iPod Vs Clip - My Conclusion

After spending several hours trying to get the clip to recognize my mp3 music that I drag n dropped into the music folder, I give up. I even tried downloading new firmware; but that was no help.

I have a 3rd gen iPod and have previously purchased 2 nanos for my kids. I bought two of these ScatDisk Clips for Christmas gifts, thinking to save a few bucks. What a mistake!!!

Every iPod I’ve purchase worked flawlessly the first time I connected it to the computer. Their operation was so intuitive and easy that my 3rd grader was able to do it.  The Clip? Well, let’s just say that it sucks.

Apple knows how to develop real “Plug n Play” hardware/apps.  The SanDisk Clip barely amounts to “Plug n PRAY” hardware. The cost in my time and aggravation spend fighting with the Clip greatly exceeds any dollars saved.   Even if I could get it to recognize, index and play the music I’ve already loaded on it, I have horrible visions of my wife and daughter being unable to update their playlists, successfully get music on and off the music folder. 

iPod vs Clip…Hmmmm… it really depends on how much your time is worth.  A clip would make a great gift for that person that you secretly loathe, but want them to think you hold them in high regard. 

As for me…well, my time is worth a lot more than the one-time extra cost of buying an iPod. These two clips are going back to Best Buy first thing tomorrow morning.

well, fwiw… i have had 4ipods–full size; starting w/gen 1.  browsing bestbuy, i saw the clip on sale.  wanting something for gym (ipod just way to big, heavy, distracting), i bought clip… for me on winxp:: completely plug and play… the shirt clip is awesome feature, the sound was so great; the fm records great… the screen great… clip totally replaced ipod for everyday use…i manually transfer from msc so i can always use mp3gain.
i always apply the updates manually and cant imagine why anyone would install an auto updater.  
i do hate how itunes wants to take over the pc-- i dont use it…i am gonna be very discretionary on next apple product, but when what i want comes out i ll get it…the  new “classic ipod” doesnt sound all that great.
bottomline for me ::  clip shows the world what can be had for 35$ sounding like +300$

The fact that there is a web site called anythingbutipod ought to reveal the disdain so many of us feel toward apple products.  I love my Sansa Clip.  If you like your pod great, but why knock Sansa because it doesn’t work like a pod? It sounds great to me on the earbuds that came with the product and when I connect to my Bose earphones it even sounds better. 

got to love apple fanboys who dont know how to use computers.

I understand what the OP is saying.  I mean heck, it took me almost ten whole minutes to copy every mp3 I own onto my clip (mostly file transfer time), including creating a few playlists.  I mean, I could have eaten a pbj in that time.

Seriously though, I bought my wife a U2 iPod for xmas a few years ago, and while it’s nice and all, it’s a royal PITA.  First off, she had to install iTunes, which sucks up a boatload of memory - even when it’s not running, because of that iPod updater service, or whatever it is.  Then, when we go to copy a song to her laptop, we can’t play it without jumping through hoops because the song “isn’t authorized” to play on that PC.  On top of that, she’s afraid to bring it on the subway with her because of the possibilities of loss or theft (iPods have become big targets around here, and they’re even suggesting you swap out the earbuds as to not give yourself away).  Then if the battery dies (which it’s showing signs of in the form of reduced play time) you have to take it to the apple store to be serviced.

This isn’t even mentioning that since I run Linux on my machine, iTunes isn’t even an option.

Compare that to my $40 Sansa e230, which I just drag & drop files onto without having to install anything on my PC.  Plus, if I lose it, I’m only out $40.  If the battery dies, I pop in another AAA.  I liked it so much, getting a Clip was a no-brainer.  I mean, it’s not perfect, but for $60 it’s pretty tough to beat, and it even works under Linux (maybe even better than it does under Windows!).

No, the OP is right.  I am very computer literate, and really wanted to try out subscription music.  I like the clip form factor and th epotential, but this thing is a bad joke with its intermittent malfunctioning and inability to be recognized by my computer.  Totally unacceptable compared to the generally idiot proof Ipod for 95% of users.  Don’t even get me started on how bad the Rhapsody software is.  If these guys want ot threaten Apple, they’re going to have to do better than this.

