My Fellow Sansa Clip Users with Mac’s using OSX and iTunes.
Yes, the Sansa Clip will work with your Mac. And, you can create playlists from iTunes if you desire.
– Getting Started –
Charging the Battery (for those with a new Clip)
For those with a brand new Clip you will first want to get a full charge on the Clip’s battery. You do this by plugging it into an available USB port on your Mac. I found that on my iMac the keyboard USB port did not provide enough power for recharging (a message was displayed to that effect). Just be sure to use a port with sufficient power. My new Clip required close to 4 hrs to fully charge (as indicated on the Clip display battery icon).
Some Quick Education (skip this if you understand external drives)
When you plug your Clip into a Mac USB port, if the device itself is in a mode known as MSC (Mass Storage Class) it will show up on your desktop as a disk drive. My Clip, when purchased new (Jan 26, 2008), auto-configured to the MSC mode when I plugged it into my iMac, because it showed up as a new disk drive on my desktop (after fully charging the battery). So, as long as your Clip is in the MSC mode it just becomes an external drive on your Mac when plugged into a USB port. If you double click the icon for the drive (my showed with the name: SANSA M350 which you can change), you will see several files at the top level already on the drive. You will also see a folder named: MUSIC already on the drive. The MUSIC folder is where you will be copying your music files and playlists, using drag-and-drop.
Update the Firmware
To be certain the remainder of this post is valid, I recommend you upgrade your Clip’s firmware (internal software) to the latest version. You can check the current version of your firmware by turning on the Clip and using it’s display menu, navigate to Settings:System Info. Check here to find the post that describes how to download the latest version.
Once you download and decompress, a file named, m3XXa.bin (for Americas, X’s change with version) should be on your computer.
Now, plug the Clip into your USB port. After the it appears on your desktop, drag m3XXa.bin to it. Be certain it is copied to the top level (not to MUSIC). If you can see the Clip display you may see it say something about writing. Regardless, just wait a second or two to be certain the copy is complete.
Next, simply disconnect the Clip from your USB port and watch the screen. It should say something about upgrading firmware. This should take less than 10 seconds. Followed by, something like, “upgrade complete”. That’s it. Then repeat the above instructions for checking your firmware version.
– if you have a problem –
You might have a problem doing this. I did. After I copied the upgrade file, m3XXa.bin, the “upgrading firmware” message remained long after 10 seconds. And the device was completely disabled (hung). Fortunately, I found several posts here that saved me. First, to “reset” the device, you must:
- Slide the power switch on and hold for 10 seconds.
- Slide the power switch into the Hold/Lock position.
- Now while pressing the center “select” button, plug back into your USB
- You should see the Clip as a disk drive.
- You now must format/reformat the drive. This will remove anything you have copied to it!
– On your Mac, open the Disk Utility application (Applications:Utilities)
– Select the SANSA drive
– Click the Erase button/tab
– Choose MS-DOS File System (FAT 16) as the format
– Do it! (erase)
Now, with your newly formatted/reformatted drive, unplug from the USB and make sure you are back to a working Clip, e.g., go through the top level menus on the display. If you are not, try all “reset” steps again. If the device is still not working, I do not have a solution.
Finally, with your newly formatted Clip, repeat the steps for the firmware upgrade. Be careful about disconnecting too quickly after you copy m3XXa.bin. I think this may be the issue with the hanging. Not certain, though.
Set the Device Mode (if necessary)
The latest firmware allows you to set the USB mode of the clip to MSC or MTP or auto-detect.
Turn the Clip on.
Go to Settings: USB Mode
Choose Auto-Detect or MSC for the Mac.
Getting Songs onto the Clip
This is just a matter of copying files.
- Plug the Clip into your USB
- Copy song files (in the format the Clip accepts, see Clip manual) from your source to the MUSIC folder of the Clip drive.
NOTE (applies only to older versions of firmware): Copying files to the Clip on a Mac created extra files on the Clip and you would see them on the Clip display. If you are using an earlier firmware, you need something like the application, KopyMac to prevent this during copying. With the latest version of the firmware, this problem is eliminated.
FYI, if you keep your song files in the Artist:Album:song folder hierarchy on your source drive, you can copy the Artist folder to the Clip MUSIC folder and the hierarchy will be available through the Clip Music menu.
Creating Playlists Using iTunes
I have created an applescript that works with iTunes that will allow you to transfer your iTunes playlist songs and then writes an M3U file that can be used on the Sansa Clip under its Music Playlist menu. The script does not convert files in a playlist that are not in a format supported by the Clip, but it will notify the user if any such songs are found. The script has been tested under Tiger, but will likely work for other versions of OS X.
The script is available here:
The file available for download there is an OSX disk image (DMG). After download, double-click the .dmg file and follow the instructions provided in the Readme file contained in the opened folder.
Compatible with iTunes version 9.0.1 as of Oct 21, 2009.
Tested only under OSX 10.4.11.
Be sure to check the last few posts in this thread for any update information.
Message Edited by kwanzan on 08-26-2008 12:21 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 08-27-2008 09:28 AM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 09-18-2008 10:39 AM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 11-18-2008 04:28 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 11-18-2008 04:56 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 11-19-2008 08:16 AM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 06-04-2009 04:44 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 06-05-2009 04:58 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 07-16-2009 12:06 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 07-16-2009 12:07 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 10-21-2009 11:32 AM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 10-21-2009 11:33 AM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 12-15-2009 01:10 PM
Message Edited by kwanzan on 12-15-2009 01:13 PM