If you’re referring to the USB mode, the Sansa can communicate with the PC in one of two modes, MSC (Mass Storage Class) or MTP (Media Transfer Protocol). The latter mote, MTP, allows the Sansa to load protected media, like Rhapsody, Napster, Overdrive, and Audible books.
In MTP mode the device is listed as a “media player”, and in MSC mode, you have direct control, as the computer sees the device as a flash drive.
MTP mode does many functions in the background, like album art and licenses for files. It’s made to “look” like MSC mode, and the result is natural confusion.
The quirk between these two modes is that files transferred in one mode cannot be seen while in the other mode, at least from the PC side. The Sansa sees everything.
On to your quirky file. I’ll guess that you used Windows Media Player to “rip”, or convert, the file to mp3. Did you notice that the album information pops up while loading the music into the WiMP library? If all is well, the album art can be found too. MTP mode seems easier for WiMP to get those images together with your music.
Click on the skipping track and select properties, or check your settings for CD ripping, to see if you’re building an mp3 file at about 192KBPS- I think this is ideal. I rip wma files at 160KBPS and they sound pretty good, but I use those in “protected mode” as WMDRM files for experiments. WMA files, if the media player is transferring them as protected, will take about 30 seconds per track to transfer. MP3 files will transfer in a few seconds, as they’re far simpler.
The time it takes for the individual song to sync with your player gives a hint as to whether copy protection has been left “on”. If it’s your CD, turn that %&@%#$ off. Hehe. Copy protection slows transfer down considerably.
It’s possible you have set an extreme bit rate for your file, and the Sansa is having issues with it. At 192, you can’t go wrong. If space is at a premium, 128 is the lowest I’d use for music.
“Skipping” issues can happen if the processor is busy decoding wma files and the memory is fragmented, or if the device was formatted via the PC using a too small file allocation size: Windows loves 4k, and the Sansa optimizes the memory to 32k. The processor can have issues grabbing those wee bits, with a zillion little blocks allocated in memory (thanks, Microsoft). If you use the Format function on the Sansa, the allocation will be set properly at 32KB.
First, delete the troublemaker from the Sansa, and rerip as basic MP3, 128-192KB/sec as you rpefer, and play the file again.