My sansa clip zip is constantly "Refreshing Media" to the point of being unusable

It will play about 20 seconds of a song and then it starts doing the “refreshing media” thing. I have no idea why it’s doing it. I’ve tried everything i can think of. I formatted it. I then put songs back on it. It does it both when i’m using the external mem card or when i’m trying to play music from the players internal mem. Nothing changes. I get 20 seconds of music and then it refreshes media.

I’ve had it about 6 months now and this issue popped up out of the blue. Trying to listen to some music on a plane and it decides from now on it wants to refresh my media all the time no matter what for no reason. I’m baffled.

Anyone else encounter this issue? Anyone know why it might be screwing up like this or how to fix it?

Did a search for “refreshing media” and it seems that the player freezing up while refreshing media is a common issue. Figure i should specify that this is not my problem. The refresh process goes by just fine, fairly quick too. The problem is it does it every single time i try to play a song and it does it about 20 seconds in. The player kinda restarts/reboots itself afterwards too, and even the volume level changes automatically, following the refreshing.

My guess is that’s it’s something with your files.

It also could be a “loose” memory card connection, making the player think that the card has been removed and inserted again, leading to the memory refresh.

I hadn’t added any new music or files recently though. Why would my files suddenly, out of the blue, become corrupted or whatever or for some reason cause the player to stop working? It was working fine with these same exact music files for quite some time. Plus, these same files work perfectly fine on another mp3 player i started using.

If this is the issue, is there any fix? Or at least any quick fix? Or would i seriously have to add songs one by one until i discover the one that causes it to refresh endlessly?

As for the loose card conection…

I wouldn’t think this is the issue simply because i can’t fathom how the card connection would become loose. I hadn’t dropped the player or hit it or anything, it was sitting safely and securely in my pocket prior to the malfunction. But if this is the problem, the players pretty much broken for good right?

I have sometimes read that using the alternative firmware Rockbox has proved of benefit in situations like this–something perhaps to consider, if no other fixes might wotk (or if you simply want to try).

My only other thought is, in unknown situations like this:  try manually reapplying the latest firmware, and/or reformat the player (as this will erase the user content, transfer anything you want to save to your computer first). 

I tried formatting, no luck.

Where would i find these firmware things and how would i use em? Somewhat computer illiterate here.

Does it act the same if the memory card is removed?

The alternate Rockbox frmware can be found at  _ But _, before installing it, _ please _ skim/read the manual:  in addition to including the install instructions, you can get a feel as to whether the firmware is for you–it really is easy to use once you get used to it, but it takes a little bit of time. 

First thing you should do,  as Tapeworm suggested above, see if you have the same problem simply playing files from the internal memory with the card removed. If that suddenly fixes things, then try using a different card. And if the problem comes back, then yes, it’s may well be a  hardware problem with the card slot and you can either just use the internal memory or think about a replacement.

But it’s worth a shot at replacing the firmware, which is what’s running your Clip Zip the way Windows or IOS is running your computer.

The Sandisk firmware is here.

Follow the instructions for manual installation about halfway down–the Updater is unnecessary. 

Download the current 1.x   zipped file onto your desktop, un-zip it (Extract it in Windows), connect the Clip Zip and just drag the files onto the Sansa Clip Zip driveletter. When you disconnect the firmware will install itself in under a minute.

See if that fixes the problem.

If you’re going to use Rockbox, you really do need to follow the instructions there step by careful step. Basically what you are doing is installing a new operating system in the Clip Zip (though you are not deleting the old one) and it’s like changing from Windows to Linux–there’s a learning curve. If the Rockbox site is too computer-geeky for you, then that may not be a good solution for you.

Unless all your music files are m4a files from the iTunes Store, you could replace the ZIp with  the Clip+ , which doesn’t play m4a files (that’s the big difference between the Clip+ and the Clip Zip).  As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’ve gotten a refurb Clip+ from this eBay dealer that looks untouched and works fine for all of $20.

this is the same problem we are having on our replacement sansa clip +, it was a replacement for the one we bought from the seller on ebay you refer to. They were very helpful getting us a replacement but when that didn’t work and we wanted a refund they said sorry, it had been over 60 days - no kidding, it took that long to replace first one then try second one. amazing they can get away with replacing a defective unit with another defective unit. Highly reccomend if buy from ebay and unit quits working to just get a refund but don’t buy from the seller on ebay who is referred to here. I can’t even leave bad feedback now as has been too long. Its like they string you along just long enough so won’t be able to leave poor feedback. Sorry about the soapbox but had to say something since someone put a link to this seller on this thread.

started another post to ask for help on getting replacement to work, looks like according to this may just need to reinstall or replace firmware. sure hope that works.

Maximum total number of files is 4500.  Go over that number and it will want to refresh everytime it is started.  Below that number and you shouldn’t have problems.

That’s terrible about dealfisher on eBay. I’ll stop recommending them.

You should get in touch with eBay customer service and make a complaint–it could get your money back if you explain that they strung you along for more than 60 days. Dealfisher wouldn’t want eBay to shut them down, so they’ll probably pay up.

Edzzos, where are you getting this so-called maximum number of files?

There’s no way i’m over 4500 files.

And the problem exists whether im using the card or the internal memory.

Actually, there is no fixed maximum of files on the Sansa. There is a limit to the size of the database–Artist, Album, etc., drawn from the ID3 tags in the files–but that is a number of characters, not number of files. Longer tags = smaller number of files shown on the screen because the database gets too big. Some albums disappear. 

I have a 32GB card in mine and yes, it’s pretty slow to refresh. But unless I add or remove something, it doesn’t refresh again. 

Try the basic fixes. 

  1. See if you still have the problem with the card removed from the unit. That would point to trouble with the card or slot. 

  2. Reload the firmware from the firmware update thread.  Use the manual method–you don’t need to have the Updater running all the time.

  1. Make sure you have copies of all the files on the unit, because they’ll be erased, and format the unit and card  either through the unit (Settings/System Settings/Format) or via Windows in MSC mode (Settings/System Settings/USB Mode/MSC), formatting to FAT32. 

Then add your files 10 or 20 albums at a time, let it refresh, add some more. If one batch starts the problem, there may be a file the unit doesn’t like in that batch.  

Remember, the Clip is really not very intelligent–think how small its tiny brain has to be–and sometimes one bad file can make it go bonkers. 

Another thing you can do, which is maybe a 3-minute job to set up and a five-second job before transferring an album, is to install mp3tag, free software that makes tags the Clip likes. Tags are not standardized, and they are at some point typed in by humans, so even legitimate ones can trip up the unit. 

Get the free program mp3tag.

When you install it let it add itself to context menus (an option while installing).

After it installs, start mp3tag  and go to Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg and under Write  choose ID3v2.3 and ISO-8859-1. (ISO-8859-1 is how Windows displays English language text.)  Make sure those are saved.

When you want to send an album over to the Sansa, right-click on it and choose mp3tag to open it. Highlight all the files and, under File, click Save Tag. This cleans them up. 

Another useful function in mp3tag is  Tools/Auto-numbering Wizard. Make sure the files are in playing order, top to bottom, and choose the Leading Zeroes option. If an album has more than 10 tracks and they are labeled, 1, 2, 3, etc., the Clip will play 1, 11, 12, 13, before 2.   Leading Zeroes fixes that. If you run that function, you’ve also saved the tags, so no need to do that again. Highlight, a few clicks, fixed.