I think I'm an Idiot...

I think I’m an idiot…I’m an iPod/iTunes user now trying to set up the cool Sansa Fuze that my husband got for Christmas.  It’s almost like everything I own is in the wrong file format for the Sansa, and I’m having the worst time using Windows Media Player.  I’ve spent hours and hours trying to make this work with no luck.  I’m about to tell my poor husband that I made a big mistake when I bought this for him because I just can’t figure out how to make both of our devices play nicely on the same computer.  Does anyone have any advice on easy ways to deal with this sort of situation?  I keep thinking that there’s got to be a relatively easy way to make this work.

There is indeed a way to make them play nice. You need to make everything mp3 format. This will play on both players no problem. Then you can download an app that goes to Itunes that will allow it to sync with the sansa. 

Sounds great but…how do you convert 5000 songs to .mp3 in iTunes?  Also, won’t there be a bunch of songs that I will not be able to convert?  Do you know the name of the app that allows the Sansa to sync with iTunes?  I’m sorry for all of the questions, but I’ve been having a bad time with this.  When I tried converting some songs last time, I was left with two copies of each song (one in each format) and wasn’t sure how to tell the Sansa to only look at the .mp3 files and tell the iPod not to copy the song twice.   :frowning:

redjennschroed wrote:
Sounds great but…how do you convert 5000 songs to .mp3 in iTunes?  Also, won’t there be a bunch of songs that I will not be able to convert?  Do you know the name of the app that allows the Sansa to sync with iTunes?  I’m sorry for all of the questions, but I’ve been having a bad time with this.  When I tried converting some songs last time, I was left with two copies of each song (one in each format) and wasn’t sure how to tell the Sansa to only look at the .mp3 files and tell the iPod not to copy the song twice.   :frowning:

 

Right. To make convert a bunch just select them all and go thru the process of making mp3s (I assume you know that part). The only ones that wont convert are the ones that have been created with DRMs, for those you can burn them to a Cd and then Rip them as mp3. The problem is the 2 copies. For that I really dont know what to tell ya. I had to just go thru and delete the incompatible ones by hand. As for the App, I just know I googled Itunes sync to Sansa and I found it in the apple store.

Message Edited by Conversionbox on 02-03-2010 08:04 PM

I guess I left out a big part of the equation which is that I’m working on a PC.  At this point I’m really banging my head against the wall.  I didn’t think it was going to be this hard.  Can’t I keep iTunes for my iPod Touch and use some other easy program that works with my Sansa?

Yeah. I thought you said you wanted to use both with Itunes.

Download Media Monkey. Add your library to MM and then use it to convert the files to whatever format you can (Mp3 is limited in the free version). Just make sure you choose the option to make new copies not replace your old ones. Then MM can be used to sync to your sansa.

You’re not an idiot. This process is made way too complicated to discourage you from changing brands. But it can be done, and once you do an intial setup it’s pretty easy from there on. 


OK, we have to deal with two problems here. One is the files, and one is Windows Media Player.

For the files: 

If you’re buying files from the iTunes Music store, they are in Apple’s .m4a format, which Apple controls and which does not play on the Sansa. Can’t we all just live together? No.

Solution: in iTunes, go to Edit/Preferences/Advanced (different from the visible Advanced tab up there) and under Importing, change from .aac or .m4a to .mp3, with good quality, like 192 kbps. From now on, everytime you Import a CD, you’ll get mp3 files that play on both the Fuze and those doPi players. 

Now, to deal with existing files: 

Highlight a file, or an album, or the whole darn library, and right-click, and choose Create mp3 version. This will DOUBLE the size of your library, so make sure you have hard-drive space.

That should give you .mp3 copies of your existing files.  Unfortunately, you may have to separate them from the other copies. Open the library folder, wherever it is, and use Date Modified to group the files (click on the column heading). If I were you, then I’d put the mp3s in a different folder. 

Going forward, buy music from Amazon instead, which gives you mp3s and none of this nonsense, and has some good bargains too. 


