Can Sansa do it?

I’m looking for an MP3 player, and all I seem to be doing is crossing various popular players off my list (iPod, Zune, Creative…). Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • The ability to store *anything* on the device, like an ordinary flash drive. This is a big deal to me.
  • Just play MP3’s. No need for DRM-enabled junk.
  • Windows XP *and* 2000 compatibility (Microsoft can just eat Vista). Yes, I still run 2000.
  • As little software as possible. Ideally the device would just look like an extra drive in Windows Explorer (again, like a flash drive). Requiring iTunes or Windows Media Player is just dumb.
  • The following would be nice features; AVI video (ok, a *very* nice feature), FM tuner, Linux (specifically Ubuntu) compatibility.

So… can Sansa do that?


I have had my e260 for more than one year… and yeah, the sansa can do that.

When set to USB mass storage mode, you can store anything you want.

You can play straight MP3s all day, and use DRM protected stuff too.

USB mass storage mode will work on almost any OS, the MSC mode (mediaplayer mode) will only show up in XP, Vista and other recent OSs.  I’m no Mac guy, so I don’t know.  You don’t need a music service.

FM-tuner and video - check and check.

Happy hunting.

The Sansa Clip with the latest firmware shows up like a hard drive, in MSC mode…  Works with XP and 2000, and any other OS that can handle mass-storage mode.  It shows up as a drive letter.  And it’s a nice sounding, compact player that makes the iPod Shuffle look like a toy.

Just an FYI, almost all MP3 players will handle “regular” MP3 files, and no one requires you to use WMA or AAC (DRM protected files)…

I have an E-series and love it.

-win2000 might be a no-go, (not sure but on the forums I’ve read of problems)

-There are quite a few Ubuntu users but you’d have to read the forums, I’m not sure if they are successful

One of the player’s best features is the drive letter and drag/drop. NO SOFTWARE NEEDED on XP or newer!!! 

You get the internal memory (2-8gig depending on model) PLUS the MicroSD cards show up as a different drive letter- 1-2gig for the e2XX Version1 and you can use the 1-8gig MicroSDHC cards on the e2XX Version2 players. (The only way to tell is by opening the box and looking at the back of the player- v1’s just give the model#, v2 is printed on the 2nd versions…)

The video part is a little annoying- you have to convert vids to .mov format, with “free software” which misses as much as it hits.  I’ve read that Arcsofts’ Media Converter ($30US) is the way to go, I haven’t tried it yet.

FM Tuner (and recorder!) works great,  along with the voice recorder.

Battery life is great, accessories are cheap but “docks” aren’t as widely available…

AND, Rockbox is available on the v1 players. Adds games, other features, choice of skins on the GUI, plugin capabilities, etc…

Sansa, the good the bad and the ugly.

Good mass storaqe is simple as well as the general controls. sound quality an radio are great. That about it.

 The bad- no ability to make but one play list, The go List.   Thre is no  bookmark feature, I use Overdrive Media to listen to books, but can’t return to where I left off. Duh.  When I drag and drop mp3 files into the sansa that do not have artist and album in the code, I cant find them to play them, there is no browser of file structure to look through. Your choice is either artist or album or rating. Take a look at the I audio  products-  file structure to find anything, bookmarks high speed fast forward settings, many many codex formats Ogg flax, wma ACC MP3 mp4, andabout 10 more

the Rock box is  a software overlay. the sanse e200series can be booted in  sansa or rock box.  Its not hard but not easy iether- I’m done it. first you download the roxbox directory into the player in the  MSC mode -just  drag and drop it in to the root directory any other file. they you have to do a flash software install to the fixed chip memory. the sansa will then boot to the rock box software that is capable of doing just about anything including bookmarks, file sturcture, games alarm clock ,etc.  But you’ll need to down load the seperate fonts file, the Jpeg viewer files and a lot of additional plugins to see pictures and video.  rock box is an open source software that is constlany being changes and not totally free of bugs.

Just playing music on the sansa is a pain, Example-  I have 10 random  Xmas songs in a file on my computer- so I use window Medai player 11 to transfer to sansa. So can I find this folder -NO becasue the album and artist list is diferent for each song.  The work around was dump out of WMP11 and open Realplayer which allows you to chage the artist or album name as a group- I called the album “Christmas” and transfered to sansa again this time sansa could “see” the file becasue it was catagorizedby album.  I could have gone to  the “song list” option  and scrolled through 500 songs and manualy picked then out  the 10 to add the one song list " “GoList”  that snasa supports.

Another Peeve with Sansa you can’t delete anything but voice recordings.   SANSA PLEASE GET TO WORK ON YOUR PRODUCT -i’m giong to return my unit and get something that is more capable.  The fact that I can’t just drop in music and  find it so I can listen to it is nuts. If rock box cna add hundreds of apps and controls than Sanssa could if they wanted.