Like most modern audio players, the Clips create an internal database out of the “ID3 tags”–little bits of data (“metadata”)–imbedded into music and audiobook files. The ID3 tags typically provide identifying information for the file, as to the file’s song title, album or book title, artist name, genre, and year. The player then displays this info. from the database, when you choose the category option on the player, e.g. Artist, Title, Album, Genre, to choose what to play. Files purchased (licensed) often already have the ID3 tags filled in for the consumer (although accuracy and sufficiency can vary); if the consumer is ripping the music him/herself from an owned CD (that is, using easy-to-use software to convert the CD audio files, not playable on an audio player, into a computer form that an audio player can play), the software “ripper” typically will have an option to connect to an online database, to automatically fill the ID3 tags in. Otherwise, a user can add/edit the ID3 tags manually using an ID3 tag editor, such as the well-regarded freeware MP3Tag.
The Clips separately, apart from the database option, have an option to select files to play under a so-called “folder-view,” a folder-and-file based system just like on a PC. This feature is a helpful one and one that many of us greatly appreciate, for its simplicity.
Note that if you’re not making sure that your music or audiobooks have their ID3 tags filled in and they indeed are not, the Clips’ database will list the files under an “Unknown” category.
Hence, a good reason to check and fill in the ID3 tags, if they already are not: options and flexibility. Using the databaseand the ID3 tags, the Clip generally doesn’t care where the files are stored on your player, in how many folders, etc.–instead, it cross-references the files in its database and lets you use the database categories to decide what to play.