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Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎11-10-2014

Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

Clip Sport:

Some notes on setting up the player.
The way to create usable playlists.
Memory cards.

A few notes on setting up the player:

STARTING OUT: FORMAT AND PARTITION THE DRIVE
--------------------------------------------
When I got my clip sport there were problems.

   In the Music directory there was a directory " $" whose content was the
   directory " $" itself. That is not good.

   All the "free" music was fine except for the filename, "[garbled}.mt3!" on
   the last file ("Hold On") and so the player could not recognize it and so
   could not play it.

   While I could create play lists, attempting to use them showed the
   file/song list as a list of files:
     [garbled}
     [garbled]
     [garbled]
     ...
   which the player could not recognize and could not play.

(The songs could be added to a GoList and played from there but the
 GoLists do not use m3u format and so do not use the m3u library,)

So ... I had a corrupted file system along with (apparently) a corrupted
M3U library.

I noticed a note in the forums suggesting doing a full reset by holding down
the play button for at least ten seconds. I tried that and locked up the
player.

Tech support indicated that to do a full reset hold down the play button for
at least *twenty* seconds (holding it down only for ten seconds reset the
player half-way and left it unusable) and so I held the play button down for
twenty-five seconds and then could start it again.

They then instructed me to copy over to my computer (back up) any media files
I wanted to save and use Windows to reformat the player.

*THIS IS NOT RIGHT!*

My player (I assume all) came formatted as a "super floppy". [see the end]

A "super floppy" format is a disk with a boot section and sectors, like an old
floppy disk. Hard disks are formatted differently. They have separate sections
(partitions) each of which is formatted like a floppy (with boot sectors,
directories, etc.), a partition table (listing where these separate sections
are located) and its own boot sectors (the Master Boot Record (MBR)). When
booted, the hard disk's boot (the MBR) looks at the partition table to see
which of the sectors is flagged in the partition table as the one to start in
and then says "OK ... go to (partition whatever) and try again" and the system
goes to the starting (boot) partition and runs the code it *its" boot sectors.
Each of the partitions is formatted like a disk and you run the code from that
sub-disk, partition.

Why mention any of that? The clip sport I got was formatted as a single drive,
NO PARTITIONS! Formatting that would format the whole shebang.

The proper thing to do, I believe, is back up everything. Update to the latest
version of the firmware if necessary and then use the clip sport to format the
internal drive:

   GO TO:

      Settings
      System Settings
      Format
      Internal Memory

and use that.

That does *NOT* (just) reformat the drive.

It partitions it. Now the OS/firmware is in its own (hidden?) partition and
creates a partition for user data and, from the firmware, gets a new copy of
the M3U library (and others) and copies it to the user partition and also
creates the directory structure the system expects (the /Music, /Playlists,
etc. directories).

In my case that fixed the problem with the playlists (I could now create
playlists that could be read and which worked).

So ... a suggestion when you get a clip sport.

Update the firmware if necessary.
Copy any of the free files (and your own) from the player to your computer.
Use the player's own FORMAT command to format the internal memory (and
partition the drive and create a new user partition with fresh copies of
various library files). (Perhaps you may want to do a full reset before
formatting.)

To do a FULL RESET, hold the power button down for at least (over) twenty
seconds (of course that is not mentioned in the manual and ... if you have the
player in your pocked, you may wind up accidentally pressing the power button
down for, say, twelve seconds - that will "apparently" brick the device. Try
holding the power button down for over twenty seconds and then starting it.
Naturally that information does not appear to be located in the manual.).

PLAYLISTS:
----------
The manual says that playlists and the songs on the playlists must be in the
same (top) subdirectory of the Music directory.

*THAT IS ALL WRONG.*

You cannot create a playlist for songs from different albums if you put them in
different directories? No.

The software and player is good but ... apparently SanDisk felt it would
confuse their users to tell people how to use M3U
playlists (tech support fell down rather poorly on this saying that the only
way to create a working M3U playlist was to use their instructions for
creating one using Windows Media Player and that using a text editor does not
work on the clip sport).

The player recognizes playlists by the extension - .m3u. Apparently they can
be anywhere on the disk. Whoever created the player actually provides a
\Playlists directory (which is where I put mine - it seemed a reasonable
place!).

An M3U playlist is basically - a directory list. Nothing more.
However, it seems that the SanDisk wants an Extended M3U playlist which
has a first line:

   #EXTM3U

Extended M3U format has lots of capabilities which may or may not be supported,
such as having the play list provide a title for the song which can be
displayed when using the playlist instead of the song title in the MP3 file
itself.

