Free Linux Tools – Convert Media Files to Your Sansa Disk

Sansa Media Player
You bought the Sansa Player and you use Linux. Sansa doesn’t come with Linux support. Have no fear. It’s really easy to convert and copy your favorite media files to your portable Sansa Player.

ffmpeg is a great tool for converting files from one format to another.  The flexibility and capability of this is seemingly endless.  Unfortunately, the manual has about 200 pages at last count, and the trial and error of getting a file into another format requires a lot of patience.

if you don’t already have ffmpeg installed, then use your Linux distro’s package manager and install it with all recommended dependencies.
In Ubuntu and Kubuntu to install ffmpeg type this into your Terminal command prompt

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Convert to Sansa Disk Player Format
I’ve used this method to copy countless FLV & AVI files to my daughter’s Sansa Player.

From a Linux command prompt copy in the following code.  Replace INPUT and OUTPUT with the filename you are converting and the name of the output file

ffmpeg -i INPUT -r 29  -ab 96k -qmax 51 -mbd 2 -flags +4mv+trell -aic 2 -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -ar 44100 -g 300 -s 320×240 -aspect 4:3 -ac 2 -f mp4 -y OUTPUT

You’ll see a progress bar working in your Terminal window. Once it’s completed, simply copy the file over to the Sansa Disk directory. (Assuming you’ve connected it to your computer, it should probably be in /media/disk)

Let us know if this tip helped and/or if you have a better method.