JPEG photos and MPEG4, WMV, and H.264 videos and this player should have no problem with video podcasts acquired through iTunes. The Sansa Media Converter, available as a download, can transcode other (unprotected) formats for the View.
On the audio side, you get support for WAV, AAC (unprotected), Audible and both protected and unprotected WMA. The player will work with any Windows Media-based audio service, such as Napster. If you get tired of digital audio, switch over to the onboard FM tuner, which features autoscan and 20 preset slots.
The Sansa View's battery life of 35 hours for audio and 7 hours for video is definitely impressive. Audio quality isn't quite as inspiring, though this player certainly doesn't sound bad. The downside is that -- other than electronica -- music tends to be lacking in bass and we get a lot of low-end distortion when we adjust to compensate via the five-band user EQ. And this is despite using Shure SE310s earbuds and some headphones that offer great low-end response. However, music in general sounds pretty good, with nice high-end clarity and warm mids so the average listener should be satisfied.
Despite the aforementioned dimming effect of the screen, photos look sharp and bright with good colour saturation. Videos, however, did suffer from the dimness, and we noticed some slight pixelation at points, but they still looked passable.
Although it is not the perfect digital media player, with its array of features the Sansa View is definitely worth considering given its very reasonable price of around £100.
Additional editing by Jon Squire