Backing up PLA playlists?

Does anyone have a way to backup the PLA playlists created in explorer in MTP mode? I’m referring to the lists where you browse in explorer, right click some songs, select “create playlist” then drag other songs to it and move it to the music folder.

These are the best and easiest playlists but after spending several hours making a few I realized that if this thing crashes again, I’m going to have to rebuild them all. 

If you copy one of them to the hard drive on the computer, the file is just an empty file. If you attempt to copy such a file back, it isn’t recognized as a PLA playlist file and gives you the dialog box asking which program to open with. 

I can see the playlists in WMP but even there they just appear to be empty playlists with no way to manage them. 

All I want is a way to copy the files to another drive and preserve the data. Any ideas?

I’ve never done the playlisting mechanism you’ve been using, but…how about searching your computer (and the connected Clip) for .pla files? They’ve got to be sitting somewhere. 

I don’t mean to sound rude, but did you even read my post? I can see the files fine. I can even copy them elsewhere. But when they are copied elsewhere, they are just a blank, zero byte file. Then when copied back to the player, they aren’t recognized as playlists.

After doing a little research, it seems .pla are binary files, and appear as 0kb.  And they can’t just be copied–they have to be synched. I didn’t find a good explanation, but it seems that they have to be re-created on whatever device they are controlling. 

If you set Windows Media Player to make .m3u playlists instead, you’ll get a very readable, portable text list. The drawback is that .m3u can only control one drive at a time–you can play folders from the external card if the .m3u is on the card, or from the internal memory if it’s in the Music folder there, but you can’t hop back and forth. 

Not sure if I understand you correctly. Are you using WMP to manage your playlist? Here’s a link to Export playlist. It’s the same priniciple in backing up.

That makes .asx playlists, which work within Windows Media Player. Sansas don’t play  .asx playlists, only .pla (generated out of WMP, have to be synched to each device) or .m3u.  

OK, folks. So here’s the deal…I use these playlists because they can pull from both the internal and extended memory at the same time. There is no other way to do this. And they can’t be built in WMP. Windows Explorer in MTP mode is the only way to make a playlist that reliably pulls from both drives. 

BUT I did find a solution. I have two of these sansa clips. One is a clip+ and the other an old regular clip. I simply connected both to the PC in MTP mode and copied the playlists from the clip+ that I usually use to the clip that I generally just use when cutting grass and such. Worked like a charm. Not only are the playlists still there, but when the media refreshed on the regular clip with the backed up PLA files, the music that happened to be on the player fell right into the playlists and works perfectly fine. 

The only problem is that if the music isn’t located at all on the other player, it gets stripped from the playlist. Since this is an older clip with only 4GB I just went to Amazon and bought a new 4GB clip+ and 16GB card just like what I have now and it was only $43 total for both shipped. Definitely worth it considering the time I’ve put into building these playlists. Now when it gets here I’ll just copy and paste everything from the this clip+ to the new one and keep the old one as the backup. My battery life was getting kind of crappy anyways. 

@kevinfreels wrote:

  Windows Explorer in MTP mode is the only way to make a playlist that reliably pulls from both drives. 



Actually, this is not true. You can create an .m3u format playlist and then use a converter program to change it to .pla. I’ve done it many times. And I only use MSC mode, not MTP.