A few questions before purchase

I’ve decided - so far - on the Clip+ though I’m wondering if I’ve missed any other ‘advantages’ of the Zip and Sport models other than a larger color screen of which I’m not really interested in?

Deciding between the 4g and 8g Clip+ is it better to go with the 8g and attempt to fit all or most internally or does the 4g with an SD card perform equally well (other than size of course with a larger SD)  Also I read on Amazon playlists won’t work from the SD. They have to be internal only. Is this true ?

Btw I just looked on Amazon and to my shock the price jumped from $34.95 yesterday to $45.95 today. I’m not on Amazon very much if at all, is this how it works there ???  

http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Sansa-Clip-Player-Indigo/dp/B00400TGEC/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Thanks in advance… 

Yep, Amazon prices can change frequently.  I once had an item that I purchased change price, downward, something like 5 times over the course of an afternoon (and, yes, I applied for and received a price adjustment each time!).  Just keep your eye on the price.  Some services will even do this for you–I recommend camelcamelcamel.com.

Personally, I would avoid the Sport for now, unless you really need the longer battery life–its software currently has some issues, being worked on.  While I like the Zip and its larger, color screen (even though pretty low resolution), its keys can be pretty sensitive–I prefer the Clip+ in that regard.  Note, though, that the Zip has support for aac files (although it’s not perfect) and includes a clock.

I’m not aware that playlists cannot use the microSD card, but perhaps I’m wrong–I’m not a playlist guy.  I do know that the recorder can only use the internal memory, and so if you are going to use it at all, something to consider as to how much internal memory to get.  Personally, I like getting as much internal memory as possible–however, with the cost of capacious memory cards having come down, that may not be as important, now, as before. 

By the way, the price of the Clip at your link has changed yet again, and now is at $39.99.   :wink:

@miikerman wrote:

By the way, the price of the Clip at your link has changed yet again, and now is at $39.99.   :wink:

Yes however that is the Indigo model.  If you select the black model it is still $45.99

The red model is $37.95 and the blue is $39.99

Of course I wanted the Black model…  :wink:

If you’re willing to go refurb., $30.95 + $1 shipping via Newegg/BlueProton for an 8GB black refurb. Clip+, with a 4GB SanDisk flashdrive thrown in as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4641EU6534&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-_-pla-_-MP3+%2f+MP4+Players-_-9SIA4641EU6534&ef_id=U1xuVAAABCkZFk-g:20140427024124:s

If you really want to have playlists that hop between internal and external memory, one method is to use the alternative firmware called Rockbox, which will do that. 

Another is to use playlists in the .pla format rather than the usual .m3u format. 

http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/Sansa-Clip-Sansa-Clip/Using-Playlists-SD-Card-in-MSC-Mode/m-p/140735/highlight/true#M29096

As for price, Amazon fluctuates constantly. I got a refurb 4G there for $20. You can also look on eBay for refurbs–just check the seller’s reputation, obviously.  

Well now the price is $29.99 down from the $45.95…

so I grabbed it !

Anyway a few questions…

  1. Does the SDHC have to be a Class 4 Card as I’ve read or has that been addressed by firmware updates ? Also is the limit still 32MG ?

  2. Hopefully I won’t be hopping between internal and external SD Card memory for my playlists. Being ‘overly orderly’ I would like to keep all ‘bands’ and playlists in each ones own folder and make playlists of just that band. IE, Beatles in the Beatles folder, on the external SD Card and also containing its playlist. I’ve read (there’s A LOT of info out there !) that you can place the songs in their perspective folder ALONG WITH the playlist file keeping ALL in either the internal or external SD memory. Is this correct ? Or is there a better way ?

  3. Is there an mp3 setting that works best for the Clip+ ??? I just downloaded ‘TAudioConverter’ and it seems to default to encoding mode VBR (VBR: 1.92) . I looked at a test Wav file using Windows Explorer that I converted to mp3, it shows it at 187kbps … is this suitable ?

  4. Rockbox… we’ll save that for another day… :wink:

Thank you for your responses.

  1.  Doesn’t have to be any particular class, but some people have reported that cards of a particular class may be less buggy.  SDHC is limited to 32 GB by convention, but reformatting a 64GB card to FAT32 makes it an SDHC and it will work in basically any device.  You’ll still be limited to a few thousand files by the sandisk firmware though.

  2.  Hopefully any non-terrible MP3 encoder app is using the recommend LAME encoder settings for a given bitrate.  If you’re going to use a 32GB or larger card, I’d go with relatively higher bitrate VBR.  ~200kbps seems sensible. You’ll bump into the sandisk track limit before you run out of disk space.

