AAC issue - software problem or defective hardware?!

I tested several newly purchaced non-DRM iTunes-AAC-Files on my new Clip Zip and got the same issue during the playback of the most files:

After few seconds (maybe about a minute) the sound gets distorted, off-key and begins stuttering. By pressin play / pause - the sound switches to normal - and then begins stuttering after another few seconds…

So a single question: Is this a known firmware issue and will be fixed hopefully soon or should i return my Clip Zip?


Do you know the bitrate for the files?  Reports are that high bitrate aac files (e.g. 320 kbps) can be problematic.

Also, USB MSC mode, rather than MTP or Auto, can fix issues that develop with file transfer. 

Tried all 3 different transfer setting with the same result - the same issue. The purchased files have the standard 256 kBit/s biterate.

Do you have any further hints to solve the problem? Any users with the same experience listening to iTunes purchased files??

Thanks so far!

Have you, by any chance, formatted the device from the computer (format operation done from the PC while connected)?

Be sure that you have backup copies of your music currently on the device first.

On the device, use the built-in format function found at Settings > System Settings > Format > Yes.  This will initiate a memory formatting with the proper cluster size allocation of 32kb.  If formatted from the computer, it is possible that the device was formatted with 4kb clusters.  This makes for a huge file allocation table (FAT), that the player must address when opening your individual music files.  If it is busy pulling those teeny clusters, processor overhead can cause a stuttering like you describe.

After formatting, you’ll have a clean internal memory; reload some music and see if they play back normally.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

The Sandisk AAC decoder seems quite fragile. The rockbox decoder is more robust, but the Clip Zip port is still a little rough around the edges at the moment. You might want to just stick to MP3 until Sandisk comes out with a firmware update.

It may be possible that it does not support " AAC " format. Please try with other sound format.If other musics play well with different format then it is true that it does not support " AAC " format.

@nayan007 wrote:

It may be possible that it does not support " AAC " format. Please try with other sound format.If other musics play well with different format then it is true that it does not support " AAC " format.

The Clip Zip indeed, as a general matter, supports the aac format.  But, unfortunately, there are some glitches with some encoders, as well as some other issues.

I experienced the same issue with a purchased iTunes song.  I tried deleting the song from the Clip Zip several times and retransferring.  The song messed up in the same exact position every time.  I have not tried changing the USB mode.

In contrast, this same song plays perfectly on my computer and smartphone.

I fixed it by transcoding it into MP3 320kbps.  I know, that’s not solving the root cause, but it made the song play correctly.

Thanks, Bob! :smileyvery-happy: No, i did’nt format the Clip Zip from an external device. And yes, i even tried to re-format it from the Sansa’s menu. The issue stays the same.

The Clip Zip could be the solution for people who like the playback their iTunes purchased files on a good sounding device. I think Sansa gambles away their chances with an - seemingly - not stable working AAC-decoder. 

In simple words: The Zip could be a perfect Shuffle / Nano alternative.

Hopefully a new firmware will come soon…

And no, i think - Transcoding it’s not the solution. :wink:

I got the same issue with my acc files, and these files works well on my psp.

And sadly the new firmware .17 does not fix this problem,so I have to wait till rockbox firmware comes out.

the issue here is when the backlght times out hi bit rate aac files will become distorted. sandisk is apparently aware of the issue and is working on a fix for the next firmware release. for now the only work around is to reencode the files at a lower bitrate. 

Thanks for the lot of feedback in this thread! Seemingly its not just me, who’s affected of this issue. Hope Sandisk will find a fix…

*now to twiddling thumbs*  :smiley: