E280 MTP won't install Driver. Can't see Playlists on Sansa filled by MSC. Win 7 Ult 64bit.

Hello fellow Sansa users.

This is very frustrating. I have read several other posts which appear to cover this ground (and seem to provide a confusing multitude of possible solutions). However I have noticed senior forum members suggesting that users post their particular problem in a new post rather than adding to an existing similar one. So that’s what I’m doing.

My Sansa has the latest firmware - version 01.02.24E, my operating system is Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, my current music manager is Media Monkey (MM), my media is a mixture of wma and mp3 files which are kept on an external hard drive (which I am careful to ensure always mounts with same drive letter). I use the free version of MM which I now use in preference to Musicmatch [MMt] because much as I like MMt it is no longer supported.  I still think the last pre-Yahoo incarnation of MMt is the best music manager I have come across - I bought the lifetime license, however, as that license is now of dubious value it has made me reluctant to upgrade to the pro-version of MM.

So, to return to the problem/s. The way I manage my music is to tag extensively and then create lists of songs by filtering the db using the tags and then creating playlists based upon the filtered views of the db (I’ll select all the songs I want with the db filtered and sorted and then right click and create a new or overwrite an existing m3u file. In the past I was able with MMt to then sync to the Sansa in MTP mode (this is back in XP times). I would transfer all the music I liked (everything I had rated 3 stars or more) as a single playlist, other numerous playlists would then transfer drawing on the same files to create other playlists available on the Sansa (i.e. the same song could appear in multiple playlists but the song itself is on the Sansa only once). This seemed to work fine. However after a period of using my Sansa in “play all/shuffle” mode I thought I’d play a specific list and discovered to my horror that they had all disappeared. I have now connected and reconnected my Sansa to the PC multiple times in both MTP mode (the drivers for which never installed despite numerous attempted fixes suggested here and elsewhere) and in MSC mode - which does work - but with the limitations I am seeking a solution for.

So, having discovered that my playlists were no longer available on the Sansa and knowing that my master collection has now expanded I have decided it’s time to reload my Sansa complete with my 30 or so playlists, however, as my subject line indicates, I cannot get it to work in my current setup.

  • MTP drivers will not load so cannot use the mode at all.
  • MSC works and I can use playlists to transfer songs to the Sansa, and I can see (in Windows Explorer or MM with the Sansa connected) that the playlists themselves are on the Sansa, however, when I disconnect the Sansa from my pc and after it has rebooted and refreshed the db, the songs are all there but the playlists aren’t.

I am aware that one possible approach is to reformat the Sansa (as the connections/reconnections in various modes may have confused or corrupted it somewhat)and start again from scratch. However I am reluctant to do this as it is not clear to me how I prevent it becoming nothing more than a generic 8gb storage medium brick - that is, it’s not clear to me whether or not reformatting the Sansa (in Windows Explorer) will wipe the firmware. If it does, how do I reinstall it? I have Sansa’s Updater Utility but I’m concerned that if the Sansa is reformatted it won’t look like a Sansa E280 to the updating utility anymore. If it doesn’t wipe the firmware, well then I guess all should be well, but, it’s not clear to me what happens when reformatting. Can someone explain this process, with reference to the E280, to me?

Is there a solution to these problems?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Is anyone out there?

I’ve made some progress but not all that I’d like. I have still not reformatted the Sansa - instead, while connected in MSC mode, (MTP doesn’t work at all - see my first post) I used windows explorer to delete all the music, playlists and album data. A couple of artist/folders would not delete - I’ve no idea why as they seem the same as all the others -both are from ripped cd source.

I then resynced in MM ticking most of the playlists showing under “imported m3u” files but nothing else. My principal m3u playlist is one called “all three star plus” and is just that. It’s all the songs in my library I have rated 3 stars or more (actually I don’t bother rating them in detail, they are either 3 stars - I like them, or one-star, I don’t). I then have numerous other playlists using some of the songs in the “all three star plus” list based on other criteria I have entered (e.g. genre, tempo, situation, etc etc). In this way I know that every song I like is on the Sansa (subject to it’s capacity- though I get my “all three star plus”, about 2,500 songs, on it with about 400mb of space still available). I am happy with this way of building playlists as it is very flexible and not too tedious (once all the tagging is done). So far so good. Syncing from MM in MSC mode then appears to transfer all the songs and the playlists (in m3u format) to the Sansa.

On another forum I have now found what seems to be neat utility to convert m3u files to pla files (i.e. files that the Sansa can read and display in under it’s Playlists menu). I found it here, http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=537&highlight=tbafromca . Hooray, this seemed to work and was reasonably straighforward (would be even more straightforward if the Sansa recognised m3u though… :cry:).

Here’s the rub. Although this process now appears to transfer all my music to the Sansa and browsing the Sansa in MM confirms that it all appears to be there along with the playlists, moreover, browsing the Sansa in windows explorer also indicates that everything is there- all 2.5k songs and the lists (now in m3a and pla formats). Success, you might think.

Well, I disconnected the Sansa, it reboots and refreshes it’s db. Great I can see playlists - all of them. Oh, not so great, why are only 650 or so, of the 2,500 tracks transferred, visible on the Sansa? Looking at what is and is not available on the Sansa (remember, looking in MM or Win explorer it all seems to be there) doesn’t offer any obvious explanation. My library is a mixture of ripped CD’s, some tracks bought online with DRM (only 200 or so from Virgin online), some bought online without DRM (though from sites such as mp3fiesta). None of my library is peer to peer downloaded - I’m far too nervous to do that. So far as I can tell what is not visible/available directly on the Sansa has no relationship to the source of the material.

So, why isn’t all my stuff available directly on the Sansa - even though when connected, MSC, and looked at through MM or Windows explorer everything appears to be on it? The last conundrum is that although the Sansa says it only has 650 or so of my songs (settings - info - I use 64bit so 650 songs might be 2gb or so) it also says that it only has 400mb or so of free space out of an available 7.5gb or so. That indicates to me that the songs are all there but for some reason the Sansa can’t see them.

Advice and help is gratefully received.


Just in case there is someone out there this is now resolved. Follow link for the denouement.