HOWTO: Creating m3u Playlists using easyTAG on Linux

After some trial and error I finally got my Sansa Clip to recognize playlists (m3u). I did this using EasyTAG on a Debian box. The EasyTAG version used was the one which ships with Debian Unstable.

Thought I would document it here for someone who might need it.

Steps I’ve followed:

  1. Connect the Clip to the PC in MSC mode(this is default in Linux).
  2. Open EasyTAG and browse to the music folder of the Clip. In my case it was /media/SANSA M340/MUSIC. ( I had just one folder under MUSIC and it was named ‘Running Assorted’ and it contained all my music files). Your music collection should show up in the midle pane.
  3. Select the Files you want to create into a playlist in the middle pane of EasyTAG. (You can also make ID3 tag changes to the music files if you want)
  4. Once selected, Click on the ‘Write Playlist’ icon in the toolbar (third from right).
  5. The ‘Generate A Playlist’ window should now pop-up. This is the important part , ensure the choices you make here are similar to mine.
    5a. M3U Playlist Name : Choose “Use mask” and give it a name. Example: “test” ( no need for file extension)
    5b. Playlist Options: Ensure “Include only the selected files” is selected.
    5c. Ensure “Use relative path for files in playlist” is selected.
    5d. Ensure “Create playlist in the parent directory” is selected.
    5e. Ensure “Use DOS directory selector” is selected.
    5e. Playlist Content: Select “Write info using filename”.
  6. Click on “Save” button.
  7. You should now have a playlist file named test.m3u in the MUSIC folder.
  8. Unmount the device and check if the playlist is showing up now.

NOTE: Sometimes the ‘Refresh Database…’ doesnt work and the playlist might not show-up. Ensure that a DB refresh happens when you disconnect from the PC.

EasyTAG is available as Free Software for Linux and Windows ( . I haven’t tested on windows. If you have anything to add please do so…

Great!I was afraid I would be unable to add playlists since I am using ubuntu.

It’s possible to re-edit a playlis without re-selecting all the file and doing a new playlis?

Found your post, attempted and the .m3u wrote just fine, relative paths used,  '' was used, and emacs recognized the file as a DOS file (i.e. CRLFs).  However, when I disconnected and had the DB refreshed, the playlist file, yes, was found but when I entered the playlist and saw my list of files, they would not play.



Replying to my own post.  I still don’t know why it won’t work, but here is something that *does* work.  Put the .m3u file in the same directory as the files.  That way when the .m3u file is created using easyTag, there will be no path information.

For some reason my Sansa Clip 4G Firmware 01.01.18A does not like path information.  If anyone has ideas, I’d love to hear them.  For now, I’ll have to organize my songs into folders and create the .m3u file per directory.


**** SOLVED ****

I just upgraded my firmware from .18A to .30A and now playlists work just fine.  So upgrade and enjoy!


thanks, i was looking for something with a GUI to make playlists… 

works great with intrepid & slitaz 

This worked for me! I would just like to add that I right-clicked the files after selecting them, and selected the ascending sort on the track numbers. This makes the songs play in the proper order.

For those who want a screenshot of topa’s (OP) advice…

Message Edited by ginger on 12-09-2009 01:19 AM

Indeed I was able to create a playlist using this method.  However, I couldn’t figure out how to use EasyTag to reorder the playlist or to select tracks from different directories.  EasyTag seems to want to show the contents of exactly one directory in the middle pane.  I worked around this by creating a playlist that included everything I wanted and then stripped it down and rearranged it using a text editor, but that was laborious compared with a GUI that permits reordering and selection.

I didn’t get the playlist right the first time, so I had to recreate it a couple of times.  Although the directory listing for the Clip showed just one playlist in the root, the device itself had several copies of that playlist including some empty ones.  Is there a way to get rid of the extraneous playlists?  The obvious method of removing them from the Clip’s root directory under Linux doesn’t seem to work, since for some reason they don’t show up there.

I was bought the COWON X9 for Christmas and I have to say I am very impressed.

I have all my music on the memory card of the player. When you plug in the device it is mounted as a hard drive when you choose ‘…sync’ option. In EasyTagI choose the root of the device (in my case the memory card which will be mounted via the COWON X9 ). Instead of making and editing a playlist from the whole list (I have not manged to work out how to choose tracks across directories) I choose Find and search for Genre (e.g. Rock) by searching in the TAG (untick filename and tick ‘in Tag’). Then select all, close Find and then ‘Create Playlist’. This is not perfect as this will pick up the word ‘Rock’ anywhere in the Tags (ie. Album name).

NOTE: Using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

NOTE: This is a SANDISK forum, not COWON.

Just a thought you could add something to the Comment Tag of each song you like, e.g. FAV-ROCK FAV-DRIVE FAV-PARTY or more than one, then do the search ‘in Tag’ with case sensitive so the search will only choose these. You can do multiple searches.

The other way is to make a playlist of all music from its root, e.g. Music. Then ‘grep’ out what you want into a separate file (make sure you have the #EXTM3U line at the top.

Example my-rock.m3u

#EXTINF:296,01. Walk On Water.mp3
Music\Aerosmith\Big Ones\01. Walk On Water.mp3
#EXTINF:322,02. Love In An Elevator.mp3
Music\Aerosmith\Big Ones\02. Love In An Elevator.mp3

#EXTINF:308,14. Angel.mp3
Music\Aerosmith\Big Ones\14. Angel.mp3
#EXTINF:381,15. Livin’ On The Edge.mp3
Music\Aerosmith\Big Ones\15. Livin’ On The Edge.mp3

The format is #EXTINF:nnn,title.mps followed on the next line with full path. The nnn is the length of the track in seconds.

You could cat my-rock.m3u |  grep "Angel.mp3’ >> Drive-List.m3u and so on…

It would be nice to do cat my-rock.m3u | grep “Aerosmith” | grep “Angel.mp3”…etc, to ensure you get the right song by the right artist but you would not get the #EXINF lines.

From looking around the web you apparently may not need the #EXT… lines so a simple list of all the full paths to your chosen tracks in a file ending .M3U might work with you MP3 player. I suggest you experiment.

@tapeworm wrote:

NOTE: This is a SANDISK forum, not COWON.

Sorry… I was only mentioning what I had… I was hoping the suggestion would work for all.