Never had a MP3 but I’ve almost talked myself into one to get away from satellite radio. Some days I like to listen to rock, some days country, some days blues etc. can I place the songs in a “group” and just play those songs in that specific group when I’m in the mood and maybe play from all “groups” on a random pick on other days? If it will do that then I’m sold.
Yeah, you can tag each song with a genre.
As mentioned, most songs have a genre tag and you can choose to play songs only from within a particular genre if you like. But this is information encoded into the mp3 file. Another way to accomplish this is to make custom playlists. Playlists have several advantages: playlists are easy to edit; the same song can be in multiple playlists (such as ‘acoustic’ and ‘jazz’ or whatever); you can make playlists based on whatever category you like; you can set the order to play songs within the playlist; etc.
The ‘groups’ are called genres (john_ra) and yes, you can play by this sorting method. The Sansas read the info in the ID3tags which are embedded in the song files. Information like artist, album, title, genre, etc. is stored here. They don’t read a typical file hierarchy. The files will still be ‘stored’ this way on the device, but the Sansa will ‘read’ the tags, not the folders.
So you can change genres as your mood dictates, or you can set it on shuffle and hit ‘Play All’ and get a mix of whatever is on your player. It’s kinda like the radio, but w/o commercials. Or maybe Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, " You never know what you’re going to get!"