Here is a solution for empty *.pla paylists on Sansa Devices.

Here is a solution for empty *.pla paylists on Sansa Devices.

The playlists aren’t empty but the contents aren’t displayed.

What ticks me off is that Sansa isn’t smart enough to properly document a BASIC FUNCTION OF THEIR PLAYER!
The User manual is worthless and the FAQ is worthless.
The damned GOList CAN’T even be saved as a playlist! WTF?!
The e280 would at least let you save it as a *.plp file with the same format as a *.pla file.

Well through trial and error I found that *.m3u playlists are the only ones that actually work on a Fuze and newer Sansa devices in MSC mode.
Previously, a PLAYLIST folder existed that stored all playlists.
The *.pla playlists needed to include the root folder MUSIC in the full path to the music file and
they were REQUIRED to be in UNICODE format.

*.m3u playlists for the Fuze are now stored in the MUSIC folder and the file paths MUST NOT include
MUSIC in the path to the file. The paths should start with the root SUBFOLDER within MUSIC.
These files should be standard DOS ASCII Files.

After figuring all this out I wrote a small app that will convert the UNICODE *.pla playlists directly to DOS ASCII *.m3u files.
Here is the code for the VBScript Converter App I wrote.
This only took me about 30 minutes but it should help others so they don’t go through
trouble I did.

Copy and Paste the text from the link into a text editor and save it as a *.vbs file.
Double-click on the file to run the conversion.

This converter does NOT delete the original *.pla files.
It simply creates new *.m3u playlist files in the same folder as the *.pla files.
The *.pla files are UNICODE and the converter creates standard DOS ASCII files.

Just a note on using *.m3u playlists.

The Fuze does not support members of the extended ASCII character set in music file names.

I found this when I had to change “Motörhead” to “Motorhead” in the music files and the playlists

in order for them to show up.

If you don’t change these they won’t show up in the total song list either.

The funny part is that they WILL show up under the Album listing.

Go figure. <rollingeyes>

Based on this, I would suspect that this hold true for the current Sansa line.

I’ve written a new VB Script that provides bi-directional conversion of ASCII *.m3u / UNICODE *.pla playlist files.

Users may browse and convert *.pla or *.m3u files on Sansa™ units directly
as long as the Sansa™ unit is connected to PC and set to MSC in USB Mode.

This seems like a great tool and thanks for your efforts.  However I am unable to open an existing .PLA file I created with WMP11.

I run my Sansa Clip in MSC mode because I like MSC mode in general, and have had success manually creating .M3U playlists for that.

However, I chose to run my Fuze in MTP mode to allow allow easy creation of .PLA playlists on the PC while in WMP11.

I do that so I can quickly make up large shuffled playlists from my master WMP11 library and get them on the Fuze (along with the songs) without the manual .M3U method.

I realize your app needs me to be in MSC mode to read a .PLA directly from the Fuze so I copied it to my desktop.

However, your script doesn’t see it there.

I guess I don’t understand the point of having to be in MSC mode if .PLA files are created in MTP mode.

If I was in MSC mode with the Fuze I wouldn’t have any .PLA files to begin with.

Can you help, or am I missing the point of your tool?


This is great if you use WMP11.  I use JRMedia Center, and all of my playlists were exported as M3U already.  The playlists basically look like this:








I moved these to the music directory, but I still get an empty message.  I’ve seen references in other threads/forums that show some kind of EXTM3U or EXTINF header.  The EXTINF lines supposedly aren’t required.  I’ve tried adding the EXTM3U header that is missing in the format that I’ve seen elsewhere, but I still get empties.  I’ve tried numerous combinations, can’t seem to get anything to work.  The only thing I haven’t tried is adding and EXTINF line to each song, as that’s too much work, especially if it’s not required.

Can someone PLEASE paste a copy of a properly formatted M3U playlist that the sansa will recognize, so I can copy the format all of the way through?

The Fuze does not treat .M3U files as UTF-8 unicode characters.  However it will work fine with .M3U8 files.

I make my playlists using Winamp and I have the option of saving them as .M3U8 instead of just .M3U (or .PLA).   .M3U8 is the unicode version and it works fine with my Fuze (all my songs show up, and I have a lot of titles that contain accents and other characters).  

So if you could make it so it converted the files to .M3U8 instead of simply .M3U it would all work fine.  And you wouldn’t have to worry about renaming “Motörhead”. :slight_smile:

Okay, got it.  My media program doesn’t do .m3u8 though.  I can smith it, but I need to know the format.  Can anyone post a sample playlist that is known and works so I can copy the headers and syntax?

Message Edited by jehr on 03-09-2009 04:34 PM

I don’t know what other changes there are to an M3U8 file, but I changed the extension and the first header from #EXTM3U to #EXTM3U8, and that didn’t work.  I don’t know what an M3U8 playlist looks like.