One more housekeeping thing, and if the library is big this will take a little time–about 5 seconds per album after setup. 

iTunes stores tagging information–the electronic labels in the files that tell you artist, album, song title–a little differently than the Sansa likes.  So it helps to fix the tags. You can do this in batches, and very quickly. 

Get the free program mp3tag. 

http://www.mp3tag.de/en/download.html

Install it and check Add to Context Menus while installing. This will let you right-click on album folders and open them with mp3tag. 

Open mp3tag and go to Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg and Write. Chose ID3v2.3 and ISO-8859-1. Save that change and forget you ever did this. 

Now, find an mp3 album, right-click on it and open it with mp3tag. If you see the songs listed twice–the first time as ._01Firstsong.mp3, with the period and underscore–delete those files that start with period underscore, because they are only for MAC OSX.  Highlight the rest, make sure they are in playing order, go to Tools/Auto-Numbering Wizard and choose Leading zeroes. This changes iTunes tags (1/12, 2/12) to tags the Sansa likes better (01,02). 

You’ll need to do that with each album, and with any album tagged by iTunes. I do it with every album I’m going to put on the Fuze. But it’s simple and quick, a few seconds.  Kind of like straightening your collar before you go into the office.


As for Windows Media Player…Personally, I have a hate-hate relationship with WMP. SanDisk hoped that the Fuze would work with WMP like doPis work with iTunes. If you go into Settings/System Settings/USB mode and choose MTP, it should hook up with Windows Media Player nicely, and maybe it will play nicely now that you’ve got mp3 files.

Or there are alternatives. If you’re a do-it-yourself person, you can go into Settings/System Settings/USB Mode on the Fuze and change it to MTP.  This makes the Fuze and its card slot look like two thumb drives to your computer. Connect it in MSC mode, open that new library of mp3 files, and just drag them over. Couldn’t be easier. 

If you like using music-library software like iTunes (or what WMPlayer is supposed to be), there’s  Media Monkey to do  playlists, synching, etc. with the Fuze in MSC mode.  

There’s a fix for Media Monkey so it can even rip CDs, like iTunes does.  Get the LAME encoder (to encode mp3s)  here : http://lame.buanzo.com.ar/

Unzip it, find lame_enc.dll and put it in C:\Program Files\Media Monkey to replace the existing version of lame_enc.dll 

See? You’re a computer genius now. 


So you need mp3 files. You need them tagged right. And you need to get them on the Fuze, either by drag-and-drop or through a music-library program. Once you have mp3s to start with, you’re in good shape. 

Message Edited by Black-Rectangle on 02-03-2010 06:02 PM

Summation: No, there is no easy way…for you. So find somebody else to do it.

Solution 1: Your kid. Free labor is best. If you ain’t got one, go to next step.

Solution 2: Somebody else’s kid. Preferably one with his PSP strung around his neck. Pizza & pop.

Solution 3: Geeks. The kind that hangs around places like Fry’s or Best Buy’s computer section. Helps if the PC is a laptop and you can drag it along. Keep your original byline as a conversation starter. Works wonders on geek types. We can’t resist it. It’s genetic.

@black_rectangle wrote:

 

 

If you like using music-library software like iTunes (or what WMPlayer is supposed to be), there’s  Media Monkey to do  playlists, synching, etc. with the Fuze in MSC mode.  

 

Great post;

Did you mean Fuze in MTP mode? Because playlists don’t work in MSC mode with MediaMonkey.

 

ggin1

Right, MTP.

And here’s a how-to:

http://forums.sandisk.com/sansa/board/message?board.id=clip&message.id=3527


And by the way, about using both iTunes for the iTouch and something else for the Sansa:

I think you can do that by having both iTunes and Media Monkey (or WMP) consider the same folder as the library. Each one has a Settings or Options menu that allow you to point it to a certain folder as the library folder (Edit/Preferences/Advanced Importing in iTunes, for instance.) 

The problem will be that each one will try to “organize” the library to its liking. You’ll have to give priority to one (probably iTunes since you’re used to it) and prevent the other from trying to organize it, by looking through Settings or Options.

Message Edited by Black-Rectangle on 02-03-2010 10:42 PM

My wife has an itouch so I’ve got iTunes, MediaMonkey and WMP running across the same library.  I don’t let any of the players organize my folders/songs, cataloging works on tags only.  I use playlists where necessary to organize what can’t be done by tags.  MM will load playlists into all of my sansa players, iTunes does it for the itouch.  Works great.  The only problem I have is iTunes tries to convert my wma files every time I launch it.

Wow…thank you all for the great answers.  Let me see what I can figure out how to do.  I’m hoping to work an iTunes/MediaMonkey combination.

For what it’s worth, if you DO choose to stick with just iTunes, there’s a great little utility called iTunes Agent that will let you sync an iTunes playlist to your Fuze, or any other device in MSC mode:

http://ita.sourceforge.net/

I use it all the time … if you do choose to use it, post here with any questions you may have.

As has been said, you’ll first need to use iTunes to make MP3 versions of all your iTunes Store-bought songs.  You can either choose to then delete the iTunes Store versions, or you can make Smart Playlists in iTunes that use the “Kind” keyword to separate your MP3s from the others, e.g. “Kind does not contain Purchased”.

You can see what I mean by going into iTunes, right-clicking on one of the column headers like “Artist”, and then checking off “Kind”.

I really appreciate all the help everyone has given me.  Unfortunately, Apple won this battle.  I spent so much time and was so frustrated trying to keep and use iTunes for my iPod Touch and set up the Sansa on the same system for my husband that I finally gave up.  My husband wanted to have an mp3 player before next Christmas, so I took the Fuze back to the store and bought a Nano.  It’s a shame because I really liked the features of the Sansa Fuze and the price couldn’t be beat.  I also bought it because it had great reviews from Consumer Reports.  The Nano cost me a lot more, but boy, when I got home and plugged that thing in, I was up and fully loaded in minutes.  It’s just too easy.  I wish the whole thing with the Sansa wasn’t this difficult.  If any company comes out with a great solution that EASILY turns iPod users into users of other mp3 players, let me know.  I would love to a beta tester for something like that.  I tried to break away from Apple’s grip, but I realize now that until another company can come up with a really reasonable solution for people like me, there is going to be a market of people who will just never convert because they can’t.

I definitely understand what you’re saying.  Apple was pretty clever in that, once you buy into the iTunes/iPod infrastructure, it’s a lot easier for non-techies to stick with it.  And that infrastructure is very well engineered and user-friendly.

Message Edited by PromisedPlanet on 02-12-2010 01:03 PM

The 5th generation Nano is one pretty iPod.  I don’t blame you for succumbing to the dark side.  But, be prepared to spend more money for accessories than you did for the unit.  Also, don’t expect too much from the video.  Though nice, its resolution is nowhere near where I would record precious “Kodak” moments with it.  It has moving video, but no picture camera?  Kinda silly.   The FM interface is better than the Fuze’s (it shows the artist and song), but it doesn’t record FM.  It does have an FM delayed play mode (confusing and kinda useless).  The kids will love the bundled games (it uses the internal inertial sensor).  The screen, by the way, is absolutely gorgeous.  It also has an internal speaker, which sounds no better than an open earbud.  Buy a hard clear cover for the iPod right away.  The unit is so thin, it feels like it’s going to slip out of your hands.  The cover helps with holding it and keeping your finger away from the camera lens.  Have fun.  I’ll still stick with my Sansa though.  Its size is perfect for my palm and pocket.  I can play with it and tear it apart if I want.  And for $50, I don’t have to worry about some numbskull trying to steal it and re-selling it.  Have you checked Craigslist lately?  Tons of used (wink, wink) Nanos for sale. 

ggin1

Message Edited by ggin1 on 02-13-2010 10:42 AM