Clip Zip playlists question!

Hi there,

Just ordered my Clip Zlip to replace my Clip+  because I like having a bigger/colour screen.

I plan on using Windows Explorer to drag and drop my music to the Micro SD card… I have no desire to use a program to sync it as I use a shared computer and all my music is backed up on an external HD.

So with all the music in my Micro SD… how can I manage playlists? Can I use a 3rd Party program to create playlists for ther music on my MicroSD?

What format of playlist does the Clip ZIpread and what programs will let me view the contents of my MicroSD and create playlists for them? 

(if I can mix and match content from the itnernal memory too that’s a bonus but I use a 32gb card so not really an issue)


Creatiing playlists with Winamp


I’ve tried your method and it should work. I am using foobar2000 but the logic is sitll the same: In mass storage mode, copy music files to the storage card. Using Windows exporer, paste the desired files from the storage card into a new playlist in foobar2000. Save that playlist in m3u format to the root of the storage card.

It all works as planned. The playlist is created. I can see it in the root of my storage card in Windows explorer. I can also open the m3u file in my text editor and I see that the paths are correct.

BUT… when I disconnect the Clip Zip from my computer the playlist is not there… all I see is the GoList.

I don’t understand why it is so freaking difficult to accompish what should be a simple operation.

BTW, I originally tried using WMP to sync my flac files to the Clip Zip and ran into an error where Win7 64 says that the player does not support flac… which is also BS since I can play my flacs either on my computer (even with WMP) and I can play my flacs on my Clip Zip.

What I can’t do is manage a simple playlist.


Any pointers?

PS - I’ve also tried this method with just mp3 files and have the same result.

UPDATE: I even tried going back to MTP mode and use WMP to sync MP3s following the user’s guide … even then there is NO playlist on this device. I just bought this thing and I am about ready to return it already.

Your playlists cannot reside in the root directory.

Try transferring your m3u playlists to the Playlists folder and see if the player recognizes them.  To address both the internal memory and microSd card, be sure that the path is correct!  M3U lists are path-specific.

As I use the devices in MTP mode, the pla format lists work across either memory venue, regardless of path (one of the handiest things about MTP!)  With a little patience, you should be OK in MSC.  Both the internal, and microSD card, have a playlist folder.

Bob  :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the reply, Bob.

I do not see a playlist folder in MSC mode on either the main memory or the microSD card, though. Should there be a playlsit folder off the root of each?.

“I don’t understand why it is so freaking difficult to accompish what should be a simple operation.”

Playlists aren’t simple. Many to avoid them with creative use of the genre tag, album tag, and track number tag, and creative folder use(then using the folders submenu). There is one simple playlist which the player has, which is the go list. It can hold up to 200 songs, and you can add a whole album or artist at a time. The nice thing about the golist is that it is set up on the player itself.

Aside from the complexities of playlists, I hate having to set them up in advance via the pc.

On anything I have ever used (software or hardware) playlists are very simple.

It’s just a text file with a list of files to play, FCOL. I can’t even get a playlist file to show up on this device and it is bugging the hell out of me. I have read many posts about playlist problems and different people have different results with different methods. This tells me that either this player is downright strange or people don’t understand the ideas. I completely underrstand the ideas.

This player is strange.

If I had known about this problem in advance then I would not have bought this player.

I am so frustrated with it that I am about to throw it in the garbage.

Try putting your .m3u playlist file in the Music folder, not the root.

FYI, an .m3u playlist cannot contain tracks from both memory sources (internal and external card), only one or the other. For a playlist to span both memory locations you need a .pla format playlist, which you would then put in the Playlist folder on your player as Bob advised.

@tapeworm wrote:

Try putting your .m3u playlist file in the Music folder, not the root.


FYI, an .m3u playlist cannot contain tracks from both memory sources (internal and external card), only one or the other. For a playlist to span both memory locations you need a .pla format playlist, which you would then put in the Playlist folder on your player as Bob advised.

I’ve tried putting it in the root directory, in the Music directory, and in a directory I created called “Playlists” … it does not show up when I disconnect the player from the computer. It’s there when I hook it up to my computer and the file has the correct path to the music files on the player. I’ve tried modifying the paths using a leading backslash. In the music folder I tried it with normal relative paths and with a leaing "…"

The file is not shown on the player from its own menu, but, like I said… the file is THERE on the flash card and it is in the proper format – but it is nowhere to be fouind when I try to use the player. I’ve also tried creating a playlist in the main memory of the player, too. Same results. I shortened the name of the playlist to the old DOS convention of less tha 8 chararcters before the m3u extension. I am about to give up on this thing. It’s psychotic.

At the end of the rope, here.

Where can I find info on the pla file format? I can try that route. This route is a dead end.

Try this, but you have to create and move all the playlists at the same time. Otherwise, each time you add new playlists to the music folder on the internal memory the old lists will be zeroed out.

The problem is with the firmware

I am able to create playlists with firmware 01.01.12

No luck with 01.01.17 or 01.01.18

bkdotcom wrote:

The problem is with the firmware


Edit: I’ve done some further research and can confirm there seems to be issues with playlists with any firmware other than 01.01.12. Even though with the latest 01.01.18 f/w version my playlists did show up and play, it seems those were created back when the player was new and with the original firmware.


Any that I try to create (using my same procedure) with any newer firmware version do not appear until I revert back to the .12 update. Then they are all there. Very strange indeed.


