JK"As for having playlists of podcasts and having the same podcast in several lists, I don’t see a need for that, but if you must do that, then you need to trat the podcasts like songs, and make due with having them in the song database. "
Well, different people use the same device in different ways. I find it very frustrating that with a simple tweak of the software it could be MUCH easier to use in a wider range of ways.
For me, I listen to a lot of podcasts, some news (different perspectives from different sources), some music (songs of the day put out by different indie music outlets), and at times I tend to get behind. Normally I like having the music mixed in to break things up. When I get behind, I want to be able to listen to just the news podcasts to catch back up on current events. Once I am caught up, or am doing other things that do not allow me to pay attention to the news stories yet able to enjoy music, then it is nice to switch over to just the musical set of podcasts. That means I have three primary playlists for my Podcast files: All Podcasts, News Podcasts, and Music Podcasts. The All Podcasts list contains everything in the other two, interleaved in chronoligical order.
And I have done just as you suggested: removed the “Podcast” Genre tag and set up my playlists as standard music Playlists, but it took me a fair bit of searching on-line to get info about the need to do so since it is NOT intuitive about what is going on, and NOT mentioned in the manual.
JW"1. Why are “Podcast” files not able to be treated both as bookmarkable “Podcast” files as well as “Music” files capabable of being listed in a standard Playlist?"
JK"That would mean that they would be in the song database and would play when you shuffle your songs. People don’t want podcasts to play when they shuffle their songs. "
I don’t understand why it would be that way. If a file is marked as “Podcast”, why can’t it be placed in a non-podcast type of Playlist? The Playlist is already pointing right at the file. Follow what the Playlist is telling you to do. If you are playing a Playlist, don’t bother checking the “Genre” tag, it shouldn’t mean anything at that point. When playing all files randomly, have the Random function check the Genre and hop over it if it is a Podcast, although apparently this may be an issue with the Song Database. I don’t know the structure or purpose of the Song Database, but can’t there be a field listing if the file is in the “Podcasts” folder, and if so leave it out of the count for total song files and left out of All Music/Random Music play? Also it is VERY simple to just create a playlist containing all of your music files. Start up the Music playlist, and go to Shuffle mode. Shuffle mode will only play the files within the playlist as it is.
JW"2. Having to rename the Album field to create a series would make me lose out on information I desire to keep about the files."
JK"What information? Why can’t you use the artist tag or genre tag for that(a file with any genre tag will still be considered by the player to be a podcast if it is in the podcasts folder). "
The Album info I want to keep (who produced the podcast) is already in the Album field. Why should I have to manually transfer it for each file to another Tag field just to preserve the data I don’t want to lose? The artist tag already contains other info, and often already maxed out. And if the player still considers the file to be a Podcast if it is in the Podcast folder, regardless of the Genre field, then why in the world is it playing around checking the Genre field if I explicitly put the file in the “Music” folder?
JW"2. It is great that the Sansa Clip can keep track of play within a Podcast series, but can it do this across multiple series at once? For example, can I have a “Music”, “News”, Audio Book" series and randomly switch between them, picking up each one where I left off within it?"
JK"Yes, as long as the player treats them as podcasts(they need to either be in the podcasts folder or have the genre podcast. All files in the series need to have the same album tag. "
That is good to know, but also VERY frustrating since the functionality is so close to what I desire, yet the firmware seems to be doing a bit too much, causing the potential usefulness to be extremely limited, and at the same time needlessly crippling other functionality.
JW"3. If the Sansa software is able to keep track of play location within a Podcast series, why can’t it be updated to do the same with standard playlists?"
JK"It wasn’t designed to do that. The designers decided that resuming mid song for music files was not necessary. It takes space to store the resume points. The player isn’t perfect."
I don’t expect it to be perfect, I am just VERY frustrated since the functionality added since my Sansa Express is SOOOoooo close to being SO much more useful and capable of doing all that I desire to have it do, but by trying to keep track of podcast play in a more complex manner it has crippled other aspects and also required the end user to do a LOT of work that they should not have to be concerned about.
The Sansa doesn’t need to keep track of what files are Podcasts, it does not need to keep a bookmark set per Podcast file. Just use standard playlists, and have a file that stores a bookmark for each playlist. If you want to keep Podcasts from playing when you just want all music/random music, ignore the files in the Podcast directory, but don’t prevent them from being placed in Playlists.
For the average podcast user, who this new functionality is supposed to help, I still see this as being a bit more of a mess and usuing up more space on the player than needed. The average user will not know that they need to change the Album and Track info for all their podcasts, instead leaving them at their defaults. This will create dozens/hundreds of “podcast series”, each one being given a Resume pointer, vs only needing one to a handful of Resume pointers for the number of playlists most users would have.