I would avoid above speed Class 4 if possible–that’s where problems have been reported.

Many years ago, when I got my first MP3 player, I experimented with rip rates, to find (for me) a good spce/quality trade-off.   I ended up in the range you’re discussing–something like 192 kbps VBR with a 320kbps at the high end.  I’ve been happy with it.

Nice price grab. 

  1. You don’t need anything faster (or more expensive) than Class 4, and some people have sporadically reported problems with Class 10. 

There’s a limit on the size of the database the Clip can display. Depending on how many songs you cram on there, you might well hit that limit on 32GB, and I would guess that a full 64GB card would be way over.

It’s the number of characters in the database file, not  a fixed number of songs (more metadata per song, fewer songs). Might be frustrating to know the song is on there and you can’t see it. Rockbox solves this.

You also have to format a 64GB to FAT32–some versions of Windows don’t do that, but there is freeware that does. I believe people have used 64GB. But they may be Rockbox geeks. 

  1.  You can just play an album in order without even making a playlist. Iff you look at those .pla instructions I linked to, that is a more flexible playlist form that should be able to play everything from an external card.

Also, there is a Folders view under Music that is pretty much like what you would see on your desktop and would play in order by filename. If your albums are tagged right, you can also click on Album and it plays the songs in order by track number. 

  1. VBR is Variable Bitrate. The converter calculates how many bits per second it will need depending on the requirements of the music, so you might see 187 for one song and 229 for another. The Clip can handle VBR, and the difference in quality may not be perceptible through your headphones or listening conditions or ears. But with the size of available storage now, why not just go to the full 320 (CBR, constant bitrate). 

@black_rectangle wrote:

. But with the size of available storage now, why not just go to the full 320 (CBR, constant bitrate). 

For those of us wanting jukebox-sized storage, it still may not be enough . . . .:wink:

@black_rectangle wrote:

 

  1. VBR is Variable Bitrate. The converter calculates how many bits per second it will need depending on the requirements of the music, so you might see 187 for one song and 229 for another. The Clip can handle VBR, and the difference in quality may not be perceptible through your headphones or listening conditions or ears. But with the size of available storage now, why not just go to the full 320 (CBR, constant bitrate). 

You’ll end up wasting some of the player’s battery just copying zeros stuffed into the bitstream to hit a needlessly high bitrate.  Best to use high quality VBR and let the player set the frame size to whatever it needs to be.  No sense being inefficient, even if only a little.  

That’s what I’ve always liked about _ V _BR.

@miikerman wrote:

For those of us wanting jukebox-sized storage, it still may not be enough . . . .:wink:

Depends on the size of the jukebox you want. :stuck_out_tongue:

top secret–this is an advance image of the new Sansa pocket player:

@black_rectangle wrote:

top secret–this is an advance image of the new Sansa pocket player:

 

 

Does that come with an arm band ???

  1. To avoid problems I added a Kingston 32G class 4 sd card to my order from Amazon. (hope its not a china fake) .  Thanks for the heads up guys !

2.Black-Rectangle - There’s a limit on the size of the database the Clip can display. Depending on how many songs you cram on there, you might well hit that limit on 32GB, and I would guess that a full 64GB card would be way over.

 

_ It’s the number of characters in the database file, not  a fixed number of songs (more metadata per song, fewer songs). Might be frustrating to know the song is on there and you can’t see it. Rockbox solves this._

Please explain the limit of characters and metadata as opposed to songs…  I’m not clear on this.  

  1. I’ve seen where one can add a folder in Win7, right click and create playlists. Is this a good approach to this ?

  2. VBR vs CBR…  I made a few test mp3s from multiple styles in both VBR and CBR. I used the highest quality VBR and CBR at 320 . Played back to back I really couldn’t tell the difference. And I see Miikerman is satisfied with VBR at the high end. 

Miikerman -
Many years ago, when I got my first MP3 player, I experimented with rip rates, to find (for me) a good spce/quality trade-off.   I ended up in the range you’re discussing–something like 192 kbps VBR with a 320kbps at the high end.  I’ve been happy with it.

But that’s just my ears I suppose. And according to Saratoga I may save some battery usage.

saratoga - You’ll end up wasting some of the player’s battery just copying zeros stuffed into the bitstream to hit a needlessly high bitrate.  Best to use high quality VBR and let the player set the frame size to whatever it needs to be.  No sense being inefficient, even if only a little.

Thanks guys… 

  1. To avoid problems I added a Kingston 32G class 4 sd card to my order from Amazon. (hope its not a china fake) .  Thanks for the heads up guys !

