1 GB or 2 GB Clip for audiobooks and podcasts?

Hi – I am completely new to mp3 players.  I am thinking of getting the Sansa Clip, mainly for use in my car.  I would like to download podcasts and possibly a book or two.  Is the Clip a good choice? Would 1 GB be enough?  2 GB?  Can you bookmark with the Clip?

My car stereo is old and doesn’t have a place to hook up an mp3 player, so I was going to get a cassette adapter.  Sound quality isn’t a big deal to me, so I will mainly be listening to voice recordings.  Or is there a better way to do this?  (A complicating factor in my case is that there is a cassette tape stuck in my tape drive, so I probably will have to pay at least $50 to get it removed.  I looked into getting a new tape deck, but there are few low-priced decks that still have cassette players.)

Thanks for the help.  Any tips would be welcome.

I just tried to use the SanDisk Sansa online tool for choosing an mp3 player.  If you want audiobooks as a feature that you want, it seems to force you to choose the Fuze (and a 4 GB Fuze, at that).  Is it true that the Clip doesn’t work well for audiobooks?  I really would like to keep my costs down, but there’s no point in buying something cheaper if it won’t do want I want well.  Thanks!

Once you get the feel for the Clip, the slightly higher price for the 2GB model is a worthwhile investment, especially since audiobooks are such big files.

Between the Fuze and Clip, the primary advantage is the easier to read graphic interface of the Fuze, since you have a larger screen.  You also step into the world of µSD memory expansion.

About that in-car radio.  If the cassette is jammed, see if you can carefully remove that stubborn cassette, as a cassette adaptor works quite well, better than an FM transmitter will.  On the other side, an FM modulator that connects directly to the antenna cable works well, but these devices have the nasty drawback of inhibiting normal radio reception.

I would have a look around for a new car radio with an AUX IN jack, or a faceplate mounted 3.5mm stereo accessory input, made for the recent barrage of new audio players out there.  Car stereos have fallen in price these last few years, and an upgrade may be the cheapest repair overall.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Message Edited by neutron_bob on 12-11-2008 08:10 PM

i would go for the 2 gig better memory capability. Plus I would just get a new radio the adapters dont always work.

I use the 1 GB Clip for podcasts, language and meditation tapes.  The 1 GB Clip is enough for me as I load new podcasts weekly and only keep the last couple of weeks worth on there.  This uses about 10 - 20 % of the capacity for me.  I guess the real question for you is the size of the audiobooks.

The Clip does have bookmarks but it’s by file, not by book.  If your audiobook is divided into chapters (seperate files) you will have to remember which chapter you were on.  There has been some complaints on the forum about this.

I second the calls for:

  • New radio (keep it under $100 with installation!)

  • 2GB Clip

Actually, I posted a link for the 4GB Clip @ $35.  Nobody can say “no” to that!!!  The catch is you have to drive in to a local Sears to get it.

Question for Bob:  Does the power on the headphone jack play a role in driving the car speakers (through the radio, that is?)  It seems that I get “weaker” sound with smaller audio devices.


Thank you all for weighing in.  I will go with the 2 GB Clip (unless I can get the 4 GB Clip from Sears - I don’t see the link, but I’m off to search Sears).

And I will look into replacing the car stereo, but as I said, I am having trouble finding a unit that includes a tape deck, and I still sometimes use tapes. 

But, meanwhile, what about this as another option: a small, portable speaker, such as the Altec Lansing iM207 Orbit-MP3 (http://www.amazon.com/Altec-Lansing-iM207-Orbit-MP3-Players/dp/B000YEKM0U/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t)?

Not only could I use it in the car, I might also be able to bike with it. (I would never wear headphones while biking.)

Ok, just purchased the 4GB Clip at Sears for $37 (incl tax)!  (Thanks for the tip!)

 One little concern: the model number is SDMX11R-4096S-A70 at Sears.  But on Amazon and TigerDirect, the 4GB silver model has the number SDMX11R-004GS-A57.  Does anyone know what’s up with that?  What is the difference between the model numbers, and is one preferable?  I would hate to get a lemon… Sears didn’t say it was refurbished, or anything like that.

Impact DC Car Power Adapter for USB Powered Devices – would this work for plugging the Clip into the cigarette lighter? It puts out 5V/500mA - is that safe for the Clip? Are there better alternatives?  I would like to keep from running down the battery while playing it in the car.  I’d also like to get an AC adapter/charger, so I can charge it in the house without connecting it to the computer - what do I need to get?  Thanks for all the help.

@sunnyday wrote:

Ok, just purchased the 4GB Clip at Sears for $37 (incl tax)!  (Thanks for the tip!)

 One little concern: the model number is SDMX11R-4096S-A70 at Sears.  But on Amazon and TigerDirect, the 4GB silver model has the number SDMX11R-004GS-A57.  Does anyone know what’s up with that?  What is the difference between the model numbers, and is one preferable?  I would hate to get a lemon… Sears didn’t say it was refurbished, or anything like that.

Horrayyy!!!  A happy ending.  A sunny day!  :smileyvery-happy:  OK, sorry…I got carried away there.

RE: the model numbers, that’s a good one.  I might investigate if I get a chance, but my first thought is that it’s not important.  Then again, anyone who visits this forum will note there are TWO hardware versions, depending on when your Clip was built.  So maybe someone should go and reread those threads and let us know if that’s the answer!


The output from the Clip is essentially “correct” with the volume turned up.  Be sure to select “high” in the Settings > Volume preferences.  Experimenting with several different radios, I’ve found that the higher volume setting works well, as the car sterro doesn’t have to be turned up too high.

This will avoid surprises if you switch to another input source in the car.

Be sure, in any case where you connect your Sansa to an outboard device, to turn the volume down before plugging in your headphones again.  You don’t want to damage your headphones, your ears, or toss that tub of popcorn in your lap when resuming playback.

I’ve found that the car adaptor for the Motorola RAZR phone, and others with the USB mini-B connector, are great for powering the Clip while in the car.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

RE: the model numbers – I found this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f15/beware-version-1-sansa-clips-showing-up-version-2-packaging-380971/ .  One poster says that “the v1 skips with large lossless files such as WAV” and that there may be background noises.

I am wondering what I should do – I just picked up my 4GB Clip from Sears, and I am sure it’s a v1, tho I haven’t opened it yet.  And when I brought it home, my kid got interested in it, so I went online to Sears, and they no longer had the 4GB model at the price I got it for ($37 with tax), but they did have the 2GB Clip for $29, so I bought that.  I figured I would grab it, and return it unopened if I hear too many bad things about it.

So – did I get good deals or should I return these items?  If it matters, we aren’t audiophiles, and I will probably use mine more for voice than music.  Thanks!

Thanks for the helpful tips, Bob. 

One thing I am concerned about is that I’ve read that the Clip is loud, and that you can’t turn it down much. Some people like that, but I am worried about hearing damage.  For myself, it may not be a big problem, because I think I will mainly use it in the car, thru speakers.  But I am concernedc about giving it to my kid to use with headphones.  Would you say the volume is pretty loud?  We don’t play our music loud, so we still have our hearing, and I’d like to keep it that way!

sunnyday…a couple thoughts…

First, good sleuthing on the version number issue.  I’d be concerned about the two new black 4GBs in my possession, except that I don’t play WAVs or lossless formats, so I suspect I shouldn’t have skipping problems.

Second, regarding volume level.  I admit I chuckled when I read your question…of course the first thing that occured to me is “well, turn it down!!!”.  But then what your kids do is not always under your control.  I’m also depressed and astonished that the words “turn that music down!!!” actually come out of my mouth from time to time.  :cry:

In all seriousness, I don’t have a solomonesque solution, but in the meantime:  remember that in the “Settings” menu there is an option to “boost” the volume.  So at a minimum you can sneak in there and make sure it’s set to “low”, not “hi”.  At least that will limit the maximum.  You have a few other options but they are a bit fascist:  (1) run all your kid’s MP3s through MP3Gain, and lower the peak volume that way, or maybe buy really cheap earbuds, which (in my experience) tend to have weak volume levels.


Thanks, Matt.  I thought I had read somewhere that the Clip only has 2 volume settings, rather than a continuous adjustment, and that the lowest setting was not so low (one user said it was too loud for him to use to listen in a quiet bedroom).  That’s why I’ve been worried about it, beyond the natural inclination of teenagers to play music too loud.


The high volume issue you mention was with the earliest firmware version of the Clip and e200 series version 2 devices, with the new processor.

SanDisk has since updated the lower end of the volume scale by adding additional steps on the lower end of the scale, for both machines.

The “volume” option in Settings is a limiter for the upper end of the volume scale, limiting the maximum to about 85% of full capability.  It simply disables the high end of the volume scale.  I like this “low” setting for my daughters’ Clips, so they don’t crank it up too loud.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Thanks, Bob – that’s very good news indeed!

I have started trying to use my 4GB Clip – have run into problems, but I think I will start a new thread.