I don't know which features the Clip Sport supports but others have reported
that it assumes the first line is a comment line (starting with #) flagging
the m3u playlist as an Extended M3U playlist and skips over it and have
reported that if you omit that line, it will skip over the first song.

OK ... so you put your music files in a directory, open it in Windows Media
Player, tell it to create a play list and store it in that same directory.

So your m3u playlist (I have not tried any of the extended features so I do
not know which, if any, extended features the Clip Sport supports but it does
have an M3U library and ... well ... whatever that supports - which probably
has very little to do with SanDisk or what their tech support might tell you)
is just a plain text file:

   myplaylist.m3u containing:
   --------------------------
   #EXTM3U
   [song1.mp3]
   [song2.mp3]
   ...

The player knows nothing about songs. Windows Media Player is a computer
programme. It knows about files. If you follow the instructions about using
Windows Media Player, putting all the songs for the playlist in a
directory/folder, opening that in Windows Media Player, telling it to create a
playlist in m3u format and save it in that folder it will simply put a file
like the above in that directory/folder.

That is designed for Windows Media Player to play the files on your computer.
How does it?

It reads the playlist and realizes you want to play [song1.mp3] first.
That is a file. Where is it? The file does not have a location (directory)
specified! Well ... let's take a guess that it is in the same directory as the
playlist. BINGO! It is ... and Windows Media Player finds and plays the file.

It seems overkill to open so heavy a programme as Windows Media Player to do
one thing - get a directory list, put the line "#EXTM3U" on top and save as
a file with the extension ".m3u" but ... apparently SanDisk feels that is all
that a "normal" computer user is capable of.

Suppose Joe has his files scattered about with one song in
   C:\Users\Joe\Media\Audio\song1.mp3
and another in a different partition (to window, a different drive)
   D;\SharedAlbums\SoundTracks\Rocky Horror Picture Show\FloorShow.mp3

and use Windows Media Player to create and save a play list as Joe's
   C:\Users\Joe\MySongs\MainPlaylist.m3u

That playlist, MainPlaylist.m3u, will have to look like:

   #EXTM3U
   C:\Users\Joe\Media\Audio\song1.mp3
   D;\SharedAlbums\SoundTracks\Rocky Horror Picture Show\FloorShow.mp3

and when Windows Media Player reads that and sees that Joe wants to play some
music (well, all it understands are files) *THIS TIME* the files are precisely
located on the computer and it doesn't have to guess that they are located
just where the playlist is.

That is a good playlist for Windows Media Player (or any other player which
supports m3u playlists) which is running on that computer to find the files to
play.

If Joe just wanted a play list for the FIRST song the playlist might look
like:

   #EXTM3U
   \Users\Joe\Media\Audio\song1.mp3

since the playlist is located at C:\Users\Joe\MySongs\MainPlaylist.m3u
and when Windows Media Player reads it has to guess where the file is
(which drive?) but ... well, the playlist isn't changing it so it is probably
the same drive that the playlist is on and so it can find the file.

   #EXTM3U
   \Users\Joe\Media\Audio\song1.mp3

IS A VALID PLAYLIST THAT WOULD WORK ON THE SanDisk PLAYER IF IT COULD FIND THE
FILE - THAT IS, IF ONE CREATED THE DIRECTORY \Users\Joe\Audio ON THE PLAYER AND
PUT song1.mp3 THERE AND PUT THAT PLAYLIST JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE(?) ON THE
PLAYER.

Now. suppose you put the songs on the player in:

   \Music\SoundTracks\Rocky Horror Picture Show\FloorShow.mp3
   \Music\Joe\song1.mp3

The playlist:

   SanDiskJoe.m3u containing:
   --------------------------
   #EXTM3U
   \Music\Joe\song1.mp3
   \Music\SoundTracks\Rocky Horror Picture Show\FloorShow.mp3

on the player will play the songs.

Now, you will not be able to create that using Windows Media Player
on your computer (unless you create the folders and files:
   \Music\Joe\song1.mp3
   \Music\SoundTracks\Rocky Horror Picture Show\FloorShow.mp3
on your computer and have Windows Media Player create a play list
from the files in those locations, an exact image of the structure
on the SanDisk player).

However ... IT IS JUST A PLAIN TEXT FILE!

Well, a Windows text file.

