must all songs be in root (or same directory) for m3u playlists to work?

I have a M260  and my wife has an M230.  We love them.  We just got the 4GB Clip to upgrade my wife to more capacity.  We use playlists exclusively - couldn’t live without them.  Because my old computer never could recognize our players with MTP, I’ve always used MSC.  WMP

Oops, sorry.  Didn’t mean to send that yet.  Complete post below…

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This is a great forum, and I’ve spent a few hours searching through the posts for an answer to this question, but I didn’t get confirmation, so here goes:

I have had a M260  and my wife has had an M230 since 2006.  We love them.  We just got the 4GB Clip to upgrade my wife’s player to more capacity.  We use playlists exclusively - couldn’t live without them.  Because my old computer never could recognize our players with MTP, I’ve always used MSC.  I rip music into WMP 10, create .wpl playlists, then also save them as .m3u, then remove all the path references with NotePad, using the Replace method documented by kmc2005 in the FAQ.  WMP 10 will transfer the *songs* by playlist (but not the playlist itself), and then I would manually copy the .m3u version of the playlist.  I push them over in folder hierarchy to make it easier to delete on the Sansa.  I keep the .wpl version of the playlist because I often play music on my PC.

This was an unsupported method, but it worked, until SanDisk changed the firmware.  Previously, even though there was a folder hierarchy in the Music folder on the Sansa, the playlists, which only contained the song titles and no path information, could always find the songs.  Then, something changed so that the only way .m3u playlists would work was if the playlist was in the same directory with all the songs on the playlist.

I was very unhappy with this, and the way I discovered it was that we’d bought a M250 for my wife so she could carry more songs; after consulting with SanDisk support, who said that .m3u playlists weren’t supported, I gave up and returned it.

I still kept searching for a player that would support .m3u playlists, and a google search a couple of months ago brought up this forum, and I discovered the Clip, heard that it now supported .m3u playlists, saw kmc2005’s detailed instructions (which was the exact method I’d been using), and thought I’d finally found the solution. 

However, after some testing it appears that the only way .m3u playlists will work is if they are in the same folder with all the songs they want to play.  Since some of my songs appear on multiple playlists, it would waste storage to have a folder for each playlist containing its songs, so the only other solution is to throw all the songs and all the playlists into the same folder, like, say, Music.  I’m rather dismayed by this, since it makes it harder to delete songs when you can store 1000s (although I store all my music in Windows Media Audio Lossless, I generally sync them to the players at 64-bit WMA to make them as small as possible).

Could one of the Sansa experts please confirm that the only way for a .m3u playlist to “see” its songs is if they are in the same folder?  I guess I can live with having all the songs in one folder, but I’d like to know for sure that there isn’t some other way I’ve missed.

Thanks,

Eric

Well, the songs should  be on the MUSIC folder and the playlist with m3u file should be on the PLAYLIST folder. =)

@etarini wrote:

Could one of the Sansa experts please confirm that the only way for a .m3u playlist to “see” its songs is if they are in the same folder?  I guess I can live with having all the songs in one folder, but I’d like to know for sure that there isn’t some other way I’ve missed.

No, you don’t have to have everything in one folder.  The trick on Sansa’s is that the paths in the m3u playlist have to be relative to the playlist’s location.

I have everything in Artist and Album folders, like so:

\Music\<Artist>\<Album>\<Title>.mp3

I put my playlists in the \Music folder, so the paths inside the playlist look like:

<Artist>\<Album>\<Title>.mp3

You could also put the playlists in the root, in which case the paths in the m3u should look like:

Music\<Artist>\<Album>\<Title>.mp3

Note that there is no leading “” in either case.  This is what is meant by “relative” path.

@well_wisher wrote:
Well, the songs should  be on the MUSIC folder and the playlist with m3u file should be on the PLAYLIST folder. =)

I believe the Playlist folder only really applies to MTP mode.  Paths in m3u’s have to be relative to the location of the m3u file and “…” doesn’t seem to work, so I don’t think it’s possible to get m3u playlists to work in this way.

When I connect in MSC mode, I don’t see a Playlists folder; only when I connected in MTP (before I changed ‘Auto-detect’ to ‘MSC’).

I’d have to edit the .m3u playlists differently to show the full WMP folder hierarchy; as kmc2005 shows (and they way I’ve always done it) you only want the song title in the .m3u.  However, I didn’t notice until afterward that everything was in the Music folder, where the .m3u could see them all.  I’d need a version of the .m3u playlist (that contained the Artist/Album folder hierarchy) for my wife’s Clip and a different one for for my m260,  

Jeez, I did it again. Clumsy fingers.

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When I connect in MSC mode, I don’t see a Playlists folder; only when I connected in MTP (before I changed ‘Auto-detect’ to ‘MSC’).  I prefer to use MSC, because not all computers seem to see the Sansa in MTP mode.

I’d have to edit the .m3u playlists differently to show the full WMP folder hierarchy as suggested above; as kmc2005 shows (and they way I’ve always done it) you only want the song title in the .m3u.  However, I didn’t notice until afterward that in the tutorial, everything was in the Music folder, where the .m3u could see them all.  I’d need a version of the .m3u playlist (that contained the Artist/Album folder hierarchy) for my wife’s Clip and a different one for for my m260 with no folder paths, since the m260 allows me to put the .m3u in the root and it will still find all the songs, even though they are transferred into an Artist/Album/Song hierarchy by WMP 10.

It sounds like I can do one of two things:  put title-only .m3u’s in a folder with ALL the songs, or, make sure that, wherever I put the .m3u, that it has the exact subordinate path to each song (which requires a different .m3u).  Which is what I’m hoping that the Sansa dev folks can confirm for me.

Thanks,

Eric

You can have the m3u anywhere as long as its in a folder the same or outside of the music your pointing too.

If you want you can have the m3u file in your root pointing to the music folder. Just make sure your paths are correct. your m3u woud look like this:

#EXTM3U

music[artist][album]\song.mp3

music[artist][album]\song2.mp3

music[artist][album]\song3.mp3

music[another folder]\songinanotherfolder.mp3

music\songinmusicfolder.mp3

and etc

Message Edited by thoma on 05-27-2008 10:39 AM

Thanks, thoma and Skinjob.  I’m thinking it might be worth it to put a folder hierarchy into the .m3u for future ease of song deletion.  It’s folks like you, and all the other enthusiasts, moderators, administrators, etc., that make this forum such a tremendous resource.

Eric