Will pass this along to the dev. team and hopefully they can fix whatever is broken.


Kudos to bkdotcom for catching this. :smiley:

@tapeworm wrote:

Poppycock! How is it my Zip with the latest firmware has no trouble readiing & playing .m3u playlists yet yours does?

I’ve heard this on the other forum as well, from several people, that they cannot get the m3u playlists to work…what exactly is your method that works, so I can link them to a solution? (asides from my solution of not using playlists…lol)


I downloaded the Rockbox installer, but it doesn’t recognize my Clip Zip. Do you happen to know where to find instructions on installing Rockbox for Clip Zip 4GB manually?

@runandwrite wrote:



I downloaded the Rockbox installer, but it doesn’t recognize my Clip Zip. Do you happen to know where to find instructions on installing Rockbox for Clip Zip 4GB manually?

I use playlists almost exclusively for my various activities. When my fuze battery died I ordered this CLIP Zip and received it 2 days ago. As reported by numerous other users, the playlist method of organizing music does not work. I’m using the same WMP method i did with my old fuze, but only the songs are sync’ed, NOT the playlist they are supposed to be in.

I’ve tried firmware 18 and back to 12 but no dice with either one.

Is it too difficult for sansa to provide the same interface with WMP as they already did with the old fuze ?  How about at least an acknowlegement by the company that they know this is a problem and when they expect the firmware to provide a solution ?

This device is useless to me without playlists. I’m getting ready to send this back and flame it on every comment site i can find. The price difference between this and a Nano has already been overshadowed by the hours of time and aggravation this has caused me.

Hello Sansa, are you there ? 

I have to second this - looking at the latest patches, why are we getting stopwatch tweaks (does anyone really use that, except maybe to time how long you have to spend Google-diving to find a workable solution to the problem of the disappearing playlists) and non-functional playlist management?

Sansa hardware is great but the software/firmware stinks of hoopty and has for some time. Please spray a little Axe on this thing by putting back FUNCTIONAL custom playlists.

Not where I have to go on a Google hunt, or give my poor CZ a hobby-kit OS, or play Raiders of the Lost Firmware (reverting back to .12 firmware made my saved playlists reappear), but just a simple, functional program that can let me easily distill my music collection into a few tight playlists. Something like a Songbird that worked, or Mp3Tag that worked on iTunes libraries, or a Winamp plugin with the musical title “Send playlist to Sansa”.

Really, if you did that, well, Apple would still be $475/share but your customers would be happier and spend more time evangelizing for you than ripping on you.

Creating playlists really should not be made this difficult. After reading through the forums, I decided the best approach was to create a .pla format playlist using Windows Explorer.  And it can be created but isn’t persistent. All the entries referencing external memory get zapped once you reconnect via USB and reference the device in any way (Windows Explorer, WMP 12, Winamp, etc.)

I’ve created Playlists in my new Clip Zip from songs in my internal memory and my external microsdhc card. I did this via Windows Explorer by creating a new playlist in the internal playlist folder, and dragged and dropped them to the new playlist (it is .pla format). I was then able to disconnect from my computer, and was successful in playing the playlist, accessing songs from both internal memory and the external card. I even powered the Clip Zip down and turned it back on to ensure persistance (and it still worked).

Upon reconnection to my computer, the Clip Zip somehow modified the playlist and deleted ALL entries from the external card. I tried again, with the same results (edited the playlist, disconnected, worked successfully, reconnected, Clip Zip zapped the entries). 

I did it again, this time creating copies of the playlist in the playlist AND root folders of the internal memory. Tested again with the same results. ALL .pla files had the external memory songs deleted!

I can reconnect for charging, but that’s it.

I tried going to 01.01.12, but that didn’t appear to work for me either.  

I even tried a playlist with just external memory songs, but when I reconnect, the .pla file is gone, replaced with .pla.ofn, .pla.ref. .pla.sid files, as well as a file with Chinese characters in the name. 

SanDisk support tells me the you cannot combine songs from both internal/external memory, other than the Go List.  but as I said, I was able to do it, it’s just that the Clip undoes it.   So I guess SanDisk recognizes this is a problem - they just don’t want to fix it.  To me, this would appear to be a basic function.  And external memory should be treated no differently than internal memory.  I would never had allow that software out of test if I managed the release!

The response I didn’t want to see from SanDisk:

As mentioned in our previous email, I would again like to inform you that you can save songs to the external memory of your sansa clip zip player and play them as well. However, Incase you create playlist in the external memory of your Sansa player, The playlist will disappear every time its database is refreshed.

Maybe this is the reason that you can create the playlist in the external memory and play them for a while. However, when you reconnect your Sansa player to the computer, its refreshes its database and detects the playlist in the external memory and automatically modify or delete them.

But my question back is why?   I guess they figure “it’s not a bug - it’s a feature”.  

One thing which I can’t get across to them is that the playlists in internal memory (and references external songs) get the external memory entries zapped (it doesn’t zap the entire playlist).  Must be the language barrier. 

Doesn’t this sound like something that should be easily solved? (I know it can, as I lead multiple development projects utilizing global resources over my 30 yr career).

This is one of many reasons the alternative Rockbox firmware is so popular…there is a bit of a learning curve, but the full potential of these players’ excellent hardware is realized.:wink: