Hi Sansa lovers/users/haters:
I have finally, after much effort, cracked the excruciatingly painful Sansa playlist creation problem. And I don’t want to hear from all of you who had no problem doing this . . . yeah yeah yeah, I know I will anyway. Those of us with problems are ridiculously simple, hardly able to tie our shoes, but . . . whatever. This post is not for you. It’s for all the strugglers out there who’ve tried everything to no avail.
I finally decided to dedicate myself to this until I figured it out, scouring Sansa sites, YouTube videos, searching in the nicks and crannies of the net, trying one thing after another, till I nailed this down. Benefit from my efforts, so you will not shriek into the night, as I did toward dawn.
Here it is, bare bones with thanks to other posters who gave me bits and pieces of this.
CREATING SANSA CLIP+ PLAYLISTS
Connect Sansa to computer in MTP mode (get at this through Sansa Settings/System Settings/USB).
"There are two USB modes used for connecting MP3 players to computers:
Mass Storage Class (MSC)
Media Transfer Protocol (MTP)"
Navigate to the folder with files you want to make into a playlist, making sure to not to choose Music files on your computer, but within the Sansa itself (e.g. This PC\Sansa Clip+ 8GB\Internal Memory\Albums\Tom Petty\Wildflowers or, if on the SDHC card, This PC\Sansa Clip+ 8GB\External uSD Card\Albums\Dido ).
Right click that folder and choose Create playlist. (Multiple albums by that artist will pile together into the playlist.) This creates New Playlist.pla. DO NOT bother changing the name here, it won’t stick long term.
Click playlist and delete files you want to remove or rearrange using icons at the bottom.
Unhook Sansa and change USB setting to MSC.
Reconnect and edit name of playlist (e.g. I:\MUSIC\Albums\Dido.pla & I:\MUSIC\Albums\Dido.pla.refs).
You can delete the .ofn file if present (not sure what this is - ending is for MS Office document).
Do NOT move the playlist file to Playlists, as is often suggested. Just leave it where it is.
Delete any other playlists you’ve hopelessly made that may be residing in Playlist folders, these will show up as duplicates on the Sansa.
This method avoids duplication of files when creating playlists using media players. That seemed senseless to me. This works for the microSDHC card, which is my I:. The only thing this does not do, is allow one to take files willy nilly from multiple folders (you can of course make an enormous playlist of the entire Album folder just to sort out grunge songs or ones that make you weep, but why?). Of course you can create folders for that, but I don’t organize my stuff that way. Maybe someone has found an easier way to do that. I remember being able to do more of that with playlists I created with Winamp in Windows XP, but that was with just a Sansa Clip and no SDHC card then. Most of my music is on that card, which isn’t often detected by these media players. And I found no way to create a playlist containing songs from both the internal and external folders.
If you want to select only certain files to put in the playlist (e.g. you have a list of mp3s, not in Albums), change your File Explorer/View/Options setting to Double click to open an item (single click to select), hold down the CTRL key and click all the files you want in that Playlist. When done, right click on a highlighted item and choose Create playlist. Only the files you selected will be in that Playlist.
Also, don’t bother dragging playlists around or try copying folders between the internal and external Sansa drives. They will disappear into the ether causing you to scream or cry. You’re warned.
I hope this helps someone like myself. I love my Sansa, literally love it, even though I think this was made far too complicated. Please explain your technology in a simpler way Sansa. I read of countless people just giving up on these, which I considered, but I love mine too much and always have.
Godspeed to all who follow these instructions. May you succeed with minimal effort.