““intermittent malfunctioning and inability to be recognized by my computer””… sounds exactly like ipod probs–check apple support page.
““generally idiot proof Ipod for 95% of users””  sounds exactly the same for clip users…
rhapsody V itunes… i dont use either one, but at least rhapsody doesnt try to make prey of your PC.
bang for the buck–no contest… clip.
i own 80gb ipod … my 4th full size

mmmm apple fanboys souls taste so good mmmm :slight_smile:

I generally prefer non-iPod players to iPods, but that doesn’t prevent me from saying that I think the O.P. is right, when it comes to a smooth user experience.  Apple obviously spent a lot of time on this.  People who prefer non-iPods generally prefer them because of *features*, which is a different matter.

Is there any iPod hater out there who will argue against the claim that iPod + iTunes provides one of the best, if not the best, portable player experiences for non-technical users?  That would make the discussion a whole lot more interesting.  :wink:

Message Edited by PromisedPlanet on 12-10-2007 12:33 PM

Completetly agrre with OP.  And before anyone calls me an Apple fanboy - I have a Mac, Linux (Debian) PC, Windows XP and Windows Vista laptops at home.  I’ve been doing computer consulting for years.  There is nothing simpler. more elegant and user friendly than Apple.  I own two iPods and I bought a clip for my daughter.  I decided to try it myself before I give it to her and since I listen mostly to podcasts and audiobooks the clip is at most mediocare.  It does not remeber the song position after a charge, there is no indicator if a song has been listened to already, there is no remaining time in a song - and this is just of the top of my head.

I’ll stick with iPods.

Apple is “easy” because it demands that you do everything its way. Hardware, software, file format, the whole environment must meet their exact specifications. Which is fine, but I don’t think they deserve too much credit for that. Their interface and user environment is so-so, with most emphasis placed on a few tasks that most people will perform and a heap of limitations thrown in to create the “idiot-proof” experience. Which is a fantastic move, marketing-wise, but don’t let this apparent ease of use distract from the price attached.

What SanDisk and all the other players are doing is trying to create hardware that isn’t dependent on one specific environment or format. That’s a lot harder and more prone to bugs, because it has to work on a basically infinite variety of different systems. Which would be a titanic, if not impossible, feat.

In light of that, it’s reasonable to look at both approaches and say that Apple is doing it the smart way. But what they’re doing is mostly marketing–they’re making the user adapt to the environment, rather than the other way around. It doesn’t mean their product is better–it means they’ve created an expectation in the marketplace that their own product meets.

Personally, I admire Apple’s design sense and savvy, but hate their proprietary approach and all the limitations attached to their products. I chose the Clip, and so far it’s worked easily, flawlessly, and idiot-proof-ly. And this is on a PC that’s over 5 years old, without the OS or memory that a current machine would have.

So the OP may be completely right about their own experience, but they’re extrapolating further than they responsibly can.

I have a Sandisk M240, which I LOVE!!!   So I bought my boys 3 clips for Christmas.

After some initial problems, mainly operator malfunctions because my boys are too quick on the draw and didn’t bother reading on how to download music onto them, I love them, and more importantly, THEY love them.

They are small, carry a lot of music, have great features, and sound wonderful.

Once you get the operator bugs out of them, they work really well.  The trick is to make sure you have WMP11 on your computer before you connect the clip.  Then sync’ing your music to the clip is easier then anything.

kevred wrote:

In light of that, it’s reasonable to look at both approaches and say that Apple is doing it the smart way. But what they’re doing is mostly marketing–they’re making the user adapt to the environment, rather than the other way around. It doesn’t mean their product is better–it means they’ve created an expectation in the marketplace that their own product meets.

How has the experience of the average iPod owner been adversely affected by being forced to adapt to the iPod+iTunes environment?  The music syncs easily.  Basic operational bugs were long ago worked out of the software and firmware involved.  The computer owner with little or no computer knowledge can easily use the software and device, and updates are almost transparent.


“Better” is subjective.  If you want device that you can sync in MSC mode, play OGG format etc., then the iPod doesn’t meet your needs.  I think Apple has done a better-than-most job of engineering a product that works well in performing the basic tasks of syncing music and supplying intuitive interfaces.


I don’t see it as just a marketing job.  Before Sandisk invests in a better marketing department, I would suggest that it invest in a better engineering department that can put out a product that doesn’t experience all the problems you see people (technically-oriented and not) complain about in these forums.

Message Edited by PromisedPlanet on 12-30-2007 02:46 PM

I don’t own an Ipod but I am sure it’s a good product or they wouldn’t be so friggin popular. Just too expensive for what it is to me.

