Clip playlist woes and MTP crashing PC

OK, just got an 8GB Clip.  Nice bit of kit, especially for the price.  But it completely fails to sync playlists.  Songs *in* the playlists, sure - every song ends up on the Clip fine.  But the playlists themselves - nope.  So my heavy metal, jazz, West African dance, English folk and power-pop (yes, really :slight_smile: are all shuffled together.  Which sometimes is nice, but not when you’re wanting the Clip to provide background music at a heavy metal/jazz/African event!

I’ve updated the firmware to the latest-and-greatest.  No joy.

Hitting Google for self-help, I found some advice to set the Clip to MTP mode, because people thought MSC mode didn’t do playlists.  OK, I tried that.  The result there is that Media Player doesn’t recognise the Clip, and then the entire PC crashes hard.  Not just a “We’re sorry, this program has died” message - full crash, back to POST.  Nice.

I’ve also tried formatting and resyncing everything.  No luck there either.

So does anyone know how I’d do this?

(BTW, PC is running SP3 WinXP with full latest updates, and WMP11.)

An update on this, after a whole bunch of looking on the web.  M3U playlists work, after a fashion, so that’s progress.

The big problem seems to be that the Clip (and apparently other Sansa players) can only handle playlists for files if the music files and the playlist files are in the root directory.  Got files in your “MUSIC” directory on the Clip? no playlists for you, then.  At least for M3U playlists anyway.  You also need to modify the M3U files so that any initial “” character in the file name of each music file in the playlist is removed.

I’ve not tried transferring WMP’s “.pla” format playlists across, but WMP simply didn’t put playlist files on the Clip at all, anywhere, full stop.  It may be that the “.pla” files will work once they’re on the Clip, but WMP won’t put them on there, and the “.pla” format is more complicated than M3U, so I’m not sure about writing PLA playlists from scratch in Notepad.  Winamp will sync and create M3U playlists for you, although you do then need to edit them and do a search-and-replace for the initial “” in the filenames.

All a bit of a mess really.  I do now have playlists that’ll play though, so that’s a result.  It’d be really nice if future firmware releases sorted out playlists though!

OK, I’ve just done what I probably should have done before, which is a search on the forum too (not just on Google). There’s a few threads saying about absolute paths not supported. That’s a valid point, hence the initial “” in the playlist not working.  But even relative paths don’t work - if you put your music files in MUSIC and the playlist in the root, and your playlist then says “MUSIC\filename.mp3”, you lose.  Previous posters have asked, “Please can you support absolute paths in playlists?”  I’d change that to “Please can you support *ANY* paths in playlists?”  Because at the moment it doesn’t, at all, as far as I can see.

Sansa support guys, any idea when proper playlist support will be done?  A thread back in Nov 2008 said “early next year”.  We’re pretty well into the next year now, so with a bit of luck it might be sometime in the near future.  Any clues on dates?

There’s some nice articles in your knowledge base about playlists.  Unfortunately they’re not really much use.  The knowledge base article saying “Create an empty M3U file on your Clip and fill in the details in Notepad” is 100% accurate - and 99% useless, given that virtually all users just want to sync an existing playlist from their PC to their MP3 player.

Also the knowledge base article about transferring WMP playlists to your Clip has the slight disadvantage that it requires MTP.  Since the Clip crashes my PC whenever I connect it in MTP mode, this is a non-starter.  Has anyone else ever seen this happen?  And is there a fix for it (apart from running in MSC mode all the time)?


PS. I hope I’m not being harsh here.  Just a bit ratty after a late night wrestling with my new toy. :-/  It really is a good bit of kit and I like it a lot, but it does seem to have a few dirty little secrets which I wasn’t expecting in a product that’s been on the market for over 3 years.

Message Edited by grab on 04-21-2009 04:58 AM

Hi Grab,

I had some difficulties with my playlists and I found a way to do make them work with my music files in the MUSIC folder. I found out that using xm player worked perfectly well. All I had to do was to add all my music in XM players library and whenever I created and saved a playlist from it to the MUSIC folder, it would work once I turned my player on. The best with this solution is that you don’t need to install xm-player since you download it as a zip file. you just create a folder on the ROOT folder of your clip, copy the executable and it’s “friend files” in and whenever you need to create a playlist, you just have to connect your player on your computer turn xm player on, create it and save it.

I hope it will help you. 

Here is a nice thread to create m3u playlist automatically for you.