How is your Sansa Clip battery life?

Install the new firmware and check it out.  If it still discharges (from the goodbye state …), swap it for a new one.

During the time I measured my 17 hours of play time, I had let the unit go into auto power off mode several times because I paused the music and didn’t resume it.  I remember it because I was trying to time the play time and realized I had messed up my timing a bit and had to think hard about when it had happened to keep up with the run time.  One time it was off for a few hours that way.  Now I know I need to do a bit more testing to “prove” the following is true, but my experience so far indicates that the unit is as powered off as it can be when it goes off 1) 2 second push up on the power switch, 2) 10 second push up on the power off, 30 auto power off due to timeout while paused (set in the settings/power).  It doesn’t seem to me there is any difference: off is off and it shouldn’t leak like that. I’ve also designed enough battery powered gadgets in my time to know this is quite reasonable behaviour.  We’re only gonna get the real scoop from one of the Sandisk engineers, though.

Responding to he who said that NiMH don’t have the memory effect due to internal leakage: that isn’t right and battery designers have gone to pains to make them leak less - read the wikipedia page on NiMH batteries - pretty interesting stuff, actually.

Now, from the Li-ion battery page (I love wikipedia), which is surely what is in the clip: “Li-ion batteries do not suffer from the memory effect. They also have a low self-discharge rate of approximately 5% per month, compared with over 30% per month in nickel metal hydride batteries and 10% per month in nickel cadmium batteries.”

I’m really not trying to be contentious - just searching for truth in all of this.


Very good points–I had forgotten about the autopower off setting.

Having said that, I think those with battery issues need to make sure that the autopower off setting has not been turned off and the player left in pause mode, leading to battery draining; and that the player just has not been left to play–since the screen goes off, this easily can happen (and has happened to me). 

hy_tek quote:

I know NiMh batteries have a certain discharge rate figured in. This is to eliminate the battery “memory” problem that NiCd rechargeables had. Maybe Li Ion batteries have a similar trait.   :quote

On the one hand you state that manufacturers go to great pains to eliminate the “leak” effect…then you contradict yourself and say NiMh batteries have a 30% discharge rate…  If left in a device for any extended length of time NiMh batts will discharge completely. There is nothing in that wickapedia article that addresses the “memory effect” / “discharge” dynamic.  Since you “love” wickapedia as you say, please make sure the information is at least “pertinent” before you use it in rebuttal.

You originally stated you get 17 hours of playback from a charge. This is more than even the manufacturer claims. I think most people would agree that the manufacturers’ performance claims are more often than not exaggerated. Now you say your unit was turned off for several extended periods of time. That would lead me to believe that the accuracy of your measurements are highly questionable.

I did a simple test today and got no more than 9 hours of continuous playback of music on a full charge before it shut down on low battery. I have no idea if this is typical of the Clip.

What kind of reply is that?  Ok, I guess it’s gloves off, huh?  Your just freakin’ wrong. Whatever would make one think the leakage of a battery has anything to do with whether it has a memory affect.  That’s just lame.

Did you even read the article?  I didn’t contradict myself.  Nor does wikipedia.  Saying the batteries have a 30% leakage rate/month and that they try to reduce that isn’t a contradiction in an way shape or form.  In fact, would seem like a good design goal to make their batteries better. Huh? Read the article or stay ignorant. The article is pertinant to rebut a lame claim that the leakage somehow reduces the memory effect.

I got 17 hours of playback over approx. 32 hour period.  I can count and I can keep track of when it was being played.  Pretty basic stuff.  You can question my results all you want, but it is what it is.  I have data - you have nothing with which to dispute me.  I’m sorry it’s hard for you to understand how someone can turn their player off and on over a couple days and keep track of the play time.   And sorry yours only goes 9 hours.

We’re done.


You probably got a lemon there.  It has nothing to do with firmware or whatever it was.  Just go and tell them about the problem and exchange for a new better one with no hardware defective parts and you should be able to enjoy music with long lasting battery even after leaving them idle for days.  Just exchange them and leave all the hassle about figuring out things to SanDisk to correct this.  Don’t waste your time and get frustrated.

phew so its not just me…
i got the 2gb for christmas and its been terrible with the battery.
I mostly only use it for gym, i went for my third workout today, with each workout lasting no more than an hour… and it ran dead flat! so thats probably just over 3 hours…  that was off a full charge and yes i am turning it off properly, so yeah id say my battery is quite a dud!


I ran my fully charged clip continuously with a timer.  1/2 volume.  Activated the display a few times to look at the battery indicator during the run.  It ran 16 hours. 23 minutes before it shut itself down.  No question about it.

This test was done in shuffle mode with the following distribution of bitrates:

2 @ 112k
89 @ 128k
42 @ 160k
86 @ 192k
12 @ 224k
23 @ 256k
19 @ 320k

I’m running Linux. Bitrates were determined by mp3info with this command:

find /media/SANSA_M350/MUSIC -name *.mp3 -print0 | xargs -0 mp3info -r m -p “%r\n” | sort >~/bitrates_from_clip

Variable bitrate files were reported at their median bitrate.