I do however think that comparing a Clip to an Ipod is like comparing a Yugo to a Ferrari. The Clip is fantastic for what it is and it’s price to features ratio is wonderful. I find it easy to operate and load so I am not sure why all these Ipod fans are having problems. Bottom line if you can operate a computer you can operate a Clip. Comparing the Clip to the Ipod Shuffle is probably a better analogy. The shuffle has no screen and costs more than twice as much as the Clip. The clip has fm tuner, 2GB memory, voice recorder, a color screen , awesome sound, and is drag and drop. For my money it is the much better value. The durability remains to be proven however.

There is one common trait in all these hardware discussions. People are either adamently for or against something. There never seems to be any middle of the road in these discussions. Can’t they both be good products. They each have their niche in the market.

Message Edited by hy_tek on 12-30-2007 04:17 PM

well I’m not sure if you read the requirements on the side of the box but it does say you need at least windows xp and windows media player 10 or above. The reason for this is b/c the clip is an mtp device *media transfer protocol* this is something developed by microsoft which is used mostly for the use of transferring music with drm copyright protection.

The reason you need at least wmp10 or above is b/c the mtp device drivers were first introduced with wmp10 so without wmp10 your computer won’t be able to communicate with the clip. You can actually go to WindowsMediaPlayer.com

and you can download wmp 10 , if you don’t have service pack 2 you can’t download wmp11 but you can still download wmp10 even though it says it requires service pack 2. Once you download windows media player 10.

you should be able to install the clip and use it once you have the mtp drivers and you can actually update to the latest firmware and be able to pick msc mode which doesn’t require mtp drivers.

the clip is pretty simple in my opinion and as other user’s mentioned , sandisk does not force you to only use their special software to use the mp3 player. Apple requires you to only use itunes unless you use 3rd party applications with modifications to get the ipods working which apple does not support.

Either way I think the clip is amazing and I think that the main problem is people aren’t looking at the system requirements when they purchase this mp3 player, also alot of people may be getting an mp3 player for the first time due to the affordable price and the appealing size. So some users may not be up to date with their windows media player.

Also note that windows media player doesn’t have to be used to transfer it’s just the mtp drivers that come with it are needed for the clip and the pc to communicate unless you obtain the new firmware and switch to msc mode


barret232hxc wrote:
you should be able to install the clip and use it once you have the mtp drivers and you can actually update to the latest firmware and be able to pick msc mode which doesn’t require mtp drivers.

It’s not necessary to have MTP on the host system in order to update the firmware.  It’s always been possible to put the Clip into the MSC mode via the hold switch/center button trick, after which the latest firmware can be directly copied to the Clip.  As a matter of fact, I’m not sure whether even the Sansa Firmware Updater requires MTP drivers.

well yes you can put it into that mode, the forced msc mode but by deafault the clip is an mtp device and this mode is not known by most consumers. and yes with the update you are able to choose msc mode.  :slight_smile: either way you should most defintely be able to get your clip up and running

The install issues all seem to deal with MTP (and DRM) issues.  Had the player been instituted as an MSC player in the first instance with MTP as an option, rather than the other way around, fewer issues would be seen.  (And, I guess, that is the direction SanDisk finally is going with, with the latest firmware upgrade.)  But, I guess, that would require that people understand how to drag and drop.


My main player, an iRiver iHP-140, is drag and drop, and in my humble opinion, that still is the way to go.  Plain and simple, and it works every time.

Well I read the box but I don’t use Windows Media Player on my Sansa at all.  I use strictly drag and drop so I don’t think Windows Media Player is the issue here as far as problems. As I remember the Sansa can be operated in AUTO mode by default where it picks MTP or MSC for you based on your system so that should not really be an issue either.

I did get the new firmware but I didn’t switch to MSC mode and it works just fine.

hy_tek wrote:

Well I read the box but I don’t use Windows Media Player on my Sansa at all.  I use strictly drag and drop so I don’t think Windows Media Player is the issue here as far as problems.

If you have Windows and you didn’t switch the Clip to MSC mode, you’re probably using MTP mode when you drag-and-drop files onto your Clip (displayed in Windows Explorer as a Portable Media Device, as opposed to a Removable Disk with MSC mode). 


The MTP drivers are installed as part of Windows Media Player.  They can be installed in other ways as well, but for a typical Windows user, having the MTP drivers requires an up-to-date, undamaged WMP install. 

Message Edited by PromisedPlanet on 12-31-2007 08:38 AM