Text files have strings of letters and characters then a marker for the end of
the line then more characters then another marker for the end of the line
(EOL) then more characters ... in one string (a file is just a long string of
bytes, characters with markers indicating where it should be split into
separate lines for display). Macs (the old Mac's using the OS developed by
Apple) use CHR$(13) (CTRL-M) to mark the ends of lines. Mac OSX, developed
from the Next computer whose basic OS is BSD (a Unix variant) like other Unix
variants (e.g. Linux, Solaris, ...) uses CHR$(10) (CTRL-J) to mark ends of
lines. Windows on the other hand use the pair of characters CTRL-M CTRL-J
(CHR$(13) followed by CHR$(10)) to mark the ends of lines.

So ... it is a Windows text file as windows would create it with their own
EOLs (if you use a text editor in Linux for example to create a playlist you
will either have to use one configured to act like a Windows Text Editor and
use Windows EOLs or manually add the extra CHR$(13) to the end of each line or
use a utility like unix2dos which converts a Unix, Mac text file to one with
Windows EOLs - If you use an IBM mainframe which uses EBCDIC instead of ascii
you're on you own).

The specification for m3u indicates (I believe) that is uses the windows-1252
character set which limits the characters one can use. Full unicode suupport
is available in m3u8 (with unicode characters encoded in UTF-8) but SanDisk
uses m3u, not m3u8.

I suspect that the SanDisk player uses windows-1252 characters so if you want
non English/Ascii characters be sure to use that font in the listing AND IN
THE FILENAMES USED ON THE FILES THEMSELVES (in Linux "recode" can convert
characters). I just use plain ASCII and haven't played around with special
characters (actually, you don't have to use windows-1252, if you use the
same characters in the playlist and filenames but then they won't be
displayed correctly, though they should still work).


Yes, you can use what SanDisk says is the ONLY way to create m3u playlists
(tech support said that the "notepad" method does not work on the clip sport)
- Windows Media Player to create a playlist and store it in the same directory
as the songs and copy that directory to the \Music director of the player
(the player will find playlists just about anywhere as long they are files
with the extension .m3u) so that the player can find the songs without any
folder or directory given for the song files - it will guess that it is in the
same directory as the playlist and find them.

Do that and you will not be able to create playlists for songs from different
albums/directories.

The playlists must be in the same directors as the songs? Those must be top
level subdirectories of \Music? Both wrong.

On a memory card I have the following playlist:

=======
#EXTM3U
\Music\Operetta\FallingInLoveWithSomeone.mp3
\Music\Operetta\MakeBelieve.mp3
\Music\Operetta\RomanyLife.mp3
\Music\Operetta\TheDonkeySerenade.mp3
\Music\Operetta\TheMarchOfTheToys.mp3
...

\Music\Movies\RobinHood.mp3

\Music\SentimentalJourney\Vol1\03_YoullNeverKnow.mp3
\Music\SentimentalJourney\Vol1\16_StormyWeather.mp3
\Music\SentimentalJourney\Vol1\17_NightandDay.mp3

\Music\SentimentalJourney\Vol2\07_MyFoolishHeart.mp3
\Music\SentimentalJourney\Vol2\08_ThatsMyDesire.mp3
\Music\SentimentalJourney\Vol2\10_Again.mp3
...
\Music\SentimentalJourney\Vol4\17_ThatOldBlackMagic.mp3

\Music\RockyHorrorPictureShow\Selected\TheTimeWarp.mp3
=======

Stored as:

==========
MyList.m3u
==========

in the \Playlists directory on the memory card with the songs in
\Music on the memory card.


How hard are the playlists to create?

They are nothing but directory lists.
If you want to create them from files in

  C:\Users\Joe...
  D:\otherSongs\...

just dump a directory list of the files you want to a text file and then use
search and replace on the beginnings of the lines, replacing the directories
they are in on your Windows (or, hopefully, other) system with the directories
in which you are going to place the cards on the SanDisk player.
Add the #EXTM3U line to the top of the list.

Save as a file with file extension ".m3u" and save to the same "drive"
(internal memory or the card) somewhere (the \Playlists directory is designed
for that, though the manual doesn't mention it) and put the songs in the
proper directory on the same drive in the player (internal memory or card).

On the other hand, you could copy the files over to the memory card or player
first and then dump a directory list of the files ON THE CARD OR PLAYER which
will already have the correct paths!


MEMORY CARDS:
-------------
For the memory card ... I suggest devoting the card just to the player (and
not use it for other stuff too) and the first thing to do with it is put it
in the player and use its
      Settings
      System Settings
      Format
      External Card
command to format the card. Like formatting the internal memory this will set
up a partition and provide the structure the player expects (some files, the
\Playlists directory, the \Music directory, etc.).