I got about 40 hrs with an external AA NiMH battery pack, but one battery was either not fully charged or is bad. It’s output had dropped to .89V while the other 3 were still at 1.24V, so I aborted the test. Have to repeat.


Message Edited by rwuest on 01-14-2008 04:59 PM

I use my clip in my car with the Griffin Itrip universal. I leave the power plugged in all the time to avoid the auto shutoff, which is a problem.  Will this constant and mostly short-term charging decrease the battery life?

No.  Think of your car battery.  Deep cycling is tougher on the battery.

I just read some interesting information in another thread here about battery life vs bit rate. Someone stated that the higher the bit rate of the mp3s you have the harder the cpu has to work thus the shorter the battery life.  That would explain why I do not get the full 15 hours per charge. I always use music recorded at high bit rates.

The people getting the full playback of 15 hours were using a rate of 128 kbit or less.

I last charged my Clip on Thursday (today is Tuesday) and I’ve played about 4 hours of music at 3/4’s volume (128kbs files) and my charge still shows 87% (Meter on the Clip still in the 100% position)…guess I’m lucky- I got one of the good ones.

Concerning the battery life problems, it kinda seems to me that the blue Clips seem to have the battery drain/short life problems more so than the other colors…can anyone confirm this…or is it just a coincidence? (I have a red one…I wanted a blue, but it cost a few bucks more…so I went with the red- this is my first mp3 player, and I’m glad to report that it’s worked flawlessly from the moment I unpacked it)

Interesting… Since I last charged mine, I’ve played about 4 hrs of music(unless I miscounted?) & today the battery meter went down to 75% a short while after I turned it on this morning. All of my mp3s are at 128 kbps as well, & I use the lowest volume(soon to change with firmware). Cllipman, perhaps your battery meter is about to go down like mine?

Sansafix, is my calculation correct? Does 4 hrs of use equal 25% of battery power? Just wondering…

Message Edited by Sasafrass452 on 01-15-2008 06:16 PM

It’s all so variable (depending on EQ, type of file, bitrate, volume level, use of the display, user intervention, etc.), but if you figure that the battery is good for around 15 hours per charge, you’re right on the mark …

Right… I just wasn’t sure if my estimate of 4 hrs is correct. I haven’t watched the clock very closely when I use it…

Message Edited by Sasafrass452 on 01-15-2008 06:36 PM

4 hrs at 25% is correct.  You should get close to 15 hours total if you dont use the screen that much and play mp3 128K files.

Eq should be switched off if you dont need it  (10% factor).


Amazingly, I checked my charge by connecting briefly to the computer in MTP mode, and right-clicking on the Clip icon, then selecting “properties” (I think that’s how I did it) and it said the battery was 87%. Hmmm…that is kind of amazing, isn’t it?! Also, virtually all of my listening has been while out in the cold at night (c. 30*)- don’t know if temp effects lith-poly batteries or not though…

Seems like my Clip is making up for the lemons that some people got! (Which is ironic, because I’m usually the schlepp who gets the lemon!)

EDIT: -and I’ve got my EQ tweaked for heavey bass!

Message Edited by Cllipman on 01-15-2008 05:52 PM

Sansafix said:

4 hrs at 25% is correct.  You should get close to 15 hours total if you dont use the screen that much and play mp3 128K files.

Eq should be switched off if you dont need it  (10% factor).

Excuse me Mr. Sansafix are you directly associated with the Sandisk tech support?

Cllipman, does your battery meter show 75% yet? I’m baffled as to how you seem to be getting better mileage from your battery, even though we’ve used it about the same amount of time, the same bitrate, & you even adjusted the EQ for extra base. You’re also using higher volume than me. Not that I’m complaining, since I’m getting the average amount of battery power… But this is quite puzzling!


Just turned on my Clip to double check it- still showing 100%!!! I don’t get it either! I must’ve gotten an extra good battery…

And to think- I almost didn’t buy the Clip, because it has a non-replaceable internal battery! (I’ve always had good luck with Lithiums though- years ago when I had a cell phone, which had  a lithium-ion, I also used to get great performance from it)

When I got my Clip, it was totally dead- and I charged it fully before using it…but from what I’ve seen on this and other forums, it seems that some units are shipped with partial charges. (Either that, or stores are selling returned ones as new)- I have a feeling that it’s important with these Lith-poly batteries, that they be shipped without a charge (as slow, self-discharge as they sit on the shelf potentially for months, is very bad for the batt.)  and that it’s important that the purchaser FULLY charge them the first time, before use.

I don’t know why I’m getting “extra mileage” from my batt.- but I ain’t complainin’!  :smiley: