1st off let me start by saying I love my Clip Zip (CZ). It is a great alternative to the iPod for those of us that want a simple MP3 player that is small and convenient. 2nd I want to thank GPH so much for posting the same problem I had with my CZ and for posting your research to support your findings. I searched the Internet like crazy trying to find out what the problem was with my CZ and why I couldn’t load my music. My thoughts went from a bad memory card to a bad CZ player. Luckily I also got my wife a CZ the same time I ordered mine and tested hers and still had the same problem. Finally I stumbled upon your post with similar results to my own. Thank you again.
I took the research a step further and reviewed my music using Mp3tag v2.49. You stated that the CZ doesn’t play AAC format files even though it was stated by SanDisk. I checked the Codec tags of my music and saw that about half of it was in AAC iTunes version “X”, where X would be whatever version of iTunes I had at the time that converted my music to AAC format as I added music to my iTunes library. I used iTunes back in the day when I had an iPod but no longer rely on that as my MP3 player since I found my CZ.
I also checked the tags in Windows for my music. I saw the same result where half of my music was in MP3 the other in AAC but one thing I also noticed was that some were M4P or protected music I had in my library. I had about 20 to 30 songs that I either got from iTunes or from CDs ripped. I forgot to rip those CDs to MP3 format instead of ripping them on the default setting of M4P.
I took my MicroSD card out of my CZ and put it back into my PC. I did a search for M4P music on my SD card and found that 20 – 30 tracks from different artist were in M4P format and AAC tagged. I removed all M4P music from that card and reinserted the card into my CZ. The card finally loaded on my CZ and my music played without any issues. It took about 3 mins to load or so b/c I have a 32GB card of which 20GB is full of music. Those files are still in AAC format on the card but the M4P music was removed. Since the music is protected I don’t think the SanDisk can play it and doesn’t know what to do with the files as it tries to refresh its media causing the player to freeze and then crash prompting a reboot. Try checking your internal and external storage for any M4P or protected music. If you find any of these files try to remove them from your card 1st and try reinserting your card back into your CZ to see if there is a different result. If successful try adding the rest of your unprotected AAC music to your card and see if it will load your music again.
If you bought any music from the iTunes store I can almost guarantee you that it is protected and Apple will not authorize you to play this music on any other device except your authorized iPod or other authorized equipment such as an iPad, iPhone etc.
With the M4P music I had problems playing it on iTunes (b/c some of that music I got from a friend’s library and they would need to log in to my iTunes account to play it), Winamp, Zune and Windows Media player.
There are ways around this. You can take the music on your PC that is M4P and use software to convert it to MP3 or you can burn your M4P music to a CD then recopy that burned music in MP3 format back on your PC.
Lastly, if you don’t want any of your music in AAC format you can use iTunes to convert your current unprotected AAC format music from AAC to MP3. iTunes will just make a 2nd copy keeping the original AAC but adding a MP3 copy as well. Careful for you can double the size of you library so make sure you have the space to do this. Also always have a backup in case something goes wrong before you start that process.
Hope this helps.