2_.Black-Rectangle - There’s a limit on the size of the database the Clip can display. Depending on how many songs you cram on there, you might well hit that limit on 32GB, and I would guess that a full 64GB card would be way over._

It’s the number of characters in the database file, not  a fixed number of songs (more metadata per song, fewer songs). Might be frustrating to know the song is on there and you can’t see it. Rockbox solves this.

Please explain the limit of characters and metadata as opposed to songs…  I’m not clear on this. 

  1. I’ve seen where one can add a folder in Win7, right click and create playlists. Is this a good approach to this ?

  2. VBR vs CBR…  I made a few test mp3s from multiple styles in both VBR and CBR. I used the highest quality VBR and CBR at 320 . Played back to back I really couldn’t tell the difference. And I see Miikerman is satisfied with VBR at the high end.

 Miikerman -  Many years ago, when I got my first MP3 player, I experimented with rip rates, to find (for me) a good spce/quality trade-off.   I ended up in the range you’re discussing–something like 192 kbps VBR with a 320kbps at the high end.  I’ve been happy with it.

But that’s just my ears I suppose. And according to Saratoga I may save some battery usage.

 saratoga - You’ll end up wasting some of the player’s battery just copying zeros stuffed into the bitstream to hit a needlessly high bitrate.  Best to use high quality VBR and let the player set the frame size to whatever it needs to be.  No sense being inefficient, even if only a little.

Thanks guys…

You shouldn’t have to worry about fakes on Amazon. It’s eBay where things can get a little iffy. 

The database is like a document that can only have a certain number of characters and then cuts off. If your tags have more info in them–Electric Light Orchestra as Artist, instead of ELO–that’s more metadata, more characters.  Lots of longer tags mean that fewer of them will fit into the database. So it’s not an exact number of songs. 

Not sure I understand (3).  If you want to put a playlist of songs into a folder and then play the folder under Music/Folders, yes, you could do that.

Tags are very flexible and can be used all sorts of ways. You could also make a folder,  copy the songs into it, use mp3tag (free tag editing software) to decide the track order and change the Album title for those songs to My Playlist (or anything else).  I sometimes do this after I’ve seen a band–I copy the songs from the setlist into their own folder, open mp3tag and change the album names (since the songs are from various albums)  to Setlist.

Both of those methods involve making another copy of the song and placing it somewhere instead of having the player find the song in its original folder, which is what a playlist does. 

There is other music library software, like Media Monkey, that’s also good with playlists. The free version is fine–all you get with the paid version is mp3 ripping, which you can do with another program or tweak into the free Media Monkey. 

@black_rectangle wrote:

 

You shouldn’t have to worry about fakes on Amazon. It’s eBay where things can get a little iffy. 

 

The database is like a document that can only have a certain number of characters and then cuts off. If your tags have more info in them–Electric Light Orchestra as Artist, instead of ELO–that’s more metadata, more characters.  Lots of longer tags mean that fewer of them will fit into the database. So it’s not an exact number of songs. 

 

Not sure I understand (3).  If you want to put a playlist of songs into a folder and then play the folder under Music/Folders, yes, you could do that.

 

Tags are very flexible and can be used all sorts of ways. You could also make a folder,  copy the songs into it, use mp3tag (free tag editing software) to decide the track order and change the Album title for those songs to My Playlist (or anything else).  I sometimes do this after I’ve seen a band–I copy the songs from the setlist into their own folder, open mp3tag and change the album names (since the songs are from various albums)  to Setlist.

 

Both of those methods involve making another copy of the song and placing it somewhere instead of having the player find the song in its original folder, which is what a playlist does. 

 

There is other music library software, like Media Monkey, that’s also good with playlists. The free version is fine–all you get with the paid version is mp3 ripping, which you can do with another program or tweak into the free Media Monkey. 

Thanks for the database character limitation info, I think you definitely saved me hours of renaming files !!

  1. I was referring to this…  there are slight variations of this on numerous forums. (not quite sure if this actually works or is a practical approach though)

Connect the MP3 player with the USB connector
    Go to My Computer and open Sansa Clip folder
    Go to the Music Folder
    In the Music Folder, right click and make a New Folder and name it.
    Copy and paste all the songs you want to be in a playlist into the New Folder.
    Right click the New Folder with the songs you just dropped in and click on Make Playlist
    Name the Playlist
    Disconnect the MP3 player

I’ve downloaded Media Monkey and will give it a try when my Clip+ arrives.

Thanks…  !