TWO DRIVES: INTERNAL MEMORY AND MEMORY CARD
-------------------------------------------
Above, for a Windows Media Play list with songs on different disks/drives
(the C: drive, the D: drive, etc.) I showed a playlist which could be used on
one drive to list and play a song from another drive (D:\Music\... -
specifying the drive letter along with the path). The memory card and the
internal memory appear as different drives/disks to the audio player. I do not
know if there is some drive letter or label (such as "CARD:\Music\...) which
could be used, for example, in a playlist stored in internal memory to be able
to locate and hence play songs on the memory card (or vice versa).


A few general notes:
--------------------
Using the Folder option to locate a folder allows you to play the songs in the
folder. What order are they in? I don't know.

I like to create my own "albums" and have the album listed so I can play the
songs therein (those seem to be sorted alphabetically so I play songs,
  01_zsong
  02_asong
in that order - unless I use shuffle).

I thought that the directories would specify the albums (each directory I use
would appear as an album as well as a foler). No dice.

If you are ripping songs from CDs or want to create your own Albums, the
SanDisk will list Albums basee on the "Album" data in the audio file itself.
MP3 files have metadata, the MP3 ID tags which specify the artist, genre,
track number, album, etc. for the file inside the file.

To put files in an "album" I use a tag editor to change the "album" data in
the desired files to "My Album Number Whatever". I use id3tag on Linux.

When you modify data on your system and restart it, it will be able to show
you a list of your "albums". To do that it has to scan each and every audio
file to read its "album" tag. With a lot of files, that can take some time.


While some systems may show a filename and "not found" when displaying a
playlist, the SanDisk player scans for the files and if one is not found,
it simply omits it from the playlist.

For example, if you use Linux to create a playlist AND FORGET TO CHANGE
THE END OF LINE MARKERS TO DOS FORMAT the M3U library will not find any
filenames or files and will just show you an empty playlist.

While versions of Windows through XP NEED Windows EOLs (at least in batch
files - but not in files loaded into Edit.exe), Windows Vista can handle
more standard (Unix, Mac - CHR$(10)) End Of Line markers as well.

Not the SanDisk player. The SanDisk needs Windows EOLs.


The GoLists are not in m3u format. You may not find them on the internal
memory "drive" but on an external card you will find the three GoLists as
USERPL1.PL, USERPL2.PL and USERPL3.PL. These appear to be binary database
files of some type (lots of padding null bytes to create fixed length
records?). I think that is why when I originally tried out my Clip Sport
player, while the M3U library might have been corrupted, the GoLists worked
(they don't use M3U format).


SUPER FLOPPY:
-------------
On windows when you insert the player you will just see a directory, the same
on Linux if you use some automount library. I hate to have things
automatically happen without knowing what is going on so I use the "mount"
command to mount devices.

In Linux USB devices appear as devices in /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, etc.
for the different connected USB devices. For drives, these can be mounted as
...

   mount /dev/[drive] /somedirectory/for/the/drive

What is the drive? If the device has NO PARTITIONS, is a super-floppy,
then IT IS THE DRIVE and one mounts it as, for example:

   mount /dev/sda /somedirectory/for/the/drive

   (sda1 will not work - it is not partitioned)

If it is partitioned (like hard drives) then the drives are the sub-drives, the
partitions, and one mounts the first available one as:

   mount /dev/sda1 /somedirectory/for/the/drive

(sda will not work - it had no file system to mount. It has a partition table
 for the "drives" located in the various partitions).

When I first got the Clip Sport I noticed that the only way to mount it was
using /dev/sda (it was configured as a "super-floppy") and after running the
player's own format command it was /dev/sda1, the user partition/drive on the
player - THAT is something one can probably safely format (if absolutely
necessary) using Windows as it is a separate drive on the player not
containing the OS/firmware.
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-20-2015

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

Thanks for the detailed tutorial on playlists. I was going crazy trying to figure out how to get a playlist composed of songs from different albums. It is insane to say that the playlist can only be played from the folder it is in. That would mean that if I wanted playlists that had some songs in common, then I would have to duplicate the songs in each folder. And why would I want to make a playlist of the songs in a folder anyway? I could just play the songs in the folder. Don't need a playlist to do that. I took your information and successfully made a playlist that was recognized and actually worked!

Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-07-2015

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

Thanks! I was able to place the playlist in the Playlist directory and it works, but the relative path to the file has to be included for each song in the list. ex. Music\Beatles\01 - A Hard Day's Night.MP3   --has the relative path to play the MP3 file, 01 - A Hard Day's Night.MP3.

 

Term to use is "relative path". It just contains the complete path to the file with no drive letter. 

 

The thing that confused me is that I expected to be able to select the playlist directly by accessing the folder and selecting the playlst file. It doesn't work that way. I get the messge, "file not recognized".  I found that playlist only work if select a playlist from the Music menu, and then use the Playlist menu to select a playlist. It works really well that way and I found that it can place my playlists in any directory folder, and the player will find it and list it in the Playlist menu. 

Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-15-2015

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

This looks really thorough. It's so long I got a little confused trying to figure out what I want to do. Please note my Clip Sport doesn't have a memory card, just what the basic unit comes with.

 

Q#1

Can I copy music files from my computer to the Sport using Windows Explorer rather than Windows Media Player, or do I have to sync with WMP?

 

Q#2

On my computer, music is arranged in folders according to the format:

   Artist1\Album1\song1.---

   Artist1\Album1\song2.---

   ...etc.

   Artist1\Album2\song1.---

   ...etc.

    Artist2\Album1\song1.---

   ...etc.

       (where --- is typically either wma or mp3)

I want to keep that format on the Sport, so I can select music on the Sport by Artist or Album...right?

 

Q#3 (several questions actually)

The Sport already has folders for Music, Podcasts, and Playlists (and others). So, I put my music into the Music folder and some podcasts into the Podcast folder.

 

What's the easiest way to create a playlist for a selection of the podcasts? ...and for a selection of the music?

 

Do I put all playlists (for example, one for some podcasts and one for some music) in the playlist folder?

 

 

Do I use the relative path as it appears within the Music or the Podcast folder?

 

 

 

SanDisk Professor
Posts: 464
Registered: ‎09-12-2015

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

[ Edited ]

Maybe think about these suggestions?

 

1. You can use Win Explorer to copy music files from your PC to the Clip Sport.

 

2. You can use Win Explorer to make the sub folders you named inside the Music folder in the Clip Sport. 

    You can select music to play within 1 folder at a time using Folder mode.

     If you edit your ID3 tags, you can select Artists or Albums using Music mode. 

 

3. It is best to use the SanDisk primary folders to create the appropriate sub-folders. 

   If you are going to create a playlist of files in one sub folder, you could put that list in there. 

   If you are going to create a playlist of files within more than one sub folder, you can put that list in the Playlist folder.

        (The playlist should include the relative paths such as:   \Music\Artist1\Album2\song1      Etc

 

    You cannot use Folder mode to play playlists.  Only Music mode can play playlists.

      Books mode mode does not show a playlists command.  Books mode reads ID3 tags. 

       If you spend a few minutes working on your ID3 tags, you may discover you do not need so many playlists. 

       And maybe try out using the built-in GoLists (1,2,3) for on-the-fly playlists. 

    

 

Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-15-2015

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

Thanks for the tips/info, DFELD. I will play around with it a bit and see what I can come up with.

Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎07-15-2015

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

Is it possible to create playlists without ID3 tags? I've never used them, and really don't think I can go through all my music and add them.

 

I really, really have to have playlists. Multiple, and permanent (well, at least not on-the-fly) playlists.

Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-17-2018

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

 
Newbie
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-17-2018

Re: Playlists (mostly), formatting, full reset, etc.

Oops forgot to input message.
This is all very interesting but I have no idea what you're all talking about. I have a locked Sport Clip that was apparently sold to people in prison. I like its size and want to use it in my work (beekeeper). Mine has no internal memory to read, meaning I cannot access it...everything plays off the external sd card. If I erase the card, put it in the player, then pull it out and look at the card again, it magically has all the same folders and files on it EXCEPT the "Owner" file that actually had a prisoner's name and I guess prison number or done kind of reference number.

I tried making an m3u playlist and putting it on the card along with the actual music files in mp3 form. It worked twice but never worked again.

So I bought another Sport Clip on eBay and cleared the card, put all my mp3 files on the card (no m3u this time), then put it in the new Clip Sport. They were read so I moved them to Go File 1 (which is user 1) then put the card back in the locked prison version (it has a clear case). Now I can play my songs in go list 1.

My question is, how can I do this without using the device I bought off eBay? I'm no coder but I've played around with text editors and file viewer apps and it looks relatively straight forward. Is there a way I can add my mp3 songs to the file I find I'm the card which is labeled USERPL1.PL?

Thanks for the patience.